Let me begin… by explaining that I see the value in being frugal in some areas of life. Secondhand stores are my favorite places to get furniture, clothing, jewelry, and decorations. For the purpose of this blog, please excuse the aforementioned categories, because that is where the thriftiness ends.

There are times that the cheaper option is clearly the wrong choice. Most Americans wouldn’t opt in to flying to Honduras for discounted plastic surgery rates. But what about times when the decision is tough? When the initial cost is more than you’d like to pay?

While you may be lucky, and find “undiscovered talent”, the cost of making choices based on cost alone can have an unintended higher price tag down the road. I’ve played out a few scenarios.

Scenario: Your company hires an intern to manage your social media.
Initial Cost: Free (or minimum wage).
Dilemma: The intern accidentally posts about a “Miley Cyrus scandal” to the company’s FB page instead of their personal page.
Overall Cost: Major back-peddling. You may have offended customers, potential partners, or the mass public. The cost of hiring PR and dealing with the backlash could cost thousands.

Scenario: Your company opts for a newer PR company with a lower monthly retainer.
Initial Cost: $2000 per month.
Dilemma: The PR company mismanaged your reputation, turning journalists off to your brand.
Overall Cost: Repairing brand relationships with journalists can take years. Not to mention, one “poor review” will be read by hundreds (or thousands or millions) of potential customers. Ultimately you will still need to hire the more expensive PR firm, and they will be working double time.

You get what you pay for, so investing in quality up front may be in your best interests.