Starting a new business is stressful, and so is engaging in your first contradealing arrangement. To make sure you get the best results, avoid making these common mistakes.
Don’t Prioritise Paid Work
It’s often tempting to put work offered as part of a bartering deal onto the back-burner. You might want to focus on paid work – especially when it’s paying the bills – but you should give just as much attention to your bartered work. Remember, impressing clients through bartering helps ensure future business opportunities, so treat each piece of work as if it’s being billed at your normal rate.
Don’t Undervalue Yourself
Once you start a business it can become incredibly easy to accept deals which don’t do full justice to your abilities. This typically involves accepting a lower rate than you advertise, but it can also lead to giving more than you receive during a bartering process.
Of course, relative value is sometimes hard to gauge. It might be less work for a client to hand out your business card or add you on LinkedIn than it is for you to perform a service for them, but you could still benefit enormously. However, as a general rule you should make sure you don’t overcompensate for your lack of experience or connections by taking on too much work than you’re comfortable with. If a client seems like they’re taking advantage of the situation, you can always walk away.
Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate
Contradealing isn’t as straight-forward an affair as a simple monetary transaction, so it gives you much more room to negotiate. Too many new business owners fail to do this through a fear of blowing potential deals, but making sure you get the best agreement possible makes you appear more professional.
If someone approaches you with an offer, don’t be afraid to up it. If there’s a potential for working together in the future, try to agree on a time when they will need to start paying actual money for your services.
Contradealing can be extremely beneficial for a new business, as long as they follow this advice. Ensure that these mistakes aren’t made in order to receive the maximum amount of benefit.