Or “how to recognize and price your work”.
Imagine this: a client is looking for a designer willing to create a logo for his company. The client, whom we’ll call Mr. Right, wants a specific logo. He wants it immediately - his new company is launching in 3 days.
Through some social media exploration, he discovers the perfect designer. The designer, Ms. Left, is more than happy to hustle and create the logo in time, with all the additional materials needed to promote it.
The work is good, and Ms. Left manages to complete everything in a few hours.
However, when it comes time to pay, Mr. Right refuses to pay the full amount. After all, the original plan was for Ms. Left to work for 3 days, and he was happy to pay for that. Now that the whole thing is done after 3 hours, he’s sure that there’s a catch. Ms. Left, on the other hand, is refusing to hand over the logo unless her full price is met.
The players in this game are not coming out of this situation smiling. Whichever way the deal goes through, one of the two will feel as though they were taken advantage of.
This is a common problem. Business dealings, especially online, have a lot of pitfalls when it comes to compensation. Without meeting somebody in person, how can you know for sure you’re getting what you wanted out of the deal.
Being paid for your efforts is a staple of economy. Whether you’re providing goods, services or anything in between, you expect to receive something in return. It’s the basis of economy and society as a whole.
Of course, it’s only natural that you, as a buyer, want to get a lesser price on a higher-quality product. Haggling is a time-honoured tradition, and it appears to this day under the guise of “negotiations”.
On the other hand, as a provider of goods and services, your goal is to get the most amount of money for the least amount of effort. See where the conflict might be?
The value of a piece of work is a matter of perspective.
We’ve talked about outsourcing before. It’s a great tool for growing or strengthening a core business with external experts, especially for SMEs without means to extend their efforts into fields that are not in their focus.
Whether we’re talking about joining forces with freelancers or companies, collaborating with somebody outside of your own organization is not always easy. A big part in the relationship is played by mutual trust, and that same trust is a deciding factor in the process of valuation.
If two people don’t trust each other and don’t have the same level of expertise in each other’s fields, it’s almost impossible to agree on the value of work done. A developer making your website can’t charge you a fair price if your subjective opinion is that they’re asking for too much. A client refusing to pay your price is a red flag for future collaboration.
When valuing the work that you do for others and the work others do for you, it’s important to stay as objective as possible. Building a rapport and keeping the communication open is a sure way of building a foundation for trust, and a great way to make sure the full value of a service is getting across.
The value of a service or product isn’t just in the final results, but also in the journey to get there. A good customer relationship and a professional follow-up make your work indispensable, which is what every professional relationship needs.
If ever in doubt, though, just remember: whether you’re charging or paying for a job, try to stay objective and respectful. You’re paying for experience and quality, after all.