Having been a fan of bartering over the years whilst being in business, I have to say I now see the disadvantages of it. Mates rates in business
just don’t work. Why don’t your mates value your work like full paying customers, they should if you are good at what you do! If you say you will swap services instead of paying each other ie. bartering, you are also signifying to the Universe that you don’t need to be paid for the work that you do.
The things which can go wrong with bartering and mates rates…..
1. You have delivered your part of the deal but have been let down by the other person either by them never doing their part of the deal or them not treating you like a proper client as you didn’t pay for each other’s services.
2. Work you have been promised is delayed as you haven’t paid for it and the other person prioritises ‘paid work’ ahead of yours.
3. You are disappointed with the level of service you have received or they haven’t finished what they promised verbally to complete.
4. No guarantee of work completed. Little formal paperwork exchanged, so you have nothing to fall back on if the service was no good.
5. The other person did not value what they had been given from you as they had not paid for the service. They had unrealistic expectations of what would be done for the swap.
Another reason I say mates rates in business do not work is because it can be hard to charge your friends. As you become more well known in business, you will have more friends as networking is all about helping others and building rapport. If you have always charged everyone, and you pay for their services, you won’t have a problem. Resentment can rise in you if you don’t feel that you get the right deal with a friend, and this can affect your friendship. Trust me it is easier for everyone if you just pay for each other’s services.
NB. To allow for collaboration, sometimes you need to swap services to test each other out before you partner up. Where possible make this a paid swap, but if not possible, set guidelines for you both to follow at the start about what you both expect.
Final word of warning – charge your family and friends, the same as you would a stranger. You have business expenses to pay as well as your personal bills which your friends and family will not realise as they are acting as ‘consumers’. Treat them as proper clients including giving them terms and conditions and they will feel valued too.
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