A fair exchange is not a robbery. But that depends on a person’s perspective on what’s fair. Take for example a close female friend of mine. She’s a sweetheart really, but she can get bossy when it comes to business. I’m all for that – things need to be right.
She came to me with an idea for a business brochure. I thought that was a great idea, especially considering her market and the services she offers. Where my friend lives, people are generally not very familiar with what she does. Because of that, it requires a lot of explaining. If she had a brochure she could save some time by just handing it off with a basic explanation depending on who she’s speaking with.
She found a designer who was willing to barter. He would design the brochure and she would provide her service to him for free. That’s a fair exchange. But that’s when the complications started. Poor guy, he wasn’t ready!
Designing in itself is not easy. It takes time and you also want to use the elements the client wants. My friend however kept coming up with more and more revisions. Color changes, font changes, the use of certain images, layout changes, etc. All of this is fine and perfectly acceptable – but this delayed the finished brochure by almost 2 months.
The final product is excellent; a job well done. The revisions seems to have paid off but was it worth delaying a much needed marketing piece? In my opinion, yes it was. I don’t think it should have taken 2 months, but things have to be right.
Let me give you a little piece of business Game.
When you have a business card, brochure or a post card as marketing materials, these become your sales people. They have the potential to sell your product or service 24/7 when you’re not around. These need to represent what you do, or have, very clearly. Poor images, color choices or a shoddy design directly reflect on you and/or your business. If they’re really bad, they will “un-sell” you and/or your business.
When I teach the mentality of business I always stress that everything you do needs to come from a very clear CENTER. Everything needs to be cohesive and make sense when it relates to your brand. If you’re not being clear, you’re being confusing. And let me give you some more business Game:
“A confused customer does not buy.”
This simple principle extends to every business. When you go to a fast food restaurant, they have number combos. When you go to the movies you’re usually a line to buy a ticket. Available movies and show times are made clear. The process has been stream-lined for you so that nothing is confusing. Too much confusion and some people would just walk away. It may sound simple, but this is the psychology behind many choices businesses make. And only the “big boys” can bend these “rules”.
If you’re just started out in your business, remember part of your responsibility is to make things CLEAR. Simplify them as much as possible. It may make sense to you, but it’s not you that matters – it’s your potential customers and clients that matter.
Let’s trackback to the first sentence of this post, “A fair exchange is not a robbery,” and this works on many levels. When you’re doing business there’s an exchange: Your goods and/or services for money (usually). Most people want good quality at a fair price. If the price is high and people don’t feel as though they got what they paid for, they feel “robbed”. This works on the other side of the coin as well. If someone buys a cheap product and it doesn’t last long, they still feel “robbed”. Even though they know the old saying, “You get what you pay for.”
A challenge that every entrepreneur faces is balancing PERCEIVED VALUE of their product or service with what someone is actually willing to pay. Too high, less potential sales – but you have to sell less to make a profit. Too low and potential customers may view your offering as cheap or low-quality – which means you have to sell more to make a profit. But you may be fighting an uphill battle because of its lesser PERCEIVED VALUE.
So, what do you do? You research.
You have to research your market, your potential customers, what your competition is already doing, what technology is coming in that may change quality for better or worse; and even perceived value for better or worse. Sometimes it’s best just to get something out there just to test the reaction. There’s a lot of analytics and some entrepreneurs find this boring and tedious. Personally, I’m one of them. But this is necessary work. If you treat your business like a hobby, you earn hobby money. Period, simple.
To my entrepreneurs: Is that thing on? Is your mind, one of your most important tools, on? Or is it off? Do you keep yourself in the right head-space? Is going through 2 months of revisions for 1 piece of marketing material something you’re willing to do? Do you understand its long-term importance and the wide reaching effects? Word of mouth spreads like wild-fire. Don’t set yourself up to burn down your own forest.
Remember everything you do must communicate clearly and simply. Think of that like a Hustler’s anthem.
Until next time…
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