I am aware that this is a health and fitness blog. However, once in a while I like to spice things up a little. I do know, from some feedback, that some of our readers are freelancing in various different industries in the business world. This blog post will be relevant for those of you who are in this position. And just a heads-up – it’s about ethics as much as anything else.
As a part-time freelancer myself, I know how hard it is to be in small business. This is especially so for freelancers where a lot of discipline is required. In this day and age, the market size is limited, and the competition appears to be springing up from all angles. To those of you who are like me without management backgrounds, we can be prone to some mistakes, which we will be addressing today.
You might have heard the adage that the customer is always right. Unfortunately this is not true. This is especially so in the B2B world, which this post is focused on. You don’t have to accede to their every whim and request. Here are four situations where you will be much wiser to give a firm but polite ‘no’.
One: When You Can’t Hit The Specified Requirements
Honesty is the best policy. When you cannot safely or properly manage the timeframe available for the work/job, you should consider rejecting it. I know that in today’s world, instant gratification is a big thing. People expect things faster, immediately and without delay! However, think about what reputational damage a poor delivery does to your business!
Two: When The Workload Is Disproportionate
Alright – I may be wearing the Unionist hat here, but trust me, it’s good for business. If a client or customer is demanding all your time and energy to the detriment of other clients or your business, it might be wiser not to deal with them, unless of course, they are the most major player in your market. Don’t allow one contact to drain your resources at the expense of others. Be professional!
Three: When They Are Trying To Undercut You
This is one that really grates on peoples’ nerves sometimes. In certain industries, the winner of a bid goes to the lowest bidder. Of course you might be tempted to go this route. However, think of what message you’ll be sending if you concede all the time – that your standard is lower and that you aren’t worth as much as the competition. Just offer the best possible price up front!
Four: When You Get Put Down The Garden Path
Did you know that it is common practice in some parts of the world for a contractor to take all the responsibility for a project? This means that the builder who does the electrical work will also do the gas work. In western countries, this can’t be done due to licensing requirements. Don’t be tempted to go down the path of doing something you’re not licensed it just to make a quick buck!
So then, what do you do to appease your clients in some of the abovementioned scenarios? Well, this is where business acumen and an understanding of B2B relations become crucial. It is also where your connections and your ethics intersect. If it is clear that you are dealing with a difficult customer, take solace in the fact that they are probably notorious for it.
In the case of the fourth scenario, you can simply outsource some of the functions. In fact, turn it around to your advantage. If you are a professional gas fitter, this is your chance to network with electricians. Make it a deal to introduce business to one another. Of course, you can decide to pursue the other qualification – but this will be your choice! All the best in your business, and please support mine!
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