Advice and Bartering Could Be Costly Endeavor

Asking for advice and trading for services.

Farmer, Fisherman, Trade, Barter, Advise, Advice

Asking for advice or asking to barter services from a professional should be taken seriously, and understand the professional may not want ‘give away’ their knowledge without charging you for your time.

 

If you are an entrepreneur or struggling to start a business, you want access to as many resources as possible – especially if free or at minor cost.  It is accepted business practice to meet with other professionals to get to know them and their service or product offerings. I recently read an article that struck home and started me thinking – about business newbies expecting to get advice for free from professionals in  exchange for a cup of coffee or a meal.

The purpose of one-on-one sessions is mutual exploration as professionals, branding development, and exploration of opportunities for strategic alliances. For instance, John sells screen-printed T-shirts to groups, clubs, and schools.  He meets with Sally (who sells life insurance policies).  Neither is interested in purchasing the other’s services. But, Sally knows a school PTA president and John may have an employee who expressed an interest in life insurance. Because each knows someone else with an interest in a service or product, they trade referrals. If other mutual interests develop from the conversation –business networking events, trade organization meetings, or knowledge of a third-party company – even better!

Business gurus advise one-on-ones to market a business and find or develop strategic alliances. Budding entrepreneurs are advised to rack up one-on-ones with other business professionals, but these newbies may be a little naïve. It is not acceptable expect a business owner to meet you for a cup of coffee in exchange for valued advice. When a professional charges clients a steep hourly rate for advice, they won’t let a newbie pick their brain for free (or a cup of coffee). It is best to offer to pay for advice – when it costs the advisor time to drive to the venue, sit through the session, and then drive back to work.

Would a famous, highly paid singer agree to meet with ‘little ol’ you’ for a few hours to explain how they made their money?  The answer is … no. What makes the famous singer any different from a lawyer, doctor, or a business owner working hard for their own business revenue? There is no difference. They may have paid a hefty price for their business niche knowledge, education, and experience.

Some newbies want to barter for services. Business is new and they can’t afford to pay for expensive professional services. For example, a photographer offers to take photos for a printing company in exchange for business cards. If the professionals are barely paying their overhead expenses, bartering of services won’t help them pay rent. What quality are they receiving?  Some bartering exchanges end up with both parties receiving lower quality services because of the lower perceived value of their return on investment.

There are alternatives. Most valuable is the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) SCORE. Volunteers are found in large metropolitan areas. There are chapters nationwide.  Because they are a government-based non-profit, their services are ‘free’ to entrepreneurs. Established businesses, as well as those with a budding idea are able to use SCORE’s mentoring services – online, telephonically, or face-to-face. SCORE also assists companies on the verge of failing – with analysis from experience banking, finance, and marketing professionals that may save the business from collapse.

If you need business advice, investigate free and public domain information. YouTube is a phenomenal source for training. If you must talk to a professional, the first question should be, “What are the hourly rates and what are your travel expenses?” Don’t be surprised if the professional is kind enough to offer free brain-picking – because you offered to pay them. Alternatively, don’t be surprised if they quote you a rate of $150-250 per hour, with an appointment at their office and convenience.

If you want valuable business advice – prepare to pay. Professionals earned their knowledge, education, and experience at a price. They may be irritated if you expect the same for free. Remember the adage, “You get what you pay for.” If you can’t afford their hourly rates, there are many business and trade schools for formal education, certification programs via community colleges, and related training on the Internet.

 

Dawn Boyer, Ph.D., owner of D. Boyer Consulting – provides resume writing, social media management and training, business development, human resources consulting, and print-on-demand author coaching and consulting. Reach her at: Dawn.Boyer@DBoyerConsulting.com or http://dboyerconsulting.com.

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Advice and Bartering Could Be Costly Endeavor

Asking for advice and trading for services.

Farmer, Fisherman, Trade, Barter, Advise, Advice

Asking for advice or asking to barter services from a professional should be taken seriously, and understand the professional may not want ‘give away’ their knowledge without charging you for your time.

 

If you are an entrepreneur or struggling to start a business, you want access to as many resources as possible – especially if free or at minor cost.  It is accepted business practice to meet with other professionals to get to know them and their service or product offerings. I recently read an article that struck home and started me thinking – about business newbies expecting to get advice for free from professionals in  exchange for a cup of coffee or a meal.

The purpose of one-on-one sessions is mutual exploration as professionals, branding development, and exploration of opportunities for strategic alliances. For instance, John sells screen-printed T-shirts to groups, clubs, and schools.  He meets with Sally (who sells life insurance policies).  Neither is interested in purchasing the other’s services. But, Sally knows a school PTA president and John may have an employee who expressed an interest in life insurance. Because each knows someone else with an interest in a service or product, they trade referrals. If other mutual interests develop from the conversation –business networking events, trade organization meetings, or knowledge of a third-party company – even better!

Business gurus advise one-on-ones to market a business and find or develop strategic alliances. Budding entrepreneurs are advised to rack up one-on-ones with other business professionals, but these newbies may be a little naïve. It is not acceptable expect a business owner to meet you for a cup of coffee in exchange for valued advice. When a professional charges clients a steep hourly rate for advice, they won’t let a newbie pick their brain for free (or a cup of coffee). It is best to offer to pay for advice – when it costs the advisor time to drive to the venue, sit through the session, and then drive back to work.

Would a famous, highly paid singer agree to meet with ‘little ol’ you’ for a few hours to explain how they made their money?  The answer is … no. What makes the famous singer any different from a lawyer, doctor, or a business owner working hard for their own business revenue? There is no difference. They may have paid a hefty price for their business niche knowledge, education, and experience.

Some newbies want to barter for services. Business is new and they can’t afford to pay for expensive professional services. For example, a photographer offers to take photos for a printing company in exchange for business cards. If the professionals are barely paying their overhead expenses, bartering of services won’t help them pay rent. What quality are they receiving?  Some bartering exchanges end up with both parties receiving lower quality services because of the lower perceived value of their return on investment.

There are alternatives. Most valuable is the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) SCORE. Volunteers are found in large metropolitan areas. There are chapters nationwide.  Because they are a government-based non-profit, their services are ‘free’ to entrepreneurs. Established businesses, as well as those with a budding idea are able to use SCORE’s mentoring services – online, telephonically, or face-to-face. SCORE also assists companies on the verge of failing – with analysis from experience banking, finance, and marketing professionals that may save the business from collapse.

If you need business advice, investigate free and public domain information. YouTube is a phenomenal source for training. If you must talk to a professional, the first question should be, “What are the hourly rates and what are your travel expenses?” Don’t be surprised if the professional is kind enough to offer free brain-picking – because you offered to pay them. Alternatively, don’t be surprised if they quote you a rate of $150-250 per hour, with an appointment at their office and convenience.

If you want valuable business advice – prepare to pay. Professionals earned their knowledge, education, and experience at a price. They may be irritated if you expect the same for free. Remember the adage, “You get what you pay for.” If you can’t afford their hourly rates, there are many business and trade schools for formal education, certification programs via community colleges, and related training on the Internet.

 

Dawn Boyer, Ph.D., owner of D. Boyer Consulting – provides resume writing, social media management and training, business development, human resources consulting, and print-on-demand author coaching and consulting. Reach her at: Dawn.Boyer@DBoyerConsulting.com or http://dboyerconsulting.com.

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Follow my podcasts

Available on iTunes and Podomatic:

Add to Google

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