In business, everyone wants to find a way to cut cost, increase profits and grow. When I first got started, I didn’t have tons of money saved up to invest, as a matter of fact, I didn’t have any savings. However, I never expected to get anything from anyone for free because I always knew that free had a cost. I was already limited on time, resources and ideas so what I had I knew it all had to go back into my own business. Free comes with a price tag, expectations and an underlying commitment whether spoken or not. Somewhere down the line a cost will be paid whether it’s in time or quality.
As a mother of 5, my time is always limited. If I have time to give away then chances are my time with my children or my business is being sacrificed. When ever I needed a babysitter, a ride, a design or anything, I made sure to pay for the services that were being rendered. When I needed to run errands, I caught the bus. When I couldn’t rely on the bus, I would ask for a ride but I always made sure to compensate those who assisted me. Why? Because I didn’t want to feel obligated to do anything later on down the road that would create a sacrifice that I couldn’t afford. See if I didn’t pay my friend or sister, then eventually I would have to return the favor which would ultimately cost me some time. How much value do you put on your time or the time of others?
I knew that eventually I wanted to grow and develop my brand into something bigger, providing Branding, Marketing and PR services. And let’s just face it, you can’t barter and negotiate with quality. I wanted to put out the best representation of my company at all times. Sacrificing quality can be expensive and can cost you business. So I avoided the FREE services at all cost, let’s face it the only person you can guarantee free quality work from is yourself. The focus should be on creating mutual benefits from all parties involved, creating win-win situations can be a lot more rewarding than FREE. When win-win situations are created, the expectations or sacrifices that each party will make are discussed up front.
Recently someone volunteered to do something for me for FREE. Let’s just say I am still waiting on it. FREE has a price. You may not pay now but you will pay. “Starve to create something new. But never starve your brand.” ~ Marc Ecko Unlabel