This is a topic I wanted to write in my blog for a while and this is the perfect time for me to do so. We’ve been having some issues with the recycling pickup in my borough for the last few weeks. I like to listen to newstalk on the radio while working and this piece of news came on. It appears that the private company in charge of the recycling pickup in my borough, put in a bid too low just to get the contract. When they realised that they were losing money, they started slacking off the service.
I don’t work in recycling but as a subcontractor I have to avoid this kind of situation if I want to be able to pay my bills and have a comfortable life. Sometimes it is tempting to bid a bit lower to get a contract or acquire a new client, but not to low. Underselling yourself usually occurs when you voluntarily undervalue yourself in order to appear more attractive to a potential client. It is a dangerous move because it will be hard to get back to your ongoing rate for that new client and that can lead to declining morale and a feeling of resentment. They are as demanding as any other clients and you will get frustrated for working as hard for less money. You will put this client on the back burner in favour for the ones paying the ongoing rate. If you don’t serve this new client as well as the other ones, he will go elsewhere. Not worth underselling in the long run.
A client or company that needs your services, will not necessarily go for the lowest bid. They want quality and a professional service they won’t regret. They are not looking for a bargain. We have seen it only too often, the lowest bid may show a lack of confidence in your abilities for this contract. Or you can come across as poor performer, poor negotiator, with poor self-esteem, or even desperate. Desperation doesn’t sell.
When I first started as a freelancer, I did some research on the ongoing rate for a graphic designer with my level of experience to make sure I rate my services appropriately. I asked around, I went online, I analysed my skills, knowledge, and experience to determine my value and worth in professional terms. It gave me enough information to rightfully charge what I’m worth.
To avoid underselling yourself, get to know your value and what you can bring to the table.
See you in my next post…