As someone who is pursuing their virtual career, it not only shows that you have an entrepreneurial spirit, but you have finally come to realize that you have talents that other people’s business want to acquire. With that being said, you are going to come across a lot of different businesses that say, “I can’t afford your services right now, but how about we trade services?” So this post is going to be all about figuring out when is trading services going to be right for you?
What does trading services mean?
Trading services means that a business has a service or a product that you like, and vice versa. You have a product or a service that the business would like to use. Instead of paying money, you pay each other with your service/time.
When can trading services be beneficial?
Trading services can actually be beneficial for quite a few reasons:
- Increase brand awareness – Working with new clients is always a way to increase your brand visibility. Chances are if your services save them time: or makes them money – they will be singing your praises from the rooftop, which could increase your brand visibility and allow you the opportunity to meet more people who may need your services.
- Gaining your first customers – When you first start out in the virtual assistant world, finding your first customers could seem a little difficult. But, if you approach a business and offer a trade, they might take you up on that offer. This allows you to show off your talents and what you can do which once the contract is up, you could end up offering more services to them and can result in them actually paying you for the work you have done.
- Getting reviews – any virtual assistant, or social media manager can tell you that reviews are important especially when trying to grow your business. When you trade services with someone another thing you could offer one another is leaving a great review. This will be good for both businesses, as reviews play a huge factor into local SEO.
- Getting a service in return – When you trade services, it could be for a product or service that you already use or something that you have always wanted to try out! Just make sure to remember to make sure it is something you really want! Because although it may not feel like it, you are getting paid with their service/time.
What to make sure of when deciding to trade services
When you are trading services with other businesses you really want to make sure that the prices match up. Their service should be equal or greater value to the service that you are going to offer them. You want to make sure that this “partnership” is beneficial to both parties so that way you both end up happy with the end results.
Reasons to not trade services:
You do not want to trade services just to “get your first client” through the door. If you don’t actually need the service that they are trying to trade your services for, you will find that in time you could either.
a) Begin to resent that person or business because you feel trapped into a situation you no longer want to be in but are afraid to break things off because of getting a bad review.
B) Realize that the time you are putting into a business or service that is not your “ideal client” could have been spent on pursuing clients that will actually move the needle for your virtual business.
Setting expectations when trading services
It’s important when trading services to set the expectations and time frame at the beginning. Setting the terms and time frame up front is extremely important that way everyone knows what to expect, and no one is blindsided when things come to an end. I also recommend that you get these verbal agreements in writing, that way both parties are protected. You always have the ability to renegotiate when the time is up, but this makes sure that each business can walk away happily without the fear of repercussions.
Time frame for trading services
This can be somewhat tricky when trading services, but I highly recommend either a month-to-month contract or something for three months, if it is something that is truly beneficial to you and your virtual biz. The reason time frames are important is because neither party should feel stuck. Maybe your services aren’t going to be right for them long-term and vice versa. So if you set a short time-table, it gives both businesses a chance to test the waters and then you can see where to go from there.
Clients are still clients, even when trading services.
Something that not every business remembers is that even when trading services, a client is still a client. They should be treated like a client that is paying you with cold, hard, cash – because their service and time is valuable. If you try to push off their services, or keep rescheduling meetings or appointments because something better comes along: it’s best to end the partnership right then and there because it is no longer beneficial to either business.
Remember in school when they taught you the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated? The same golden rule applies to your business. Treat each client the way you would want to be treated. No one wants to feel like they are not important enough, so it’s just a good rule of thumb to remember when building client relationships.
Final thoughts on trading services.
As you can see trading services can actually be really beneficial to your business as long as it is something that you want to pursue. It can help you move the needs, meet new people, and gain testimonials from people that you never dreamed of as being clients before. Just remember to make sure it’s going to be right for you. You are extremely talented, with services that many businesses are going to want, so make sure that each client you take on fits in with you company values, and is going to make you feel good! Learning how to say no is tough in any business, but learning it at the beginning makes it easier for you in the long run. For more virtual career tips, check out the blog at virtual career girl where my team discusses all of the important things you are going to want to know when starting out your virtual assistant business!