I just got off the phone with a person who is starting a new business and I hate to say it but, their business is going to fail even before they have a chance.
He might have the best product in the world but I feel that he is going to be throwing his hard earned money away.
He was not budgeting correctly and he didn't think about how he was going to drive traffic to his site. What he wanted to do was have a logo created and a web site built. "build it and they will come" was his idea. Wrong. The web is a big place, getting a top ranking on the first page of a search is rare and it takes time and money to achieve.
So I asked "How are you going to drive customers to your web site?" "I hadn't thought of that" was his reply. I then suggested that he might want to consider a small direct mail campaign consisting of a simple postcard or perhaps some local radio advertising. I went through a list of suggestions just to be told... "all I'm interested in is a logo and a web site".
Well, that's my job, so I gave him a quote. "Hey! I can get a logo done for $125 bucks and a web site for $500" was his reply. Then it hit me. His business is dead before he even has a shot.
Consider your own consumer experience. You are ready to buy. You go to a site. The logo looks like crap and the site says "I'm not professional". Do you think this company will deliver the goods. Do you think that it's safe to give them your credit card? Probably not. If you are like me, you would rather spend a few dollars more going with a company that looks CREDIBLE and RELIABLE.
I will not be working with this fellow and that's a shame. Because I could have really helped the guy. When I made suggestions (like cheap local radio to get his web site out there) I wasn't going to make any money... I wanted to see him succeed. If he did well, then I would end up getting more business from him. He wins, I win.
I tried to explain to him that the most important time to spend your money was at the beginning to establish yourself. You have to look and act like you mean business. That you are a serious player. That you are a CREDIBLE company and that by going with a cheap amateur, you are going to come across as a amateurish business.
Bottom line... to be a successful freelancer you have to educate your clients, take the time to help them understand that you are giving them the best shot at success.