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Anyways, after negotiation we both agreed on a price that I feel was quite reasonable both for us and for him (i.e. I'm happy with the price).
At the same time, a project of this caliber is very small and we usually don't take on these projects but I know this guy is very successful and any company he gets involved with is likely to be worth billions in the future.
I'm considering doing this project for free, with the hopes that it will secure his confidence in me and my partner and that it will also emphasize that point that he owes us a favor down the road.
I don't want to send the message that we work for free and that he can get this kind of deal in the future.
What do you guys think? Should I just accept the price we agreed on and do it (not bad for the work). Or just put in some free work now and hopefully have it pay of down the road?
I agree with going the extra mile. Get his work done fast, right and add a few extras in if the opportunity arrives without costing you too much in time worked for free.
I understand you're hope is to gain future business, but that isn't a given and you still have bills to pay. So, do an extra good job while charging a fair price that includes a "break" for him (which it sounds like you already did).
You have to place some type of value on your time if you want someone else to as well ;).
Once you start down the road of free services, its hard to know where to draw the line. Just look at how many posts start, "I know this guy, so started doing some stuff in my spare time for free, and now I don't know what todo as it's taking up my time and I'm not getting paid...
Agree with gopi. If billions really is the possibility, maybe exploring the "web work for a piece of the action" path would be a good idea.
Or if it makes sense, trade. I trade whenever it makes sense for my business. I trade web work and software development for PR stories from a high profile PR company.
If none of those are options, I say definately stick with the agreed price. Like mentioned above; No Money = No Respect.
Is a guy who has created multiple billion-dollar companies going to give away a significant portion of the company for a little web development?
Could he have been so successful in the past without knowing what things are worth?
How do you cash in on your share of the company unless it goes public?
Why can't a guy who has started several billion-dollar companies pay the going rate to contractors? Does he have a construction crew working at cut rates too?
Doing the work for free says:
"I am helping you get started as a friend or a favor for a friend."
For many people favors are quickly forgotten.
Doing the work for the agreed price but go the extra mile says:
"I am efficient, effective, professional, and skilled. This is my showing you what I can do."
Anyway, if you do the work for free and don't get away thing there could be resentment later when his company is worth "billions".
Doing the work for pay means you can walk away happy and if it comes back to you, good, if he doesnt, you don't care.
If I only had a buck for everytime someone said to me, "We can't afford to pay you much now, but if you work with us on this, we'll have lots more copywriting work down the road." Ugh! It never happens.
By doing the work at the agreed upon price and delivering outstanding service, you are demonstrating that you are a professional. If they really do have more work for you later, or have reason to recommend you, this will help. If they don't, then you haven't given it away for free.
General business rule is don't sell on price but on value. Stay firm on price, do quality work and like someone said earlier add something on.
The reason I was wondering if I should do it for free is because this really is a small project and the price I agreed to do it for is actually a very good price in my book (making $200/hr at least).
Why is this rich guy trying to get people to cut their prices? I have no idea, but I think either its because he's rich and thats how he got there, or because he knows what its worth and doesn't want to overpay.
I have no doubts that this guy can deliver, but I'd rather not list names on a forum. I have a feeling that could get me into trouble.
Anyways, I think you guys are right. I've established that my work has a solid value attached to it and any further negotiations will have to take into account the fact that I wont work for promises only.
Personally I avoid people offering too many freebies: I want them to be properly motivated to do the best job they can, in time frames that suit me. That's the way to launch quickly and effectively in a fast-paced business like this one.
Negotiate a fair price and give exceptional service. That's the way to earn respect.
And if that's not good enough for him, stay well clear: intense cost-consciousness is a feature of large, mature, commodity business, and not of fast-changing, dynamic businesses like ours.