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5 Tips On Handling Discrepancies Between Client Scope & Client Budget

The project brief is robust. This is a dream project with a full scope plan that leaves no stone unturned. The client has big dreams that you know you can exceed.

There’s just one catch. The client’s budget is bargain basement. It won’t cover one quarter of the work that needs to be done.

What should you do?

It actually depends on where you are in your business cycle. Are you a newbie who is looking for experience on which to leverage additional projects? Or are you a seasoned professional who has ample projects on which to keep busy?

If you’re new to the field, you might need the experience this project can provide, especially if the project will showcase your abilities in a profound way. In this case, it might be advantageous to accept the job for the low fee so that you can use this experience to show other, better paying clients what you can do for them.

If you’re a seasoned professional though, you shouldn’t accept anything less than what you are worth.

“If a client’s budget is too small for you to do a good job, don’t compromise on quality and drop your prices. If you do that you’ll always be stuck in a self imposed price ghetto. Instead, explain to the client why their budget isn’t sufficient and encourage them to reconsider,” says Andy Budd, a regular speaker at international conferences who was named one of the 100 most influential people in the UK digital sector by Wired Magazine.

Here are five tips to help you navigate the low-budget dilemma.

1. Explain what parts of the project you can complete for their budget, and explain why the amount of work their scope requests can’t be done for their budget.

2. If you have wiggle room in your fee range, try to negotiate a budget that can accomplish the foundation of the project, something that can be built upon later as the client is able to put more money towards the project.

3. If the client provides a service or product that would complement your business, ask for an in-kind deal where you trade your service for the client’s service. This can be especially advantageous if the client offers something you normally pay another professional to do, such as accounting or legal services.

4. Refer them elsewhere. You might know someone who needs the experience this project would add to his or her portfolio.

5. Tell them politely and professionally “no.” This should be your very last option to only be used when the potential client is not someone you would feel comfortable referring to someone else. If you run into someone who is trying to get something for nothing and doesn’t respect the work you do, it might befit you to sever ties completely.

Negotiation skills are a must have in a low budget situation. Learn how to negotiate the best deals for you and your company with our variety of training programmes. Just give us a call on 0207 043 1582 to find out more.

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