Further to my post on minimum bid restrictions and keeping options open when looking for freelancers, a friend of mine sent me an email with a comment that I’d like to share.
My friend also mentioned that other freelancers might not look kindly on being undercut or having another freelancer advise the client he could get more for less. I have something to say about that.
Competition is a good thing.
Monopoly is never good for anyone. The provider never needs to improve or offer anything better to the client. Some providers even get lazy, letting their services or product degrade to cut costs and reap more profits. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called a company but can’t talk about my issue with a customer service representative who speaks my language – and I speak two, fluently.
Who suffers? The client.
Clients stuck with a monopoly provider grumble and complain. They can’t do a damned thing. They may not feel like paying their bills when due, if at all. They give customer service representatives a hard time, too. They bad-mouth the business and the provider’s reputation goes down the drain. Who cares, though, right? That’s the only provider, and everyone is stuck.
Competition means everyone has to stay on their toes and offer the best. Pleasing the client is the priority. Gaining customer loyalty means everything. Services improve, products are better, and everyone wins. Happy clients refer the provider to others, and the provider gains more clients from the recommendation. More money, win-win.
When someone else wins a project contract over me, I’m pretty gracious about it. I try to examine what the competition did, what they offer, and see if I can’t do better. There’s a reason they got chosen, and that reason is something I need to know to stay on top of business.
Sometimes it’s price. Sometimes it’s skills. Sometimes, the competition just looked better or wrote a crack proposal. Good on them. Good for me, too, because I get better – they won the contract and I get to learn from them.
When it’s my turn to land a contract, then the shoe is on the other foot. The competition needs to sharpen up. Those who do keep me on my toes, and I love that. Hey, it’s all part of the game, and it’s all in benefit of better business.