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  1. #1
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    Been offered some training, but I won't get paid.

    Once of my clients who outsources work to me has offered to pay for me to do some training on a new marketing tool they'll be using soon. As their primary delivery they want me to know how it all integrates into sites and e-mails etc.

    They've offered to pay for my hotel and flights, however I will have to dedicate 3 or 4 days to the training, which I won't be paid for.

    I should see this as an investment, however I'm not so how much work I'll get as a result of the training, or whether or not it's something I'll use for any other client.

    The marketing tool is http://agillic.com/

    I'm not sure whether I should do the training, and investment my time into it, especially there's no gaurantee I'll get a return from it.

  2. #2
    doing my best to help c2uk's Avatar
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    A few things to consider, how valuable is that client to you? think about past projects, word-of-mouth & referrals generated, and potential new projects as a result of using this tool, think of a lifetime value that client might have to you, and then compare this client with other clients of yours, could you afford to lose this client, can you easily replace their "value" and income,...

    Also consider the opportunity costs, what would you do if not doing this training and how valuable is that to your business?

    You say you don't know whether it's something you'd use for another client, why not? have you had a look at it and decided it wouldn't add value to your clients? Why is this client then going to use it?

    if you do go to that training, I'd like to hear back from you if you don't mind.
    Dan G
    Marketing Strategist & Consultant

  3. #3
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    It really depends on how you can negotiate. One point of negotiation can be as part of a contract which specifies hours or billable.

    Whether or not you use it with other clients might well depend on whether you find it useful enough to recommend. If this were CMS training, it wouldn't be an issue -- most are going to recommend a CMS and that is that.

    As clients see it, marketing is part of a web site's job. This could be a step to a higher billable, more lucrative clients with bigger budgets.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by c2uk View Post
    A few things to consider, how valuable is that client to you? think about past projects, word-of-mouth & referrals generated, and potential new projects as a result of using this tool, think of a lifetime value that client might have to you, and then compare this client with other clients of yours, could you afford to lose this client, can you easily replace their "value" and income,...

    Also consider the opportunity costs, what would you do if not doing this training and how valuable is that to your business?

    You say you don't know whether it's something you'd use for another client, why not? have you had a look at it and decided it wouldn't add value to your clients? Why is this client then going to use it?

    if you do go to that training, I'd like to hear back from you if you don't mind.
    My client has set aside a pretty big budget to learn this new tool, so they themselves can be classed as experts in multi-channel marketing. I don't really know the inns and outs of it all, but at the minute I am assuming my role as a developer is the know how to integrate this tool into e-mail newsletters and websites.

    My client is very important to me, and is by far my biggest client, however, I'm not sure how much new work I'll get a result of this new tool they'll be using, as they'll only be using it with certain clients, which at the moment, are not clients I really do much work on projects for.

    My vision for my company is to become experts in internet marketing, so I can see the appeal of doing the training, but because my involvement in the new tool is only part of it, I would still require someone with the necessary skills to use this with other clients. There are different parts to the training, some for the marketing company, and then training for the developer.

    To be honest, it's only going to be around a 1000 investment from me, but if it only results in extra 1-2 hours of work per month, it's not really worth it.

  5. #5
    doing my best to help c2uk's Avatar
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    My client is very important to me, and is by far my biggest client, however, I'm not sure how much new work I'll get a result of this new tool they'll be using, as they'll only be using it with certain clients, which at the moment, are not clients I really do much work on projects for.

    [...]

    To be honest, it's only going to be around a £1000 investment from me, but if it only results in extra 1-2 hours of work per month, it's not really worth it.
    what then is the chance of losing this client completely if you're not doing this training?

    you might want to do some scenario analysis:

    think of three scenarios and their impact on you: a best, worst and most likely scenario. use a mind mapping programme or similar for this - or do some sort of decision tree.
    Dan G
    Marketing Strategist & Consultant

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by c2uk View Post
    what then is the chance of losing this client completely if you're not doing this training?

    you might want to do some scenario analysis:

    think of three scenarios and their impact on you: a best, worst and most likely scenario. use a mind mapping programme or similar for this - or do some sort of decision tree.
    I don't think I'd lose the client because of not doing the training, as I'm not confident the new marketing tool will take up any more than 5% of the work I do for them.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    They're paying for your hotel and flights - if one of my clients offered me something like that I'd jump at the opportunity!

    Granted you won't be earning while you're there but the possibilities far outweigh everything else:

    1. It won't cost you anything
    2. Great networking opportunities
    3. Think of it as a busmans holiday and a break from your usual routine

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluedreamer View Post
    They're paying for your hotel and flights - if one of my clients offered me something like that I'd jump at the opportunity!

    Granted you won't be earning while you're there but the possibilities far outweigh everything else:

    1. It won't cost you anything
    2. Great networking opportunities
    3. Think of it as a busmans holiday and a break from your usual routine
    but...I may never see enough work to make the money back I lost.

    What's worse is that I'm actually away on holiday the week before the training, so in essence, I won't be working for 2 weeks. Although that's not really a problem, just an inconvenience.

    The money I'll lose by not working...I feel it may be better to work the week, and spend the money on training in another area where I feel it will benefit me more. iphone app developer for example, or an internet marketing course.

    I'm not ruling the course out, but it's a risk not knowing if I'll see any work from it.

  9. #9
    doing my best to help c2uk's Avatar
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    I'm not ruling the course out, but it's a risk not knowing if I'll see any work from it.
    sometimes you just have to take a risk in life...

    on the other hand, you don't strike me as the kind of person that likes taking a risk or knows how to make the most of an opportunity, in which case it's probably better if you stick to what you know and can, and focus on stuff that earns you money right now.
    Dan G
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  10. #10
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    There are benefits to doing a course even if you end up never using what you learn there.

    - you get a break from your day to day work and so will come back to it refreshed and more productive
    - you will learn something new which may give you ideas that improve your work in ways not obviously related to your work
    - you get to meet new people who may be potential future colleagues or clients
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  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlened View Post
    but...I may never see enough work to make the money back I lost.
    There's much much more to life than money!

    I've just taken 5 days out helping a friend run a music festival, and I'm a freelancer so technically "lost" 5 days worth of work/income. I say "lost" but that's actually inaccurate, I'll still do the work and get paid but at a later date, so I haven't really lost anything.

    As someone said, sometimes you have to take risks sometimes!

    PS. if you don't want to do the training - give my name to your client and I'll take your place

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by c2uk View Post
    sometimes you just have to take a risk in life...

    on the other hand, you don't strike me as the kind of person that likes taking a risk or knows how to make the most of an opportunity, in which case it's probably better if you stick to what you know and can, and focus on stuff that earns you money right now.
    You have to look at the bigger picture. Could almost a week away from work be invested into something else which would have more potential to reap a long term benefit.

    There are plenty of courses I could take part in which I feel would benefit me and my business more, then the training being offered to me. i.e. a marketing course, iPhone and iPad app development, search engine optimisation, all would, in my opinion, bring a bigger return into the business.

    I would be investing in training which will only benefit one of my clients. I would know how to integrate a single on-demand marketing tool into websites and newsletters, a tool which none of my other clients use, and one which I very much doubt they would have the budget to use.

    As already mentioned, I don't think this would be much of an issue had I also not been away on holiday the week before the training, so essentially going 2 weeks without any money coming into the business...but I suppose that's ok, I can just ring my mortgage company and they'll understand.

  13. #13
    doing my best to help c2uk's Avatar
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    Angry

    Quote Originally Posted by littlened View Post
    You have to look at the bigger picture. Could almost a week away from work be invested into something else which would have more potential to reap a long term benefit.
    Actually, you don't strike me as the person that's very long-term orientated:

    so essentially going 2 weeks without any money coming into the business...but I suppose that's ok, I can just ring my mortgage company and they'll understand.
    Exactly the sort of attitude I'd have expected from a short-minded person.

    However, with what you now have said, I'm getting really pissed off. You seem to have made up your mind long ago and seem to be very unwilling to change it. So I really wonder why you even asked here and wasted the time off all those who've offered their opinion on the matter.

    I'm out of this thread and you're on my ignore list, no time of mine is spent on helping you ever again - let's see I could've done so many other things during that time, things that actually would've benefited my business...
    Dan G
    Marketing Strategist & Consultant

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by c2uk View Post
    Actually, you don't strike me as the person that's very long-term orientated:



    Exactly the sort of attitude I'd have expected from a short-minded person.

    However, with what you now have said, I'm getting really pissed off. You seem to have made up your mind long ago and seem to be very unwilling to change it. So I really wonder why you even asked here and wasted the time off all those who've offered their opinion on the matter.

    I'm out of this thread and you're on my ignore list, no time of mine is spent on helping you ever again - let's see I could've done so many other things during that time, things that actually would've benefited my business...
    I've not made my mind up...I would like to do the training, but on the other hand I have to warrant the investment.

    There are two parts to the training, the part I will be taking part in, which is the developer role, and how to integrate the service into websites. Then there is the marketing role, which, is where the marketing company themselves come in.

    I will only have one part of the training, so although I would be able to provide an integration service, I wouldn't know exactly how to use the service effectively. So even the use of the tool isn't something I could offer to other clients.

    To be honest, I actually found your response rude and obnoxious. I've been situations in the past where I've jumped in feet first without considering all the facts, and I've been burnt pretty bad, so excuse me if I seem a little apprehensive about essentially spending just over &#163;1000 on something which at the minute, I cannot see giving me a return. I came on here looking for advice, maybe others have been in a similar situation and it's worked out for them, I'm looking for reasons why I will benefit from the training, apart from having a 4 day holiday, and so far I'm not convinced.

  15. #15
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    I'd pass on the training if it was going to hurt you financially with no long-term benefit.

    On the other hand if it was a nice place that I wanted to visit anyway and I could afford the time off I would go for the free trip.

  16. #16
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    spending just over &#163;1000
    Can you explain how you arrived at this figure.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCrux View Post
    Can you explain how you arrived at this figure.
    My daily rate is between 280 and 320. If I don't work for four days then it adds up to a fair amount.

    I have confirmed to the client that I will attend the training, and will work the weekend to try and reduce the cost.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard LiquidReflex's Avatar
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    Since I don't know a lot of details about your business I'm curious on a few things.

    First, for the "work" that you would be earning income from, is that work that you can only do from home or actually at the client's location? Or is it something that you would be able to do from anywhere?

    Since it sounds like you are a contractor for this company (not an employee), the time and option truly is up to you on whether you go or not and the option to ask for daily compensation above just paying for the airfare and lodging. If they are not willing to pay a daily rate, I would still consider it but simply inform them that during your trip you will be dedicating time to work on your own client work as well. Usually if a client is paying for you to be somewhere, it is understood that you are 100&#37; on their time. If you are able to do some of your work remotely, inform the client that you are interested in attending the training but during the down times you will be working on your other client-base. That way you can still make some income and receive the training as well.

    Granted that is based on you being able to work away from the office and having to sacrifice going out on the town each evening ... but that's what it takes to run a business sometimes. Also part of communicating with your clients. As long as you are learning what they want you to, the other spare time they should have no problem allowing you to focus on your business.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidReflex View Post
    Since I don't know a lot of details about your business I'm curious on a few things.

    First, for the "work" that you would be earning income from, is that work that you can only do from home or actually at the client's location? Or is it something that you would be able to do from anywhere?

    Since it sounds like you are a contractor for this company (not an employee), the time and option truly is up to you on whether you go or not and the option to ask for daily compensation above just paying for the airfare and lodging. If they are not willing to pay a daily rate, I would still consider it but simply inform them that during your trip you will be dedicating time to work on your own client work as well. Usually if a client is paying for you to be somewhere, it is understood that you are 100% on their time. If you are able to do some of your work remotely, inform the client that you are interested in attending the training but during the down times you will be working on your other client-base. That way you can still make some income and receive the training as well.

    Granted that is based on you being able to work away from the office and having to sacrifice going out on the town each evening ... but that's what it takes to run a business sometimes. Also part of communicating with your clients. As long as you are learning what they want you to, the other spare time they should have no problem allowing you to focus on your business.
    Most of the work I can do remotely, so yes, I will still be able to do a limited amount of work while on the training course (evenings etc).

    Hopefully the training will help cement my relationship with my client.

  20. #20
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    I think you should go to the training because it might help you later. Even if you're not being paid now, think of it like an investment for your future, for your career. And if you have the hotel and food insured i think this is a good thing. Think on long term.

  21. #21
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    This is not that complicated.

    Put a value on the time that you will spend doing the training. Value it using not your day rate, but the actual amount of money that you'll lose (not theoretical) if you do the training.

    Put a value on the future revenue that you project will come from this training, and this client. The amount of business that you'll get from this new skill is impossible to know, but you have to take your best guess.

    Then compare the two - is the expected/projected future benefit worth the near-term cost? Act accordingly.

    Training for the sake of training is generally not a good use of time. But, free training without having much impact to your current income/business sounds good, too.

    What is your time really worth?
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  22. #22
    I hate Spammers mobyme's Avatar
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    I'm going to go against the grain here and say that as the training is basically for your client's benefit and not yours, you should be paid for your time.

    We all get offers like this from time to time and I have lost count of the number of days that our guys have spent learning new tools only to find that once the initial project is out of the way we rarely get to use them again.

    You are the best judge of how to use your time and I would concur with sagewing's sentiment that "Training for the sake of training is generally not a good use of time. But, free training without having much impact to your current income/business sounds good, too." with the rider that what your learning fits in with your future plans.

    After all, it's probably a good idea to learn Mandarin as well if you can see some future use for it; but other than that would be a complete waste of time unless you add in personal satisfaction.
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  23. #23
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    Thanks everyone for the input and advice.

    I'm booked to fly over to Denmark in August, hopefully my client will generate enough work for me to get a decent return on the investment of time.


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