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

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.

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.

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…

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 :slight_smile:

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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

spending just over £1000

Can you explain how you arrived at this figure.

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.