The cost of a bad pricing decision

By insisting on a thorough assessment of the painting's value, that auction house owner narrowly averted a costly pricing mistake. For consultants, bad pricing decisions are just as costly—they can lead to unprofitable projects, damage your chances for long-term success, or even put you out of business. Like the Tokyo auction house owner, check every aspect of your project to assess its worth before you set your fees.

It's surprisingly easy to end up with an unprofitable project. Some consultants are blinded by the allure of large fees, high-profile jobs, or clients with fascinating projects. So they willingly accept pricing terms that can strap them for cash or force them to work for low profit margins.

Projects with low margins can be treacherous. They lock you into relationships that lead nowhere and drain your resources. Many pricing decisions that initially looked great turn sour as projects unfold, restricting consultants' financial flexibility.

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