Today’s post is all about something that I hear from so many business owners.
FRANKA I’M STRUGGLING IN MY BUSINESS, AND I’M NOT MAKING ENOUGH. I’M SERIOUSLY WONDERING, “AM I’M CHARGING ENOUGH?”.
Do you feel uncomfortable when you tell your client’s your rates? Do you worry that you will hear them say that your rates are too expensive? Maybe you know someone who needs your services, but they don’t take advantage of what you offer due to price. The truth is, people find money for the things they truly want. That same client that said they can’t afford your services, will find the money to go get that purse or shoes they covet, or tickets to that concert they just have to go to. Your ideal clients will be willing to invest in themselves and will locate the resources to pay for your services. Stand in the confidence of this fact. If you’re a coach or consultant like me, then hiring you may be something they want, but not something they think they need. So many coaches, consultants and creatives I work with don’t charge enough or don’t even know how to increase their prices. I didn’t know. It can be a constant source of angst for so many of us. But here’s what I know for sure, if you don’t charge enough, you won’t be able to sustain your business, and if you charge too much, you won’t be able to sustain your business. So the goal is to find your “sweet spot”. So I wanted to devote some time to this topic because it may have more to do with what you’re NOT doing and what you secretly believe about yourself.
So let’s talk about these 7 personal mistakes that may be keeping you from earning what you deserve.
1. Not starting with your experience and accomplishments.
So what do I mean by this?
What have you done in your career? What have you accomplished? I don’t just mean in your business. Where you have worked prior to starting your business? What have you personally done in your entire career?
So many business owners discount their experience and accomplishments prior to opening their business. Even if your accomplishments were made before you were in business, YOU have done all those things. Write them down and make them a part of your story. Just do a brain dump. Don’t try to make it pretty, just get it out. What did you do? What types of clients have you helped? What impact did you make? What did people say about your work? What is the most expensive project you have landed? How much money were you instrumental in gaining companies or saving them? You may not even realize the impact you made. You may have been responsible for million dollar projects. If that’s the case, why are you now struggling to charge $100 for a coaching or consulting session? Are you not worth more?
2. You don’t know your ideal customers.
If you knew your customers then you wouldn’t be struggling on how to price your services appropriately. Let me give you an example. Your ideal clients live in an upscale neighborhood, wear Manolo Blahnik and Gucci, and drive a Mercedes. Then $100 is actually less than what they are accustomed to paying for quality services. You may actually be perceived as not being expensive enough, therefore not offering quality. Yikes! Your client obviously value status and are willing to pay for it.
Get to know your client’s well and then set your pricing. You may actually set the market if what you offer is truly. unique.
3. Your make your client’s story your problem.
You care and you want to help people, that’s why you’re in business. You want to make an impact in the world. But you get tripped up because you allow your client’s to pull on your heart strings to the point where the boundaries lines are blurred. They come to you and tell you their deepest struggles and you know what’s going on in their lives. This knowledge pulls on your compassionate heart and you discount your services to the point where you can’t afford to pay yourself, or quit your day job, hire more staff to take the load, etc. You’ve just made their concern, yours. I know this is hard for many of us, especially women. We are caretakers, we lead from the heart. You won’t be able to sustain your business if you continue down this path. Never discount your services, unless you can afford to do so. Once you start down that slippery slope, its hard to stop. Remember who you are and what you deserve. Feel compassion, but don’t let it blind you to the fact that you deserve to be compensated for your time.
4. You feel guilty about charging what you’re worth.
You’re running a business. This is NOT a hobby. Especially if you made the leap to full-time status and this is how you pay your bills. Even though it’s very emotional for you and you want to make a difference and help people, you can’t let guilt keep you from charging what you know you are worth. You now realize that you are more accomplished than you realized. You have worked hard, you’ve paid your dues, and you deserve to compensated appropriately for your time. This is not about being greedy or seeking too much, it is about knowing that your compensation is aligned with the value placed on what you provide. You have a proven track record of success. Let me say it as plain as I can, you have nothing to feel guilty about, you are worth every penny.
5. You allow your passion to cloud your judgment.
You launched your business because you knew that what you were doing was aligned with your purpose. You know that God is guiding your path and you really aren’t doing it for the money. It is a labor of love.
While I truly love this type of person because passion is infectious, they are also the most difficult to coach around pricing. I too am very passionate about what I do. I get it. But what I also know is that passion cannot keep the lights on. Many passionate entrepreneurs fold up shop within 18 months. You MUST combine your passion with good branding, good leadership skills, sound business decisions, a solid business model, a successful pricing strategy, and constant execution. Don’t let the fact that you’re passionate keep you from charging the right amount for your services. So ask yourself, “Am I allowing passion to keep me from charging what I should be charging?”.
6. You use language that minimizes your value.
Most people don’t even know they’re making this mistake. What you perceive you manifest. If you don’t know what you’re worth, and what you deserve, you won’t ask for what you want. A common way we communicate our value is in what we write or say. Being mindful of minimizing language is one area you can focus on right away. Eliminate weak words like “I think”, “I believe”, “just”, “to be honest”, “I guess”. These words undermine your confidence and should be stricken from your vocabulary. “Courage is the foundation of successful communication – and successful communication is the foundation of great achievement.” Be courageous and communicate from this perspective, it will definitely change the way people perceive you.
7. You want to be liked.
Strive for respect above being liked. Someone who respects you will never expect you to discount or minimize your prices. They will just pay what you ask. If they truly want to work with you, they will find the resources to pay your fees. Be willing to walk away from anyone who isn’t willing to agree to your terms. Knowing your market (#2) ensures that you have set your price correctly and your market desperately needs what you have to offer.
So I know these seven personal mistakes got you thinking. They come form a very sincere place as I have made every single one of these mistakes in my first business. But as Maya says, as you learn, teach. I share this with you to help you get clear on which of these mistakes you may be making which are keeping you from earning what I know you deserve as you continue to navigate this wild entrepreneurial ride.
Would love to hear your comments on this topic below. Do you have a hard time charging what you’re worth.