During this time of quarantine, I have taken the time to re-evaluate my business and how I plan to operate moving forward. There are several challenges that come along with running a business. No two entrepreneurs are the same and we all have our struggles along the way. One challenge that I have consistently struggled with over the years is pricing. I’ve battled with maintaining the ability to separate my will to help others from the fact that my starving business needs to grow. Eventually, we learn the hard way that we are stunting our growth when we only think about the client’s ability to pay. It is human nature to want to be helpful to others, but operating a business solely on those characteristics can be detrimental to your financial situation. You should prospect your client base with a defined strategy to prevent this.
One thing I had to realize is that I’ve spent years in college and conducting research & development to form a company that works for me and the audiences that I wish to serve. That means something and it is a value that only I can define.
If I had to advise anyone struggling with the same issue I would say focus on your knowledge, creativity, tools, and time. Research the average costs of the services that you provide and then decide where your value should fit. In my experiences, I find that these 4 areas are the most valuable assets that any consultant or service provider could offer.
Whether with educational training or self-taught knowledge, you have invested time in honing your craft. Your ability to apply your #intellectualcollateral to any project should be respected and valued. It’s not about what the client may or may not know how to do themselves, because oftentimes they will not have the time nor resources to professionally to see a project through. As a professional, it is your job to ensure that your client understands that you will dedicate your time to working with integrity on their behalf.
Show gracious humility to those who show interest in your unique skill set. Your genius holds intricate value as you adjust to adopt the goals and objectives of your clients. You should be confident in your superpower. Your unique abilities are what make you special.
You’ve spent years or even months developing skills and learning about your business. You’ve even spent money getting your business started and building valuable relationships. These costs trickle into your monthly overhead. Each variable adds value to your service plan or price. If you’re investing in tools to operate your business such as internet services, software subscriptions, cell phones, etc, the costs add up. Your technological access adds value to what you are offering to your clients.
Time and Effort
Time is of the essence and if you scramble the letters you will discover that your T-I-M-E is a quantifiable I-T-E-M to be valued. Just ask any accountant! Although results hold the most value in any client’s eyes, you still deserve compensation for your time and effort. If you were clocking in at a 9 to 5 job, you would not work for free, so you must apply this same concept in entrepreneurship.
To my fellow entrepreneurs, as we go back to the drawing board during this critical time, let’s come back stronger than ever. We hold the key to re-building our businesses and creating an atmosphere in which we are able to thrive. Approach any situation with ethics and morality, but understand that your “business baby” must eat to survive!