How can I move from charging by the hour to offering higher priced packages?

One of the biggest mistakes I made in my own first business, and I see other small business owners doing today, is charging clients by the hour.

Not only does this put an automatic cap on what you can earn in any given week (because there are a finite number of hours in a week) but I also find that, when working out their estimated income, a lot of business owners forget that, when you’re really trying to get a successful business going and regular money coming in, more than 50% of your time really needs to be spent on marketing so you can keep your pipeline full.

That’s 50% of your time that no-one is going to pay you for.

When I first speak with clients to set their 12-month and 90-day Bold Money Goals, I will often hear something like “ Well, I’m going to be charging £25 an hour and working a 40 hour week, so I’m expecting to earn 40 x 25 = £1,000 a week.”

Well, that’s all well and good if every single one of those hours are billable hours – in other words, as long as those 40 hours are packed, back-to-back with work your clients are paying you for.

But that’s never the case. Because where are those clients going to come from if you’re not spending any time marketing?

So, if we estimate that 50% of the time we should be marketing, then allow for admin (raising invoices, paying bills, sending out agreements, book-keeping etc.) you’re more likely looking at 22-23 money-producing hours per week.

And if you’re charging £25 an hour that works out more like £550 – £575 a week.

And that’s a) assuming you can fill every available hour with work and b) not taking into account people who don’t show up, people who don’t pay or pay late or those clients who you under-quoted so you’re going to have to charge them for less time than you actually gave them.

So what’s the answer?


Stop charging by the hour and, instead, create fixed-price packages that your clients pay for either up-front or by way of a deposit then monthly instalments.

I can already hear the objections from here J but hear me out.

When you charge by the hour, you create 2 major problems for yourself that you just do not need to have:

  1. Potential clients will automatically compare your hourly rate to that charged by the next person who offers what you offer. They have no idea what differences exist between you both in terms of experience, qualifications or service delivery but they will think they are comparing apples with apples and they WILL make a judgement based on price – and that’s never good.
  2. You run the risk of people querying a) the number of hours or sessions it takes you to complete your service for them – they’ll have one eye on the number of hours/sessions they’re going to have to pay for and b) stopping using your services before they’ve had chance to see any real results.

Each of these can lead to you feeling like you have to justify what you’re charging or even revising your charges down if someone challenges you.

Creating a fixed price package and agreeing the pricing in advance, on the other hand, completely eliminates this problem. It also:

  • Makes your business more profitable because fixed-price packages bring in greater income per client
  • Frees up more of your time because you don’t need to work with as many people to reach your desired income goals
  • Creates greater cash flow even with a small list or small number of contacts
  • Keeps you from slipping into over-delivering and burning out
  • Focuses your business on creating extraordinary results for your clients, not on selling your time, which liberates you to enjoy your business and love your life
  • Means you become known as one of the best at what you do
  • Elevates your sense of self-worth and makes you feel fulfilled at a soul level
  • Keeps your business simple to run, which synergistically lowers the stress of running a business

So, have I convinced you yet?


Back to those objections then – virtually everyone I work with starts off with some kind of objection towards creating packages, so I’ve put the most common 3 below with my advice. J

  1. I don’t know how long it’s going to take to solve a person’s problem – it could be 2 sessions (or hours), it could be 20. I can’t  say how long it will take until we start so it would be unethical to charge them for a full package if they don’t need it.

The point of having a package is that you take your client through a particular step-by-step process that you’ve designed with their best interests at heart (see my article on your Branded Signature System). Your ideal clients just want to know that if they work with you, they will experience the results they’re looking for.

That might be fixing their problem completely or it might just mean a significant improvement for them – depending on the services you offer.

Even if their problem is entirely ‘fixed’ by step 2 of your process, you will still take them through the rest of your package to make sure they get the best results they possibly can from working with you. Probably better than they could have imagined.

You are showing them, up front what your package consists of and what it costs, and that is what they are paying for. You have moved the focus away from the number of hours or sessions it takes and towards the results they want.

Do you really think someone is going to complain if you manage to completely fix their problem quicker than they were hoping for?

It just doesn’t happen that way when you offer packages instead of talking about hours/sessions.

  • My clients all have different needs, I can’t possibly create one package to suit all.

Yes you can.

When you have worked out exactly who your ideal client is (we use the Niche Breakthrough Secrets method) and the specific problem they are facing, you will see that there are commonalities across all those particular clients.

When you examine what you actually do with each client, you will see that there are things that you do, steps that you go through over and over again with every single one of those clients, and you will continue to go through with new clients that you enrol.

It is this that becomes your Branded Signature System.

Of course, if you want to add additional, bespoke items, sessions or bonuses for clients who have additional needs you can do that – and you can decide whether to charge a premium for that.

It’s your business, your decision.

The point is that the main package is in place for you to follow so that you become an absolute expert at delivering it and you have a basis to start from that is not based on your time – it is based on the results you want your clients to experience.

You know exactly what you’re going to do for your client and so do they.

  • I’ll lose the clients who pay me hourly if I switch to package only offerings.

No you won’t. Not all of them.

When you show them the process you are going to take them through and the results they can expect at the end of it, your ideal clients will jump at the chance to take you up on your offer.

And the ones who want to continue to pay hourly are free to go continue to do that with someone else.

My experience shows that the loss of those who want to continue paying by the hour is far outweighed, financially, by those who move to the new package.

And, let me tell you, the clients you take into your packages will be FAR better clients to work with – more committed to following your advice, more interested in doing their own additional research and more appreciative of your expertise – than hourly payers ever will be.

It’s just a fact.

If you’d like to learn, step-by-step, how to create lucrative premium packages that sell, join me in my Ignite Mastermind & Coaching programme at

Feel Guilty Charging For Your Services?

One of the most common reasons I see for business owners (and women in particular) undercharging, failing to chase late payers – and in some cases not charging AT ALL – is that they feel guilty ‘taking’ money from people who clearly need their help in one way or another.

I can totally relate to that… but this feeling could be sabotaging your business.

As someone who has made a career of helping people get set up in business with little or no money, help them make better money decisions and work their way out of debt, believe me, I have faced this dilemma myself on more than one occasion.

And it’s part of the reason why my first business failed. Overcoming it is one of the reasons my second business is a completely different animal.

While I could talk all day (literally) about charging what you’re worth I realise in a blog post I need to be brief!

So here’s my advice – and it’s 2-fold:

I) Giving away help for free (or almost free) very rarely creates the outcome your client is looking for. In my experience, clients only a) value your expertise and b) actually put what you’ve given them to good use, if they’ve had to make an investment of some kind.

If they haven’t, there’s no motivation to ‘make the changes they need to now’.

This has also been true of my own learning experience – I only actually started making progress in my business when I bit the bullet and invested in training. All the free PDFs and tele-classes and webinars I’d downloaded before that had certainly given me food for thought, but it was only when I was thinking ‘Okaaay, I’ve just put £1,200 on my credit card – I’d better make this bloody well work and earn some money’ for the first time that implementation started to happen for me.

Yes, give away a part of your knowledge – a really useful part, that potential clients will get true and instant value from… but then show them the transformation they could get by investing in your full service.

ii) Separate your business from your charity. You want to help people. I want to help people. If we didn’t have that to drive us, we wouldn’t (shouldn’t) be in business for ourselves.

But you can’t help people the way you want to – the way they need you to – if your business doesn’t survive. You have to earn money and most reasonable people understand that.

If they ask you to give away your services for free, or as a trade-off or at a discounted rate, they don’t value what you’re offering and probably won’t get the results you want for them anyway.

Asking for money can be uncomfortable to start with but that can be changed with a few tweaks to the way you think about money and your own value.

If people really want what you have, in my experience, they will find the funds they need.

Once you start earning good money, you can choose to generously support whichever charity helps those you most want to help.

The ripple-effect that occurs when women start to increase their self-worth and net-worth and to create more money is truly inspiring – for their family, friends, colleagues, charities they support… almost everyone they connect with on an emotional level.

So understand the value of what you’re providing, charge what you’re worth and you’ll be able to help more people than you think.

Charge What You’re Worth And Get It

Fact: The vast majority of small business owners struggle with pricing.

More specifically, the vast majority of small business owners undercharge for their services.

Common statements I hear on a daily basis from my coaching clients go something like this…

“My clients can’t afford to pay more than they do now…”

“I won’t get any new clients if I charge more than I do now…”

“People will think I’m taking advantage of them if I charge more…”

While I could talk all day (literally) about charging what you’re worth, I need to be fairly brief here, so here are the 3 biggest reasons most people undercharge, and how to make sure you don’t:

  1. When anyone starts out in business and needs to know how to set their fees, they look around to see what everyone else is charging.

Or maybe they look at what their own trainer or coach or mentor charges.

This is a BAD idea.

The vast majority of people who have their own business undercharge.

So if they’re undercharging and you’re looking to them as an example to base your fees on, you’re going to undercharge too!

What’s worse is, because you see that they’ve been in business longer than you, they’ve had more clients than you, have more testimonials than you – you set your fees lower than theirs.

Or maybe you go the other way and think “Well, I’ve got a qualification that they don’t have and I’ve created a better website so I’ll charge a bit more than them.”

But guess what? You’re still undercharging – because you started from a low base.

Instead, I teach my clients to a) work backwards from the amount they want to earn each year and b) make sure they create packages that are worth at least the amount they need to charge to meet their goals.

  1. Fear of not getting any business.

Fact: Low fees do not necessarily mean you’ll get more clients – in fact very often the opposite’s true.

Think about it…what are you saying about your services if you undercharge?

You’re telling potential clients that you don’t really believe in what you do. You don’t believe your services are as good as someone who charges more than you.

Is that really how you feel?

Instead of having low fees to get more clients, you can create a smaller package that’s more limited in scope than your main offer, but that gives potential clients a lower entry point to experience working with you.

  1. Fear of what other people think.

There’s just something buried deep inside us as human beings (and women are more prone to this than men, interestingly) that wants to be liked.

I can totally relate to that…but this feeling could well be sabotaging your financial future.

As someone who has made a career of helping people get set up in business with little or no money, help them make better money decisions and work their way out of debt, believe me, I have faced this dilemma myself on more than one occasion.

And it’s part of the reason why my first business failed. Overcoming it is one of the reasons my second business is a completely different animal.

It’s incredibly common for small business owners to be held back because of concern about what someone else might think – maybe it’s a partner or a spouse or a colleague or a current client.

And at the end of the day you have to

  1. recognise it for what it is
  2. make a decision

Are you going to accept it and let that fear determine how your business pans out or are you going to address that fear so you can free yourself to charge what you’re really worth and earn more money?

And that’s something only you can decide.


Here are the 4 biggest pricing mistakes I see people making in their businesses and how you can avoid them:

  1. Losing control of when you discuss/reveal your fees

This is incredibly important, and it’s one of the reasons I suggest you don’t show your fees on your website IF customers are not buying online.

There’s only one good time to tell someone what you charge, and that’s after you’ve had an in-depth conversation with them about the problem they’re experiencing.

It’s important to clarify if and how you can help them first of all but, most importantly, what it’s really worth to them to solve this problem.

If you quote your fee before you’ve had this discussion, you (and they) are just guessing what they need and how you can help them.

Quoting your fee too early can lead to you being judged as being too expensive or not enough value – and quite often at this point clients will try to put their own package together to suit the fee they had in mind!

And that serves no-one.

  1. Doubting Your Fees

If you doubt your fees then you’re probably focusing on the processes and features of the service you provide, rather than the benefits or results that clients get from working with you.

This is you if you’re inclined to start telling them

  • about the different kinds of products you use
  • what qualifications you have
  • the broad range of skills you have
  • what awards you’ve won

This is a big turn-off for potential clients because until they’ve decided they really want to work with you all they’re thinking is “Nice…But how does that help me solve my problem?”

Switch your focus instead to the benefits they’ll get from working with you so your client hears what’s important to them which is ‘what is the change that’s going to happen for me and what are the results of that change?’.

  1. Apologising, over-explaining or justifying your fee.

Now, from experience, I can tell you that this often happens in conjunction with pricing mistake number 1.

It also tends to show up if you’re feeling doubtful or guilty or just not confident that they’ll say yes – it’s very tempting to start explaining your fee but it is crucial that you don’t do that.

And the only way I found to combat that to start with, if this happens to you, is to say your fee then to force yourself to say nothing.

Stop talking and sit back while your client then deals with whatever’s coming up for them.

Let them lead the conversation from there.

  1. The 4th pricing mistake is charging by the hour (or session) instead of creating packages.

I’ve been there and done the hourly pricing thing and I can tell you, if you’re charging by the hour or session you are causing yourself 2 problems you don’t need to have:

  1. There is potential for clients to compare your hourly rate to someone else’s (even though your expertise, your knowledge and your expertise differ greatly)
  2. There is potential for clients to question the number of hours or sessions it takes you to complete the service you’re providing

Each of these can lead to you feeling like you have to justify what you’re charging or even revising your fees down if someone challenges you.

Creating a fixed price package and agreeing the pricing in advance completely eliminates this problem. It also makes your cash flow easier to forecast and is a proven way to help your clients achieve better results.

The far-reaching results you provide for your clients are, in reality, priceless.

Help maintain your own credibility and reputation, and that of your profession/industry as a whole, by making sure you charge what you’re really worth.

You can do that with me (as a part of building a unique, authentic business that you LOVE) in my Ignite “6-Steps To 6-Figures” Mastermind Programme.

I run it 4 times a year and you can read more and register for the latest intake now at