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.