You're a self-employed professional. You've been doing business for a while and charging reasonable rates. You're good at what you do and even go the extra mile, and have a good base of clients... but you're still not achieving your financial goals. Is it time to value your time at a higher rate?
Hi, I'm Cynthia, Founder of the Brave Zone. Let's talk about how and when to charge higher rates. Because some of you are really doing a fantastic job and go above and beyond the call of duty to serve your clients. You have a good heart and come from a place of good intentions. Furthermore, you're getting good results for your clients and they're enjoying the benefits of working with you. But at the same time, you're selling a service that is delivered with time and effort. Time is not something you can have more of. Everyone has 24 hours. You may want to have a better balance of life for your family and want to earn more income without spending more time working.
First of all, let me come at this from a customer's point of view. If you were saving me time and money... or if you were helping me resolve a problem and saving me stress, is it fair for you to earn more money from me for your expertise? To me, the answer is "It depends." The first consideration is, "Do I like working with you? Is it a relationship I would like to continue or repeat?" Secondly, do I feel that the value you give to me is more than the fees I give to you? And thirdly, how are you educating me on these 2 factors so that I understand that your results are quantifiable.
Hold on! Some of you are beginning to lose hope because what you're selling is life coaching or well being and how in the world can you quantify that? I will get to that. But first let's understand how to quantify results. If what you do saves my time, then you've got to know how much I perceive my time is worth. Some clients will be easy to measure because they sell their time per hour to their clients. But others may not be so easy, so you've got to know a bit more about their business. Let's say their revenue is one million pounds. Divided by 50 working weeks and 40 hours per week, you get a rough idea that their revenue potential per hour is around 500 pounds. That means if you save them an hour, they can focus that hour doing something else that can generate revenue. You can do the same if you know their profit percentage. If you feel that's ridiculous... you can't be saving them 500 pounds. Fine, make it 250 then. For most of you, that's still higher than your hourly rate. If your hourly rate is only 90 pounds per hour then perhaps you can consider increasing it by 10% without any guilt. That's a good start to get your muscles working.
Now what about services where the results are less obvious. You can quantify things by using ratings from 1 to 10 or percentage of improvement. And in order to know how the client values all that, your sales meetings have to have better questions. You must know how they would perceive results and what it would be worth to them if they did get those results. When I work with self-employed professionals, I go into their sales process if their goal is to increase prices, because value is something that needs to be mutually agreed between you and your clients. Its worth has to be something that is mutually understood. Marketing your services profitably is not just about having great taglines and a good social media presence. The sales process is equally, if not more, important. How you position yourself and the value you give to your clients have to be very clear.
So are you worth higher rates? I don't know. Do your homework and find out how much value you're actually giving to your clients. Examine your marketing and sales process to see what can be more clear. If you want to talk to me about it, get in touch. I'd love to talk it through with you.