Are you overworked?
When you got into owning your own business, I am sure you thought it would be better than your old 9-to-5 job. You imagined being able to have flexible hours while being able to go to the beach in the middle of the week.
Some people are able to achieve the balance, but many business owners I meet end up on the hamster-wheel of working too much and too long with no light at the end of the tunnel around the corner.
It is far too easy to fall into workaholic mode, answering endless emails and never able to get ahead so you can take a break.
One common problem I see business owners getting themselves into is charging too low, giving away free work, or trading services.
Sure, there is a time and a place for trading services or free work, but if it is not done correctly, you will only end up spinning your wheels and making less than you desire and deserve. Not everyone has the mental toughness to ask for a higher price or to be paid a fair wage and instead they tolerate being chronically underpaid.
Too many people are scared to raise their prices, even though it’s a well- known fact that raising your prices will usually attract better clients to your business.
Getting paid more money is the key to living the business fantasy you started with in the first place.
In turn, you will be able to relax knowing you are getting paid what you deserve and can give more attention to each client and your work output.
Here are my tips for getting out of that “overwhelm” feeling and into prosperity:
1. Start higher.
Many of the business owners I coach think that by starting their prices low, they’ll be able to attract a long list of people interested in their business and then raise their prices later on.
This is a bad idea because usually what you end up getting is clients who disrespect you and your time. In my experience, these people didn’t realize that you were over-giving and later on, are either unable to afford your products/services or resent that you are now charging a fair amount.
What you should do instead is focus on the ideal client you would like to work with and do everything in your business and marketing to attract them.
2. Be clear on your expectations from the start.
If you’re giving a client a discounted rate due to them being a friend or family member, you have to be clear in your reminder that this is a discounted rate for a short time. If there is a possibility that this will strain your relationship, consider finding them someone else to work with.
If you don’t have your whole process on your website, be sure to put it into a contract for them to review. Include the times you are available, your e-mail policy, when you will meet, and anything else that goes into you doing your work.
3. Never go below a certain rate.
Most people are good-natured, and when they see someone they know struggling they want to help.
However, if you help them at the expense of your business and financial health, this is detrimental to you both. You must keep your business and financial health afloat before you can help someone else.
Once you have calculated your hourly rate, stay at that price or above it for as often as possible.
4. Look for opportunities to grow.
Sometimes we can become too comfortable in our businesses. It’s important to find ways to grow and expand our businesses either through higher paying clients, more customers, or new revenue streams such as books, courses, or speaking events.
This is how you can also survive any financial disasters in the future, because you will have built up a financial model that stays strong.
5. Expand your revenue streams.
This part is not as scary as many business owners think. Sometimes this can be as simple as teaching your skills at a local community meet-up or creating a simple e-product for sale on your website.
It may seem daunting to think you’d have to build these huge, complex systems, when in fact you just need to package your brilliance into various options for people to consume.