When should you work for free?

pricing pricing help Feb 24, 2021

Following an email last week on this topic, I decide to expand on when you should work for free.

Generally, I don't agree with working for free. When someone asks to pick your brains, or grab a coffee, you are giving away your time and expertise for free and you should be looking to offer a power hour for this. If you need help with this, my Creating and Pricing your Power Hour masterclass may help.

Be careful of expressions like "it will be good exposure for you" or "it will raise your profile".

Ask yourself:

  1. Is this something my paying clients would expect to pay for?

  2. Is it part of my core offering that I would give away for free?

  3. Is this audience one I can't get in front of normally?

  4. Does this actually raise my profile and have me down as an expert?

  5. Is this going to be a lot of work and no reward?

I've done this quite a lot over the last 6 months and have done podcast interviews and have been in Janet Murray's membership a lot. It has gained me new clients and it has...

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How to earn more in your small business

business income Feb 17, 2021

2021 has started off being a tough year. We thought we'd left behind some of the woes of 2020, but unfortunately, that's not the case. And lots of small businesses are struggling.

If you are struggling with managing homeschooling, your business and all the other demands at home, you are not alone. The uncertainty can make it very difficult to plan anything and balancing your energy can be really important.

Also, if you are just working all the time (maybe you don't have kids but are stuck on your own at home), there is a temptation to just work all the time, and never have a break.

Look at what brings in the most money with the most ease in your business. If you offer a 1:1 service, could you do more, rather than sell something like a course, which won't get you much, but a 1:1 would net you more.

Do short term things if you need the money right now. Go out to your "hot" leads - these are mostly existing or previous clients or ex-colleagues. Ask them if they know anyone who needs...

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5 things I've learned from being in business 3 years

As my business turns 3 on 13th February, I've been reflecting on things I wish I'd known or done when I started out.

1) Outsource as early as you can

I waited for ages to get my amazing assistant Louise, and my web designer Lisa, but they have transformed my business. Don't wait until you are collapsing under work to outsource. Get someone to start small and grow with you as your business grows.

There is a saying that you should get someone when you can afford 50% of their fees. I think it's a good rule of thumb to get you started.

If you find it hard to delegate, just do a few hours or tasks to start with. I find I can't outsource email easily but have no problem with social media posting.

2) Don't be afraid to experiment

I've tried all sorts of things in my business. I started as a freelancer exchanging time for money (as most people do). Then I discovered online courses and email marketing, and I have experimented with various offers, some more successful than others.

Some things...

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Why you should have Xero in your business

It’s so important to have an accounting system in your business. It doesn't matter how small you are or how big you are, everything is made easier by having an accounting system.

I am Xero certified because I love it, and I highly recommend Xero. I find QuickBooks really clunky, so if you're choosing between QuickBooks and Xero, I'd say Xero every time.

Why do I need an accounting system?

Having an accounting system will save you lots of time in the long run. It will also save you time in the short term by having all your invoices sent from the system, help you collect money via GoCardless and seamlessly match it all. Plus If you have an accounting system like Xero, you can connect up your bank, Stripe and PayPal. This makes it very easy to keep track of your numbers, because every business needs to know what their numbers are.

You can also take photos of your receipts when you are out and about (when that can happen again!) and then all receipts and invoices are in one place...

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Which product or service makes you the most money in your business?

Which product or service makes you the most money in your business? Do you even know this?

If you have lots and lots of products and services in your business, you need to really think about focusing that down, and knowing which ones really make you money. But do you know how much money they each make?

If you offer one to one consultancy, is that actually worth doing? If you do a course, is that worth doing?

I want you to think about how which products and services in your business make the most money. And then you can make some conscious decisions about the best way to manage your business.

Revenue information

Start by looking at the split of your revenue.  Look at your revenue for the last 12 months ideally, but whatever you can pull out.  Look at how much you made from each of your products, how much time they took you take you to deliver each time.

Let's say you have one to one consultancy. Look at how much one to one time you actually spent and how much revenue you...

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What is a power hour and why should you have one?

I think all service businesses (and some product ones too!) should have a power hour as part of their portfolio. It's a chance for people to work with you at relatively low cost, and you can get a result in an hour for the client.

It also deters time wasters who just want something for free.

What is a power hour?

A power hour is an hour of your time where you solve a specific problem for that client. So for me, it is pricing a specific thing, or increasing your profit in a certain area. I can't solve all of your pricing problems in an hour, so it's best to pick a topic and be really clear about what you can (and can't) cover in an hour.

Why do I need a power hour?

Do you often get people "tyre kicking" or saying "can I pick your brains about....."? It can be hard to say no, but you can end up spending a lot of time for free and giving away lots of your hard won experience by doing this. And people will push your boundaries all over the place if you let them!

Is it difficult to set...

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Do you use value based pricing?

Do you price by the hour? Or do you price based on your hourly rate?

Pricing by the hour really undermines how efficient you are and how quickly you can get a result. If you can get the same result in less time, why should you be paid less for it?

You have to work out what the value is to the client of your work. For example, if you are in HR, can you deal with employee disputes quickly and efficiently with minimum stress on each side? That's worth a lot of money to a client.

Are you saving someone time, money, or providing peace of mind? An accountant might save all three, but the main pain is making sure you are paying the right tax and not missing anything.

Think about the problem you solve and what results you get for the client. Why should they hire you and not someone else?

Ask clients different questions when you talk to them. Not about what they want doing but about why they need it - why now? Why you? What are they looking to get?

This is tricky to start with but with...

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Apps to make you more productive

I talked in my previous blog about productivity and in this one I want to talk about more tools you could use in your business to make you more productive

 

Toggl - perfect for tracking your time on projects and knowing how long things take you to deliver a project or retainer. The free version is fine, but I use the paid version to give me billable vs non billable amounts.

 

Asana - I have everything in Asana these days - documents, workflows, projects and I love it. I can set due dates, share information and tasks with people and generally organise my life. Amy Mitchell has a great free training on getting started. Get it here.

 

Kajabi - I love Kajabi because it houses my website, courses and email marketing in one place. When I was looking at it, I thought it was expensive (I pay around £130 per month) but because I was paying for web hosting and an email list separately, plus having somewhere to host my courses, it wasn't much...

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5 ways to improve your productivity

We all want to improve productivity in our business but how can we do this? It's so easy to get overwhelmed in your business (it happens to me at least monthly!) but I've been putting in some things to help

  1. Use the right tools

  2. Outsource some of the work

  3. Use workflows & canned emails

  4. Time blocking

  5. Boundaries

Tools to use

Having the right software tools in place in your business makes a huge difference. I recommend the following ones that I have used successfully in my business

Toggl for time tracking

Asana for task and project management

Kajabi  for email lists, membership sites

Smarterqueue for posting to social media

Xero for your accounts

Canva for social posts

Calendly for getting people to book with you.

Zapier for linking up different apps

More on this in next week's blog post.

 

Outsource the work

Another thing to do is to outsource the work. The easiest way to do this is to outsource part of the client work you have. Or outsource a small...

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How to look after yourself - Guest Blog by Wendy Griffith

Uncategorized Dec 08, 2020

How to look after yourself, especially when you have no time.

Time for me?  How will I manage that?  This is a subject close to my heart, as we all get wrapped up in our work, family life, commitments, appointments, and we end up feeling as though there isn’t’ any time left for us.  

I have definitely struggled in the past with trying to meet everyone’s expectations resulting in feeling burnout and being over stressed.

And I know I’m not alone.  This is something I hear a lot from my busy mums’ community. 

So how do we make simple adjustments to our lives that we will stick to? 

Whenever I find myself feeling overwhelmed, it’s usually because I’ve over committed, and I haven’t been managing my time effectively.  This inevitably means there’s “no time” for self-care in amongst all the other demands of the day.

Recognising what changes to make isn’t always easy when you feel...

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