As a business owner, there are many difficult conversations you’ll need to have. But when it comes to the most difficult, pricing has to be right up there. So many people find it difficult to be more confident with pricing, especially when putting yourself out there and talking about what you sell and how much it costs.
But it’s essential to grow your confidence around pricing conversations, especially if you’re looking to grow. I recently chatted about this with Louisa Clarke, a verbal communication specialist and restorative practitioner. She helps take clients from dreading those challenging conversations to feeling like they know what to say and feel okay saying it.
So if you’re looking to get more confident with pricing and sales conversations, here are some tips that will help.
When it comes to talking about money and pricing, the biggest mistake people make is waiting for those...
Your tax bill is probably one of the most unexciting things to talk about. But it’s something that can often keep business owners up at night. There’s a real fear and lack of understanding around taxes and if that’s something that worries you, know you’re not alone! After all, you don't want to suddenly be surprised on January 25th by a £5,000 tax bill and have no idea where you will get the money to pay for it.
So it does pay to understand your tax and educate yourself on how tax works because that’s the best way not to be surprised by your tax bill when it arrives!
There are several different types of tax, depending on the type of business you have. So if you are a sole trader, all of your income is taxable as income tax and National Insurance. Remind yourself that you should be putting aside 30% of your income less costs if you can. Put that money into another account at the end of each month.
Pricing is one of the big issues business owners and freelancers struggle with. Far too many entrepreneurs opt for hourly billing when they start out, only to get stuck in the cycle of charging per hour for their expertise. It’s a pricing model that limits earning potential and stunts any decent level of business growth. It also makes it difficult to outsource because you’re constantly thinking about your bottom line - it’s why I always recommend moving to fixed prices and packages as soon as possible!
But if you’re currently charging per hour, how can you move to fixed pricing?
I recently interviewed Geraldine Carter, owner of SheThinksBigCoaching.com, on this subject for my podcast. She helps Chartered Accountants with pricing and business strategy, so they can go from overworked and underpaid to nicely compensated with a regular, sane work week. So if you’re looking to stop hourly billing yourself, here’s how to switch to fixed pricing.
You might need to think differently about your pricing once you start to outsource. There’s a lot to consider and several options available to you, but the route you take will depend on your needs.
When you’re looking to outsource, I recommend you start by outsourcing client work and the more junior stuff associated with it. For example, I have someone do the bookkeeping for my clients on my behalf. I charge the client and pass the work to my outsourcer. It’s a great way to get started with outsourcing, as it means if the client work stops, so does the cost of the outsourcing. You can then choose whether the client knows that you’re doing that or doesn’t.
It’s important to realise you’re still managing that relationship, particularly if the work then comes through you to be reviewed, so you need to price accordingly. Is what you’re charging enough to cover that?...
If you’re a business owner, you must learn how to identify and manage your money blocks on an ongoing basis. It’s a problem that particularly affects women and it usually affects how they price their products and services. But solving any pricing problems you have isn’t simply a case of looking to increase your prices - you need to work on the mindset side of things too.
It’s a subject I was chatting with Catherine Morgan about on my recent podcast. Catherine is a financial coach and qualified financial planner. She helps women feel better about money, as well as helping them to drop any anxiety, blame, judgement and guilt around it.
The philosophy of charging what you’re worth is a flawed one. Your worth may not be very high, especially if you have low confidence or an issue with receiving money. The way we feel about money is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. If you don’t feel deserving to...
If you’re new to freelancing, it can be a little overwhelming and confusing. There’s so much to think about and so much to set up. You need to ensure you’re doing the right things and not wasting your time and money on the wrong things. You also need to ensure you’re starting as you mean to go on, especially when it comes to business and pricing.
Recently I was chatting with Emma Cossey over on my podcast. She’s the go-to resource for everything when you’re new to freelancing. Emma’s passionate about taking away the fear around being a freelancer and ensuring you have everything you need to build a business that suits you and your personality.
Two essentials often get overlooked by new freelancers - terms and conditions and business boundaries. Terms and conditions don’t need to be full of legal language. They can be a list of boundaries and expectations between you and a client, simply...
There are loads of pricing myths out there in the online world. From pricing low when starting out right through to only being able to price per hour, these myths only serve to keep you stuck at a money ceiling of your own making.
So let’s bust 5 of the most popular pricing myths coaches and consultants, in particular, come up against.
Prices change all the time, and it’s never a just once done kind of thing. After my recent podcast chat with Osmaan Sharif, I started putting my prices up after every 5 clients. When it comes down to it, pricing really is just trial and error.
The only way you know if something is the right price is a) if it earns enough for you, and b) whether somebody’s prepared to pay for it! If it’s perceived to be too expensive or not provide enough value, people won’t buy it.
You must think about where your products and services fit in your process and how you...
Moving from hourly billing to fixed pricing is a big step towards pricing more effectively in your business. There’s a real fear that if you move from hourly billing to fixed pricing, you’re not going to charge enough. But when you’re billing per hour, you’re only billing for the hours you work - and that doesn’t cover everything!
One of the big problems with hourly pricing is you’re not billing for everything. There’s the time you’re thinking about the task, the initial client set-up call and emails, the background research work you may do.
And there’s another big issue. If you’re used to doing the work, you’ll naturally get quicker at it. If you then charge per hour, your billable hours may end up going down for each client you work with! Check out the podcast I recently did with Jonathan Stark for more details on how value-based pricing can help you bring...
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".
Is this something my paying clients would expect to pay for?
Is it part of my core offering that I would give away for free?
Is this audience one I can't get in front of normally?
Does this actually raise my profile and have me down as an expert?
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...
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...