Four questions from Parents in Business readers. I hope the answers provide some guidance should you be in a similar situation. Or prompt you to ask questions you may have been holding onto for a while.
I’ve had a conversation about money today- it was a lovely chat in a networking group but it’s made me think about money/pricing and just how emotional it all can be. Clare could talk about ‘how to talk about money and pricing?
What a topical question!
So, is pricing the problem, or how you value what you do, or the way you feel about money?
Most important is being confident in your why (what you promise to deliver to your customers). Make a list, it’ll grow with your confidence!
Value: believe in, benefit, worth, fairness, love, knowledge, quality, respect
- Show your customers work in progress or how amazing they’ll be after working with you – benefit
- Don’t think ‘my customers can’t afford it’ (you really can’t know this). You’re making their life easier or helping them to make money.
- Your price should be able to financially support you. Is it feasible without working 24/7? Have a forecast/spreadsheet.
- Historically, do you have enough time, over deliver, undersell. These are the kinks to iron out as part of your delivery promise.
Now think about your pricing again. And remember, there is no perfect price! You can always change it.
And when you talk about pricing with your clients, it’s absolutely OK to take a beat and say “I can get back to you with a price on that” if you have it sprung on you and it’s different to your existing, priced services.
And if challenged about your pricing. First think, is this the client for me? Second, do they understand the value (reiterate). Third, have they done their research or are you the first business they’ve spoken to (educate). And don’t be afraid to ask “what makes you question my pricing”. It could be that there’s something else entirely. Could be budget constraints, a deadline, they’ve had awful experiences in the past.
I’m an accountant and a few of my clients have left the UK but still have businesses and properties in the UK. They often call to talk about their accountants in the evening. The time difference is becoming a problem with my work/life balance. What solution would you suggest for this?
First, I would love to know if these are key clients for you, do you look forward to working with them, are they adding value to your business?
If yes to the above, then I maybe you could look at just offering one evening a week/fortnight/month for exclusive access to your expertise – and by doing so, implement a new pricing structure that funds a little more freedom when you are enjoying your life/work balance.
Or, if it’s no. And leaves you without a main income. Would it be an opportunity to look at your business solutions and re-work them according to the sectors, client types/size etc. So that you could enjoy working at times of the day that are most suitable to you.
Both of the answers seem to indicate a good time to re-evaluate your financial and personal goals. Alongside your preferred customer and ways of working.
I hope the answers help you to see where your enjoyment and energy is most rewarded.
I have been in business for over a year I am finding it hard to make decisions on my own, business visibility and the stress of worrying about money.
Straightaway, I would suggest pairing up with a business friend. Or look into joining an online, or local business, community. One that offers the opportunity to share your experiences. You’re not alone in any of them, I assure you.
Stress can cloud every task, thought and decision. It might help to meditate, walk, garden. Answers often come to us when we take time out and do something enjoyable and calm. There are benefits from just 15 minutes a day.
I would like to ask more about whether visible is about confidence in your product or yourself? This can be the difference between working on your brand and customer promise. Or understanding who you are and connecting with people on the same wavelength.
Great decision making would come from working on both of the above. Once you feel calmer. And this will be a combination of alleviating stress and building confidence. You will gain a clearer understanding of how to work in the most compatible way for you in terms of business consistency. Which in turn can offer a more regular income and simpler ways of working.
What are your top tips for reaching more potential clients on social media without overexposing your personal life?
Balance is key for any business. Big corporations communicate the ‘process’ of work. By highlighting individuals who are key to a service or product. Or those who go the extra mile. This helps customers to make the purchase personal instead of too much detail about the person.
About pages often have insights into teams with their likes, hobbies, pets. Without giving away locations, family, friends etc. Humanising without exposure.
Try personalising the relationship with your customer. If you take a stand on social issues, showing you, have values that your customers can align with. It could be as simple as how you shop (ethically) or how you get around (electric/active travel).
Join communities/groups that are right for you and that give you another voice. Here you’re talking directly not into the social media ether.
If you’re being honest and consistent, it won’t feel forced, too personal, or false. And it should be enjoyable, easy to write/create. If it’s hard work you may not have the balance quite right.
One of my favourite ways to get it all out there. Then take it back to where you are comfortable. Is to wild write. Grab a pen and paper. Think about your journey to where you are now. The highs, lows, successes, challenges. Write it all out. You’ll find there are some wonderful moments you can share to show your skill in your service or product. And where to draw the line sharing too much.
And find someone who is doing it how you feel comfortable. Try their style and see how you feel.