There is a great article below on an important but sensitive subject too many small business owners ignore but we as seasoned bookkeeping experts see all the time: too low prices.
Want a really easy way to add money directly to your bottom line that won’t cost you a cent and will only take a second to do? Of course you do! Here it is: raise your prices. (Find more easy profit tips for your small business in our free reports section.)
Oh, wait, you might be thinking this is too hard, won’t work, isn’t the right time, will cost your customers or all of the above. The answer to those fears is that you are probably wrong about them.
Unless you are selling only on price and your customers have zero loyalty to you then raising your prices won’t be the end of the world. If you are in that boat then now is the time to start figuring out how to add some value beyond being the lowest price because if that is your only edge you will soon find yourself without one.
If you do offer more than price advantage then make sure you are charging what you are worth. Your customers are willing to pay a fair price for value so as long as you are offering good value then you should expect to get paid fairly for it.
The biggest thing about raising prices is to do it consistently in smaller increments. No one is going to like a 25% increase after years of paying a lower price but if you nudge things up 4-5% a year every year they won’t have nearly the same negative reaction. Many won’t even notice.
If you haven’t done it in a long time, now at the end of the year is a good time to evaluate what you are charging and see where it is appropriate to increase your rates. Start now, and even if it is only on a few things sooner is better than later, Once you get in the habit of being paid what you should you won’t ever want to go back to the old way of doing it!
Have you ever wanted to raise your fees – but felt totally scared to do it?
You’re not alone! The first time I sold a high-end package, I was just out of coach training. I barely had any coaching experience.
Even though I knew I knew my stuff (I’d been doing the marketing thing for a while), and I knew I was smart and really cared about my peeps… I had a serious case of the Fraud Factor.
Who the heck was I? How did I really know I could help clients get results?
(The problem was that I’d given my mentor my word – in front of nearly 40 people! – that I’d sell a program at a significantly higher fee than I’d ever charged. I couldn’t back out even if I wanted to!)
When I finally got out of my own way and really thought about what was triggering me so much about raising my fees…I realized that my discomfort around charging those fees actually had less to do with deserving (“am I really good enough?”) and more to do with alignment.
I realized that some of the habits I had around money simply didn’t jibe with the high-end coach I was quickly becoming.
Truth is, if you’re engaging in money behaviors such as…
• Discounting (either offering or caving in when asked)
• Assuming people can’t pay or deciding in advance what they can pay
• Taking on “heartsink clients” (your heart sinks when you work with them)
• Not following up on declined payments and clients who owe you money
• Owing vendors money without a payoff plan
• Bartering your services
… and other disempowering money actions, it’s very difficult to ask for and receive higher fees. It’s like your heart and spirit know that something is “off”… even if you don’t realize it consciously.
Cleaning up even just one or two “money leaks” is going to give you a feeling of personal power and confidence that simply wasn’t there before.
Why? Because when you’re in alignment, you feel better about yourself and what you’re doing. It’s easier to ask others to invest with you because you are BEING a coach, healer or practitioner who takes her business and her money life seriously.
The next time it’s time to raise your fees (like, say, right now), instead of going to that icky place of “am I good enough / experienced enough / ready enough,” try a different question. Ask yourself,
“Where am I giving up my power with money in my life or business?”
Remember, you don’t have to be perfect (nor do you have to wait to clean up every money leak) to raise your fees – just take the first step and then the next.
Your clients will feel it, you’ll hear more yeses… and next thing you know, asking for and receiving more will feel as natural as passing the salt!