"Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it."
~ M. Scott Peck
The Road Less Travelled
It's easy to say that you know your value, but you could be sabotaging yourself and your business by not paying enough attention to this very important item.
When I first started working with a business coach, we talked about how I arrived at my rates. I had done some math when I first started my business, as maybe you have - based on what I had earned in my corporate job, and the fact that I now had overhead and so on. I didn't set my rates based on what I was bringing to the table at all - my VALUE - I only based them on what I thought people should pay me what I considered to be fair market' pricing. This is one of the surest ways to have your business stay small or even fail.
By setting the proper value on the services you provide, you will set your rates where you can charge what you deserve and also be successful. How do you know if you are charging enough? Consider these things:
Consider your training. How much education have you had to build the expertise that you offer in your services? What specialized training have you taken that sets you apart from your competitors or colleagues who offer the same services as you? Your clients will be paying you for your expertise, and they will only be paying you for what they need from you. Do not underestimate the value of that - your client doesn't have to pay for learning curves or training time with you - only time spent getting their top notch work done. You are the expert, after all!
Consider your experience. How much work experience do you have providing the services you offer to your clients? Your clients will be paying you for your years of experience as well. Again, this goes back to time spent on task. Your expertise has come about because you have the experience behind you. The thing you do with the least amount of effort is the thing you should be charging the most for and that only comes from experience!
Consider your confidence. One of the biggest parts of valuing yourself is your confidence level. How confident are you that your rates are high enough? By setting your rates to be the 'market' price or the best deal in town, you are potentially announcing your lack of confidence to the world. Confidence comes with experience, for sure, but it's important to feel good about what you are charging. I have signed more clients at my higher hourly rate than I ever did at my lower rate, because I was confident that it was the right price for me to do a good job.
Consider your research. When you research your ideal client and you know specifically what they need and what you can help them with, you are in a unique position to provide very specialized services to them - and charge accordingly. This is another reason why focusing on your ideal client is so important - more than just running your business, you want to specialize and really become the 'go to' person for your particular services. If they are a small business owner, sometimes giving up control of things to someone is difficult, and by researching their industry and their business, you can make them more confident as well.
Consider your own growth. Keep learning! I am a perpetual student... always learning something new. By being in perpetual learning mode, you will always be growing within your business and maintaining that expert status. Be aware of your own growth as a professional by working with a mentor. Study new areas of your business and keep on top of your ideal client industry trends. Being proactive will always keep you ahead of the curve. Keeping you ahead of the curve will also keep your pipeline of clients and potential clients full - I promise!
By really looking at all of these things, you will truly be in a better position to value yourself in your business and charge what you deserve. The math part is important too, but it's not the only thing that is required for you to set yourself up for success. When you really understand your own value, you will be able to convey that to your clients, and they will recognize your value as well.
by Tracey D'Aviero
Image by Nolte Lourens
Image by Nolte Lourens
Tracey D'Aviero is a successful Virtual Assistant as well as a VA coach and mentor. She helps new and aspiring Virtual Assistants build solid foundations for their businesses by teaching them how to put procedures and plans in place for success and growth. Pick up a copy of Tracey's free eBook "How to Get Started as a Virtual Assistant" at http://www.yourvamentor.com