Want to Make More Money? Fish in a Bigger Pond!

Written by Kimberly Stevens

Setting prices is a dilemma most service business owners encounter at one time or another. This week, it was Susan’s turn. “When I first started my business, I felt uncomfortable charging for my services. Since I was doing it to make a living, I finally just picked a price I thought wouldn't scare too many people away. Now, based on my available work hours, I can't really take on more clients but atrepparttar rate I'm charging them, I'm not going to make enough money to keeprepparttar 117595 business alive. How do I raise my prices without losing my clients?” she wanted to know.

For whatever reason, it is uncomfortable for many of us to look a person inrepparttar 117596 face and state our hourly rate orrepparttar 117597 cost of a project they want us to complete for them. This is usually rooted in our fear of rejection. We think, ‘What ifrepparttar 117598 prospect gasps and falls out of his chair convulsing onrepparttar 117599 floor?’ or ‘What if he snorts with disdain or launches into uncontrollable laughter?’ Atrepparttar 117600 beginning, we really needrepparttar 117601 work and generally decide we'd rather start getting some clients to build our reputation and skills, thinking we'll charge a rate we know they'll accept. Besides, we can always raise our prices later. Well, now is "later", so it’s time to biterepparttar 117602 bullet.

First, understand you aren't asking for their firstborn child -- you are asking for money in exchange forrepparttar 117603 service you are offering. Shakti Gawain, author of "Creating True Prosperity", introduced me torepparttar 117604 concept of thinking about money as just another form of energy. Just as you put energy intorepparttar 117605 service you provide,repparttar 117606 client puts energy into their field of interest in order to make money to pay you for your service.

Onrepparttar 117607 business-to-business side of things,repparttar 117608 client's business has clearly maderepparttar 117609 decision to outsourcerepparttar 117610 service they are discussing with you. They have decided to use their internal staff's energy to focus on their core business while outsourcing those things they don't haverepparttar 117611 skills or time to do. The same is true of individuals - they could paint their house, but they're calling you. Clearly, they don't want to do it and know it's going to cost money to get someone else to do it. Either way, they are going to hire someone to do it, so why not you?

That said, it's time to raise your prices. You've got two sets of people to deal with here -- your current clients and your future clients. Future clients are easy - simply start quotingrepparttar 117612 higher hourly rate or basing your flat rate proposals onrepparttar 117613 new hourly rate with no mention of a recent price increase. Your fear that you will lose out on some bids WILL come true. You've been fishing inrepparttar 117614 pond that attractsrepparttar 117615 lower-end clients, so you will probably have to start marketing to and networking with prospects onrepparttar 117616 next higher rung. But, so what? It's still your choice – you can stick withrepparttar 117617 low-end guys and struggle to make your business profitable or you can start charging a respectable rate forrepparttar 117618 skills and professionalism you bring torepparttar 117619 table to create a prosperous business. It's up to you.

Want More Money & Less Stress? Set Some Boundaries!

Written by Kimberly Stevens

At 2pm last Wednesday, I got a call from one of my clients. Before I could barely utter my "hello," she launched headlong into her story - "I am so frustrated! I have this client who has been dragging her feet at every stage of our project. I'm working on a branding campaign for her company and expected to be finished nine months ago, but every time we get to a stage inrepparttar project whererepparttar 117594 ball is in her court, I have to follow-up umpteen times and push and prod just to get her to move forward. In almost every case, it takes her about two months to do something that could have been done in a week. Then, two months later when she's finally finished with her part, she cheerily announces that she's ready for me to startrepparttar 117595 next phase and wonders how quickly I can do it. Every time this happens I have to completely reacquaint myself with her project. All in all, I've spent almost twice as many hours as I budgeted. How can I get her to wrap up this project so I can move on?,” she finished.

I cannot think of one service business owner that hasn't faced this issue at one time or another. We all started our businesses concerned about providing great customer service and a quality service delivered on time. We thought that wasrepparttar 117596 key to having happy clients. But, at some point, we find out that great customer service means that we're not allowing one client's delays to impact another client's project,repparttar 117597 profitability of our business, or our own personal satisfaction. This is when we have to recognize that we are responsible for this situation. If you've allowed a client to run amuck dragging a project on forever, changing project parameters numerous times, delaying payment ofrepparttar 117598 final bill, why shouldn't they continue to behave this way? It's up to you to put into place policies and procedures that communicate this to your clients and prospects fromrepparttar 117599 very beginning.

One format I've seen used very effectively is a one-pager called "How We Work Together." It's a very basic document that outlinesrepparttar 117600 responsibilities of both you andrepparttar 117601 client. It makes clear who is responsible for what and when so there are no questions later. It also outlinesrepparttar 117602 consequences if either of you missesrepparttar 117603 target. Not only does this putrepparttar 117604 client onrepparttar 117605 straight-and-narrow, it shows them that you are willing to be held to high standards as well.

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