3 Signs You Might Be Stuck In Business
There’s nothing like running your own business to bring up all sorts of ‘stuff’. It’s as though hanging out your shingle as a designer/consultant/coach/strategist means that you’ve also sent out a signal to your various inner voices to start piping up with their two cents.
You know the ones.
- The one that sounds kinda like your Grade 5 teacher when they corrected you in front of the whole class.
- The one that sounds pretty much exactly like that gaggle of kids who made fun of your running shoes.
- The one that sounds identical to your voice, systematically nit-picking every thought and action.
Everyone has them. And it’s time for them to hush up. Their stories are not welcome here.
When it comes to negotiation and pricing our products and services, these inner voices get REALLY LOUD. Today, we’re going to tackle three of the mini-monologues that hold far too many ambitious entrepreneurs back from going after what they want and need.
“Who am I kidding? I’m not a negotiator. I’m not the kind of person who does that – asks for more. I know my place, and I’m just going to keep working, keep quiet, and I guess it’ll all work out in the end.”
Whoa nelly. Let’s nip this one in the bud right away.
Everyone can be a negotiator. The magic doesn’t come from a special gene. It comes from figuring out what your natural abilities and strengths are…and then building your business and negotiation toolkit around them. Great at relationships? That’s the foundation you build before ever asking for something. At home working a spreadsheet? That logical spin will be your negotiation super power. A creative soul? That’s gonna make you a problem-solving pro. When you tap into your natural gifts, asking for something you want is totally in your wheelhouse.
Besides, business (like life) isn’t about rainbows and sunshine and puppy dogs. If you’re waiting for more time/money/energy/freedom to land on your lap…you’re going to be waiting a while. It’s much more efficient (and effective) to ask!
“Uhrrrrm. I don’t know about charging $500. No one is going to pay that. I better stick to $300. Or maybe $200. I guess. I don’t think they’ll be able to afford it though. Maybe I can send them a discount code too?”
Oh boy. This one is a familiar inner voice to most of us.
I’m willing to bet that even the most accomplished and seasoned entrepreneurs have this one chiming in from time to time – so let’s ditch it. No more predicting an outcome that keeps you spinning your wheels, afraid of a ‘NO’. And stop negotiating against yourself…before ever speaking with your potential client. If you’re doing great work, if you’re delivering oodles of value, if you are a genuine person providing polished, professional services or products…then yes, people will be willing to pay for it. Match the value you’re creating with the price you’re charging, and you’re golden.
Plus, worrying about what other people can or can’t afford isn’t your job. You worry about you.
“I’m totally ready to raise my prices! But first, I think I should take another class. Maybe if I got my MFA? Or MBA? And I don’t have any Big Name clients…so I can’t charge more yet. But I’ll definitely raise my prices after I …”
Classic pricing procrastination.
There’s always something more to be done. More to learn. More to tweak, polish or perfect before you’re ready to stick that new price tag on your offering. Just one more bit of research to finally make you a certifiable expert and authority worthy of that new price tag. Ugh. I’ve been there. (And I’ve got 11 letters of designations and degrees after my name to prove it.) There’s no magic checklist you need to complete before being ‘allowed’ to raise your prices. The cues are subtle but they’re all around you. Clients seeing outstanding return on investment? Raise ‘em. Booked out for the next few months? Raise ‘em. Learned a new technique that puts you ahead of competitors? Raise ‘em.
It’s up to you. You’re the pro…so price like it.