Set Yourself Up For Success - Don't forget this planning essential!
Can you smell it?
That New Goal smell wafting from the pages of your journal and that mountain of idea-catching Post-Its?
And irresistible. So we break out the pristine pieces of paper and map out those goals and dreams, along with the nitty-gritty to-dos that will make them a reality. The blog content, Instagram graphics, Twitter engagement, guest post pitching and community building. It’s all there in glorious Technicolor and we know we’re on the right path.
Except…we’ve forgotten something important. Our pricing.
Shiny new goals and moldy oldie pricing is not going to get you where you want (need!) to be in business.
Here’s a look at 4 common business challenges, and how to make sure your pricing will help you achieve those new year intentions.
Challenge #1 – You’re overworked
The great news from this past year is that you’re positively swimming in client work. The bad news is that this means you have very little time left for new clients, business development, or sleep. Looking ahead to next year, your goal is to cut back on client work so that you can have some semblance of balance. But – you’re not ready to give up that revenue and switch over to a diet of instant ramen.
Pricing Strategy: The key to achieving this goal is to figure out what your ideal client load is, and then redistribute your revenue over that new roster. Cutting your project list in half? Then you’re going to need to double your rates to hit the same revenue as this year. Is that doable? Is the value still there? How will you have those conversations with clients without going into sweaty-palm panic mode?
Challenge #2 – You’re burying your core genius
Somewhere along the way you lost hold of what your real focus is as a professional. Instead of delivering deftly developed websites, you’re spending your days dealing with emails. Instead of being engaged in deep coaching sessions with clients, you’re pouring hours into proofreading blog posts. It’s starting to feel like your dream business is just a beast that you need to keep up with, and in the new year your goal is to outsource that noise so you can get back to your calling.
Pricing Strategy: Bringing in help to take some of the non-essential work off of your hands is a great move in business, as long as it doesn’t carve into your profit levels. The important calculation to make here is ensuring that the client work you’re doing will more than make up for the cost of that outside help. For example, if each hour of a VA’s help is $25, will you be able to earn at least $25 in the newly freed up hour? You can do this by increasing your prices, or by bringing in a new client or two to use that time to your benefit – just don’t let that outsourced support end up a drain on your bottom line.
Challenge #3 – You’ve outgrown your business
One of the few constants in business (as in life) is change. The business strategies or model that got you to where you are this year may not be the ones that’ll propel you towards that next peak of accomplishment. Your intention for the year ahead is to shift from solopreneur to agency, from 1-to-1 to group services, or even to develop a healthy bit of leveraged income into the mix. It’s going to be a whole new ball game - are you ready to play?
Pricing Strategy: Before launching that new sales page or tweeting that course to the world, consider how you’re going to need to adapt your current pricing model to fit your new business model. Will you be aiming for volume (and need to lower prices) or adding a bunch of new variables to your work (and need to ensure nothing slips through the cracks). Creating your new pricing mix is important in achieving the goal of disrupting your status quo, without disrupting your cash flow.
Challenge #4 – Your resentment levels are through the roof
Resentment is sneaky – and it appears in the little cracks that form when you’re doing great work for clients and they love the results, but your pricing just isn’t matching that magic you’re creating. It’s almost as if signing on a new client makes you dread the work…instead of popping open the bubbly to celebrate. You’ve sworn up and down that you’ll nip this in the bud in the new year and start (finally!) earning a fee that makes you grin from ear to ear, and serve clients with passion.
Pricing Strategy: Your goal of raising your prices is admirable – and necessary – but it’s easier said than done. The key questions and calculations you’ll need to work into your new strategy include figuring out which clients or project types are most in need of a boost, what that new baseline will be, what increments you’re comfortable with – and how you’ll communicate all of that to current and potential clients with ease.
For every item on your new year strategy, spend 5 minutes brainstorming what the impact will be on your revenues, and how you can adapt your current pricing to ensure you’re making at least as much as you did this year.