It's a Journey
January 24, 2023
Recently I spoke with a solopreneur who is very early in her business. We were talking about understanding her best fit clients, the value her clients see in the outcomes she can deliver, why hourly pricing makes no sense, and so forth.
She started to get a look on her face which revealed both dismay and frustration.
“That’s easy for you to say,” she said. “I need all the business I can get right now.”
Yeah, I get that.
This just in: I didn’t come bopping out of the price and value womb fully formed. It’s why my forthcoming book is titled The Price and Value Journey. It’s a journey.
When I look back on how my business advisory practice unfolded, I was a mess. Like this solopreneur, I needed to get the business in the door to know my new practice would survive.
I did what most people do: looked at what others, similar to me, were doing, and priced with that knowledge as a guide.
The problem is that when everyone else you’re benchmarking to is a mess, or has their own misguided ideas about pricing, then your pricing, by definition, is going to be off. Sometimes wildly so.
Everybody starts out this way. Everybody. Everyone’s circumstances are different, of course, but all solo and small firm professional services providers struggle with pricing and value issues from the very beginning.
And all that’s ok. The most important objective when starting your business is getting cash flow. There’s nothing that stinks up the “new car smell” of your business faster than lack of cash flow.
The real problem comes down the road, when you’ve built a decent portfolio of clients. Your business is cash flowing, and that’s good.
But there are problems. You’re working too hard for too little money. You’re starting to resent clients who “aren’t paying you what you’re worth.” Prospects don’t seem to value what you do as much as you think they should.
Now it’s not a matter of how to survive. It’s how to thrive.
I told my friend all of this.
“Go build your business, and get cash flow,” I told her. “You’ll get to a point where you know what you’re doing, the clients you most want to work with, and what makes them tick. Yes, you will make mistakes, but don’t worry about them. They are the tuition you pay to learn how you will thrive.”
It's a journey. Don't worry about the mistakes. Everyone makes them, and you'll learn from them.
Just make progress. Keep going.
Image from JumpStory
(This blog post was also posted on LinkedIn.)
©Ray Business Advisors, LLC and John Ray
About me: I help solo or small professional services firm owners with the confidence and positioning necessary to improve their pricing and change the trajectory of not only their business but their life.
I have a podcast called The Price and Value Journey, which features interviews with industry leaders and audio versions of my blog posts. You can find the podcast on your favorite podcast app.
I also have a book coming out in 2023: The Price and Value Journey: Raise Your Confidence, Your Value, and Your Prices to Grow Your Business Using The Generosity Mindset.
For more information, go to PriceValueJourney.com