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When running a business, there is one resource of which there could always be more: Time. More hours in the day, more time for this one project, more time away from work. Your business pays for you, but you in turn are your business. Thus, every hour is valuable. Here’s some things to think about when valuing your time:
You are the business
What expenses do you need to cover, in order to ensure you stay healthy enough to continue providing your service? As a sole trader or small business owner, you are the business. It’s your time your clients want, not some discount service who dropped a handwritten leaflet in their letterbox. Present yourself confidently and they will be happy to pay for it.
More than just materials
A $15,000 diamond ring may have cost $1,000 for the gold and $9,000 for the diamond. So what’s the extra five thousand dollars for? The jeweller might agree on a price of $10,000 for materials only, and weeks later you are the proud owner of an unpolished stone and some scraps of metal.
What’s missing? The work. The skill. The time. Jewellers study and train for years before they become a master. How long has it taken you to acquire the skills necessary to perform your service? Did you go to university, or spend years as an apprentice? Your customers, or clients, do not have the skills that you have – that’s why they’re coming to you. Present yourself as the expert in your manner and price. Charge too low and clients may wonder if you’ve spent the years becoming an expert after all. Charge accordingly and deliver the best quality work that you can, and clients will return.
Rates and presentation
When you first joined the workforce, how much did you earn per hour? How much do you earn now? If there’s little to no difference, consider revaluing your rate.
Again, presentation is important here too. ‘Sorry to charge you, but I need to get by’ will win no confidence from a customer. However, ‘This is my rate, and I can guarantee you will be satisfied with the quality of my work implies self-confidence and a calm assurance that there is no other outcome than for the customer to be happy. Presenting yourself in this manner drives the focus from the money and onto the work you’re doing, giving you the power and authority to charge what you require without inviting questions or fuss.
Time’s real value
What value do you put on the hours you’re away from work? Coming home to a family, or spending time with friends?
These are your most precious hours. Nearly every business owner spends leisure time thinking about work, but you can do your best to ensure that these hours are yours as much as possible. Think about your rate. Be confident in what you deliver, and charge accordingly. Your time is a resource best enjoyed.