Many a wonderfully creative, self-promoting, innovative, passionate and seemingly successful entrepreneur has stumbled mightily when it comes to the making money part of the deal.
I don’t know about your upbringing, but I do know that entire generations of adults were taught by well-intentioned people who had the idea that money, or making money or, certainly making lots of money, was somehow a bad thing.
And, even though that’s one of the significant reasons for opening up shop, the majority of small business owners I encounter are hobbled by this deep-seated belief.
In my experience, this shows up most frequently in the way they conduct the financial affairs of the business. Now, I’m a marketing guy, remember that, so don’t get me wrong, I’m not simply referring to crisp financial forecasting and reporting. You can and probably should hire that stuff done.
I’m talking about something more basic than that, something more closely related to marketing.
- Uneasiness with money shows up in underpricing your products and services
- Uneasiness with money shows up in failing to talk about payment expectations with customers
- Uneasiness with money shows up in uncollectable accounts receivables
All of the above can wreak havoc on the ability for a business to grow and prosper, but I believe that they do more than that. Some businesses actually do muddle by doing all of the above but know this, your pricing and the way you communicate how you expect to conduct professional relationships speaks volumes about value.
So, the question then becomes, what are you communicating about the value of your work, your people, your organization, or your products? How does that make everyone in your organization feel about your position in the market?
Price is simply a function of value. When something feels overpriced, it’s because we don’t perceive the value and when something feels underpriced, we may not appreciate the value. How do you really feel about the value you offer?
Here’s the point I’m trying to make – raise your prices, get fanatical about creating and communicating value and boldly look your prospects and customers right in the eye and tell them this is what you get and this is what we expect in terms of payment.
If either one of you flinches, then a) you’re not sure about your value or b) they aren’t an ideal customer. And you can take that to the bank!