Help More People by Charging What You’re Worth

Women entrepreneurs commonly undervalue their time and expertise by under-charging for their services. To be honest, there are several 'Worth' highlighted, under 'Value'reasons why women entrepreneurs do this: from lack of confidence to trying to do a good deed (and everything in between). Some women entrepreneurs routinely barter or discount their services so they can “serve more people.” Usually that’s just a cover for not owning their true value.

Let me be clear; under-charging is good for no one. It’s not good for you. It’s not good for your clients. It’s not good for your potential clients. It’s not good for the people you are meant to serve. Under-charging obviously siphons money from your bottom line but it also makes you work harder and longer than you would if you just charged what you’re worth. If you’re struggling with low profits, lack of time, lack of energy, and lack of resources because you are charging too little for your services, how does that help you help more people? It doesn’t.

It took me a while to figure this out. When I first started my business, I charged so little and gave away so much service for free that it was a struggle to take on new clients. The clients I was working with received a lot of value for their money, but I couldn’t afford to help more people because my existing clients were consuming all of my resources without truly compensating me for the value I was providing. Even non-profits need cash flowing in to meet their client’s needs and compensate for the services they provide. Luckily, I figured out that undercharging was an express ticket to overworking, under-earning and going out of business.

Consider this scenario: Your goal is to make $8000.00 a month from your service or product. This service or product provides a solution to your ideal client’s most pressing problem and easily saves them time, money, energy and agony. You could sell your product or service for $200.00 and manage 40 clients, or you could sell it for $500.00 and only have to manage 16 clients. By charging more, you’re able to focus more on your individual client’s needs and still have time to do the things you enjoy—it’s a win-win situation for everyone. If you charge less, you have to convert more sales, work harder to make more people happy and hope you’re able to get a break sometime so you can work on taking your business to the next level; meanwhile your income remains the same. For this reason, and many others, continuously charging “bargain-basement” fees just doesn’t make sense. In order to give abundantly, you have to have abundance.

Here are 3 tips to help more people and succeed in business:

 1)Charge what you’re worth.

Charging what you are worth enables you to leverage your time and resources. This is a must for growing a successful and sustainable business, earning the income you deserve, and making a bigger difference in the world. Charge from a “value” mindset not a “discount” mindset. A well-planned “End of the Year Sale” or a similar event can be a great income boost, but don’t get into the habit of regularly discounting your fees or undercharging and over-delivering to your detriment.

2) Be confident in the value you provide.

The value that you are giving your clients far exceeds the amount you charge for your services or products. If you ever doubt this, just think about the time, money, and effort your clients would have to spend in order to solve their problem on their own. This is assuming that they are ready, willing, and able to solve the problem on their own. Think about what it would cost your client if they were to continue struggling with their most pressing problem. You do not have to offer “bargain-pricing” to offer a fair price for your services and products. In the book, The Science of Getting Rich, Wallace Wattles states, “Give every man more in use value than you take from him in cash value; then you are adding to the life of the world by every business transaction.”

3) Make a commitment to be in business.

Businesses exist for two main reasons. To provide value and to make profits. I have no doubt that you provide value, but are you making the profits you need and desire? You cannot build wealth or even stay in business if you’re not making profits; and you can’t make profits if you’re undercharging for your services. You must continuously gain profits from the value you provide. If you aren’t doing this, you are not in business. You might have a hobby, but you are not in business if you are not charging enough to make profits that support you and your company. Provide value, make a profit, and stay in business. The more profitable your business is, the more you can give back in a way that truly makes difference.

Are you (or have you been) undervaluing your services? If so, don’t worry it’s not too late to change course.

Please share one way you can actively give back without discounting your services, undercharging for your services, or over-delivering to your detriment (ex. create a win-win situation such as a scholarship fund, contest, or give-away). I’d love to hear your thoughts below.

About Tiffany deSilva

Tiffany deSilva is the founder, CEO, and visionary leader of BrightFire Women’s Business Network, LLC.

BrightFire Women’s Business Network is the premiere sales training and coaching resource for service-based women entrepreneurs who want to increase their sales, serve more people, and change more lives.

Feedback & Comments:

  1. I couldn’t agree more! I went through this 4 years ago and it was a great decision!

  2. Tiffany,
    I like all of your 3 tips, but the one I love the most is #3. It’s that decision to actually BE in business, in a serious way, that turns the corner.

  3. Right On! I could write a story on each one of your tips.
    This is absolutely the truth. It is one of those hurdles a
    business owner must learn to jump over. Once you do
    you realize it there is no going back.

  4. Tiffany, thank you for this thought provoking post. I know that I as an entrepreneur in business for over 5 years still need to re-examine the concept of charging.

  5. Heidi Alexandra Pollard says:

    Love your Tiffany. I particular like how you’ve broken down a simple example in:
    “You could sell your product or service for $200.00 and manage 40 clients, or you could sell it for $500.00 and only have to manage 16 clients.” It immediately makes me think or I could do 4 clients at $2000 each! Perfect

  6. Great article. I was just having this discussion today with my fiancé who is a carpenter and a very good one at that. He used the word “undercut” when he talked about bidding for a job. He said he always undercuts the competition to ensure that he gets the job. “I would rather get paid a little less, than be unemployed,” were his exact words. He also says he can’t charge more than “the market will bear” and will also lower his price if the economy is bad. In my opinion, he charges way too little for the excellent quality of work that he does. How do I get him to see that?

    • Hi Ruth, thank you for your comment. It can be difficult to get someone else to see the light. A lot of times people are stuck holding onto old money stories that they have had since childhood. Unless and until he has a clear desire and reason to earn more, he probably won’t be motivated to let go of his old story. The first step for him is to get in touch with what he really wants. If he is happy where he is then there is no problem, but if he wants more, he may be open to some coaching to change his perspective.

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