One of the thorniest questions many of my self-employed clients are required to answer, especially the newbies, is “How much do you charge?”
The answer is often either how long is a piece of strong or how much can you get away with or how much dare you ask!
Nope. There’s a better way.
There are a couple of nifty workarounds to help you avoid this embarrassment and rehearse and prepare your answer in a professional manner.
You need to establish two things from your questioner/potential client.
- What’s your brief?
- What’s your budget?
Depending on the nature of your work, this then enables you to go away and work out how much of the work in their brief you can do for their budget. You might be surprised and delighted by how much they are prepared to pay for you to do the work. Or you might be horrified to discover precisely the opposite….they can’t afford you and you can’t afford to spend any more time in this process with them.
I think that clarity of brief is perhaps even the more important of the two. How can you quote if you don’t really know what they want? Worse still, are they clear about what they want? If not, disappointment this way comes.
Often other small business owners are not your ideal clients, especially if they want your expertise on the cheap. If you feel for them and want to help and support them, as I do, then you have to get yourself into a position first when you can, if you wish, afford to do that.
When that time comes, let me know, there are many ways to look after the start-ups. But running yourself ragged with a poor brief and too tight a budget isn’t any way to get strong in the first place.
And it’s a way to disppoint your wannabe client too.
Lose:lose is another way to look at that, trashing your rep into the bargain.