so here’s the thing.
i get a lot of questions like:
“how do i get my friends & family to value what i do? they say they support me but they just go buy their xyz from (insert big brand here).”
“if i set my prices to fairly cover my time and costs people say it’s too expensive? how do i get my customers to pay fair price?”
“i know that my product/service is something that people need, but it seems like everyone wants to DIY or get it for free. how do i turn those people into paying customers?”
and the answer to these questions is not simple.
setting the right price and demonstrating value involves a mixture of your brand, your expertise and point of difference, your right people and what they value, the going rate in your marketplace, the way you market and sell your products & services…. so many things. (which is why i encourage people to understand & strengthen the framework of their biz.)
and one of the biggest things to consider is YOU.
if you do not value yourself, than how do you expect others to value what you do? how will you earn what you are worth if you do not have a strong sense of what you worth?
(and if you want to get some help with valuing what you are worth check out tara genitle's the art of earning - which is a 'pay what you can' PDF that will fit any budget.)
that is sort of an internal aspect to what you value: being able to value your own worth. but i think there is an external aspect as well. what are you putting out into the little biz universe?
because i also hear a lot of this:
“i can’t hire someone/pay for something even though i know it would make my business more successful.”
“there is no way i can afford the price of that professional product/service/expertisee. i will just do it myself and get some free help online.”
“i would never pay that much for that product/service! i can just do it myself, or go buy it from (insert big cheap brand here).”
the more i talk to little biz builders the more something is becoming increasingly clear to me:
you can’t have it both ways.
you don’t get to say “how can i get people to value my little biz” while in the same breath saying “but, i don’t value your little biz.”
this is on my mind because the other day i offered my time and expertise (for free) to help someone who was struggling with how to get others to value her products and how to get her family to value her little biz. that same person came back to me later to ask if i could do some photography for her for free. that was a big light bulb moment for me. i decided then and there that there must be such a thing as "little biz karma."
and i know this matters to you too, because the “i love my little biz” manifesto has been downloaded over 1000 times this week. i know you want to remind yourself that your biz is indded valuable, and you want your little biz to be valued by others.
so whether you want to think of it as karma, do unto others, the law of attraction, sustainable business practice or simply just investing in a little biz economy, i think this is something we need to consider.
if you want your expertise/products/services/information to be valued by others, you yourself must also value the expertise/products/services/information of your fellow little biz builders.
and i do not mean merely paying lip service. “yes your photography is excellent, and you should totally charge what you are worth! you go girl!” i mean actually engaging in an economic exchange for goods, services & information.
yes, i know that we are bootstrapping and penny pinching to get our businesses off the ground, and we cannot always afford to outsource or invest in the expertise of others or buy local/handmade/online instead of from the local budget store.
but i think we need to try harder.
- you might not be able to invest in a full $1000 SEO package, but could you buy a $100 ecourse on SEO from a fellow little biz builder?
- you might not be able to invest the ongoing fees for professional product photography, but could you purchase some lessons from a local photographer?
- you might not be able to buy everything you need for your home or family from handmade, local, or “little” online sellers, but could you set aside some of your budget to do so?
- could you seek out other like-minded little biz builders who are also just starting out to trade products/services/expertise/advertising/promotion/referrals with?
- could you encourage your own friends/family/fans to purchase from other little businesses, not just your own?
- with your own little biz could you offer fellow little biz builders modified services, traded products, or some sort of access to your expertise (perhaps a lesson or an ebook)?
- could we all make a pledge to invest in other little businesses even as we invest in our own?
what are your thoughts on this issue? please add your comments below because this is something i really want to discuss.
i know that we all have tight budgets and our profits are earmarked to support our families. and i applaud you for just getting started, DIYing & bootstrapping your way along, as we ALL do (i do it too.)
but i also think there has to be a way to build up our little biz karma, or invest in others as we invest in ourselves. (click here to tweet that.)
please - tweet, share, like... and share your thoughts! i am hoping i am not alone in this, and want to hear from as many little biz builders as possible.