Being an entrepreneur is exhilarating, but it can also be a huge challenge sometimes. One of the challenges I faced when my business was young was knowing what our services were worth. There were certainly times early on when I’d negotiate myself out of making any money, just to get the sale. That didn’t make much sense.
What we’ve learned over these past (almost) ten years is that the service we offer adds value to a business, and that value has.. well… value. What we do for companies is something they want done (an online presence) but they don’t have the time or know-how to get it done. In most cases, they also are looking for a cost-effective way to bring in a social media effort without hiring a full-time person at a full-time salary. So we bring that to the table, and we’ve learned what that’s worth.
Recently, I had the privilege of sitting down with a local business owner, another woman out there making a go of her dream and contemplating the best strategic decisions for her business. She’s interested in having someone come in and give her company’s social media presence some professional “umpf,” but she’s in growth mode as she looks to open more locations of her company. I came to her with my full proposal which gave an overall look at what services she’d be receiving, how many hours per week that would take, and how much that would cost.
I’ve got to tell you, I really like this woman. She’s smart about the business she’s created. It’s unique and her branding is spot-on. I really want to work with her. When she said the price for the whole package just wasn’t in her budget right now, I could feel that pang of disappointment. But… and here’s what really got me. What she said was that she wouldn’t ask me to shave it down. She said “this is what your service costs and if I ask you to whittle it down to less time so that it costs less money, then you won’t be as successful and I’ll be dissatisfied and that’s a no-win situation for either of us.”
I can’t stress enough what a refreshing statement this was. She’s right, you know. I’ve been in that situation. I’ve had people (women and men alike) take the number of hours we’re working for them down so far to meet their budget that we don’t have enough time to put in and the goals just can’t be met. We just can’t get there. I appreciated her seeing the big picture and knowing that we, as business owners, bring value with what we offer our customers and if we can’t do the whole thing, then it’s not a good fit – not right now, anyway.
She and I may have some opportunities to work on some a la carte offerings – online review management, ghostwriting e-newsletters for example, but the entire package of an online presence will wait for now. As she grows, then we still have that opportunity.
I wish her and her team only the best with my highest respect and appreciation.
Here’s to the future!by