Why Value Belongs at the Core of Your Business
If you read my last blog post “Money Is Not A Dirty Word” (if not then you can read it here) then you will remember I posed the question:
Do you really value what you do, or are you the type of person who is always giving discounts, freebies or exchanging time for time with other service providers because one or both of you can’t afford the going rate at that time?
The reason I asked that question is because I’ve had a number of conversations with clients recently about charging, discounts and bartering.
I have the pleasure of working with amazing people across a whole range of industries who have found a way to turn their passions into a business that they want to share with as many people as possible. However many believe that in order to put themselves and their offering out into the world and successfully attract clients they need to charge unsustainably low prices, provide large discounts or even free services.
Excuse me but – Hell No!
In my opinion, to do so shows a lack of confidence and genuine belief in yourself and the value that you are contributing to the world. Let’s be honest, you wouldn’t have started a business if you did not believe you have value to add to the world and that your value is worthy of the financial investment of others. Would you?
You didn’t start a business to fill all your available time and create a boat load of stress for yourself for no reward. You started a business to make money.
And here’s the kicker – it isn’t time and effort that creates money. It’s value.
Did you get that? Value creates money.
People’ll buy your product or service because they appreciate the value in what you offer. If you continuously offer discounted rates or low prices then you’re undervaluing yourself and your offer.
Let me paint an example for you. Say I bought a watch from the two dollar shop. I would expect that a $2 watch would be made from cheap plastic junk and either break after a month or fail to keep accurate time. It would literally be a throw away purchase that I just wouldn’t rely on. Honestly, I don’t even know why I would buy it – but stay with me here…
Whereas if I bought a $500 watch from a jeweler I would expect it to be of high quality parts, to last at least 10 years and keep perfect time.
It’s that old adage of “you get what you pay for”, and cheaper isn’t necessarily better.
Here’s another example. Let’s say I was getting my kitchen redone and received three quotes, one of which was half the price of the others. I personally would immediately reject that quote and decide between the other two providers.
Why you ask? Well in order to provide the service so cheaply I would assume that they are either sourcing far inferior materials, or that they are far less experienced and confident in their ability to meet my expectations. To me, the others believe that they are providing a high quality service that they’re proud of and willing to stand behind and for me that’s important. A new kitchen is an investment in my home and I want something high quality. Are you seeing where I’m coming from? The lower priced provider could very well be doing themselves a disservice by pricing themselves so low.
If a provider doesn’t value their own services and charge accordingly, then they’re not going to attract a buyer who values their services and pays accordingly.
It’s important to understand that working your arse off in your business will only get you so far and that in order for others to see value in your product or service, first YOU have to embrace the value and price it accordingly.
Now you might be thinking that you currently don’t provide enough value to warrant the high prices that you dream of charging. And you might be wondering – how do I increase my value? Well, here is the awesome thing. Your value comes from you as an amazingly individual human.
You’re an incredibly unique being. No one else on this planet has the exact same thoughts, experiences, knowledge, interests, biases and skills as you. Your personality is all yours, you don’t share it with anyone else.
The magic lies in you, so ask yourself. What am I good at? How can I use that to make my customer’s experience even better?
If you sell products then think about the journey that led you to design or create the product the way you did.
What did you feel was missing from the market? Why did you feel your product or service would be well received by your target market? What makes it unique and special and worth the money you are asking? What else can you provide your customer that will make them feel valued and honoured and cared for?
If you can overdeliver (by providing your own brand of unique and exceptional value), you will have happy clients and customers who will remain loyal to you and rave about you to others.