Have you heard of the book written by Mika Brzezinski, Know Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You're Worth? It's worth a read for ALL women, young and old.
I have to admit, I would not have seen Mika as a bastion of women's rights. But in her first edition back in 2011, she shared her experiences asking for and getting a raise in the historically and notoriously male-dominated broadcast industry.
This week, I've had occasion to speak with a variety of women business owners on the subject of pricing their products and services.
Cutting to the chase, there's no simple or stable formula. My answer could be "It depends." But my more typical answer is "What is the VALUE of your product or service?"
The contexts of my conversations were quite different. My first exchange was with a longtime client whose has a B2B service-based business. Her situation is a fortunate one but it illustrates a common issue among women entrepreneurs.
Denise's business is about 8 years old. She started it from her passion, and has been having fun helping people with her services. For the longest time, she gave away her skills (!). It was a challenge for her to give herself "permission" to charge money for her services when she first went from hobby to business. You see, Denise is married to a guy who has a 6-figure salary from a Fortune 500 company, so she has a "safety net" and benefits covered. Hers was not a business of "necessity." But soon she found herself working so hard on it, that she felt justified (i.e., less guilty) charging for her services.
Most of my clients don't have the luxury of multiple income sources. They are either single moms or single-singles (perhaps with 4-legged kids like mine!) where their business supports the family. Achieving revenue goals is not an option for them.
Regardless of your situation, it's important to recognize the value of your service or product in the eyes of your customer. It may be a commodity with few differences to its competitors, or it may be a whole new way of accomplishing a task, relieving a problem, or accelerating a benefit.
Have you heard anyone speak of a Value Proposition? That's in essence what I'm alluding to. It's WHY your customer should buy your product or use your service. Without utter clarity in this, you may find yourself spinning your wheels straight on to an early "exit," worrying about the wrong thing.
It isn't difficult to come up with your business Value Proposition IF you have the skills. And those skills aren't rocket science. But they may as well be, if you don't possess them.
That's why we teach these necessary skills in CEO School. Our Value Proposition is "teaching women entrepreneurs the skills they need to thrive." As we've expanded our reach by leveraging the Internet, these foundational skills have become ever so much more accessible and flexible for a woman business owner's schedule.
If you'd like to know more about how we help women understand their value and their Value Proposition, we'll gladly let you know when our next online skills courses begin. Simply click here to indicate your interest.