by Devon Smiley | Featured Contributor
When we’re building our businesses, there’s an endless list of things to do. We work hard to perfect our copy, earn those conversions, and delight our clients. We do and do and do and do…but still feel stuck.
How is it that with all of the time, effort and resources we pour into our business that we’re not seeing the success we’d hoped for?
It may be the market…but more often than not, it’s our mindset that’s doing us in.
Here are three misconceptions that are keeping you stuck, and the quick fixes to ditch them.
#1 That you shouldn’t talk about money
Money is a funny topic. It’s a fact of life that we need to earn it, and we need to spend it. But a lot of us clam up when it comes time to actually talk about it. Especially when that conversation is all about how much we charge as entrepreneurs.
If you’re hesitant to declare your pricing on your website, or hold off until the last possible moment in client consultations to bring up the cost of your packages – you’re holding back your business.
Sharing your pricing is an important step in educating your potential customers on what value should be placed on your product or service. It allows you to set expectations, and reinforce your appeal to your target market. Hide your price, and you’re likely to lose clients who assume you’re too expensive, and spend way too much time vetting clients who’ve assumed you were much less expensive.
Quick Fix: Update your website to include either a set price, or to indicate that ‘pricing starts from $xxxx’.
#2 That you can’t ask for changes
As your business grows, you’ll find yourself working on a variety of projects, with clients of all different sizes. And when this growth takes you into the ‘Big Leagues’ of working with a large client, you may stumble. Too often, a small business will assume that they can’t ask for changes to a contract proposed by a large company. You may assume that it ‘just is what it is’, or that you should ‘just take what you can get’. This thinking, and the resulting lackluster agreements will actually be what’s keeping your business small.
Every contract, business deal or relationship has room for negotiation. Speaking up, and asking for changes to a document will help you ensure that you’re being paid enough, that your work is being protected, and that you’re able to deliver your best-possible work to the client, drama-free.
Quick Fix: Take a post-it and list out the 3 must-haves for your business when it comes to doing your best work. Keep it at your desk, and make (at least) these 3 requests in each future contract.
#3 That more clients = better business
It’s easy to buy into the idea that if we’ve got a long roster of clients, we can declare our business a success. We hear it all around us – and it can be especially loud in the online entrepreneurial world. But climbing onto this hamster wheel of trying to attract as many customers as possible holds us back from really growing our business – because the truth is that it’s not about having lots of clients, it’s about having the best clients. Quality over quantity. By being choosier about who you work with, setting strong boundaries around the type of work you’ll do, and becoming bold in asking for fees that reflect the value you’re providing, you’re going to be building a business that maximizes your revenues, and frees up time for you to either devote to more fantastic clients, or re-invest in your business.
Quick Fix: Look through your client roster, and identify 1 or 2 clients that aren’t a great fit, and list out the reasons why. Use this cheat-sheet when speaking with potential clients as a way to catch a lack of compatibility early on.
Which of these misconceptions have shown up for you? Is there a Quick Fix that you can put in place today to get your business unstuck, and on the path to growth? What mindsets have you had to shake off in order to do your best work as an entrepreneur?
Devon Smiley – Negotiation Consultant
With over a decade of corporate experience, Devon has negotiated $1000 product returns, multi-million dollar procurement deals -and everything in between. Her experience is distilled into spot-on analysis and actionable advice for companies of all sizes, bringing them the benefit of her laser focus on results and strong strategy development skills.
Devon is a firm believer that no business is ever too small to negotiate, and she gets a kick out of helping entrepreneurs uncover ways to bump their results up a notch (or two!), and build the skills and confidence they need to ask for – and get – what they need to achieve their best yet results. Knowing that many entrepreneurs struggle with figuring out how negotiation can help them move their business forward, Devon created the ‘3 Must Do Business Boosters’ guide to jumpstart the process.