The other day I asked a client to make a purchase for me. She had way more expertise with the product than I did and I trusted her judgment. When it came time to make the payment, we had a small challenge synchronizing our busy schedules. I asked her if she could send me an invoice via PayPal to cover the cost of the items plus the fees that I knew she would incur. I advised her that I would pick up the product at a later time. To be unwilling to cover the cost of the fees would mean that she would have taken a slight loss purchasing a product as a favor for me. To refuse to pay her until it was more convenient for me to pick it up would mean that her revenues would have been tied up for a purchase that her business did not need. Can you say not cool?
When you were deciding on your prices of your product and/or services, what influenced your decisions? Did you make sure that your price point covered all of your cost plus whatever profit you wanted to make? If you are selling a product, then your price should include manufacturing, design, shipping & handling and any delivery fees incurred to get the product to the client. If you provide a service, make sure you factor in the price you paid for the knowledge that you have gained so that you can provide your amazingly awesome service.
Let’s face it. I know that many of us started our business because we love to serve. But if we are not able to adequately monetize the thing that we love to do, we won’t be in business very long. Think about how many people need what you provide and how disappointed they would be if they saw a virtual closed sign on your business. We owe it to ourselves and our clients to price our products and services in line with what the market will bear. But you should also consider your skillset and level of service provided. Don’t be afraid to charge for your expertise and the results that your clients get from working with you. The reality is that businesses exist to make a profit. To do otherwise means you are either a hobbyist or a volunteer. And that’s ok too, as long as that’s what you intended to be.