I often see folks in our industry who think if their business and work isn’t hard, they haven’t “earned it.”
Consequently, I’ll see them making things (both consciously and subconsciously) much more difficult and complicated than need be.
This is a terribly self-sabotaging/self-defeating mindset to have.
There are lots of people in our industry who are working with 10 or more clients and yet are earning so poorly (less than $10,000 annually!) that they could actually make more money in a job.
It’s not difficult to get clients when you charge very little. The problem is that administratively supporting that many clients is a daily hardship that keeps them imprisoned at their desk and not making any money to boot.
The Case for Success
If you feel guilty about charging or things being easy in your business, here’s what I want you to understand: You can not be of consistent, reliable, top-quality service to your clients if you are struggling to keep up with the work, making it difficult and complicated, and not earning well on top of it.
If you have to work with more and more clients because you aren’t charging enough to earn what you need, you are doing them a disservice. Because the more you spread yourself thin, the less personal care, support and top quality work they get.
Building your business so that it is easy, profitable and financially successful is a BENEFIT to your clients.
When you make things easier in your business for you, you actually improve your service to clients. That is of tremendous value!
When you can easily take care of clients, you make your business more profitable (which means you will be able to stick around for them for the long-haul) and you create dramatically more time and space to give superior service and support. All of which allows you to charge a premium for your service so that you can make more money while working with fewer clients AND have more time and money for your own life.
Right on as usual Danielle! I cringe when I see RFP’s requesting the “cheapest” proposals, or looking for the lowest rates possible. I’m praying no one is going to respond to such a request. But unfortunately, I think it happens and we are left in this industry with the consequences of having to right that wrong. I really love your posts. Thanks for being such a powerful voice for the industry.
Oh, you and me both, Donnamarie!
I actually got rid of the whole entire RFP thing at the VACOC because all we were getting was crap requests. And I don’t see that as the job of a truly professional association. We’re trying to lift each other up, not cater to the lowest common denominator and keep people working in crap, know what I mean? Instead, we’re going to be focusing on properly and better educating clients and the marketplace and how VAs can pull more qualified prospects into their own pipelines, not go chasing down rabbit holes and wasting their time and energy auditioning.
So true! This emphasizes the need to research the market and target the successful and higher earning potential clients in the first place. The habit and mindset of working for anyone and for any pay is a set up for failure.
Thanks for this great advice.
Oh yes! Thanks for bringing that oh-so-important point up, Judy! Not all clients are clients worth working with. So true!
Thank you so much Danielle for your profound take on the topic. I needed this! I am experiencing something similar with a client now. The topic is right on time for me. Reading all the comments is an inspiration of joy. Thanks all for your advice.