Archive for the ‘Pricing’ Category

Dear Danielle: I Have No Confidence in Charging What I Need to Charge

Dear Danielle:

I have found your information on how to be an Administrative Consultant helpful and informative. I have a question for you regarding rates for my support. I have been trying to see what others are charging, just to see if I’m in the same range and not charging too much. I did the calculation from your Income & Pricing Calculator and my baseline is $50/hour. The challenge I’m having is feeling comfortable with my per hour rate. Is there any way to overcome this? —RD

I know everyone does this when they’re new, but the last place you need to be looking when it comes to determining your pricing is your colleagues’ sites.

Hear me loud and clear on this:  It does not matter what anyone else in the industry is charging. (In fact, most are earning poorly because they aren’t charging enough whatsoever).

The only two important ingredients in determining your pricing are:

  1. you and what you have to offer in relation to
  2. your target market and their needs, goals and challenges.

When you deeply know and understand those things, you’ll find it much easier to command your fees without flinching.

Charging poorly can have detrimental, even devastating, effects on a young business.

Your goal in business is to provide value (not cheapness) to your clients and earn very well for yourself so that you can stay in business. You can’t take great care of clients unless you take great care of yourself first and that means charging profitably.

Looking at what (little) others may be charging as your guide will keep you in the poor house, potentially put you out of business, and contribute nothing toward increasing your confidence and savvy as a business owner.

The other thing I would want to tell you is not to charge by the hour.

Billing by the hour is an archaic, UNbeneficial way to bill that cheats both you and the client.

In fact, you actually make less money billing by the hour.

Instead, learn how to price and package your support by value.

It’s a WHOLE lot easier for you, it’s more convenient for clients and makes it vastly easier for them to say yes to working with you (all of which are outlined in the guide).

Lastly, confidence is a journey.

Your confidence will absolutely affect how you valuate your fees.

What you feel comfortable charging at the start of your business will be much different a couple years down the road. That’s because when most of us start out in business, we tend to be stuck in employee mindset to one degree or another.

Many new business owners aren’t aware that when they were an employee still working a job, their employers actually paid far more than what they saw on their paycheck.

They don’t realize all the other costs involved. They don’t understand that business and employment are two completely different animals, and that in business, it’s a whole other dynamic with entirely different standards, protocols and mechanisms involved in pricing.

And because they aren’t sure of themselves or how clients will respond, and still think of themselves as an employee rather than an expert, they are timid about pricing confidently and boldly.

Eventually, though, they begin to develop certain realizations. Their view of themselves changes. Their professional self-esteem increases. They get an inkling that they aren’t charging enough when they are slaving away ‘round the clock and still not making enough money. They think taking on more clients is the answer—until they see that they end up making even less than before!

Some people are confident right out of the gate while others take a bit longer to get there. The good news is that the longer you’re in business, the more your confidence will increase. As you work with clients, the more you begin to recognize the value of the work you do when you see how it improves their businesses and helps them move forward, overcome challenges and achieve their dreams. Your confidence in charging more professionally will grow from there.

Whatever your confidence level is right now when it comes to pricing, it’s perfectly normal.

At the same time, I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone. Experiment. Take a risk in your pricing and see what happens. Most people find that clients don’t bat an eye and wish they’d stepped up in their business a lot sooner.

Oh, and one more thought: the idea that you need to charge less just because you are new in business is complete and utter rubbish!

You might have a learning curve when it comes to successfully running and managing a business, but that doesn’t make your administrative skills and years of experience any less valuable. And a business simply requires that it be solvent and sustainable.

So while my goal for you is to price boldly and profitably, I realize that sometimes there is a bit of a journey involved in getting there.

That’s okay.

I’m gonna keep educating, coaching, encouraging, urging and reminding you, keep you thinking on your toes, and sometimes even chiding you and giving you a little kick in the pants now and then. 😉

You’ll get there!

How to Respond When Clients Ask “How Much Do You Charge Per Hour?”

A week ago I promised my mailing list community that I would share with them a script for responding to prospects when the first thing out of their mouth is What’s your hourly rate?

I feel you!

It can be the most irritating question in the world when it’s pretty much the first words they utter right out of the gate.

But guess what? You have a lot to do with why they are asking that in the first place.

And no, it’s not because you don’t have pricing on your website. Pricing for professional services doesn’t belong on your website.

But we’ll discuss that in a moment.

First, I want to preface things by saying that the response to that kind of question is different depending on the context.

For example, selling products is a completely different ballgame than selling professional services.

There’s a completely different context, different process, and different conversation involved for each of them respectively.

On my blog, we’re always talking about retained ongoing monthly administrative support. This is what is known as a collaborative partnering relationship.

This is not the same thing as selling products or piecemeal project work (i.e., secretarial services).

So, it’s important that you understand that the scripts I’m going to share with you are for the context of retainer clients (i.e., clients who pay a monthly fee for ongoing, monthly administrative support).

Unless you are selling a cheap commodity, clients need have context in order for your fees to make sense.

If there’s going to be any kind of mutually beneficial relationship, you can’t answer that question off the cuff. There’s a bit more to it than that.

There are simply things you need to find out first from the client before you can even begin to understand their needs, goals and challenges, and then devise your support plan recommendation for them.

When the first thing a prospect asks is What’s your hourly rate?, that’s a clear sign that:

  1. they have not bothered to read your website (and, thus, are not a good prospect), or
  2. your website has not properly educated them, and failed to provide them with the right information in the right way (which is more commonly the case).

When you don’t provide your site visitors and prospects with thorough information, you don’t give them any other criteria with which to evaluate the value.

They will always resort to the pricing question when that’s the case.

This is something you can correct:

  1. Stop parroting the same tired, boring, homogeneous (and ineffective) party line that EVERYONE else in the industry is reciting chapter, line and verse. You’ve GOT to stop this people, seriously! This is your business, not a high school clique where you’re only allowed to belong if you conform with the crowd. Blending in is NOT what you need to do in business; you need to STAND APART from the crowd, come up with your own message and speak in your OWN voice).
  2. Adding more thorough content and information. Because you don’t want them asking How much? You want them saying, I’m intrigued. I can see you understand the business and profession I’m in and the kind of challenges and issues I face in moving forward. I’d like to schedule a consultation to find out more about how you can help me achieve X, overcome X or solve X.

In the context of your business, as an Administrative Consultant who works with clients in an ongoing support relationship, your goal is to find retainer clients.

What you need to do in that case is gear all of your information toward that goal, educating clients about what you’re in business to, how you help them, how it works, how you work together, etc.

Think of your website as a form of mini or pre-consultation itself. Have it answer all the questions a potential client could conceivably ask you or want to know.

The more information you provide, the better you prequalify your prospects (because the ones who are not a fit will weed themselves out) and the more likely your ideal prospects will take the next step (i.e., scheduling a consultation).

You want to provide a nearly exhaustive amount of information on your website — everything except pricing.

There are many reasons why pricing on your website works against you as a professional service provider:

  1. You are not a cheap commodity that can only be quantified by price. When you portray yourself as nothing more than something on a shelf that they can get at one of a thousand other places (the only differentiating factor being your rates), you actually create the very price-shopping mentality you seek to avoid. You want clients who are truly interested in the value of the work in helping them move forward, achieve their goals, overcome challenges and grow their business. By insisting on that standard and holding yourself and what you do in that esteem, you weed out the cheapskates and those only looking for quick fixes. If you make people who can’t pay, don’t want to pay, or who are impatient with your process your clients, you will be the engineer of your own business unhappiness, unprofitability and unsustainability.
  2. You cut your nose to spite your face. Some people argue that posting prices helps get rid of the price shoppers who waste their time. But when you do that, that’s the thing nearly every visitor to your site zeros in on to the exclusion of everything else that’s more important — including all the information that conveys your value. There are far better ways to prequalify clients, my friends!
  3. You throw the baby out with the bath water. Here again, when you try to get the price-shoppers to weed themselves out, you’re also scaring off all kinds of other perfectly suitable client candidates who may simply misunderstand what things would really cost and mistakenly think they can’t afford this kind of support relationship. They need context, but they’ll never get that far if you scare them off before that can happen.
  4. It’s not the time and place. Ongoing administrative support is a bigger relationship. It requires more of an investment and commitment from the client, and, therefore, requires a bigger conversation. Prospects need context in order to make sense of your fees and that only happens in consultation, not on your website.

So this is what you’re going to say when the first thing out of a prospects mouth is What’s your hourly rate?:

I can’t answer that question off the cuff because my goal is to ensure you get the best support you can afford. Your business needs, the challenges you face and your underlying goals and dreams are unique. We need to meet first in a consultation where I can gather more information and learn more about those things before I can create a support plan just for you and tell you what it would cost.

There is a way to provide a frame of reference for potential clients that doesn’t promote price-shopping. You do that by simply letting them know the minimum monthly investment they would need to make in order to work together. So what you would add onto the comment above would be this:

What I can tell you is that the minimum monthly investment any client would need to make in order to have my ongoing monthly support is $X per month.

And on your website, instead of listing fees, you would instead talk about your pricing methodology and its benefits, how and why you bill as you do, and include that statement about the minimum monthly investment they would need to make.

Remember, the goal is to get them in consultation and talk to you further, not your website, so that you can provide needed context for your fees.

When prospects ask the rate question, the other thing they’re trying to determine is whether or not they can afford it.

Letting them know the minimum monthly amount helps them do that in a way that gets them to look at fees from a more value-based perspective and encourages the opportunity for further discussion.

My wish for you would be to get away from billing by the hour (selling hours) entirely because it cheats you and cheats the client by putting your interests at odds with each other.

It’s a very archaic, UN-beneficial way of charging for your value — for you and the client — and actually discourages prospects from seeing your value.

Your goals for getting paid for the value of your time and expertise should be in sync with the kind of goals and results the client is looking for from the work and how that work achieves their objectives and helps move them forward in their goals and the pursuits they’re aiming for.

You don’t want that question boiling down to how fast you can kill yourself doing the work so that the client doesn’t have to pay as much. That will be the death of you and your business.

When you employ my value-based pricing methodology, here’s what you get to add to all of the above:

I don’t charge by the hour and here’s why:  hourly billing cheats you because it puts our interests at odds with each other. Billing by the hour, I obviously make more money the longer things take, and you, naturally, prefer things to take the least amount of time possible so that you don’t have to pay so much. That’s a horrible dynamic for us to work together in! And so I don’t. The work that’s going to truly get you results, move you forward and keep your business humming along smoothly can’t be dependent upon a clock. And when you work with me, it doesn’t. I want to achieve real results and progress for you. That can’t happen by selling you hours. Your needs, goals and challenges aren’t cookie cutter and so I don’t offer cookie cutter solutions. Instead, what I do after we meet in our consultation is come up with a support plan recommendation. From there we can hone it until it’s just the right fit. And you will pay one simple monthly fee for that support. That’s it. No worry about hours running out. No overages. It’s easy to budget for and all our focus will be on the work and accomplishing your objectives, not on the clock.

There’s much more to learn and understand when it comes to pricing and how to talk about fees with clients. I’ve packaged all that up for you in my Value-Based Pricing and Packaging Toolkit, which I encourage you to check out. (Be sure to read the testimonials and success stories.)

What Folks Have to Say About My Value-Based Pricing and Packaging Training

Besides not charging properly, another reason people aren’t earning well in our business is that they are selling hours instead of pricing for solutions. This is called value-based pricing and it’s a methodology I introduced to our industry back in 2004 and have been teaching since then.

I recently conducted this class in June and I wanted to share with you the exciting testimonials I received from some of the attendees:

“Your classes are always fun and informative. I have been on calls before for webinars, and it seemed as if I was the only person on the call. But not with you. You give such awesome information and examples that it is hard not to get excited about how you are going to apply all that you have learned. You make it easy for everyone to ask questions and not feel as if “oh, that was a stupid question.” That is why it is hard to get off your calls. I learn a lot from the other people on the call as well as the information and templates you provide. I now have a clear picture of why I should have packages instead of charging by the hour.” —Tracy Carson, Te L – Us Business Solutions, LLC



Thank you so much, Tracy! I was especially thrilled by Tracy’s feedback because I know she is a very discerning customer and has been disappointed in the past by other teleclasses she’s attended from others, which makes her feedback even more meaningful. I’m so glad I was able to help, Tracy! There is nothing better than that!

“This program is amazing, and I am so glad I was able to participate.  I dreaded spending the time for billing each week because it took up way to much time that I could be spending with my family.  Since participating in the webinar and implementing the pricing plan with two new clients, it has taken all the stress out of billing.  That alone has made this program worth it.  I have advised all my clients that as of the new quarter (August) all billing will be switched over to this program, and even a few are excited about it.  Not having to worry about weekly billing and increments of 15 min they, too, feel it will be less stressful when trying to read their invoices.  I have one client who decided to not wait and we are working on his support plan to get him started right away.  Thank you for sharing you knowledge and simplifying the trials and errors that you have endured to create the impossibly easy billing!  I can’t wait for your next webinar because I will make sure I have signed up for it to attend.” —Teri Williams, Sidekick Assistants



Oh, what wonderful news to wake up to!! This is just so thrilling and I am ecstatic for Teri and her business! What I love even more is that she was fearless, took action right away and just DECIDED to implement things (and didn’t sit around waiting for clients’ permission).

She knew it would help her and she knew it would definitely benefit her clients and help them see that they could both be more focused on the client’s goals and dreams and achieving objectives instead of counting hours. I so LOVE THIS!

Now here’s the bad news… The class I held in June was the last live class I planned on doing on this topic. I have many more new and exciting projects I want to focus on, as well as a big adventure I’m planning to start late 2013 or early 2014.

The good news is that you, too, can get the entire training RIGHT NOW with my comprehensive Value-Based Pricing & Packaging Toolkit.

Click on the link and you will be taken to the product information that will let you know all that is included in the guide, some sample images and a video explaining why pricing by the hour and selling hours is killing your business.

I am proud as punch of this program, and as evidenced by all the testimonials of customers and attendees, it has really and truly transformed the income and businesses of those who have purchased the toolkit!

Why Aren’t You Making More Money?

One of the things our annual survey has shown us year after year is that most people in our industry are not charging enough.

When an Administrative Consultant doesn’t charge enough, it’s difficult, impossible even, to create a profitable, successful practice—the kind that allows you to quit your day job (or in the case of single moms, create the kind of real livelihood that will support their families). When you aren’t earning well, you begin to question your worth. Feelings of resentment arise.

To make more money, many people think the only option is to take on more clients. But that’s not exactly the answer, especially if you’re already managing at capacity. Overwhelm and burnout soon ensue.

Some think the only way to make more money is to turn into a virtual staffing agency or admin mill (where the work is farmed out to cheap, exploited workers, which is not in the best interests of clients). But, again, that’s not the only answer. You have to drum up even more business, be on even more of a hamster wheel, and become more of a people manager in order to create any kind of profit in that kind of business.

You lose significant control over the quality and delivery of service. Your overhead doubles, even triples. Your marketing and networking requirements are multiplied. Your administration increases and becomes more complicated. And the people doing the work don’t work for free, no matter how cheaply you get them to work for you (and honestly, does exploiting others and having them devalue themselves for your benefit really feel good to you?).

So your profit margins become even smaller. And because you are now dependent on an even higher volume of clients and work to make up for these multiplied costs in such a business, you can actually end up earning exponentially even less money than before!

Many Administrative Consultants know they aren’t charging enough, but fear holds them back. They’re afraid if they increase their rates, they’ll lose their current clients.

Sometimes it’s a lack of confidence because they are new in business, not sure of themselves and still carrying over employee mindset (or being told by idiotic “training” organizations that just because they’re new in business they shouldn’t be charging as well as anyone else. WRONG! Not only should they be ashamed of themselves for telling people that, but with advice like that it’s clear they have no business teaching anyone about business.)

I won’t lie to you. It is very true that if you raise your rates, you may lose some current clients. It’s always hard to make change with those who have gotten used to being spoiled and having you devalue yourself. But some loss is a actually a sign of growth, of growing into your strength and standing for your place in the world. You will never grow if you don’t ever upset the status quo in your business and aren’t willing to accept risks.

It’s important to understand that there are always going to be clients that you outgrow throughout the life of your business. And when you do, you make room for the more ideal in your business—those new clients who come into your life having more appreciation for what you do for them and happily pay well for it.

You being poor does not contribute to helping make the world a better place. Nor does helping make the world a better place require you to be financially unsuccessful. In fact, you being financially successful in your business affords you more opportunities and ability to put people first and do good in the world as well as for your clients. 😉

Clients aren’t the only ones who have a right to their dreams—you do, too! But you won’t ever reach those dreams if you don’t step outside your comfort zones and take some educated/informed risks. It may never feel completely comfortable raising your rates. You can be bold or you can take baby steps—either way, it’s all forward growth. So just do it!

The first step in setting these intentions is getting clear about what it really costs to run your business and what you need to earn for your life, so be sure to download the free ACA Income and Pricing Calculator.

Now ask me for some tips and strategies. 🙂

(Originally posted on my old blog on September 14, 2009.)

It’s Not About the Hours

Here’s a question posted on a public forum that came to my attention via Google Alerts:

I have a client who just opened a new business. He wants to utilize our support options, but isn’t sure how many hours per month he would need us. He is asking about buying a bank of hours that could be rolled over to the next month if unused. Also, we bill in 15 minute increments and he is concerned that a lot of time would be eaten up with us replying to emails. Has anyone dealt with a situation similar to this?

This is just one of the many issues you encounter when you price your services based on selling hours. You don’t know how long things will take going in and clients worry about their hours being frittered away and what their bill will be afterwards.

Do you see how the focus is all on the time?

Achieving results for clients should be the focus of your work, not watching the clock, having your hands tied behind your back and having to stop in the middle of things because time has run out.

Guess what? When you learn how to utilize value-based billing in your business, hours don’t matter!

No one needs to know upfront how many hours will be needed or used… because the focus is on accomplishing the work and achieving the goals and objectives it is in support of, not the hours.

With value-based pricing, it doesn’t matter how many emails are sent back and forth with clients or how much time is spent reading them… because they aren’t paying for time and you aren’t selling hours.

EVERYTHING from your conversations with clients, to your work, to your administration is soooo much simpler and more streamlined when you utilize the value-based pricing methodology.

And clients are more attracted to this way of billing and working together. When you utilize value-based pricing, it’s much easier for them to say “yes” to working with you!

This is what I’m teaching this month in my Value-Based Pricing & Packaging class on June 27 & 28: How to Price & Package Your Retained Support Based on Value and Expertise—NOT Selling Hours!

I’m going to show you with step-by-step instruction how to price and create value-based packages custom-built for each client’s unique needs that make working together a breeze (not to mention help you earn better)!

The Early Bird discount is over, but you can still get in on some savings. Register by June 9 and pay the special rate of $147 (a savings of $50).

Click here to register and get more details >>

I’d love to see you there!

Dear Danielle: How Much Should I Charge This Client?

Dear Danielle:

I have a potential client I am having discussions with right now. He projects giving me various tasks requiring from basic assistance up to project management skills involving analysis and online business management. I have been asked to quote one rate per hour regardless of the complexity of the task involved. I have also listened to your recording of charging value added pricing which makes sense to me. Ordinarily I charge £25 per hour for basic VA services up to £65 per hour for more complex tasks inclusive of research, marketing and analytical tasks. This potential client operates internationally. How much would you charge based on value added pricing? I would truly appreciate your help in this. Thanks and regards —LG

Thanks for the question. 🙂

Unfortunately, due to antitrust laws, I can’t tell you what to charge. That’s really something you have to come up with on your own according to how you value yourself and what your business needs.

I will say though that anytime you start itemizing individual, line-item tasks and assigning a hierarchy of importance, it has the effect of commoditizing yourself and what you offer.

That’s not something you want to do in your business because it comes around and bites you in the rear when you need for clients to understand that the value isn’t in the tasks, it’s in how the tasks help them move forward in their business and what those tasks allow them to accomplish or gain or achieve.

When you understand that perspective, you see that there’s no reason to itemize or value one task as more or less important–they are ALL important to the big picture of the client’s business.

If you haven’t yet, be sure and download our Pricing Calculator and go through those exercises.

This will help you get clarity around what you need and want to earn in your business. Base your decisions around that, not bending over backwards to customize your entire billing structure and business operations for one client. The tail will forever be wagging the dog otherwise (that is, the business and clients running you, instead of properly the other way around). You’ll never build an ideal practice that way.

How to Raise Your Rates in 2012

It’s time to raise your rates for 2012! I know lots of people cringe at doing this, but honestly it’s much easier than you think. So here’s what you do…

First, send out 30 or 60 day notices to all your clients giving them a heads-up that fees will be increasing. I would wait until January to do this rather than right now in the middle of the holidays. (And ideally for next year, plan on doing this in October/November instead of January.)

Not sure how to word your notice? Simple is always best. Here is a sample script you can use:

Dear [CLIENT],

This letter is to let you know that the fee for your support plan will increase to $[NEW FEE AMOUNT] per month effective [DATE].

It is such a pleasure working with you, and I really love watching you grow and move forward in your business through our work together. [HERE, INCLUDE TWO OR THREE MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND GOALS YOU’VE HELPED THE CLIENT ACHIEVE. USE FACTS AND FIGURES, ESPECIALLY DOLLAR AND PERCENTAGE INCREASES, AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE].

I look forward to continuing our wonderful relationship and helping you achieve your goals and dreams!

Sincerely,

[YOU]

You notice that in the second paragraph, you should bring up a few of the significant accomplishments and goals you’ve helped that particular client achieve through your work together. You should include facts and figures whenever possible.

If you aren’t yet, start trying to track and identify dollar and percent increases that your work and support is directly or indirectly responsible for (e.g., how many more clients have they been able to work with? How many hours of time were you able to put back in their pocket? How much more money have they made since working with you? How much have their profit percentages increased since then?).

These things serve as a reminder of your value (in terms of how it relates to them and their business) and why they continue to work with you. This is the WIIFM (“what’s in it for me?”) factor.

Just remember, you don’t need to offer excuses or drawn out explanations. You’re not asking for their permission because you’re not an employee and it’s not up to them. It’s YOUR business and you don’t answer to clients when it comes to those decisions. You being profitable and making sure you are stable, secure and growing financially actually helps clients because if you aren’t doing well, you will not be able to help clients as well as you could be.

If you have any other questions around the topic of raising fees, please do post in the comments and I’ll try to help. 🙂

If you REALLY want to learn how to earn better in your business for 2012, in ways that are WAY more client friendly and attractive, get my pricing and packaging guide: “How to Price and Package Your Support Based on Value and Expertise–NOT Selling Hours!” Click here to check it out!

Expensive is a Relative Term

I have no illusions that people will stop thinking like this any time soon, but I still want to throw this out there… “expensive” is a relative/subjective term.

Folks say something is “expensive” when what they really mean is “I can’t afford it.”

Just because they can’t pay for something at the moment doesn’t necessarily mean something is expensive or overpriced. It just means they don’t have the money. Not the same thing.

Because something that is “expensive” can actually be a bargain if that something has the potential to improve your life and business or increase your knowledge, growth, income and circumstances beyond its mere cost.

If you are interested in building a well-earning business (and by “well-earning” I mean whatever your financial goals are, whether that is to create wealth or simply to be able to earn enough to live well and support your family comfortably and without struggle), I want to challenge you to rethink your approach when it comes to spending in your business–whether it’s on a product, service, training, supplies, whatever.

If something is worth its salt, it needs to be priced according to its value. You have to honor that. Would you want clients who want you price your service at less than what you’re worth? How smart are those clients who hire someone merely because they were cheap?

The laws of the universe are in play here as well. When you operate out of cheap/poverty/lack mindset, you attract those very same kind of clients to you.

I’m not saying everything has to be “expensive” to be of quality, but it’s the wrong word and thinking to even be focused from.

When it comes to investing in a business product, tool, service, provider, training, etc., find the right quality for you and then do what it takes to get it or make it happen (which may even mean you simply have to save up for it).

Don’t expect that service, provider, training, product, etc., to be “cheap” so that you can get something for nothing. You devalue others when you do that, and you know what they say:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

If you want to be valued in the marketplace, you need to treat, honor and respect others likewise.

How Billing by the Hour Is KILLING Your Business

When your income is tied to how many hours you can sell, you automatically limit your earning potential because there are only so many hours in the day. This is exactly what you’re doing by charging by the hour in your business.

What I bet you didn’t know is that the hourly billing model is a relatively new artifice. In fact, there was a time in the not too distant past when everyone charged for their services based on value, not by the time it took.

Administrative Consultants and virtual assistants are giving all this wonderful support and expertise to clients and helping them succeed, while they are just barely scraping by in their own businesses.

I know how little people are earning in this industry and how much they struggle to stay afloat because of it, and it’s evidenced every year since 2006 in our annual industry survey.

This is when we start to see them grasping onto straws or making a mass exodus into another business entirely. They think, “I just need to turn the work into a factory and hire all these subcontractors to do the work. Then I’ll make more money.”

But they soon find out that that is a much bigger, more complicated and involved business to run than the one they had, one they might not have bargained for or enjoy. It’s also not necessarily one that earns any better because the profit margins have decreased further while overhead, administrative time and expenses have doubled or tripled.

This new video explains all the many ways that billing by the hour is keeping you from earning well and serving clients better and what to do about it.

I am here to tell you that it is ABSOLUTELY possible to create a beautiful, well-earning (even into six figures) solo or boutique administrative support business that doesn’t have you killing yourself or feeling icky in any way.

If you’re ready to get out of the hourly billing trap so you can stop trading hours for dollars and start making the kind of money you can actually live on and sustain your business, be sure and check out my Value-Based Pricing & Packaging Toolkit. I can show you how to change all of it around in your business AND create a simpler, easier business to run on top of it!

Free Income and Pricing Calculator

Hey, I’ve got a little present for you today!

It’s our new and HUGELY improved automated ACA Income and Pricing Calculator that you can download for free.

We’ve offered a calculator since 2006 to help folks get conscious about their numbers and figure out their hourly rate.

However, I’ve never been an advocate of billing by the hour because it’s the least accurate way to charge for the value you provide. In fact, it actually causes you to LOSE money and earn poorly.

So for the longest time I’ve wanted to completely overhaul our calculator to walk you through the process of getting clarity around your income needs and help you calculate your pricing baseline in a completely new and different way, a way that will help you actually realize your income aspirations and look at achieving them from a different angle.

I finally got around to doing just that earlier this year, but then I got stuck on a more advanced Excel formula so I put it back on the shelf until two weeks ago when a colleague came to my rescue.  Thanks to her wonderful assistance, I was finally able to finalize our new calculator so I could share it with you today. Enjoy!

PS: Please do let me know what you think!