Why is it that whenever the subject of low rates comes up (i.e., people charging rates that could not be remotely profitable, especially for what they are delivering to clients), there are always several people who bring up the words judgment and competition?
The idea of competition is such a pedestrian notion to me. It’s non-existent in my world. I don’t compete with anyone but myself.
It’s never had anything to do whatsoever with who was attracted to me and my services or how I obtained clients. And regardless of what anyone else thinks, it has nothing to do with how you attract and obtain clients either.
A lot of what you hear in these conversations are excuses and rationalizing.
And that’s too bad, because those who don’t charge profitably are being deprived of an opportunity to learn how they could do better in their businesses.
Instead, they are actually encouraged to continue being mediocre and operate in ignorance and poor understanding of business principles instead of being empowered to become more knowledgeable in business and gain more confidence in themselves and what they offer.
When people don’t charge properly, they rob their business of being financially solvent and profitable.
Undercharging also attracts the least desirable clients, who make the business so much harder and less pleasant to run.
Low prices also train clients to devalue you and expect something for nothing.
If people could get over this ridiculous idea that the topic has anything to do with competition, we could instead have more meaningful conversations that might actually help folks learn more about running their business better.
I guarantee you, nearly every single person undercharging has not done any business planning whatsoever.
With proper business planning, they would see how short their rates fall in building a self-sustaining, profitable business.
They would begin to see that they don’t have to work with everyone, only the people and markets that are the best fit. And that they could actually make more money doing so.
Granted, most new business owners are unsure of themselves, and lack confidence, which is a large part of the issue.
Lots have absolutely no business training or experience whatsoever.
But with knowledge comes power, and as they grow in their business smarts and begin to work more with clients who value what they offer and are willing to pay for it, their confidence grows as well.
These things grow in stages; it’s always a journey.
But we can’t help people in their journey when conversations are effectively shut down by tedious, ignorant attitudes and those who don’t have the fortitude to say something different.