If you are having difficulty knowing what to charge, then check out your competition and find out what they?re doing. Find out if they post prices or fees on their website or if they have “packages” or deals. Do they have payment options?
While you are researching, keep in mind just because your competition is charging one way it is not necessarily how you should be charging.
One of my clients is a business and life coach. Most coaches charge for a set number of scheduled phone meetings, which seems to be a standard for “the coaching industry,” but that doesn?t mean it?s the best way.
I encourage my clients to charge fees that match who their clients are and what they are trying to accomplish. It?s very refreshing to do what works for you and not necessarily follow the “industry standard.” If you don?t feel comfortable with the way your industry charges, by all means change it. Just because the industry?s doing it doesn?t mean that it?s right.
Another client of mine, Shelly, is a wedding planner. When we first began working together she had three “wedding packages” because that?s what “everyone else does.” She ran into problems with pricing because most of her potential clients didn?t fit into the standard package and therefore Shelly had a long list of “upgrades” and additional items. She also had to charge more for weddings above a certain number of guests and weddings with over a specific number of attendants in the wedding party.
Potential clients became fixated on the package fees and felt ripped off when Shelly began adding additional charges all over the place. The packages were supposed to make things easier for Shelly?s, but they actually created more problems than they solved.
Shelly was so relieved when she realized she didn?t have to use the standard pricing packages most wedding planners used. She never felt good about them, but didn?t trust her own instincts on how to charge. We worked on making a pricing structure that wasn?t based on hours or packages but on the value to the client. She was able to quickly raise her fees and increase her client base simply based on her fee changes.
Are you charging your clients based on the value you are providing them or based on the “industry standard”? Is the industry standard an effective way to charge or is just what everyone else is doing?
Take a good look at the way you set your fees and handle client charges. Is it right for you?