I seem to keep having the same conversation over and over again with other Mompreneurs. At first, I found it kind of frustrating (and I blogged about what I felt moms were worth a couple of weeks ago), but now it's kind of pissing me off. It goes something like this:
Me: “What do you charge for your service?”
Other Mompreneur: “$XX. I think I could charge more but I am just getting started (or I have a lot of competitors or that's what I've always charged or INSERT YOUR OWN VERBIAGE HERE.)”
Me: “You do know that it's not enough, right?”
Other Mompreneur: “Yes, but some money is better than none, right?”
Guess what? No, it's not. I do think that when you start a business that you have to charge less than when you have been around for years and have a solid reputation. But, I don't think you have to give away the farm.
First, let's be clear about one thing- everyone wants something for nothing. It's the old “can I buy you a cup of coffee and pick your brain” conversation. If you find yourself drinking a lot of lattes and not charging for your expertise by the hour you need to stop NOW. You cannot make a living giving free advice. Think about it. You pay your CPA and financial advisor for theirs, right?
Now that we have that out of the way, let's deal with another big issue- Mommy guilt. Doesn't matter how old our kids are we all have it and guess what? You should use that to your advantage. Working takes time away from your family and kids. Valuable time. Shouldn't the price tag that you charge compensate you for the guilt that you feel when you're late in the pick up line due to a meeting across town that went long? Absolutely.
The other phenomenon that I see is moms who take a hobby and turn it into a business. Guess what? Once you do that you have to get paid for your work, right? So, you have to figure out what to charge. God bless the internet. It allows you to do some research, find out the industry standard and base your rates off your Google search. Create a rate card and stick to it (BTW this also applies to corporate defectors as well. You got a paycheck for your job before, right? You need to get one now too). Do you negotiate with your hair dresser each time you go? Hell no. Why negotiate all the time with your clients?
Don't let fear get in your way. You have to put a proposal out there and just ask. You don't know what someone can afford (or what they feel the service is worth) until you put the price out there, smile real big and pray that they'll say yes. Don't second guess what their response will be. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Finally, be secure in the fact that you are awesome at what you do. While you may be in a business that is filled with competition, there's only one you and that sets you apart. And, if people like you, trust you and feel that you are an expert, you'll have no problem getting their business (and having them pay what you're worth too)
Moms, do you feel you charge what you're worth all the time?