Achieve Victory with These Tips On How to Discuss Your Rates Like A Pro

You’ve just finished talking to a potential customer about your services and you hear “So what do you charge?”   Does your mouth get dry and your hands start to sweat?

Well, you aren’t alone.  Many of us have difficulty talking about money–especially if it is related to quoting our own work.  But if you are to be successful in business you have to get over it and discuss your rates with confidence.   Fortunately, there are things you can do to discuss your rates with confidence and achieve victory.

Practice, Practice, Practice

The first rule for declaring your prices with confidence is simply to practice. Talk to yourself in the shower. Tell your dog what your rates are. Stand in front of your mirror and say, “I charge $XXX.00 for my services…

The more you say your rates out loud (not in your head) the more natural it will be for you.

Smile

Even if you’re on the phone or writing an email, smile when you discuss your rates. Your tone of voice changes when you smile (as does the “tone” of your typing),  A smile tone can convey confidence and authority, not to mention professionalism.

Avoid being wishy-washy

Listen to yourself as you speak to potential customers. Don’t say things like, “Well, normally I charge…” or “Actually, my rates are…” or “Do you think that $XX.00 will work for you?”

These phrases  (and others like them) are all wishy-washy ways of talking.  They do not instill confidence in your potential customer, and worse, they make you sound like you don’t believe in yourself.

Rather than squeaking out a timid, “Um, I charge, like $1,000 per month,” straighten your back, smile, and say something like, “My rate for VIP coaching is $1,000 per month. Where should I send your invoice?” And then…

Be silent

When we’re nervous or feeling intimidated, we tend to talk. We want to fill the silence with something, anything, just to avoid having to sit there uncomfortably and wonder what the other person is thinking.

But guess what? He or she is just as uncomfortable with the silence, and psychologically, the one who speaks first is at a disadvantage. So when you’re talking price, avoid the urge to fill the silence (especially because you’re most likely to try to justify your pricing) and let your potential client take time to respond.

Will speaking with confidence always land you a new client? No. But being able to share your pricing in a clear voice will help potential clients know that you’re confident in your skills, and consequently, that you are the right person to meet your needs.

Do you have any other tips that help you when you discuss your rates?  Take a moment to share one or two in the comments below or send me a tweet to let me know with #PricingVictory.

What if You Could Systematize Your Invoicing and Tax Preparation Today?

Who doesn’t need a system for handling your business finances?   I know most of my clients do.

Here’s an all-too-common scenario I run into with clients.  Mary is a  service provider for several clients.  She is hard at work growing her business and servicing her clients.  She’s working lots of hours, and her hourly rate is respectable. But her cash flow is dismal and her finances are scary.

Why?

Because she’s working so hard finding that she isn’t taking time to actually take control of her money.  Scary isn’t it?

Mary’s Invoices don’t get sent on time. Past due balances are ignored. Taxes aren’t done. And maybe worst of all, she’s got dozens of recurring payments that go out automatically each and every month, and she has no idea what they are or if she’s even using the programs she’s paying for.

Sound familiar? Sadly, that’s exactly what a lot of “successful” businesses look like. When you work at home, and you’re accountable to no one but yourself, it’s far too easy to let these “little things” slide until, like an avalanche, they have a devastating effect on your business.

The good news is, cleaning it up is easy, when you take the time to put some trusted systems in place.

Invoicing/Billing

Start with your billing. Sign up for (and use) a system such as WAVE  (free for life)  or Freshbooks (free 30-day trial), which will produce professional invoices with a few keystrokes.  Once you have selected and set up your software of choice put your billing day on your calendar as an unbreakable appointment.  Remember the system is useless if you aren’t using it.

Log in any new customers to bill, generate your invoices, and click send. You’ll be done in a jiffy. Not only that, but most billing systems automatically send follow-up messages for unpaid invoices, so you don’t have to worry about tracking down those slow pays.  Also, take advantage of the reoccurring invoices options for those you bill monthly.

Expenses

For your expenses, use a single system. That might be PayPal or a dedicated credit card or even your business checking account. Look for one that can accept pictures of receipts record the purchase.  Whatever it is, be sure it has a reporting feature that will allow you to send financial statements to your accountant. At the end of every month, quarter or year, bundle that up with your sales report and your receipts and send it off. When tax time rolls around, you’ll be sitting back with your feet up while everyone else scrambles to find documents and update their accounting system.

If you do your own taxes (kudos to you!) then look for tools that will talk to each other easily. For example, you can download a Quickbooks file right from PayPal for super-fast reconciliation at the end of every month. That alone will save you hours of “doing the books.”

Just putting this simple accounting system in place can easily save you 10+ hours per month, but the even larger benefit is that the money work will get done. And what that will do for your cash flow is priceless.

So, what accounting software you are using to manage your business finances?  Let me know in the comments below.

The Untapped Gold Mine To Financial Success That You May Be Missing

There is an untapped gold mine out there to your financial success.  My experience with my clients has shown me they are not preparing and reviewing four critical financial statements monthly, quarterly or yearly.  Each of these financial statement provides different information regarding the health of your business.  These statements may also be requested from investors or others looking to assess the financial health of your business.  They are:

 

Balance Sheet

A balance sheet is a summary of your company’s financial position at a given point in time.  It lists your company’s assets, liabilities and owner’s equity.  A balance sheet is prepared as often as needed or desired.  If you are new in business you may want to have one prepared monthly or quarterly for your review.

Cash Flow Budget

A cash flow budget is a forecast of the amount and timing of future cash inflows and outflows over some period of time.  It deals with actual inflows and outlays of cash.  You should look at this information at least monthly or quarterly as it will show you when cash will be available to make payments for expenses and liabilities.

Operating budget

The operating budget is a written plan detailing how you will use your business’ resources, what amount of sales and expenses are expected during future periods.  Unlike the cash flow budget, the operating budget includes depreciation, credit sales, and non-cash expenses and revenues.  This is future projects not based on actual information.

Income (Profit and Loss) statement

An income statement is a summary of the revenues and expenses of your business over a given period of time.  If your revenue exceeds your expenses you have a profit.  If your expenses are greater than the revenue you have a loss.  It clearly shows revenue and expenses for the accounting period, something the balance sheet does not do.  It is suggested you prepare and review the income statement at least monthly as it will show periods of high, low or negative profits (losses).  This information assists in your future planning and budgeting.

Now that you are familiar with the essential financial statements to manage your business take a few minutes to set up a system.  If you are looking for a free online accounting software check out WAVE.  It is easy to set up and use and you will be able to produce these reports with the click of a button.

3 Ways to Discover Your God-Given Life Purpose

There are many avenues to explore when it comes to discovering your God-given life purpose. Unfortunately, the process of finding it isn’t easy and nobody else can find it for you. Since your life purpose is unique from anyone else’s, it’s a mission that you – and only you – can complete.  But don’t fret there are ways to make the journey a little easier.

Here are three  ways you can discover your God-given life purpose:

Write about how you feel

 

Try journaling with a pen and paper, or grab your laptop and just start writing. Write about how you truly feel and what you want out of life. Remember that no one is going to read this other than you, so don’t be afraid to express your thoughts.  Go back and reread your entries every so often. Many times this process can bring you new realizations that you didn’t think of when you were writing it in the first place.

 

Pursue your passions

If you’re passionate about a certain subject, maybe you can make a career or hobby out of it so that you can engage in activities that are personally meaningful to you. This way, each day of your life will feel like it matters and you will have a life purpose.

Pray

What better way to find your God-given purpose than to talk with the Father.  Ask that he reveals His purpose in your life.  Humble yourself and open yourself to hear his voice.

Bonus Tip

Another way to help you discover your God-given purpose is to explore your Spiritual Gifts.  What gifts have God blessed you with?  You can do this by reading the sections of the bible talking about Spiritual books, one of the many books out there about spiritual gifts and/or taking spiritual gift assessments.  For those of you interested in taking action today.  Here is a link to a free online Spiritual Gifts Test.  You can also sign up for my Unwrapping Your Spiritual Gifts email series.

Remember in your quest for purpose, concentrate on enjoying the journey itself.   Sometimes when you stop stressing about your life’s purpose, it falls into your lap!  By using these strategies on your journey you’ll realize that you’ve found the one feature of your life that makes everything worthwhile.

Can Hiring A Life Purpose Business Coach Really Make A Difference?

Are you looking to get clear about your life’s purpose?  Want to create a new business or make sure an existing business is connected to your purpose?  If so, the idea of hiring a life purpose business coach may have come to mind. But you may be wondering if a life purpose business coach can really make a difference for you. To answer this question, you need to understand what a life purpose business coach does, and how to choose the right one for you.

Life Purpose Business coaching provides a way to interact with a professional who has your best interests at heart and can help you be more effective building your business and balancing your life and your business. Life Purpose Business coaches are a good mixture of an accountability partner, sounding board, cheerleader and even emotional support. The life purpose business coach specializes in ensuring that all aspects of your life work together with the ultimate focus on ensuring that your business works.

Even the process of hiring a coach can be beneficial to your business. The coach will want to assess where you are right now with your business and find out where you want to go. An effective life purpose business coach will help you determine not just the direction you want your business to go, but will also identify actionable steps to take to achieve the goals you and your coach set.

Accountability

Checking in with someone else on a regular basis to tell them and show them what you’ve accomplished since the last meeting will give you someone besides yourself to be accountable to. For many people, this helps them act in their own best interests and not put off anything since most people don’t want to disappoint others.

Sounding Board

Talking plans and proposals out with a third party who is also well versed in understanding your God-given purpose will help solidify each plan you make so that you’re not going down the wrong roads to start with.

Cheerleader

Running a business is hard and some life purpose business coaches make excellent support systems and cheerleaders. In this way, you not only have a good plan of action to make your dreams come true but also someone to share your success with who has your best interests at heart.

Emotional Support

Many life purpose business coaches understand how home life can affect your business life. They help you keep in mind what’s important to you and determining the best way to balance friends and family while pushing your business forward.

If you need help identifying holes in your business plan, ways to fill the gaps, and how to create an actionable plan to push your business forward, then a life purpose business coach can definitely make a difference. The trick is finding the right business coach for your particular business.

In order to find the right coach for you that fits your business type and personality, ask the right questions of any potential coach. Plus, ask others for referrals before hiring any business coach. Finally, buy some of the coach’s products and services and try working on a short-term project with them first. This can help you ensure that they are the right coach to push your business to the next level.

I offer a variety of opportunities for potential clients to determine if we are a right fit.  You can schedule a free 45-minute Discovery Session,  join my email list and/or look for free mini-workshops I offer to help business owners grow there business.

Remember, the decision to work with a life purpose business coach can make a huge difference in moving your business forward.  Having someone in your corner who is your accountability partner, cheerlead and who has business expertise can make the challenges of entrepreneurship more manageable.

Praying your Sucess,

Kim

4 Places Your Brand Identity Should Be Consistent

brand consistencyYour brand identity is the image your company portrays to the world at large, to your customers or clients. When people look at your online presence, they should know what you do and that you bring value to the market. Your brand identity should be appealing to your target market and should be consistent in every printed piece you produce and across every online platform.

Consistency is important because it brings name recognition. If people see your logo and/or your brand colors online, they will recognize your snail mail brochure when it arrives, and vice versa. When people recognize your identity, your name is always brought to mind, which is helpful when they receive your email or see your social media posts.

Let’s examine the four most important places to perfect your brand identity:

Your Website

Very often your company website is the first element a potential client will see and most people will make a 10-second decision whether or not to explore further than the home page. Needless to say, your identity should be strongly represented on that home page so your potential clients will explore further or contact you.

On your website brand colors, fonts, and your logo are vitally important and should reflect your brand identity. If your message is sobering and you handle tough problems, using whimsical fonts and cutesy graphics doesn’t meld with the serious issues your company handles. The opposite is also true; if your identity and mission are more light-hearted, using deep, dark colors and traditional fonts might turn people away after they make a quick judgment call.

Your Social Media Platforms

Not everyone in your target audience will use the same social media platform and those reasons vary widely, so it behooves you to post across multiple platforms to reach more of your audience. However, if your name, colors, and logo are different on all these platforms when someone jumps from Facebook to Twitter, they may not think yours is the same company because the profiles look different. Or if they receive a piece of mail that looks different than the social media profile, they may also be suspect. Consistency brings recognition and also helps to build trust between you and your clients.

All Company Communications

Letterhead, invoices, printed marketing pieces; these should all have the same colors, fonts, and logo as your website and your social media platforms. Just one more way to show your professionalism and attention to detail and your clients will certainly notice.

Your Email Marketing Campaigns

Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is still one of the best ways to keep in touch with clients and to keep your company name in their memory. The key is to be relevant with your messages and offer valuable and engaging content. On top of these, create a template that incorporates your brand colors, fonts, and logo. Don’t miss a chance to build that trust between you and your audience.

Being consistent with these four areas can go far in your branding.  Be sure to check your sources and see if you are presenting a consistent image to your clients.  This does take time to implement if you have been in business for a while and didn’t take the time in the beginning.  The time spent to implement brand consistency and figuring out where to rebrand will go far in the growth of your business.

Praying your sucess,

Kim

Want to Do Your Own Company Branding? Understand the Color Wheel First

Company branding is so much more than your colors and your logo but choosing colors to represent you and your company’s image is usually where more people start in the branding process. There’s no shame in choosing your own brand colors instead of hiring a designer but it’s not exactly simple. Let’s dive into an explanation of the color wheel and how it can help narrow down your color choices.

The Color Wheel

A color wheel consists of colors with the following distinctions: primary, secondary, tertiary, complementary, and analogous.

  • Primary colors are those which cannot be achieved by mixing other colors together. Red, blue, and yellow are primary colors.
  • Secondary colors are those which can be made by mixing two primary colors. Orange, green, and purple are secondary colors.
  • Tertiary colors are created by mixing primary and secondary hues together
  • Complementary colors are located at direct opposite ends of the color wheel and
  • Analogous colors appear close together on a color wheel

How to Use the Color Wheel

How does this help you? Find a color wheel online and take a look. You probably have an idea already of at least one color to use in your branding efforts, so find that color/hue on the wheel. Now, look at the four colors next to it. Those are analogous colors that will look appealing when used together. Or find your first color and look at the color directly opposite. Those are complementary colors which will also be appealing together.

Once you make a decision on colors, the online color wheels will show you the HEX and RGB codes for each color. Write those down in a safe place so you use those colors consistently with your website, social media pages, and products without having to look them up numerous times.

As the famous artist, Marc Chagall once said, “All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites,” and this is certainly obvious when looking at the color wheel itself. Choosing complimentary or analogous colors in a family that represents you and the image you want to portray is the first step toward branding your company.

Want to Learn More About the Psychology of Color? Join My Meetup

Did you know that different colors evoke different emotions? Did you know there are warm and cool colors? In my free mini-workshop, “Build a Beautiful Brand,” we delve a little deeper into the psychology of color and what exactly the terms “warm” and “cool” mean when speaking about colors. I’ll also show some examples of well-branded websites and share my favorite free color wheel tools! Register here.

Unable to join me…don’t fret drop me an email or comment below to let me know you are interested in a virtual meetup.  If I get enough interest I will explore the possibility of adding it as an option.

Praying your success,

Kim