If you are a small business owner, it is very easy to lose confidence and also, if you are not careful, let your clients and customers take advantage of you! Please see below for my 5 top confidence tips for Small Business Owners which was featured in the Summer edition of Inside Small Business Magazine ( 2015)
Whether you are considering setting up a new business or have been a business owner for some time, confidence is an important asset. Being a business owner can be tough and if you lack confidence, both in yourself and in your business you may find it difficult to set adequate pricing and promote and market your services effectively. Self confidence in business is an important trait to have as let’s face it, if you don’t have confidence and self belief in yourself why should your customers?
Here are my top tips for being a confidence business owner:
1) Get your pricing right. Having coached small business owners for years, I can honestly say that over 80% are undercharging. When I question them on this, they often respond that they fear clients won’t think they are ‘ worth it’ or they don’t feel comfortable stating their prices out loud. As a result, they often feel resentful or their business ultimately folds as they become discouraged and fail to make any profit.
It’s important to get comfortable with your pricing so stand in front of the mirror until you can easily communicated what you charge without feeling nervous. Also, when setting prices, be sure to cover all your overheads including direct and non direct costs and factor in your time and expertise. If you yourself dropping prices or giving away discounts frequently, create a PDF document which details your pricing schedule that can be sent out to prospective clients. Be sure to value your work sufficiently that you are prepared to lose a sale rather than continually dropping your prices. If you do find yourself just competing on price, then it may be time to position yourself in the market more effectively.
2) Be clear on the scope of your work. Many small business owners end up giving away free’ add on’s or doing extra work just because someone ask them too. They may not feel comfortable saying No and as a result, end up literally working for nothing! Care about your time enough that you stick to the hours you have quoted or the time you are actually paid to be with a client. Learn a few assertive statements such as:
‘I am happy to send you a quote for that extra service’ ‘If you would like me to do that, I am happy to send you a quote ‘Our time is up now, we can discuss this during our next appointment
3) Have Terms and Conditions in Place. Good terms and conditions are the boundaries of your business and set clear expectations between you and your customers. Unfortunately all too often, businesses fail to clearly state up front what is included and what is not included in their service.
As a result, they end up doing more work than they thought they would. It doesn’t matter how big or small the job is, make sure you and your client are clear on what you can and can’t deliver within the price and scope you have set. Take the time to get these right and include information such as payment terms, cancellation fees and scope of service. Good terms and conditions will protect your business, define your procedures, limit your liability and explain what you have agreed to do.
4) Become Empowered. Does you control your business or does your business control you? Pointing the blame finger at your suppliers, clients or employees are all signs of a disempowered business owner.
Empowerment comes from choosing to take responsibility for solving issues that are not working, rather than just feeling helpless or resentful. For example, instead of complaining that your customers are always late paying your invoices, do something about it and put protective measures and processes in place to prevent this happening.
5) Don’t compare yourself with the competition It’s easy to lose your confidence if you are always comparing yourself to other businesses. Be proud of your business and what you are doing rather than always wishing things were different. Every huge successful business started small so be patient and encourage yourself rather than beating yourself up.