Have you ever openly discussed your salary with a group of people? For some reason this is a topic that keep closely guarded and only divulge in confidence to those closest. Is there a fear that you will be judged for what you earn?
One of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make when starting out on your own is how much you want to charge people for your time and services. I’m guessing you will be swaying between wanting to offer discounts and freebies to get your brand recognised and needing to earn a decent living.
The additional problem is that everyone is out for a bargain nowadays, but the truth is that people will pay for quality every time. If you buy a curtain rail from the bargain basement shop and it breaks you wouldn’t be surprised and you’d wished you’d had spent more more on a better quality one. The same principle applies to your business. If you know that you are offering a quality product or service then you must charge accordingly.
So back to the earlier question…yes you will be judged by how much you charge. If your prices are premium then a premium service is expected, are you sure that you can match up to your high end competitors? Go in with your prices at the lower end and you risk people assuming that your product isn’t going to be of a high standard.
So how do you know how much you are worth? I did a workshop with Marketing Jumpleads who gave me this useful insight into working our how much you could be charging for your time. (http://www.marketingjumpleads.com/) You could always work backwards from what you want to earn. Take what you want to earn in a year. Work out how many hours a week you want to work, multiply that by how many weeks you want to work. Use that figure to divide the the amount you wanted to earn and that gives you a baseline figure from which to work from. But remember that all of those hours you won’t actually be productive in so you may have to add a bit onto your new hourly rate!
So how much are you underpaying yourself right now?