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The Cost of Doing Business

One of the things those of us who have Service Based businesses get a lot are questions about the cost of our services. Some of the questions we tend to hear are:

  • If you have a " natural gift" how can you charge for it? You should be sharing it with the world for free.

  • Why do you charge so much?

  • Can you give me a discount? It's not like you have to buy a product and resell it so you are still making money.

  • Do I have to tip you? You own the business so you're making money off of me already.

Again, these are just a few of the questions I have gotten as a small business while offering services instead of products. But since the other questions tend to fall into the same types of categories, I'd like to address the most common ones and hopefully it will cover the rest.

In reference to the questions about charging for a "natural gift", whether I was born with the gift to intuitively read and coach people is irrelevant. In order to do what I am able to do now, there were many, many hours of education to learn about the abilities and practical experience to make the best use of them. To create an example, You wouldn't go to a doctor, mechanic or hairdresser who had a natural ability and say the same thing. You’d respect that the services that they provide have education and experience behind them and pay for the service. It's no different than that.

So many people balk at the cost of services. My personal services are based on several factors, just like many other service based businesses. Some (not all) of the factors include the basic costs of doing business. Website, internet, phone, office supplies, computer, communication and scheduling software, advertising and many other factors related to overhead costs. Also built in is the administrative time. Creation of events, advertising copy, content creation and so much more that you don't see and don't tend to think about as a consumer. Then there is the time spent on the actual appointment providing the service to you. In any business, time is money and I value my time on the items above as well as my education, experience and abilities. If you broke down everything the way a large, private corporation would, the cost of our services would be exponentially higher.

Discounting is another area where there is a lot of contention, especially between friends and family. Once again, as outlined in the last paragraph, there is so much more that goes into a service than the minutes we spend together and asking for a discount (especially free) actually says that you don't value my services or my time. Please understand that if someone in a service based profession gives you a discount or even better, a free session, please take it as the gift that it is. They care enough about you to work with you at a monetary and time deficit to themselves.

Tips are always appreciated but never expected. That being said, here are my personal tipping habits that were formed even before I became a business owner. Personally, I believe in tipping for services as service industry standard particularly if the service is good. Yes, I even tip for services performed by business owners. Especially new small business owners. Small business owners have to hustle twice as hard as a big corporation and their employees to ensure that they can have a wage at the end of the day. What I mean by this is that small businesses have all of the expenses outlined in the above paragraph and much more. Rent, electricity, water, taxes above and beyond other administrative and overhead. At the end of the day, what they charge you sometimes barely makes ends meet. Especially in the beginning. If you enjoy the service and have the means, tip away.

Hopefully this helps with some of the basic questions regarding costs. Please know that we appreciate your business and hope to work with you soon!

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