As an indie retail business owner offering services in addition to running your retail store, you might struggle with pricing your worth—especially if you’re lacking the confidence to acknowledge that your time, energy, and effort are valuable.
Not only does setting the right price help you make a profit, but it also communicates your value to your current and potential customers. That’s why I’m sharing how you can effectively price your worth, attract committed clients, and create a sustainable business environment.
My Journey to Accurately Pricing My Worth
My value bank has increased dramatically over the past 5 years. When I first started Savvy Shopkeeper, I was teaching basic social media skills. And for my first in-person event? I hosted an in-person Instagram workshop at my home!
Fun side note: one Master Shopkeepers member, Teresa, attended that workshop and is STILL on this journey with me. She traveled from Pittsburgh to Cleveland to attend that workshop. It’s such a cool memory and I love that I see her often.
Five years ago, I could not have coached a retailer like I do now. I wasn’t yet able to analyze a Profit & Loss statement and I hadn’t done the mindset work to support others.
Now, it only takes me a few minutes to analyze any retail store owner’s income statement, know what’s working in their business and what’s not, and give them the supportive coaching they need to make effective changes.
Valuing Myself And Holding Others Accountable
As my value bank has grown, my prices have increased. Even so, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “You’re giving too much away” and “You’re priced way too low.” And I probably was.
The result of underpricing myself was that people felt like they could take advantage of me or push my boundaries. But as I’ve learned (and still continue to learn!), I’ve made changes that support me and reflect how I value myself.
For example, I recently set up a new payment policy in Master Shopkeepers. I value myself and my work, so I’m protecting myself and holding others to their commitments.
I’ve also had to set boundaries with brands and other companies that also serve independent retail businesses. If a brand wants to “pick my brain,” I quote them $750/hour (yes, really!).
Obviously, this isn’t what I charge other retailers who have a few questions. But it is my price if a multimillion-dollar business wants to tap into my knowledge.
Learning to Acknowledge What You Bring to the Table
There are so many reasons why you should charge your worth and know your value, but first, you have to acknowledge that your time, energy, and ideas are worthy. Let’s look at some examples that might help you acknowledge and price your worth.
Example Scenario: Content Creator versus Business Owner
Let’s imagine that you’re a content creator with a valuable bank of golden nugget ideas. You aren’t necessarily offering a service, however, your level of expertise gives you the ability to create content or serve your community as no one else can. You’re also busy running your business, a household, juggling parenting duties, and everything else in between.
One day, you collaborate/partner with someone on a content creation project, just for fun. There’s no money involved, but you think it will be valuable to your audience. It’s YOUR project and based on your genius…but the “collaborator” takes off with it and claims it as their own.
A business owner who values their worth will speak up and will CLAIM their right to the project. But a content creator who hasn’t learned how to value their worth? They’ll sit back and do nothing. Not because they don’t want to—but because they discount their idea or justify their collaborator’s actions because they didn’t do all of the work.
When you’re offering a service, there’s usually an invoice, a proposal, a contract, or something that details the agreement and the service you’re providing. But when money isn’t being exchanged, we don’t think about creating a contract or agreement.
So how could you avoid this? Ideally, you would document your work, the project, the details of it, and the details of the collaboration. Having this shared and signed document acknowledges your worth and what you’re bringing to the project, both to yourself and your collaborator.
Pricing Your Worth (And Actually Charging It)
The above is an example of valuing your worth. And then there’s actually pricing your worth and charging your worth!
Many retailers offer services such as painting and restoring furniture, interior design, printing, or event hosting. If you’re a retailer offering a service, then it’s crucial that you understand how to price and charge your worth. Here are some of the reasons why.
By charging what you’re worth, you acknowledge and communicate the value you bring to the table. It reflects your expertise, skills, experience, and the results you can deliver for your clients or customers.
Pricing your products or services appropriately positions you as a professional who is confident in your abilities.
Pricing your offerings at their true value ensures that your business remains financially sustainable. It allows you to cover your costs, invest in resources, and generate profits necessary for growth and longevity.
Undercharging can lead to a cycle of financial struggle, hindering your ability to reinvest in your business and provide high-quality products or services.
People often associate higher prices with better quality. Charging what you’re worth can help create a perception of premium value, attracting clients or customers who are willing to pay more for exceptional products or services. It also establishes credibility and positions you as a top-tier provider in your industry.
Time and Effort
By pricing your worth, you acknowledge the time, effort, and energy you invest in your work. It allows you to set boundaries, avoid overworking yourself, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Proper compensation ensures that you can sustain your business without burning out.
One more time for those of you overbooking yourselves because your pricing is too low: Proper compensation ensures that you can sustain your business without burning out.
Pricing your offerings at their worth contributes to a healthy business ecosystem.
Undercutting competitors’ prices significantly can lead to a race to the bottom, devaluing the entire industry. Charging what you’re worth sets a standard for fair competition, encourages others to do the same, and promotes a more sustainable business environment for everyone.
When individuals invest a significant amount of money in a product or service, they are more likely to be committed to its success.
By pricing your worth, you attract clients or customers who are serious about their investment, leading to better relationships and higher satisfaction levels.
Pricing Your Worth Only Works if You Also Communicate Your Value
While it’s essential to price your worth, it’s equally important to communicate your value effectively. Otherwise, your potential clients and customers won’t understand why you’re priced the way you are.
You have to clearly articulate the benefits and outcomes your clients or customers can expect and demonstrate why your pricing aligns with the value you provide. Striving for a balance between pricing competitively and valuing your expertise will ensure the long-term success of your business.
A Note About Pricing for the Market
Even if you’re confident pricing your worth, you still need to look at the current market. Pricing is a delicate balance between profitability, customer perception, and market dynamics. It’s important to find a price point that reflects your worth and is attractive to your target audience.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people tell me I should be charging $250/mo for Master Shopkeepers (it’s currently $110/mo). But I know that if I charged that, I would be pricing myself out of my target market.
My friends and business colleagues have good intentions and I sincerely appreciate that they value me and my work that much. However, we know our businesses, our customers, and our market the best.
That doesn’t mean the price of Master Shopkeepers won’t go up in the future. But I’ll determine any pricing changes using my own skills, intuition, knowledge, and any additional value I provide in the future.
Pricing Your Worth Isn’t Easy, But You Can Get Better At It
The pricing game isn’t always easy. I get it. But we CAN and DO get better at it over time, especially once we acknowledge the value we bring to our clients and customers.
During Momentum Day (this was Day 3 of my recent Virtual Conference!), we ended with an emotional conversation about pricing. I know I have a firm no-nonsense style, but I have a heart, too. I also experience what many of you do. So I will be the first to acknowledge how hard pricing and being confident in pricing can be.
If you love your business and entrepreneurship please do yourself a favor: step into the discomfort. The rewards for taking a step just outside of your comfort zone are far more valuable than protecting your current comfort level.
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- [02:16] My Journey to Accurately Pricing My Worth
- [06:52] Learning to Acknowledge What You Bring to the Table
- [09:41] Pricing Your Worth (And Actually Charging It)
- [16:57] Pricing Your Worth Only Works if You Also Communicate Your Value
- [20:40] Pricing Your Worth Isn’t Easy, But You Can Get Better At It