I’ve observed that businesses and their pricing go through natural phases.
The take home of this article? Whatever decisions you make about pricing today do NOT have to be your lawfully wedded wife of decisions. You can reserve the right to evolve and take a left turn as your business evolves.
Phase 1: The Beginning
In the start of business. there are 2 things you desperately need to cultivate - and an income isn’t necessarily one of them. The priorities in this phase are VISIBILITY and TESTIMONIALS. To get these handled, your best bet is to get into the energy of the work you want to do, relentlessly. Do your work however you can do it. Offer it up free or low cost. Give it away. Host calls, deliver workshops, give away services, make YOU available to anyone who will pay for you.
This means you get visibility from the start and begin to create a name. More importantly, it means people come in contact with your work and can give you written testimonials so when you move into …
Phase 2: Momentum
… You have plenty of social proof to use in your social media and on your website. In this phase, you can ask people to start referring you. You can start to consistently charge SOMETHING for your work, because you’ve got proof that this shit works (whatever it is you sell). The momentum phase is a confident phase, because you’ve now dealt with all the Beginning Phase money stuff like a boss ~ people asking for refunds, not showing up for services, and so forth.
In the momentum phase, you want to start bringing in consistent income by charging what people easily say YES to… and you’re shifting towards people who say YES who also do the work. You might start playing with raising your rates, or offering “early bird” rates but listing higher rates, to start getting comfortable with your work's value.
During this phase, you also might choose to work on your capacity for receiving in all things~ love, money, gifts, success, compliments. It’s so important to keep an eye on any Upper Limit Problems (Gay Hendricks, The Big Leap) that come up for you so that you’re ready and primed for…
Phase 3: Scared Shitless
You’re emotionally and mentally ready to play in the big leagues but you’re not sure how. You’re ready to say rates that scare the crap out of you, and they should. In this phase, your inner critics are completely handled and no longer holding you back in business. You can see the fear and use it for growth.
You’re terrified to lose a lot of your loyal following who loved your free and low cost stuff, and you don't want to lose them, because you love them back and they’re your tribe. You’re still trying to stay likeable… AND you’re ready to accept the criticism that you’ve sold out. Because this phase can feel like selling out (it’s not, but that’s another blog post!)
In this phase, your sales might go down while your rates go up. You're starting to shift and you might lose some people along the way. You're ready to leave your bridge job completely, and you're known enough to really think about doing it!
Each phase of business brings with it massive opportunities for growth, if you allow business to be the spiritual journey it is.
Other than parenting, I don’t know any other journey that allows you - really forces you - to air all your stuff. Pursuing success in your business forces you to confront any demons in there that keep you comfortable and struggling.
Email me and let me know ~ which phase of business are you in? What’s stopping you from moving into the next phase of business?