How I Make My Business A Little Easier…for me AND you
I work with people who are offering very special work in service to their communities - coaches, writers, and most recently...a doula! When you’re in a helping profession doing work that taps into people’s deepest emotions and most scared life transitions, it can feel awkward to talk about pricing and payment. But, it is ESSENTIAL to be paid adequately and on time for your work so that you can continue to offer it to the world.
This comes up on a regular basis with my clients, whether I’m designing a project plan as their strategist or coaching them through internal barriers to offering their work in the world and my suggestion to them is this:
Professionalize the “back office” of your business to support you in financial conversations.
Rather than shaming yourself about the discomfort that exists around money conversations, put systems in place that take some of the load of and make those conversations a little easier.
Having clear processes can set the tone for your clients to understand that, while what you do is your gift to the world, it also is a business which requires income to be sustainable.
One tool that helps me do that in my business is Dubsado.
When I meet someone in a social situation or some other very casual way who might be interested in hiring me, I spend the face to face time enjoying their company and getting to know them. At the end of the conversation by remind them to visit my website if they want to work together. This is my subtle way of saying “This was nice, but let’s distinguish between the social interaction and business process.” Otherwise, I might arrive at a coffee date with someone who thinks they’re getting a free strategy session. When they get to my website, they can view a description of my services, my process and my prices to see if it seems a good fit for them. Then, they can complete the lead generation form, from Dubsado, to let me know they want to talk.
Clear boundaries, ftw!
Then it’s time for our consultation. I don’t like being on either end of a sales call. So, I don’t do it. When folks get on the phone with me, it’s to go a step further in determining if we’re a good fit. By that time, they’ve already read my website, scheduled the call, and gotten an automatic confirmation email that reminds them to consider whether my rates are within their budget.
There’s no pressure on this call, we just get a chance to chat. If we’ve really vibed and are a good fit then typically THEY are the ones initiating the conversation about how to move forward. Thanks to my process, they already have an idea of what it’s going to cost and so this part of the conversation is easy for me. I follow up the consultation call with an email and a link to a proposal in Dubsado. The proposal answers questions about the coaching process that we may not have discussed and gives them a recap of exactly how I can help them. If it feels like a “YES!” to them, they are only a few clicks away from being the newest member of The Way Thru. And if the yes takes them a few days, Dubsado makes it easy for me to follow up, answer questions or clarify the process.
I initially was going to write a post about all of the features of Dubsado and how to use it, but this felt more fun. If you have questions about how it works, and what it does/doesn’t do and prefer to hear from someone who has used it in real time, feel free to email me. They also offer free webinars and one on one calls to help you get set up. They really do make running a business very easy.
The links in this post are affiliate links to Dubsado. If you use it, you’ll get 20% off and I get something as thanks for spreading the word. I very rarely share affiliate links and only do so for products that I use and truly love. If you prefer not to use an affiliate link, just go to Dubsado.com. I’ve specifically written this post as an entry into their giveaway of a lifetime account.