Charge What You Are Worth

Forty Pound Dog Scan


A client of mine asked me today for my advice on pricing of an educational service that she offers for dog breeders. I was really honoured to be asked, and we had a short conversation about how difficult it can be sometimes to quote people a price, particularly for a service.

From my experience, at least, it can feel quite uncomfortable, particularly when it’s something that’s new to you.

For a product, you know how much you bought it for, you know how much you’ll be taxed, so there’s less subjectivity in the pricing. Sometimes the manufacturer or supplier even tells you what the retail price should be. But when you charge for your time, for a service, it can feel more difficult.

I may be totally off the mark here, but I do also feel it’s something that women struggle with more frequently than men. The old argument that the reason women are underpaid in so many industries versus men is because they simply don’t ask for it is probably true. I do believe things are changing on this score, but for most of us in business right now, today, we didn’t grow up in a time when there was much public awareness about how these inequalities come about in the first place. From my own experiences hiring people, whether staff or freelancers, I’ve certainly found that men seem to be a lot more self-assured money or salary-wise. They tell you the price or their rate, and move on, as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. A lot of women, though, seem as though they dread the question, and can be almost apologetic about what they’re asking for.

Coincidentally, a similar discussion is going on in our Facebook group at the moment, where we’re all debating how much we charge to scan, how much we should charge to scan, and how much our competitors charge to scan.

It is a legitimate concern, but as someone else has said today – a man, incidentally – ultimately, we should be concerned with ourselves and what we charge, and worry less about comparing ourselves against others. And he’s absolutely right! Of course, one must always have an awareness of the competition in the area, but at the same time, if you have confidence in your service and you know it’s the best around, have the confidence to charge what you’re worth.


But how much are you worth?

When you’re thinking about what to charge, don’t think about the time you’re spending to do the scan. If you were charging only for that time, you’d be charging peanuts, because let’s face it, a competent scanner can confirm or exclude pregnancy within seconds. What you’re really charging for is the years of knowledge you may have about dogs and dog breeding, the years of experience you may have scanning, the hours spent studying and training and researching, the equipment you own and your insurance to use it, your advertising or website or membership costs, and your time spent maintaining those, uploading your scans, updating your knowledge, and so on.

If someone else wants to charge £15 for a scan, well, maybe they’re only worth £15. But you’re not. Be clear in your mind about why you charge what you do, so that you can explain this to anybody who asks. Have confidence and pride in what you’ve achieved, and don’t feel uncomfortable about charging what you are worth. People really will get what they pay for in this industry, so if they decide to go elsewhere to save a tenner, let them! More than likely they’ll be calling you next time anyhow. Even if they don’t, is it such a great loss? Would you rather conquer the local market and end up doing 3 scans a week for £10 each, or get only 1 out of these 3 clients but be able to charge £30 because that person has picked you because they really want you: your skills and your experience.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have those clients.


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