It is not uncommon for small business owners to have occasion to doubt their value. It is natural for us to have ups and downs in business. During the ‘downs’ we often feel undervalued. The intention of this ezine is to give you a few tips on how to remain positive in your business even when you feel momentarily and monetarily undervalued!
It is really important to understand what YOU value in yourself and your home staging business. You need to know how you equate your ‘value’ to your ‘worth’. I often hear complaints like this from new entrepreneurs: my clients just don’t see the value of the work I do; why don’t they want to pay me what I am worth; why are they telling me what to do when I am do such-and-such, etc. It is very common to associate ‘value’ with ‘worth’ in terms of money and not realize that this is only one part of the equation.
DO YOU KNOW YOUR CORE VALUES?
In researching the word ‘value’ I came across an article that talked about Aspired Values and Functional Values. Go through this exercise and check off what you see as your values. Feel free to add to your list.
ASPIRED VALUES – WHAT you aspire to have
FUNCTIONAL VALUES – HOW you attain aspired values
While the list does talk about ‘wealth’ think about your definition for this. For some wealth is directly related to the amount of money in your bank account and yet for others wealth may be viewed in terms of the richness that they believe life offers them. It’s the not-so-tangibles that money cannot buy. What does your definition consist of – a bit of both perhaps?
HOW DO YOU STAY POSITIVE WHEN YOU FEEL UNDERVALUED?
A business owner recently had an experience where she felt her services were being undervalued when a job she was working on went sideways. She had to ask herself why it went sideways and momentarily doubted that she should charge the monetary fee she had quoted. Eventually she realized that SHE was actually devaluing her expertise and came to her senses by asking herself some questions and talking honestly with the client.
You may find yourself in a situation where you are quoting for a job and the prospective client is not valuing your skills and talents. Here are a few things that might help you stay positive about your value and your worth regardless of the situation:
• Look at everything that you bring to the table – you may be new to your business or you may have been in the business for awhile. Regardless you have many talents and skills you bring to the table along with the investment you have made in learning your craft. Make a list of them along with your core values. Have them handy in your moments of doubt.
• Ask yourself is this ‘fair market value’ for my work – you know if you are charging a fair price for your services or not. If your charges are fair then do not justify them. This may not be the right client for you.
• If something does go sideways how can you straighten it out – breath, step back and think about what needs to be done to get back on track with the job. Perhaps it means making an adjustment of the original services offered, or revisiting the client expectations.
• Keep open and honest communication flowing – while you may think your business is about the services you offer, it really is about relationships! The only way to create and maintain great relationships is with open communication. When you are in the midst of feeling doubt think about the value you know you are giving to this client. Let the client know what they receive from working with you. Great relationships are priceless and lead to more business opportunities.
The real bottom line comes down to you valuing yourself. The only way to really achieve what you want in your home staging business is to honestly look at our Core Values and see if they equal your True Worth. If they do, then stay the course, if not, revisit them until they are in alignment with each other.
PRESStaging Resource Centre founder, Dana J. Smithers, (founder and president of Sun On My Back Redesigns), has enjoyed a prestigious and successful career in Interior Decorating, Home Staging and Interior Redesign. Dana is passionate about this industry and has prepared over 700 students for successful Interior Decorating and Home Staging & Redesign careers of their own.