No. 128

Discover Your Real Value

Make the time to work on your business — not just work for it

On Friday, I set aside some time to work on my business. During my rebranding this summer, I realized how frequently I get caught up in the day-to-day business of what I do: the emails and estimates, the coding and styling, the phone calls and Skype sessions. I was rarely asking myself what the next evolution of my business might be. Now, I’m making that time to ask myself how I want to grow.

Know what sets you apart

The task last week was to create a document that detailed what good website development was. I often find myself explaining to clients how what I do is different from some other developers out there. What I discovered in the process of writing the document was what I really bring to the project — and after evaluation, I decided that it might just be time to raise my prices (or at least to be insistent on whatever estimates I send out).

If you’re considering starting your own business or changing your rates, I highly recommend you try this exercise.

Discover Your Real Value: An Exercise for Business Owners

1. Divide your page into two columns. At the top of the first column, write “what you’re getting” and list all of the items your client is obviously paying for. In mine, I had notes about my development style, my quick communication, and the little extras I often add into a package at no cost, like the addition of Google Analytics code to a client’s site.

2. At the top of the other column, write “what you’re really getting” and list all of the extras your client is getting and may not know about. For me, this was the way I work with designers, my general positivity, and the other unexpected bonuses of working with me. For a jewelry designer, this may be giving clients information about where materials were sourced or the story behind where the inspiration for a particular piece came from.

You may find that one column is shorter than the other; that’s totally OK. There’s no wrong or right here. But if you stumble when it comes to the second column, ask yourself what you want to be giving to clients that you aren’t at the moment. Decide if that’s something you want to incorporate going forward.

You do so much more than simply provide a service or sell a product. Knowing what your more is will let your business shine even more.

 

About brandi

Brandi is a digital strategist, website developer, and founder of Alchemy+Aim, a company that helps entrepreneurs and business owners elevate their online presence and enhance their digital experience. Her academic background in theatre, philosophy and physics was the perfect foundation for launching her business, where she’s worked with Brené Brown, Laverne Cox, Judy Smith, and other notable thought leaders since 2013. She is an advocate for using technology in ways that humanize, connect and serve people as well as for asking deeper philosophical questions and teaching others to think more broadly about impact when they create, particularly in STEAM fields.

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Credits

Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.