Did you start out in business on your own? Most business owners did- whether it be copy-writing from their spare bedroom or running a cake retail enterprise from their kitchen. Perhaps now your business has grown and you employ and outsource some of your business needs and jobs to others who you know can do it better than yourself or maybe you’re one of the cogs that keep a business ticking over by fulfilling your job role well?
In one of our previous blog posts “Ditch the Juggling Act” we noted how important it was for business owners to delegate as you just can’t do your best for your business when you’re trying to spin so many plates. Delegating itself is a skill, one especially important for business owners. So, too is ‘real listening’ reckons James Cowan, Editor-in-chief of Canadian Business, one that he thinks is all too undervalued.
‘Undervalued’ is the key word here. Why is it we undervalue the skills we have? In the same way that we British people are never known for accepting compliments generously and honestly paid to us, we’re never comfortable to blow our own trumpet about our skills, shout about them or even own up to having them.
Blogger Ali Luke on productiveflourishing.com chalks this apparent modesty up to the fact that we might have had and been practicing our skills for so long that we no longer register them as special. Instead, we take them for granted. A person who has been organising events since they were a child for friends, then as voluntary work as a teenager, progressing to Events Management at PR company as an adult will think their organisation skills are nothing spectacular as by then they are pure instinct…
but those skills are still unique and should valued as such by you and be reflected by how much you charge for them or get paid for using them, especially given your experience…
We can probably take an educated guess at what skills a successful business leader or CEO needs to have even without being one or what talents we, as employees have that help the business we work for move forward. As business owners, we need to be able to identify what skill-gaps exist in our companies. Info Entrepreneurs outline all the skills business owners and growing businesses require to thrive but ask yourself what skills do you have? Are they numbers and analysing? Marketing and promotion, or organising and admin? Ideas and strategy?
Wherever your gifts lie, you may be a cog that keeps your employer’s business going but you’re also a vital asset to that organisation, so more than a mere part in the proverbial business machine. Think about it- you were hired for a reason. You’ve kept your job for a reason. Ask yourself: “What couldn’t they do without me?” Another good idea is to consider what type of work doesn’t get done or completed to the usual high standard whilst your away from work, on holiday for example.
Paying the Price
Inc.com’s Elizabeth Wasserman provides a handy and in-depth guide brimming with tips on how to price your business services and what things to consider. It’s important to take into account a number of factors listed in the guide when pricing up your services as when you overcharge customers won’t take your seriously and are likely to mock your business venture. Under charge and clients will probably take advantage and offer to pay even less than your initial fee, warns business writer, Jaimy Ford on quickbooks.intuit.com.
We all want what’s best for the company we work for or own and actually, not confessing to having certain skills could be doing your place of work a disservice and be costing them dearly. This isn’t an attempt to guilt trip you or encouragement to fess up to that secret poetry talent you have. It is a good idea to make your boss or colleagues aware that you have a certain relevant talent though. If you’re keen on photography your company might not have to hire an expensive professional photographer. Instead, you could be responsible for taking product shots of your company’s goods alongside your regular duties as say, an Advertising Manager.
Part of our 90 Day Business Transformation programme, involves helping the business owners we coach get clarity on what they offer and refocus their pricing strategy. Sometimes just reminding yourself of your skills can help you value them more in the long run. So go on, take some time to think about what makes you, unique, and a valuable asset.