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The Importance of Self-Worth for Business Owners (Charging for Your Services)

Have you ever quoted a client a fixed fee to provide a service and then partway through the work they pull the plug?

Perhaps they tell you they solved their problem without you and don’t need your services anymore. Or maybe they have just changed their mind and want a completely different service (i.e. reducing the scope/going to someone else).


So did you charge them for the work you had already done?


Or were you too concerned about what they might say to you? Worried they might give you a bad review or complain about being charged when you hadn't produced an "outcome".


These things do happen. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there that will try to obtain your services for free, or who shop around even after agreeing to your services.

We all know of family and friends who expect discounts and this is a call for you to make in your business and a blog post for another day. However, even acquaintances and people who don’t know you at all will, at times, try to wriggle out of paying you. There is always that percentage of the population who think like that.


But, if you don’t charge them for your services you are giving away your time and your value for free.

Charging for your services


For many of us it takes practice to value yourself as a business owner and services provider and we lean towards not charging anything in the above situation. But If you don’t charge the client - guess what happens? Yes, they are super grateful; but they will not respect you, your services, or your time. I have learned this the hard way and made this mistake myself.


One of the best things you can do to value yourself and avoid this situation is to ensure that your client contracts cover you for payment for all services provided, even if terminated early under a fixed fee. Your contract will also need to have a clear scope of services to make this work.

Deposits and Cancellation Fees


You can also (subject to any professional rules that say you can’t) request a deposit before starting work, so that if you do have to enforce the part payment clause you’ve got the money already in your account.

In the unfortunate case of booking a client for a paid appointment, preparing for that appointment only for it to be cancelled last minute you may also be able to charge a cancellation fee for the appointment. Many business owners do not realise that this is a tricky area though, and it is best advised on by a lawyer so that you don’t end up with unfair or “penalty” clauses in your agreements that could cause you problems.



If there is a clause for payment of services performed in your agreements, it is not only easier to enforce, but it is out there on the table, the client has seen it and they’ve AGREED to it. So it gives you the confidence to refer to it when you do have to charge them and helps them to understand that your time and expertise is valuable; and in my opinion this is the sort of reputation you want for your business.

Hayley Towers

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