As service providers we often question ourselves and our ability to charge "X amount" (or even grow a major business) for something we do well, something that comes naturally to us or something we take great joy in. I know this because for years I worked as a full time service provider and I can promise you that from time to time the outside chatter from clients, my own self-doubt and fears, my desire to keep my client roster full and information about what "he or she" (other people in my business) were charging distracted me. Now my life is filled with talking to service providing entrepreneurs on a daily basis via Tin Shingle and business coaching and I once again find myself hearing their fears and self doubts. Those who are at the start of their service provider journey are curious whether anyone would pay for their expertise/services/skillset. Those who are a little further along in their business journey are often undercharging their clients for a multitude of reasons. What does this all have to do with my "Small Business Wedding", you're probably wondering? Glad you asked! Let me tell you...
As anyone who has been married (or has been part of the wedding journey of a close friend of family member) can tell you, service providers (wedding coordinators, photographers, florists) make up the majority of your wedding budget. While working with our own team I was reminded in a major way about the value of service providers. We hired people who do what we do not do, what we are not trained to do, what we do not excel at... people who have spent years perfecting their skill. Our wedding coordinator Mystique is the perfect example of this type of person and situation and working with has really driven home a lesson every service provider must take to heart.
As a very un-bridey bride and a very busy entrepreneur, I have never scoured wedding magazines, created bridal timelines - heck I never even thought of answers to questions like "how will the programs get to the church?" or "what order to the bridal party walk out in and how will that be timed?" or "what is the timing of the entire wedding day from start to finish?". I do not know. But Mystique does. She LIVES for this stuff. Her attention to detail is impeccable, her attitude is always positive and you can just feel her love and committment to what she does as a wedding coordinator - it comes across in every phone call we have or email she sends. Once while I was freaking out about the day of timeilne she actually said "I love doing this stuff". She has sent me lists filled with tips and reminders I'd never have come up with on my own. She has calmly outlined our entire wedding weekend. She is coordinating vendors and arrival times and things that I simply do not have the time or ability to care about or understand. Most importantly, she is what I'll now refer to as my own personal Xanax. She is keeping me (and my mother) calm and will surely do so on the big day (in nine days!) which is truly priceless.
Throughout this journey Mystique has been one of the most integral and valuable parts of our wedding, she truly is running the show more and more as the big day approaches. Every time I send her a (frantic) email she returns one (promptly) that instantly calms me and answers my questions. This is her world, she understands it and she is guiding me through it. She has done this one to two times a weekend for years with her team and they've got it down pat. Because that is what great service providers do! And that is why they are worth what you pay them: we hire people to do what we cannot do and to make what we are working on (a wedding, our business, or body, our lives, our pets, or homes, our website, etc) better.
As service providers you must stop questioning your worth, your pricetag, your usefullness. Whether you help people get physically fit or help people get their taxes in order, they come to you because you are the expert! You most likely take joy in what you do, the service you provide, which is something they probably feel the opposite about. They come to you to make some part of their life better and you must charge accordingly, to allow yourself to keep doing this service and keep making people's lives better.
Do you love what you do? Does it come easily and naturally to you? That doesn't mean you should charge less or feel guilty about making it your job, it means it SHOULD be your job! The work that I'm most successful at doing does not feel like work! True story! I love when I work on Tin Shingle or strategize with business coaching clients. It brings me great joy. And we still charge for it. It allows us to keep doing good, keep changing lives and keep doing it well.
I'm writing this today because I have the time to, because I'm not tied down going through mundane wedding lists because I have someone whose capable hands my wedding is resting in. It feels good. It feels worth it. I urge you as a service provider to remember your worth, remember that you have a skill people need and your customers do not possess. Own your worth, celebrate it and use these positive, self-affirming beliefs and feelings to help you lead and grow your business!