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Setting Fees for Your Home Based Business

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Many people assume that since you work from home you should charge less. I disagree - when you consider that most home based business people are supporting families, paying their own benefit package including medical and dental, and have increased liability in terms of insurance and licensing - I think home based businesses should charge close to or the same as other businesses.

Home based business can offer that's unique is personalized, customized service that may not be available from a larger company. These extra touches are well worth paying for in my opinion.

In figuring out how much to charge for your services you can do a number of things to set fees:

1) Go online to some of the wage comparison sites and see what jobs similar to yours pay
a) www.salary.com
b) www.monstermoving.monster.com
c) www.salaryexpert.com

2) Also, online take a look at some of the job sites and see what salaries are being offered to people who would do the same type of job as your are going to be doing. Remember though your work isn’t 9 – 5 each day....being self employed often means longer hours and there is no overtime pay.

3) Talk to people you know who work in the industry you are entering and see if you can get an idea about the salary range

4) If what you’re doing is something very unusual and unique ask yourself “what would I pay for this service?” “what can my customers afford to pay”

5) Sometimes your pricing REALLY does depend on what the customer is willing to pay – wealthier clients will pay more for a haircut than someone who makes minimum wage (eg. $500 versus $7.99) This is why you need to ABSOLUTELY clear about who your customer is – and to remember you
CANNOT be all things to all people.

6) Are you willing to offer a discount to repeat customers? Will you offer refunds or just exchanges?

7) You need to be VERY clear on all pricing issues before you start your business.

Here's some more basic tips to get you on the right path when it comes to setting fees:

1) Don't do work for nothing - set up an estimating formula - give each client a cost breakdown and stick to it - if you have to change it get the client to approve the cost overrun BEFORE you go ahead and do more work.

2) Turn down work that isn't worth the time to do - this may sound callous - but why sit up until 2 a.m. doing work that is costing you money - yes you're working, but for what?

3) Some jobs will pay off in referrals and business in the future - just be sure you're doing work that will pay off later, if you've taken a discounted rate of payment.

4) When it comes to doing work for friends, know in advance what your policy will be. This can be a very difficult situation, so be clear from the start. Many a friendship has been damaged or destroyed over a business misunderstanding! Don’t let yours be one of them. This also holds true for work you may do for non-profit agencies or charities. Decide IN ADVANCE how many hours per month you will "give away" to a good cause. Do NOT allow yourself to go over the amount you've set.

There is a lot of good information available about what salaries people in various industries are being paid – take advantage of it to your benefit. Set fees that make you feel appreciated and your work valued. Ensure that the fees let you pay the bills, cover your expenses, make you feel what you are doing is worthwhile, and make sure you save some for a rainy day and have some fun too!

About the Author

Wendy McClelland is a motivational speaker and marketing consultant. She has been a nominee for Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year, and is a Canadian Achiever! Wendy’s first website won numerous awards, including being named as “one of the best business sites on the ‘net” by the N.Y. Times. Wendy’s life mission is to “motivate people to think without boundaries” and it’s also the name of her website! Visit www.ThinkWithoutBoundaries.com today

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