07 chapter seven: Making Money

Attitude is everything. People have very mixed-up attitudes towards money.
Only in an affluent society do people have the luxury of discussing if money
is 'good' or 'bad'!

It is OK to make money. It is OK to make a lot of money. It is OK to spend it
on nice things and have fun. Many people think they want
to work for little or nothing, and serve others. In truth, they want to make
a decent living and not be poor, so they when they achieve their goal of
poverty, they feel used and resentful. It is important to be clear on what
your own values are before you launch a business venture.

Pricing your services can be tricky. Too low, customers won't think you are
worth much, and you'll burn out fast from working too cheaply. Too high, you
won't have customers. In truth, you are worth what you are successfully able
to charge. Perception is everything- customers don't care about a laundry
list of credentials as much as they are influenced by your personal
presentation and interactions with them. Managing expectations is everything-
'under-promise and over-deliver'. Top-notch customer service always pays off.

A wonderful free education can be had simply by calling other people in the
same field as yours and pretend to be a prospective customer. Inquire about
services and pricing. How do they make you feel? How long do they take to
call you back? Do they listen to you? Do they tell you useful things, or just
blab salesdroid phrases? Learn from them- the good and the bad. Imitate the
good only. ;-)

I do a combination of flat rates and hourly. For something new that I'm not
very experienced with, I'll charge a flat fee. Then it doesn't matter if I'm
extra slow and careful. For onsite jobs, I have a one- to three-hour minimum,
depending on how far I have to travel. Travel time will kill you, if you
don't find a way to charge for it.

Again I emphasize putting everything in writing: use work orders and
contracts. Don't use boilerplate contracts or legal software, use a real
business lawyer and CPA.

Next chapter: getting started

Carla Schroder, Bratgrrl Computing
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