Tell em The Price Son!
Tell ‘em the price son! Do you remember that ad? It’s from a while back, but there’s an important message in this very old advertisement. You cannot throw prices at customers without first fully understanding the costs associated with providing your product or service.
The price structure of providing a professional careers service is not a simple and straightforward exercise, because much of what we do is based on time and expertise which has been gained over many years....and how do you put a price on that?
I’ve been watching these type of social media posts for a looooong time
“I need a resume writer - the cheapest..... the quickest...... BUT the best... ”
“I need some guidance and advice, but I don’t want it to cost an arm and leg”.
“Help, please. I need this done right now! It’s urgent”
The minute a professional, qualified and reputable service provider sees these types of posts, the good ones realise you are not our ideal client. If you cannot value the work we do and the cost that goes into delivering our service and running our business, we fear there will be issues down the track. There will never be a level of respect and appreciation for the service we provide.
Running a small business is a tough gig - unpredictable and something that always requires my time and attention. There’s rarely downtime and holidays are hard to come by without constant interruptions. People who say “well, how come I only paid this much with Karen?” ..... I cannot be expected to compare a service or match costing when I have no idea how the same service can be provided at such a cheap rate. I can’t compare apples with oranges.....
Or this comment “Rachel told me her boyfriend's sister reviewed my file and has a different opinion. What you’ve done is just wrong” and Rachel’s boyfriend's sister does what for work?? How can she comment on a service when she wasn’t there taking instructions and providing advice on the brief? And why are you asking Rachel’s boyfriends sister for their opinion if you’ve paid good money to engage a professional? These situations leave me baffled. The advice we give and the work we do will always vary based on the clients' individual circumstances, their background and what they are trying to achieve.
First of all, if you’re a Career Consultant who knows your profession inside-out and your knowledge and expertise is top-notch, it’s not a proud moment to be saying “I only charge $80 and include all the bells and whistles”.
Those who engage with a career development professional are serious about their career and really need and deserve support or assistance. It’s our job to provide the best service possible and not to cut corners or undercut our peers. We also shouldn’t be driven by the dollar and need to be professional which means sometimes refusing work when time-frames or values don’t match or our guidance is not followed. Sometimes we ethically need to say no.
Clients and service providers alike have you ever done the math? Have you actually calculated how much it costs to provide this type of service? Are you aware that the cost of providing that service is not just the time you dedicate? There’s a list of about 30 plus things you have to factor in to get to your costs of goods, meaning this is your break-even point before you start to make a profit.
Let’s list your direct costs - costs directly related to providing the service:
- Consumables such as cartridges
- Consumables such as paper & stationery
- Software subscriptions
- Anti-virus software
- Internet costs
- Electricity costs
YOUR TIME and in our case, this is 2 staff members (we have an extra staff member to manage your file and provide a great service) which is on average 6 hours of wages and superannuation per client = $150 is the bare minimum before we even factor in any of the above!!
Let’s list the costs associated with running your business to get leads:
- Domain purchase
- Business name registration
- Trademark fees
- ASIC fees
- Website costs
- Branding design (logos and graphics)
- Printing and signage
- Social media management
- Vehicle costs
Then all the extras to ensure your comfort when you visit our office;
- Furniture, bookshelves and desks
- Lounges, cushions and throw rugs
- Lamps, plants, candles
- Television and Foxtel
- Air conditioning
- Coffee, tea, water, biscuits
- Toilet paper, soap and other cleaning supplies
Ask yourself why you charge such a small rate and whether it’s actually sustainable. If you’re a client will your service provider be around in 2, 5, 10 years time? I’ve seen many come and go, they go broke, burn out or move on.... Often what happens when something is cheap the demand grows to a level which is no longer sustainable and the service level drops. No attention to detail. No quality control. No follow up. No guarantees.
So please don’t negotiate with us or ask us to do package deals. That’s like your boss telling you “I need you to work for 8 hours today, but I’m only going to pay you for 6 because the new guy works for $5 per hour less. I know he’s unskilled and inexperienced, but he’s just cheaper” That’s not ok.
If you think our prices are too high or out of your budget please don’t say “just for a resume?” Or “just for chat”. Or “Sharon does it for a third of that price”. Appreciate and respect that we’ve been in business for a long time and know what we need to charge in order to survive.
On that note, we recognise not everyone has hundreds of dollars right there and then, so we do offer flexible payment plans (extra setup and administration fees apply). Otherwise it’s always payment at the time of booking for the work we are about to dedicate our time and resources to.
Please remember we take on board your stories, your circumstances, your problems and we do our best to follow up to ensure you are ok! This takes so much time and dedication and we wouldn’t be in business if we didn’t care. Really, we wouldn’t!! So many clients come back after 5, 10, 15 years. It kinda makes me feel a bit old, but also proud that I’ve been around long enough to see my clients after they’ve traveled a certain path and are now ready to make a new and interesting career move.
Rebecca Lysle - Your Career Consultant
I’ve also traveled various paths over the past 20 years. I became a mum and went on to have six beautiful children, renovated and moved house, had various cars to suit my growing family, experienced different relationships, said goodbye to old mates and made new ones, traveled overseas, introduced new fur-babies, said goodbye to my dearest dad and lost some amazing relatives to terrible diseases and circumstances, lost weight, gained weight, made money, lost money, met amazing people, met people I would rather forget, changed my hair colour, obtained my motorbike licence, undertaken training, gained qualifications, worked in Government and the private sector and supported hundreds of clients through some amazing and interesting journeys. ...... so as you can see I’m not just a service provider in some huge corporation who doesn’t care. I'm not sitting at a desk in a foreign country. I’m not a bot!
I’m local, I’m human and I care. I’ve had my own experiences and I can relate!!!
So please return the favour and give a little love and appreciation to my business and my expertise.
Your Career Consultant