PKF Australia

Accountants and Business Advisers

Face your fear – bump up your top line

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Chad Russell


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Face your fear – bump up your top line

It’s a question that keeps many business owners awake at night; Why are they failing to receive the full reward for the value that they provide? Why can others charge more than they do and why are others reaping the rewards when their product is the same or even inferior?

Logical reasoning tells us that this could all be down to external factors and often that’s what the business owners want to believe:

  • It’s a tough market out there
  • The work just isn’t there
  • My customers are price sensitive
  • I don’t have enough time to work on sales.

Though elements of this may be true, when you start digging a little deeper into what’s really going on, we find things that just don’t make sense for a ‘for profit’ business. Things like:

  • Providing a discount without your customer asking for one
  • Competing on price rather than value
  • Writing off time or materials that you believe are excessive without having a conversation with the customer
  • Your team not recording time or material cost because they believe it is excessive without you or your customer even knowing
  • Scope creep, but no adjustment to price

But, what causes us to have this mindset? Often it is driven by fear. A fear of:

  • Losing customers
  • Being seen as expensive
  • Not being good enough
  • Talking to your customers.

But, it is an irrational fear. The result is that you are left feeling dissatisfied and undervalued despite providing great value to your customer. That isn’t fair and it’s not how to run a successful business. Business needs to be win-win. If true value exists, and you can articulate it, your customers will be more than happy to pay a fair fee for it. The first step is to believe in yourself and believe in the value you offer.

If you’re a business owner and you see any of these issues in your business, it’s ok; you can fix it. If you want to move closer to your future of choice, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why am I giving this away?
  • What’s the value to the customer?
  • Am I running a business or a charity?
  • Should I talk to the customer before I propose a price?

At a deeper level, some of these issues could be caused by inefficiency (see here for help) or inadequate systems and processes. All of these things can also be addressed when we delve deeper into the problem. But the initial step is to admit that there’s a problem and face our fear rather than blame external factors. If you're performing work that has value, make sure you are fairly rewarded and if there is no value, why did you do it in the first place?

It’s time to start getting the returns you desire.


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