packaging

I thought I may have to give it all up and get a job until this happened… (Learning to Package my Services)

I don’t know if you know this about me, but my first foray into business was when I started my own law practice in 2003. I didn’t know anything about business.

And for the first two years of my practice, I struggled with the question of how to charge for my services, how to explain what I charged, how to structure my fees, and pretty much made up a new fee each time a new client came in.

It wasn’t that great. In fact, it was worse than not great — it really sucked.

Quite often people would walk out the door without hiring me and I knew it was because I wasn’t comfortable and confident quoting my fees and letting my prospects know how to move forward with me.

So I’d get uncomfortable when it came time to talk money and they’d “have to think about” or “get back to me.”

I was a true believer that I needed to move beyond hourly billing into a flat fee model, but I didn’t really have any good models for doing so.

Especially not in the legal community where most people were still charging hourly (or minutely!)

So I’d make up my fees on the spot based on what each I thought each prospect needed, would pay, could afford, and any number of other ways I could think of to justify what I was charging.

Sometimes, I would just revert back to charging hourly.

I’m curious…do you experience this too? It was a huge problem and I knew that if I didn’t figure it out, I would have to go back to working someone else. I had to make sure I could put food on the table.

I was terrified everyday that I wouldn’t make it in my practice, until I figured out how to package my services into easy to speak about and quote fee structures that let my prospects choose their own fees.

Packaging my services was the fundamental, first step, key to building my practice into a business with repeatable, predictable systems I could count on.

Once I figured out how to package my services (even though I was sure I never could because each client was so different) and price my services systematically so it was easy for my clients to say yes, I rapidly built my little one-woman law practice into a million dollar a year law business.

THAT is the power of packages. It changes everything. It’s the holy grail, first step for any of you that are not routinely engaging enough clients or who are still charging hourly for your time.

It frees up your time (because you are enrolling far more of the people you talk to about your services), it allows you to systematize your practice into a business, it gives you confidence to hire support, and allows you to know exactly how to get to a “full practice”, which is likely your next step.

I’ll have more details on this for you soon. In the meantime, I would love to hear from you about what stops you from packaging your services, moving away from hourly billing or “seat of your pants” pricing.

Share in the comments and let me know. I read every message.

To your eyes (and heart) wide open life,
Ali

PS — When you comment to let me know what’s keeping you from packaging your services into easy to say yes to options for your ideal clients, let me know what kind of practice you have, service you offer, and if you know your Entrepreneurial Archetype and Archetype Path (from the Money Map), be sure to tell me that too.