Starting my business, I was completely lost when it came to pricing my services. I was terrified that I’d price my work too high, a mistake that could cost many tons of customers, or price way too low, a mistake that could cost me tons of money. Either way, pricing my offerings was (initially) a huge headache, surrounded by weeks of agonizing anxiety over whether or not my rates were “too high” or “too low”.
Truth it, selecting the right price tag can mean the difference between losing money or making money – in more ways than one. The wrong price can leave the entrepreneur missing would-be revenue, losing money on each sale, not selling anything, or unable to fulfill orders cost effectively. Any way you approach the pricing dilemma, research your competitor’s prices and undercutting them isn’t exactly a dream-formula for perfect price selection.
This post was originally posted on LinkedIn Pulse in 2015. Unfortunately, many of the employment challenges discussed have yet to be effectively alleviated within the military community. It’s my hope that through continued advocacy and awareness, military spouses and caregivers will be economically valued and no longer discriminated against in the competitive job market.
Did you know that a sector of the military community is 90% jobless or underemployed?
Did you know this sector earns 38% less than their civilian counterparts?
Did you know that even those with doctorate experience unemployment of 15.56%?
Meet the Military Spouse: a dedicated individual that pledges loyalty and devotion to the brave men and women in uniform. The military spouse commits to frequent relocation, spouse absence for months to years at a time, foregoing professional opportunities that conflict with service demands, and is often left to pick up the pieces where subpar government programs leave off.
Type “entrepreneurship” into your favorite search engine and a popular – and unreferenced – definition is almost certain to pop-up:
“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
Did you catch that?
“…living a few years of your life like most people won’t…”
While there are hundreds of more academically-accepted definitions of entrepreneurship, this internet sourced description is most relevant I light of my entrepreneurial experiences.
The fateful day of freedom has arrived – you’ve graduated college.
Peddling your bachelor’s degree, you carefully survey the selection of traditional post-grad opportunities and you find yourself saying, “WTF?”
Don’t worry – you’re not the only new grad that’s perceived the 9-to-5 as a slow death wish. It’s not for everybody.
So what’s fresh young talent to do when traditional positions just don’t cut it?
Here are three non-traditional post-grad options for the adventurous new grad:
Working from the comforts of a home office may sounds like a dream come true to most commute-weary professionals – virtual conference calls snuggled up to your pup, no more office-sponsored political coups, and enjoying all that extra time that doesn’t get eaten up by burning rubber back and forth, back, and forth, back and forth.
Transitioning to the ever-growing status of a work from home (WFH) professional can be incredibly liberating; however, like most work transitions, it can require a unique strategy to maximize productivity and keep you from feeling like you live in the office.
Here are three tips to help turn your WFH situation into am empowering career move:
It’s here –the day you take the leap into the wild and wooly world of entrepreneurship, leaving behind the security and stability of a “normal” job.
The leap is thrilling.
It’s also completely terrifying.
For myself, there were many nights during Year 1, Year 2, and a few in Year 3, where I laid awake wondering, “What in the @*&% did I just do?”
Looking back, there were several key actions I should have taken before quitting my job to go full-time in my business. They say hindsight is 20/20 – well, maybe a few aspiring entrepreneurs can glean some wisdom from the things I wish I’d known.
Here’s the scoop on 5 things you should do BEFORE you quit your day job and dive headfirst into the world of entrepreneurship:
During a workplace seminar I recently attended, a member of the audience asked the speaker, “Why do millennials want the flexible work environments?”
The speaker replied, “Because they don’t want to work! Millennials don’t want to work.”
As one of the only millennials in the crowded event space, my interest was piqued by the speaker’s response and the subsequent non-millennial audience reception. The speaker and audience conversation continued dogging millennial employees, citing Generation Y’s preference for remote working opportunities and their engagement in the gig economy as sufficient evidence for the unfounded argument that millennials are inherently “lazy”, “have immature values”, and “lack sufficient work ethic”.
As a career-minded millennial that’s built her entire career through virtual work out of necessity (I am also a full-time caregiver to my spouse who was injured serving our country in Afghanistan), I was quite troubled to hear this discourse among industry leaders regarding generational misconceptions and ill-informed consensus regarding flexible work opportunities that can lead to mass discrimination within our caregiving community.
We’ve all been there – stuck in a job that (barely) pays the bills while sucking your very last ounce of inspiration and ambition with every passing hour.
Dead-end jobs aren’t anything new to 20 and 30-something’s that started their career mid-recession. On one hand, we were grateful for the paycheck (those didn’t come easy early 2000’s); on the other hand, we couldn’t believe our educational pursuits had left us stranded amidst a sea of literally-no-future positions.
If you find yourself clocking hours in a position that inspires reoccurring nightmares of spending twenty years doing the same drab thing, with the same drab people, in the same drab company, don’t fret!
There is hope.
Here are three things you can do when find yourself stuck in a dead-end job, besides the lunch hour/after hours job hunt (because that’s a given, right?): Continue Reading…
Sometimes you just hit the jackpot – a dream client that is a pleasure to work with sends you fabulous referrals, and always pays on time.
Other times, you find yourself tethered to a client from hell – a psychopathic cheapskate that’s a grab bag of ageism, sexism, and racism, threatens to slander your business name and is always late on their bill.
Mean clients have a way of taking something you love – your work, your company, and your entrepreneurial lifestyle – and turning it into a complete nightmare. The dark clouds of doom these bad clients bring along with them leave you second guessing your skills, your career, and even yourself.
Don’t let mean clients ruin your business.
Follows these three tips for dealing with mean clients successfully and enjoy the benefits of business again:
The gig economy and its “freeing” freelancing gets a lot of headlines these days.
Promotional campaigns spotlighting the ultimate career woman raking in thousands of dollars from the comfort of her chic designed home office have many young professionals wondering, “Is the commute worth it?” or “Could freelancing be my escape from Cubicleville”?
With my hard-earned MBA in hand, I hit the freelancing market with gusto, eager to get a jump on all my graduating peers (and my always-accruing-interest student loans).
For months, I’d read everything I could find on this wondrous world of freelancing, been mesmerized by hours of inspiring ad campaigns, and spent many a late night perfecting my freelancer profile. I was certain that I’d done everything “right” to pull an MBA hourly with just my laptop and make-shift office; but things didn’t go as planned.