Updated: Sep 15, 2020
First off, I want to confront the white elephant in the room... Money SHOULD be talked about more frequently! It plays such an important role in living the life that YOU want to live and I want to share 4 valuable tips I had to learn about money over the years.
1. Knowing how to price your services
Lets be honest, how many times have you finished working with someone and thought, "Dang I should have charged WAY more." Yup, SAME. Literally, what ever number you have been charging, up that number right now. Every year I do two things:
Evaluate the services I offer
Raise my prices
Here's why; within every year of designing not only have my skills advanced, but so has the value of my design work, the amount of knowledge I'm sharing and the process. Within the last two years I have increased by over double my starting rates.
You're probably thinking, "But how does she know what to even charge to begin with?"
Check out this IG post I made about it:
2. Budget for your business AND personal life.
Budgeting is some serious Financial 101, if you don't know already, YOU NEED TO. Before learning how to budget for my lifestyle properly, I was barley managing the check to check life, which was causing unnecessary stress. If your life looks a little something like that now, follow these simple steps I took, to work your way out ASAP:
Look through your bank account from the last month OR year and note the following:
Income per month
Money spent on NEEDS (Gas, groceries, etc.)
Money spent on WANTS (Shopping, eating out, events. etc.)
Now compare your number from one with the sum of 2-5. Is your answer positive or negative?
Positive: I would take that number and divide it into three. (Put a third into savings, a third into any debt you may have and leave a third for any additional spending)
Negative: Don't panic! There are just a few things that you might want to change. Evaluate your subscriptions and WANTS spending. Take away at least 2-4 things that are unnecessary and you could do without. Rather that be eating out one less day a week or when you go to the store ask yourself, "Do I REALLY want this?" or maybe you just don't want Hulu as much as you thought you would have. (I had Hulu for 6 mo. and used it once to binge one show!)
I evaluated my budget at the end of the month for an entire year and let me tell you, it changed my life! By changing just a few WANT habits I was able to pay off ALL of my debt (minus student loans) in just 3 years. (That's $14K in debt, all paid off in 3 years! That included car payments, credit card payments and any short term loans I had.) This has given me freedom to not stress about the bills that are needed to be paid every month and allowed me to spend LESS time being company employed and MORE time building my business. (Note: Those 3 years I was also working well over 40hrs. a week. That included working an everyday job, taking on clients and offering my photography services. It's a lot of work! But totally worth it. You can do it and deserve to be stress free from money.)
3. Manage your business' income carefully
If you have your own business there are a few things you should start to do with that income:
Create a separate account for your business.
Track any incoming and expenses monthly for your business.
If you are paying bills with this account, ensure you know which ones are business related and ones that are for personal. (I prefer to keep personal and business bills separate.)
Save money for taxes! Use a savings account attached to your business for when you file taxes to ensure your covered all year, that way you don't need to stress about when tax season is here.
4. Send Invoices and ensure you get paid!
Nobody has time to be sitting on invoices! So here are a few things I do to ensure I get paid AND on time.
They have all the right information, each of my invoices are branded and include all the essential information that needs to be sent to my clients including:
My Information: Logo, Name, Email & Number
Clients Information: Name, Address, Email & Number
Invoice Number & Date it was sent
Service name, description of the services, price of service, total amount, amount due for invoice.
Ways they can send the payment (I have Online CC Payments through my site, Paypal, Venmo and Zelle)
Terms & Conditions (I have this stating that everything per our contract has been completed, if they are late on payment there will be an overdue amount added to their total, and if there is failure to pay, per our contract I can take legal action.)
Thanking my client for the opportunity! (I always add this as they could have gone anywhere else and I want them to know that them choosing me, means a lot.)
When sending the invoice I label it as an "Invoice"
We all get too many emails these days and sometimes things can easily get lost, ensure when you send it that it's titled as an invoice.
Send a reminder BEFORE a late fee is active.
Give them a certain amount of time before the payment is due. I offer my clients 5 business days of time to send me the payment.
Thank them for the payment
Once they send the payment always contact and let them know you received it!
Saying thank you and a final email about working with them is a great way to close the service. Also this is a great time to ask for a review.
Thanks for stopping by the Eclectic Blog!
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