The Choice Between Becoming Cheap or Expensive

Every self-employed person has to figure this dilemma out for themselves. The choice between being the service provider who offer their services for cheap or the one who offer it for a premium.

There are two variables one must consider before choosing either or. Let's first deal with offering cheap services.

Becoming the cheap service provider means that you're going to have a whole lot more people that like you. They like the fact they can get such a service at such a bargain price. They also know in the back of their minds that it's somewhat criminal that someone would offer their time and service for so little in exchange. But they don't say it, instead they smile and tell you they're going to give your card to others who can use your help. But here's the problem, once they tell their friends the first few words that spills out of their mouth is "oh yeah they're really cheap," and the cycle continues. Being the cheap service provider doesn't mean you would do less business but it certainly means that you won't do great business as there is always another guy out there who would do it for less. And there in lies the dilemma of constantly competing with lower price instead of higher value.

On the other hand you can choose to be expensive but you will have less people that care to hire you. Many of them may think you charge too much and others probably won't be able to afford you. But you can't be expensive just because you want to be viewed as such. There must truly be something special about the way you go about your work that calls for a premium. Typically, service providers who are expensive are specialist in their field who offer such high value that clients recognize the money that is spent is not only worth it but is of lesser value than the problem they can't solve themselves. Doing business on this level means that you inevitably have less competitors, as most people don't have the discipline to operate on such a high level, but it also means there is greater demand by the client. The client will expect a higher ROI, better customer service, and top notch performance.

Most self-employed individuals I know who do great business choose to be expensive. But you can also make a decent living by being cheap. Neither one is wrong but you probably should choose soon.