Lower your fees? It's a cop out, it's a desperate measure, it's stupid! Actually, it could be all of these or none of these. Take me for example; I recently lowered my fees. Why? Because I realized that while my services are selling, I have the potential and the desire to reach many more people than I currently do.
My clients own or wish to own a small business. They are hard-working and ambitious people who can and do benefit from the things I do. I'm confident that I'm delivering more value to my clients than at any other time. With an attitude like that you might ask, why not increase my fees? The simple answer, my clients couldn't afford it. The impact of a fee increase would be less people reached, less business for me. So how do you decide if lowering your fees is the right thing to do?
It's NOT wrong!
You can start by recognizing that it's NOT WRONG to lower your fees. Like anything else, whether or not to lower your fees is a choice and if the choice is well thought out it can be a good one. Stop listening to "them." This is your choice, think it through and follow through.
That is, it's not wrong all the time.
The motivation behind lowering your fees is critical. Are you reacting to decreased opportunity or cash flow? Are you engaged in a battle with the competition? Lowering your fees may seem like a quick fix (e.g., lower fees, more business). Whether it works or not, it distracts you from what matters, fixing your business. Lower fees will not improve the quality of your work. In fact lower fees coupled with a broken business are a recipe for disaster. In short if your motivation is in response to something undesirable DO NOT lower your fees. Figure out WHAT is precipitating the problem first!
On the other hand if you are exploring steps to increase opportunity or to increase cash flow, lowering fees is something to take a look at. The bottom line, lowering fees is part of a proactive plan. Fee reduction is about growth, not damage repair.
To lower your fees or not, that is the question. Only you can decide the best option for your business. Lowering fees is a viable option in some cases but as with all business decisions you must understand the motivation as well as the potential impact of your decisions.