It doesn’t matter if you’re working on signing your first client, or your portfolio is pages deep and there’s a waitlist of business owners who want to work with you, the conversation has to happen.
“How much do you charge?”
Especially as you build your clientele, deciding what to charge as an OBM can be a fluid discussion in your mind. How much one client requires of you doesn’t even compare to the demand of another, and it can leave you questioning if the investments you ask of your clients are fair.
How Much Do OBMs Charge?
When prospects ask you how much you charge, there are two facts to know for sure:
- It depends
- It doesn’t have to be the same for each client
We’re willing to bet you’ve lowered your rate when a client said they couldn’t afford you (and even after years of experience, you still consider it). Why? Why, after you say you’re worth a set fee, are you willing to change it because someone questions your value?
Entrepreneurs are often taught that you take on clients to pay the bills until you’ve developed enough experience, referrals, or…fill in the blank…to be able to hand-select your clients.
Clients Become Your Spokesperson
When you decide to work with a particular client, how their business develops after you come on board speaks to your abilities – fair or not. Let’s say a business is nearing bankruptcy or crumbling internally from poor management. A struggling owner brings you on board as the OBM (i.e. – the super hero tasked with completely turning around the business). If the business fails before you can establish systems, work directly with the team, and make any real change, suddenly that brand’s failure is attached to your work.
If you’re successfully working with startups and helping create real change for your clients, there’s no need to lower your fees. A red flag of a questionable client is the owner’s claim your cost is unaffordable.
Your onboarding process as an OBM will help you avoid partnering with nightmare clients, but at no point should you ever second guess your worth. It does not matter that someone else will do the same job for less.
How To Set My Rates As An OBM?
As you consider how to set your rates as an OBM, ask yourself these questions before you even layout the numbers:
- Regardless of time, what are your clients actually paying for? If it’s problem solving or systems that create a more efficient office, what are those things worth?
- What happens to your clients if they don’t work with you? The hours of extra work and stress they will face has a value.
- What benefits do your services offer outside the office? Time with family, increased revenue, and ability to enjoy hobbies – all also hold value.
As a successful OBM, you’re not just overseeing a marketing strategy or executing office management systems. Your value is found in your client’s free weekends, better office morale, and revenue growth.
Know your value, and don’t ever place your skills on the clearance shelf.
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