My last accountant charged way too little.
She charged a fixed fee, but my business was growing quickly so I outgrew it within a few months.
As my workload grew, her price remained the same. But she didn’t address it by asking for more. It eventually became a problem.
After a while, it took longer and longer to get responses from her. My books were taking longer to be reconciled and the quality of her work went way down.
I could tell I became a “second class citizen” in her client world. I even offered to pay more a few times, of which she accepted once.
There’s a lesson here.
By not charging your clients enough to do the work AND make a profit, you’ll eventually run into a few scenarios—none of which are good.
- You’ll get better clients and make them the priority
- You’ll stop doing good work for your lower-priced clients
- You’ll start de-prioritizing their work
- You’ll start to resent them
- They’ll start to notice
- They’ll start to resent you
- They’ll replace you with someone who makes them a priority
- They’ll never work with you again
- They’ll tell people about their negative experience
I’m not looking for low-cost suppliers in my business. Most businesses aren’t.
Instead, I want professional-quality work from people who charge enough to make time for me and do good work.
It might be tempting to keep old clients around who are paying old rates because they represent “safe” and “predictable” revenue. But what ends up happening is they become after-thoughts when you get better clients.
You’ll get busy to make up for lost revenue potential, and with that, your relationship will eventually deteriorate along with the quality of your services.
Some people want the cheapest rate possible. Don’t work with people like that.
Instead, charge a rate that gets you excited and then do good work for them!
Don’t justify poor-quality service because you’re not charging enough. That’s on you to fix.
Either charge enough to get you excited to work with them, or refer them to someone who can do the job instead.