Brand positioning and messaging coach, ferocious ice cream eater and leopard print lover.
I'm here to help talented women with personal brands to rise up and make fierce waves in the minds of their ideal clients by helping them to carve out their powerful position and clarify the big message they want to become known for.
So they can become:
- The ONLY choice for their idea clients.
Women in business face some unique challenges when it comes to building a profitable business. That’s exactly what my guest, Natalie Coombe – a pricing and profit coach – and I discuss on this week’s episode of the Fierce Impact podcast.
Listen in to find out:
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On Instagram @hayleymaxwellwrites
Natalie’s website: www.nataliecoombe.com
Natalie’s Instagram: @nataliecoombeonline
3 Ways To Increase Your Profit, Working Less Hours
3 Steps To Know Your Value So You Can Start To Charge What You’re Worth
Hayley Maxwell 00:06
Welcome to the fierce impact podcast. I’m your host Hayley Maxwell brand clarity and messaging coach, copywriter, ferocious ice cream eater and leopard print lover. If you’re ready to harness the incredible brand building power of words, so you can become memorable, meaningful and the only real choice for your dream clients. This is the podcast for you. Let’s get started! W ell, hello, and welcome to episode 15 of the Fierce Impact Podcast. And today I have got a super meaty episode for you because I am talking to the wonderful Natalie Coombe who is a pricing strategist and profit coach. And we’re chatting all about profit in business and particularly the challenges that women in business face when it comes to building a business that is truly profitable. And so before we dig into the interview, I want to just take a moment to introduce Natalie to you. Natalie Coombe enables clients serving business owners to nail their pricing and their profit so they can pay themselves what they’re worth doing what they love, only working the hours they want. For over 20 years, Natalie has delivered results for everyone from solopreneurs through to top international companies in London and Europe, including MNC Sachi and mindshare worldwide, as well as working behind the scenes on iconic brands such as Unilever, Dyson, American Express, Rolex and Nike. As a single mom by choice running her own six figure online business working just three days a week, Natalie understands firsthand the challenges women entrepreneurs face when setting up and scaling their own business. Whether you’re a solopreneur, or growing a team. Today, Natalie works one to one and runs an online program called Nail Your Pricing, teaching talented business owners how to pay themselves what the value of their services are worth doing what they love, and only working the hours they want. So if you’re ready to earn more, working less, so you can build a better lifestyle for yourself and your loved ones, then this is the episode for you. Welcome to the Fierce Impact Podcast, Natalie.
Natalie Coombe 02:52
Ah, good to be here. I thank you very much for having me on your show. I love your podcast. So it’s awesome to be one of those speakers,
Hayley Maxwell 02:59
would you like to just start by just sharing a little bit more about what you do and how you got to where you are today. And
Natalie Coombe 03:06
yes sure so I help women, woman entrepreneurs to get their pricing and their profit sorted so they can pay themselves what they’re worth doing what they love, and I’m only working the hours that they want. I’ve actually been doing, we call a business transformation, which is a fancy pants word for troubleshooting for over 20 years and spent the last 10 years in London working with big corporates fixing their problems. And often what ends up happening when you dig into a business who’s struggling to meet their goals or not profitable enough got client issues or staff retention issues. Whatever the challenges are, when you dig under the surface, often, one of the key things that’s causing it is their pricing is it they’re not actually pricing their services profitably, meaning they’re not able to hire the right people or hire the right support. Their people are burning out they’re having to work too hard to deliver everything. And so when you fix the pricing problem, or we would call a commercial problem, when you fix a pricing problem, suddenly you can afford resources you can afford support you can afford more people you can afford marketing you can afford all of the things that make business successful and more enjoyable to do and everything just starts to work more and obviously, for for big corporate shareholders get money. But for small business owners like ourselves, it means we get to pay ourselves which starts to make sense of all the effort and energy that we’re putting in. So I am after a few years back 10 years in London, I decided to become a single mom by choice. And I moved back to New Zealand to raise my daughter with my family. And when it came time to going back into the workforce and don’t want to, you know, go back into corporate and have my girl and daycare 10 hours a day and never see her. So I wanted to a different option. And that’s when teaching other business owners who I knew, but how to create profitable businesses in a really healthy way. was like, yeah, that’s, that’s what I need to do. And so I started my own business, teaching people what I’ve spent 20 years learning. And yeah, haven’t looked, haven’t looked back. It’s amazing.
Hayley Maxwell 05:32
Yeah, because it’s such an issue, isn’t it that like getting your pricing right, and the mindset around pricing for women in particular. So I can imagine that it would be quite a fulfilling, role in helping women through that in their business.
Natalie Coombe 05:51
It’s, it’s huge, it’s huge. And I remember really early on in my journey, I had, I was working with a business coach, and they asked, you know, if you could fix one thing, because I can help businesses solve a whole lot of different problems. But if I could sell one thing that was gonna have the biggest impact on then what would it be? And the immediate answer was a fixed pricing. Because once your pricing is profitable, so when we say pricing, right, like what is right actually mean? Well, right means that you can deliver it profitably. And that it’s a price point that clients see it as being valuable. So you kind of need kind of need both both pieces. But once you’ve got those in place, and you can deliver your services profitably, there’s more money coming in every single month and going out, suddenly, the this pressure that we have on she’ll have to make more money, I have to sell more stuff, I have to deliver more work, that pressure that we put on ourselves, and eases because the money is flowing. And what that means is you can afford to invest to work with experts, which means we don’t have to DIY everything ourselves anymore, and the overwhelm that comes with all the things that we have to do and feeling like a failure because we’re not doing them good enough. It means we can’t afford to invest in marketing and branding. So that we get our message out to the people who need to hear it more often, we know how to convert them into clients, it means that you don’t have to work so hard when your pricing is profitable. And so you don’t have to work your evenings or your weekends anymore, you can spend time with your loved ones. It means you have more headspace. I know for a lot of my clients, that’s one of the biggest benefits that they’ve seen is they have headspace to think strategically about their business now, which means they’re able to then do the big things that really move their business forward. Whereas before they were just stuck in the hustling grind, they would just burn out just delivering client work day after day after day, and they couldn’t get out of that place. So adjusting your pricing, so it’s profitable and healthy for you to deliver suddenly means that you have breathing space. For other things outside of business. Yeah, but also for that, that big thinking is, and obviously when you’re pricing is profitable, there’s plenty of money for you every month, and you actually can pay yourself regularly. And that can be financially rewarded for all the hard work and energy and effort that you put into business, but also for the impact that you have on your clients lives. And I think for a lot of women, that the they feel very capable once once that’s happening, they’re like, Ah, I can do this. I’m a businesswoman. Now I can do this. And so the people around them then start to see that they they’re feeling more confident in themselves. And the you know, if they’ve got kids, you know, their kids are seeing, Oh, mom’s actually she’s really good at what she does, you know, she’s successful, but she’s also present with us. She’s here with us. She’s not stressed and burnt out all the time anymore. And so it has can actually have a generational change when women get their pricing right. Because their kids in the end, kind of young people around them go oh, that’s how it looks like. That’s what success and working well looks like. And so for me, there’s just not a better job in the world and helping women feel more capable successful, believing in themselves backing themselves and having those around them go how that’s what that’s what it looks like.
Hayley Maxwell 09:32
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I love that. And so what would you say the the most common challenges are that women face when it comes to pricing profitably. And how does that kind of show up? What does it what does it look like?
A really good question. And it’s interesting. I’ve had people sometimes ask me, Why do you work with women? Like don’t men have the same like, don’t they deserve? And oh, yeah, absolutely. Um, you know, Women have all the normal challenges of running a business that everybody has. But I think in particular, there’s kind of at least three additional challenges and layers that we have to overcome in order to build that kind of successful, profitable, healthy business for us. And I think, you know, one of the biggest ones is that woman and we are raised, and we are rewarded for putting other people before ourselves in society, you know, as mums we’re supposed to put ourselves last, you know, as, as friends, we’re supposed to look after everybody else first, like, you know, the wheel is essentially a syndrome. It’s called the burnt chop syndrome, you know, which we’ve talked about where you’re cooking, you know, one, you’re cooking a whole lot of food, one of them gets burned, well, guess whose plate the burnt stuff goes on? What goes on our plate? Right? We don’t you know, and some people say, Well, you’re responsible for it. Well, yeah, somebody else could have. Right? Exactly. You know, and, and we’ll, that approach of putting ourselves last in our personal lives is questionable. When we do it in business, when we put ourselves last in business, that is where we will stay. And you cannot build a profitable business, it’s healthy for you to run when you’re constantly putting yourself the challenge is to put ourselves first feel selfish. And it goes against what we kind of as a woman think, are our values. And so we have this kind of this disconnect. So we have to find ways of seeing, putting ourselves first doesn’t mean being selfish. And that simply means designing a business to work that works for you. And saying no to the things that don’t work for you. And so creating healthy boundaries. So that’s one of the things I help my clients to identify what are those boundaries that they need to put in place for their business to be healthy for them to run? And, you know, and methods to uphold them. So So that’s definitely one thing that women in particular deal with is we’re so used to putting others before ourselves. Another thing is, well, is it we are, we’re helping we’re caregivers by nature. And we’re often people, people pleasers by nature. So there’s this tendency to well, I’m helping someone and it comes naturally to me. So why, how can I charge for that, like, we undervalue what we do and what comes naturally to us, we undervalue it and go, Well, it’s not worth it’s so easy, like anyone could do it. No, not anyone could do it. Exactly. Your clients can’t do it. That’s where they need you. And so helping women, it’s kind of one of the I was talking to someone the other day, and like, oh, you you help women to believe in themselves? And you’re like, Well, yeah, it’s a huge part of what I do is holding a mirror up, so that they see what other people see. Right, because our view of ourselves is often really tarnished. And so part of helping women price profitably is helping them see the value that they bring, and the value that other people see in themselves. And that builds their courage to start to charge what their services are worth. But that’s a process and a journey that all of us have to go through to really believe in the value of what we do. So, you know, we put other people before ourselves, we undervalue what our skill set and therefore struggle to charge for. And then thirdly, if that wasn’t enough,
Natalie Coombe 13:47
women are still statistically, the primary caregiver for those that have have families who are still with the primary caregiver. Even when you don’t have family, you’re still usually the primary household magician that is responsible for doing all the things. So on top of running a business, you know, we also have a household that we have to manage. And then often many of us have children that we have to look after. And we the primary caregivers for or family members that were responsible for looking after all of those are like a full time job. So on top of the business, we have everything else as well. And I remember when I was first starting out, I’m reading everything, what does it take? I want to know what and I read an article, I think it was an Ink Magazine. And it said in order to be successful in business, your business has to be your number one priority. You know, you have to sacrifice everything for your business if your clients need you. Eight o’clock at night, you have to drop everything to to serve them. And I was like, shit I can’t do that. Like my business is no My number one priority. My family is, and my mental health is a close second. And it made me go well hang on a minute, if you what you’re saying is true, then how am I supposed to run a business, and that’s when for me, I just call bullshit on that viewpoint and realize that that was a man writing the article. And the traditional view of success in business is a run by men who have either no children or family, or they have a wife at home, looking after everything. So their sole priority is to focus on the business and and be the provider. And so for women, we have to create a new narrative of what success looks like for us. That takes into consideration all the other responsibilities that that we have. Yeah,
Hayley Maxwell 15:55
yeah, absolutely. I think a couple of things came to mind when you were talking there. And I think the first goes back to the birth chart syndrome, it’s like when you’re on an aeroplane, and they talk to you about the fact that you need to put your mask on first anyone else? So I think there’s there’s that and like, definitely, that’s a skill that I think we really need to kind of focus on on learning to do and it becomes so that it becomes a habit. So we are putting our businesses first so that we are looking after ourselves first and our mental health first. Because when we do that, everything else is going to therefore thrive more. Because yeah, you know, the energy or the space, or whatever it is
Natalie Coombe 16:41
100%. And that’s the irony of the situation is, yeah, when you make space for yourself, and you are making sure that your own needs are being met, everything else gets better, your relationships get better, your business gets better, your health gets better. And you know, so we’re going to be still talking about pricing here. And yes,
Hayley Maxwell 17:06
yeah. So that’s all connected. It’s
Natalie Coombe 17:09
all connected. And that’s one of the reasons why for me getting that pricing piece of the puzzle so that you can deliver your services profitably in a way that is healthy for you. So allows you time for everything else. You don’t have to work evenings, you don’t have to work weekends, you can invest in support, that is fundamental to having a successful business, but also having a healthy lifestyle as well. And for me, that’s a fundamental part of pricing, which is slightly different to how accountants might praise or other experts I know of in the industry might price where it’s just about make as much money as possible. And it’s like no, make the money you need to in a way that is healthy and sustainable for you to do. This absolutely can’t be the only thing you’re doing right now. Yeah.
Hayley Maxwell 17:59
And so what are some of the the impacts that you’ve seen, when you’ve worked with clients when they’ve come to you around? Not getting pricing? Right, like, what are some of the things that are kind of happening in people’s businesses or lives?
Natalie Coombe 18:16
Yeah, so one of the biggest ones is burnout. You know, if you’ve got burnout, then actually you have a pricing problem. And there were other issues going on. But the My general rule of thumb is if you’re 80% capacity, so if you’re close to fully booked, you’re not maxed out, but you know, you’ve got a couple more spaces, but actually, you’re pretty solidly booked, you should be in a position where you’re paying yourself your goal salary. Yeah, before you’re maxed out, you should be paying yourself your goal salary every month and be able to invest. So as soon as you get so often what happens is in this is this kind of get more work approach is that they think, right, once I’m maxed out, then I will be able to pay myself like No, no, you should be paying yourself well before you’re maxed out. And, and so will often one of the signs that something in your business isn’t right, and we need to address the pricing is when people are burning out because it means that they are fully maxed with clients, and then they’re doing everything else. After hours, evenings, weekends, they’re not getting enough sleep, they’re not getting breaks, they’re not getting downtime. They’re not getting time with their friends and their family. They’re not refreshing themselves, they’re probably not looking after their physical health. They’re probably not looking after their mental health. Okay, enough sleep. All of those things are driven by your pricing is off. Because if your pricing was profitable, you can pay yourself a decent salary, only working the hours that you have available with time to do everything else during your work hours. Yeah, it’s Kinda makes that happen. So, so burnout is really one of the biggest signs that you have a pricing problem in your business. Yeah.
Hayley Maxwell 20:11
Yeah, that’s true, isn’t it? Because I think, you know, if you are always working at that full capacity, I mean, an even when you’re getting to that 80% kind of capacity, you know, if you’re always at that stage, then you’re one you’re this, you don’t have that extra time to kind of focus on your own business. But to them, it is an indication as well, that if you’re always booked out at those prices, yeah, that’s right, then actually, you know, maybe you’re not charging enough. But that’s right, you’re providing so by really looking at your pricing, then potentially, you’re able to reduce the number of projects that you need to take clients that you need to get your gold salary. Yeah,
Natalie Coombe 20:56
you can’t you reduce your workload, but you earn more money. I mean, that’s, for me, one of the biggest drivers a lot of my clients have is they want to earn more, but they want to work less earning more. You know, it’s this double kind of, I want to I want to have more money than I am right now. But I want to work less hours during it. And the mechanic that makes it happen is your charging is your as how you deliver your services and your pricing. And it puts you in control of that, that the really good thing in terms of people are experiencing burnout. The good news is that that means they’re amazing at what they do. Yeah. Right. So because clients love you so much that so many people want to work with you, and often keep coming back to work with you. So you’re amazing at what you do, you’re delivering results, you have an ability to attract clients. Now, they may or may not be the right clients, you need going forward. But you’ve got a lot of really strong things going for you. So burnout, ironically, is actually a sign lots of things are going well, we just need to fix it by fixing racing.
Hayley Maxwell 21:59
Yeah, yeah. Because I guess you know, if you don’t fix if you don’t fix the pricing, and you continue going the way you you are, then it’s Yeah, yeah, we’re now not a healthy place to be.
Natalie Coombe 22:11
And, you know, it’s really common. I mean, I’ve burned out in my, in my own business, I, you know, I took on too many clients, because I wanted to serve, and I wanted to help. And you get to the end of the year, and you’re barely functioning and you have to take those breakpoints to go, Okay, what do I need to do differently to address this, but I don’t want to pick ticket pay cut at the same time. So it’s looking at your pricing and the way you you you serve? Yeah.
Hayley Maxwell 22:41
Um, how, how can I have sort of an impact on like relationships? Do you see that as well, like in like the business, either from partners, maybe sort of looking at the business and saying, Well, you know, you’re working all of this this time, or when you’re going to start bringing in the right, man? Yeah. When you get a real job? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s it.
Natalie Coombe 23:07
Yeah. No, it has a huge impact. And I mean, in a couple of different ways. You know, it’s hard to have a relationship with someone when they’re sleeping on the couch. And a lot of my clients, that’s the state when they come to work with me, that’s the state they’ve been in is, they’re up late at night laptop, on the couch, just doing their invoicing, writing a blog post finishing client work that is because of the overcommitted and that over time as a one off, because something happened, okay, we do what we have to do but if that’s the standard way you need to get work done week to week that is going to impact your your relationship with you know, with your partner. It also impacts your relationship with your with your loved ones with your family, particularly if you have children, because you’re not present, like glued to your phone always having to message reply and your you can get and I know this from personal experience when these moments happen to me, you get pissy with your children for wanting time and you have no patience right now you know so the struggle is real. But that’s where we need that state not be the standard the normal way you live. Sometimes it happens but we need to design the business. So it’s successful, profitable, you bring in money every month, but you’re doing it in a way that you can put your phone down and you don’t have to work evenings you don’t have to work weekends. And that’s just really important for particularly for relationships and it is it is and I think this is where the piece of Feeling capable, is really important to women where we go, actually, I am contributing to the family income, you know, the time I’m spending on my business is being rewarded. Often prior to getting pricing, right, there is a thing, if you could go and do something else and earn more than for the time you’re spending like, we, as a family, we need to get something back for all the time you’re spending on stuff outside of the family, we need to start seeing some payback for that. And pricing is the key that kind of makes that makes that happen. And so it takes that pressure off. Yeah, it’s it’s disconcerting, just how much pricing affects pretty much every every facet of someone’s life, considering how little we talk about it.
Hayley Maxwell 25:53
And I know that something that you talk about a lot is that salary isn’t a reward, that it’s actually kind of a fixed business costs. So can you sort of talk a little bit about that in terms of how do we actually go about planning our salary so that we can actually pay ourselves? Because I know that, you know, from conversations with lots of different people and listening into what you talk, talk about, a lot of people pay themselves in a very ad hoc way, sort of a little bit here and a little bit there. If there is anything left, kind of? Yes. So how do we Yeah, how do we actually begin to plan for the salary that we actually want to have?
Natalie Coombe 26:39
Yeah, it’s a great, it’s a great question. And I think it’s such an important thing to talk about there is there’s absolutely this myth that exists. And it’s a traditional view of business, that your salary, what you get paid for the business, often it comes out of profit is a reward, and that you have to work your ass off over years, and you have to sacrifice for years, before you’ve earned the right to pay yourself, you know, and you hear it with people kind of boasting for how many years it was before they paid themselves. And you’ll hear people say, Oh, I reinvest everything in my business. And I think what you’re saying is, there’s no money left over, after you’ve paid for all your expenses. So everything every money you make goes back into your business, not because you’re reinvesting your salary, but because of money left over to pay a salary, which is a different, which is a very different setting. And because of that belief, that it’s a reward you’ll get at some point in time in the future. And any, if you take it early, you are sabotaging your business growth, because you should be reinvesting what that means is, people build businesses that do not pay them a salary, they don’t factor it into well, I have to earn X amount in order to have all these investments. So I need to run my business, but also have enough left over to pay myself. And one of the reasons why this is such a challenge is for most solopreneur. Working from home service based businesses, your salary, what you want to pay yourself is likely to be two times if not three times more than the costs of running your business. So only making a plan to generate enough money to cover your running costs plus a little bit extra, and then hope that you just have to work hard enough to make enough eventually to pay yourself, you won’t bridge that gap. You can’t bridge a gap that’s two to three times bigger than what you’re planning for. So that’s why it’s really important, right from day one. Day one, that we have a plan for where we need to get to you in the near future so that the business is paying us something every month it might not be you know, your social media, highlight reel six figure salary overnight. I mean, I remember when
Hayley Maxwell 29:11
Natalie Coombe 29:11
I first started out all bless me, I was like, I’m going to earn my corporate salary in like my first year, I think, and then you realize what it would take to make the happy like, I don’t want to work that hard.
Hayley Maxwell 29:20
Yeah, exactly. Let’s just be a little more realistic for life to be a little bit calmer. Sorry.
Natalie Coombe 29:31
So but, you know, it is an important piece of the puzzle to go. You know, we need to design our business that it pays you a salary and then you take the steps to make it happen in terms of what we can do to plan for that. Well, the very first thing is decide what you want to get paid. Yeah, like that helps. It does. I know it sounds so simple. And yet you know and some of you listening We’ll go oh, well, I already know that fantastic. So you’re already ahead of the game, because you’ve had that conversation with yourself, for many others that never allow themselves to ask the question what I want to get paid for this? Yeah, what do I want to earn? Because it’s almost as if, if we were to put it out in the universe, I want, you know, I want a 50k. Or I want 100k, or I want quarter million, the universe would laugh in our face and go, Oh, that’s never happening. So we don’t put it out there. The problem is, when we don’t, when we’re not clear with ourselves with what we want to make, how can you make a plan for it? It’s like, how do you plan for a holiday when you don’t know the destination? Yeah, you can’t, you know, you can do a whole lot of activities. But you can’t make a plan to actually get you on holiday if you don’t know where you’re going. So the very first thing is, is to actually ask yourself and give yourself permission to say, this is what I want to earn. Now I need to go and make a plan to make that happen. There also, there are four key pricing methods. And I can share it share a link to those that the two most powerful ones are cost based pricing and value based pricing. Those are the two methods that I teach my clients for cost based pricing is we work from the ground up and say, Okay, well, you know, what do you want to earn? How do you want to work, right? Therefore, this is how you deliver what do you what’s the minimum, you need to be earning for your services, in order to be profitable. Cool, that’s the minimum. And then value based pricing, which is super powerful, particularly for women, is where it’s actually not about how long it takes you to deliver, or how much it costs you to deliver, or about how much you’re worth. Yeah, not about that anymore. value based pricing is where it’s about the change that you help your clients to make, and how valuable that is to them. Yeah, and once you’ve worked that out, then that becomes the maximum you can charge before your clients are getting value aren’t getting value for money is always really important. Our clients are getting value for money. And so I help my clients figure out those two price points kind of at the minimum, so it’s viable, they’re paying themselves happy days, and then the maximum they can charge before clients are no longer getting value for money, and they can pay, they can charge whatever they like, they feel comfortable and confident charging between those those two numbers. And what we find is once you know what those kind of guardrails are for pricing, you know, a lot of my clients go from, from charging kind of the minimum as their confidence build, they start increasing their prices, and becoming more profitable. Lots of my clients start from not even being at the minimum, not even charging the minimum, and then they just slowly increase in the gap, and I pay myself every month now, you know, rather than just taking I’m gonna pay school fees, or we’re gonna go dinner out, I’m going to pay for it on the business. And that’s your for I pay for broadband, that’s really common when the business pays for broadband for the family. And so those are great things, but what we need to be doing is planning for a salary, and then every month transferring, even if it’s just $500, just transferring $500 into your bank account, your personal bank account every month. And then as your business becomes more profitable, we transfer 1000 and then 2000. And then processes. Yeah,
Hayley Maxwell 33:31
yeah. And so then you would work towards obviously getting to that point of starting to sort of transfer you know, what you would hope your monthly kind of goal salary would be so over over time, and I think a lot of it like you were talking about it does come down to that that confidence piece, is it to charge more, especially for those clients, maybe of yours, who were you know, charging sort of below that minimum scope that you just talked about? It’s really to do with that, that confidence in actually charging for that, that value that they provide?
Natalie Coombe 34:07
Yeah, and yeah, 100% And what I find she a lot of my clients, we just finished kind of the first intake of now your pricing this this week. And one of the things that I find every time I run this program is that when women see how much time and energy they actually put into delivering amazing services and results for their clients, and they know what they need to be earning per hour for it to be make sense for them and achieve their personal goals and be healthy and all is really the things their tolerance for charging less kind of evaporates. Yeah, absolutely. Once your oh it that’s that’s the minimum I need to charge. Why would I charge less? Yeah. And so doing the numbers and actually having it on paper to back you up suddenly gives you a reason Why that’s what I need to charge. Yeah. And you might transition to that a lot of my clients do sometimes the number they get is like, Whoa, there’s way more than what I’ve been charging, and we that’s fine. That’s the goal, you know, we transition to it, and you do it in a way that’s doable for you, but suddenly seen on paper, gives them that confidence to go, why would I charge less like it no longer makes sense to me. Whereas when you don’t know what you have to charge to be profitable, it’s just easier to charge less and have it and not have to have sometimes awkward conversations. And that’s where you get stuck in this zone. So, so both understanding the value of the services you provide, helps give you that confidence that yes, it is worth it. But also just doing your numbers to go well, that’s how long it takes me to do it. And that’s how much I need to be earning. So I’m not, I’m no longer going to settle for charging less, because it’s not worth my time, also builds their confidence as well.
Hayley Maxwell 36:03
Yeah, absolutely. And then then it becomes kind of, I think what a lot of us do in business, particularly when we’re sort of first starting out or in those earlier years. It’s kind of a case of like licking our finger on it in the air, you know, and I’m just going well, this kind of sounds okay. And you know, all we think about what the people that are coming to us. So what our clients, what are they going to think about this particular price? And we kind of use that as our pricing strategy. Like, what? And I know, I have been guilty of this in the past. You know, what, what are they going to think about this price? Are they going to think it’s too high? Oh, well, I better just take off a little bit before I send it to them. You know, no matter how confident you feel at the start, you know, you get that invoice ready to send or you know that quote ready to send and that’s or maybe I’ll just shave a little bit off here and a little bit off there. And before you know it, yeah, your quote is half of what it is right? Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Natalie Coombe 37:06
That is, it’s a problem around that. And I think that it’s really interesting, because what we often are doing is we’re underselling ourselves, you know, we have no idea what our clients financial position is. That’s it? Yeah, it really it’s none of our business, you know, something I say to a lot of my clients is, I can almost guarantee you that your ideal client is already spending more than the cost of your service on something else. Yeah. Like you’re like they have the money they are spending on other things, because people pay for what they value. Our job as business owners is to demonstrate why it is valuable to your client and why it’s worth the investment. But we then have to believe and understand the value of it ourselves in order to be able to then communicate it to to other people.
Hayley Maxwell 38:01
Yeah, being able to articulate that that value is a thing because it helps you to show up with more more confidence about that that value that you provide. Yeah,
Natalie Coombe 38:13
I mean, you’re amazing at that in terms of helping business owners extract what’s important.
Hayley Maxwell 38:19
Natalie Coombe 38:21
one things I loved about working with you in terms of your process is I’m pretty clear on on. Oh, I love this question. Oh, I love this question. You know, I can imagine for a lot of people, when they’re like, I’m not really sure you’re helping your process to help extract that value that they bring to client is really important.
Hayley Maxwell 38:44
Yeah. And so online, we see a lot of people talking about, you’ve got to get more sales, you’ve got to get more sales. And I know that you’ve talked in the past about why that can be misleading. So could you just share a little bit about why that kind of message online is misleading?
Natalie Coombe 39:00
Yeah, sure. So absolutely. You anyone who spent any time on social media will be bombarded by the how to get more sales in 30 days and how to get a six figure business, a seven figure business now apparently. And obviously, getting sales and getting clients is fundamental to having a business. You know, if you haven’t got clients, you haven’t got a business. So it’s not saying those things are unimportant. They absolutely are. But it’s portrayed as the only success metric out there that if you just get more clients, you just get more sales, you will make more money and everything will be fine. The problem is, if you can’t deliver your work profitably, then getting more clients just means more overwhelm. It doesn’t mean more profit and more money for you. Before you do the whole lets Go and get more clients, it’s really important to make sure Well hang on, am I delivering profitably? So am I able to deliver the services and I end up with money leftover in the bank for me every single month and I’m able to do it in a way that doesn’t overwhelm me. Yes, frickin Great. Now go and sell the shit out of it. You can deliver in a healthy way, you’re making lots of money for yourself, it’ll works. But that little piece of the puzzle is often missed out in the conversation around, let’s just go and get more sales really good sales. And I have worked with and I know a number of marketing and sales agencies and individuals and they they will ask, how’s your pricing? Like, are you able to deliver profitably, because there’s no point in investing all this money to burn you out? If you’re not, you don’t go get your pricing sorted first, then come back. And let’s do the marketing piece of the puzzle. So it’s kind of a missing, the missing cog is pricing that makes the get more sales, get more clients get more revenue actually makes it beneficial to you rather than just make the situation worse.
Hayley Maxwell 41:18
Yeah, that’s it. And I guess when that the situation is when the situation is bad, and you’re trying to bring in more clients to get more money. The other side of it is from a reputation perspective. If you are really overwhelmed, and you’ve you’re struggling to get through your work, and you’re you know, working to the max all the time, then actually the potentially the quality of the work that you’re putting out, is going to be reduced because you’ve not got that as you were talking about earlier that headspace to really focus on delivering your your best work, because you’re literally in that kind of stress mode the whole time just trying to churn it out, churn it out to get to get through it all, essentially to make the to make the money. Yeah,
Natalie Coombe 42:07
absolutely. And when with that, certainly in, let’s say New Zealand, Australia, in particular, I’m sure in other countries as well, you know, businesses, small businesses are built on reputation. They’re built on referrals. They’re built on word of mouth. And so it can be really detrimental to get yourself to a point where you know, you’re not delivering your best work, because you don’t have time. Because then you’re not going to get people going. Oh, that was amazing. You know, you should go and work with with so and so. Um, okay, thanks. I’m never working with you again.
Hayley Maxwell 42:46
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So.
Natalie Coombe 42:48
So the irony, you know, from that point of view is if you stay being maxed out, says you are good at what you do. But if you stay maxed out, a you burnout, but also your reputation can be damaged. And then you know, you’re going to have to rebuild it up again. And yeah, and that takes time. So, yeah, it all. It all is kind of connected. Yeah.
Hayley Maxwell 43:16
Yeah, absolutely. And so what are some of the things that we can do in order to improve our profitability? Like where in some of the simplest places that we can start to go? Okay, I think there might be a problem here. Yeah. Yeah.
Natalie Coombe 43:32
So I think, as we’ve talked about, one of the first things is, is being clear in your mind around what you want for salary. The other one is to start be more aware of how long it takes you to deliver your your work. And often, we are pretty rubbish at estimating how long we actually spend. And we forget about a whole lot of activities that we also did. In the side, because we’re people pleasers, and we want to do it and we didn’t want to charge for it, because then it would be expensive. So just starting to become more aware is what it actually takes to deliver an amazing experience for your clients, all the things that you do. And then start to factor those in when you’re when you’re pricing stuff up start to factor those in can be kind of a step in that direction to help you get paid for the time you’re spending, which obviously then builds builds up your profitability. I actually have a guide that talks about three ways to increase your profit, working less hours that kind of goes through just really three key areas that we need to be mindful of as business owners to get more profit out of what we do, so we don’t have to work so hard, so I can share a link.
Hayley Maxwell 44:54
Absolutely. Yeah, I’ll put the link in the show notes for that because I know that that’ll be you know, something really great that people can kind of take a look and get some kind of tangible
Natalie Coombe 45:04
steps. Yeah, there are there are quick actions that you can take now to kind of address each of those key areas. Because ultimately, it’s not just about knowing these things. It’s about what do I do differently now to get a different result? And it covers that?
Hayley Maxwell 45:17
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Well, it’s been an amazing conversation. I’ve really enjoyed chatting with you about this. I think it’s yeah, as I said earlier, I think it’s just a topic that we really need to talk about in more depth in terms of some of the challenges that women in particular face around the whole the pricing and profitability side of things. So thank you so much for that. But before I let you go, I do, obviously have three questions that I like to ask my guests. And the first of those is what does being fierce in business mean to you.
Natalie Coombe 45:52
Being fierce in business, for me means backing yourself, and believing in yourself and to a point where you are prepared to overcome the obstacles that are in front of you. So there are always going to be obstacles in business always going to be things that are holding us back. And for me, fierceness is going I will overcome this. I don’t know how I may not know how yet, but I will find a way and I will make this work. And that’s that backing and believing in yourself. Yeah.
Hayley Maxwell 46:24
Yeah. Oh, I love that. I love that answer. That’s awesome. And so what impact do you trying to make through through your business?
Natalie Coombe 46:32
Ah, generational and societal change? No, I don’t, ultimately, I don’t want anyone any particularly any woman anywhere in the world to not be able to have a profitable business and a healthy lifestyle. Something because she didn’t have the tools or the lessons or know how to price properly, you know, that’s something we can fix. So it is it really is about empowering women to have the lifestyles that they desire that they went into business for in the first place, and be able to financially support themselves and their loved ones doing what they love.
Hayley Maxwell 47:12
And what’s one piece of advice that you’ve been given that’s made an impact on how you do business.
Natalie Coombe 47:19
For me, the as a recovering perfectionist, you know, for me, it was, you know, I do a lot of work within that top off, you know, is imperfect action in getting something done that 60 or 80%. Good enough, get it done, get it live, move on to the next thing. If we wait for something to be perfect, we will never get it out. And we will spend years have missed opportunity when we could have got something out. Get it done, get the next important thing done. And you can always come back to it later. And make it slightly better tweak it and improve it as you go along. But don’t wait for perfection before launching. Starting putting your offer out there doing the wet whatever it is just imperfect action. Yeah,
Hayley Maxwell 48:08
yeah, get it out there.
Natalie Coombe 48:10
Get out there, get it done. No one is gonna know what you had in your head. Something.
Hayley Maxwell 48:16
Yeah, absolutely. And so if my listeners want to come and check you out, where can they come and stalk you?
Natalie Coombe 48:24
What probably on Instagram, Facebook, my handle is Natalie Coombe. Online. My website, Nataliecoombee.com. But I will also share that the link to the guide to the three ways to increase your profit working less hours as well. I share lots of free tips and strategies on on social media. So that’s a good place.
Hayley Maxwell 48:46
Fabulous. And I’ll make sure that you know, as I say all those links will go into the show notes as well so people can easily find you. But thank you so so much for sharing your wisdom with us. And it was absolutely wonderful to have you on the show today.
Natalie Coombe 49:00
Oh, look, thank you for inviting me is that this is such an important topic to share. So, so thank you. It’s been great.
Hayley Maxwell 49:07
So what did you think I know that I for one really enjoyed that conversation with Natalie and found it really thought provoking and interesting in terms of just how many challenges that women in business face when it comes to their pricing both from a mindset and also a practical perspective. And all of the resources that Natalie mentioned during the episode, I will put those into the show notes. So just jump in there and you’ll get access to those resources. And I hope that you found the episode useful and if you enjoyed it and don’t want to miss any upcoming episodes, then please hit the subscribe button in your favorite podcast player. And of course if you’d like to rate and review the show, I would be hugely grateful as your feedback is really important to me and also to others who are deciding where either to listen in or not. And so, until next time, go forth and be fierce