I’m Not Really a Waitress …

April 29, 2011 by +Marj Wyatt  
Filed under Featured, Marj Wyatt's Musings

When I launched my wordpress website design business a few years ago, my enthusiasm for helping people make money online caused me to develop a business model for myself that involved a lot of personal time with my clients.  They seemed to appreciate the level of service that I offered for reasonable rates and it was fun for me to learn about the various businesses people were trying to bring online.  I’ve never had to advertise.  My business has grown solely by word-of-mouth and referrals, which is no accident.

Lately, it seems like new clients have expectations that exceed their budgets.  It remains true that my all inclusive wordpress website design and consulting services are rare and I totally understand what it feels like to not know how to do what needs to be done where skills are lacking.  Wherever possible, I extend myself to help out.  I”m recently reminded that the speed with which I isolate and resolve problems seems to be projecting the idea that , because I make it look easy, it is.

I can’t count the number of times that I’ve heard a new client tell me that they don’t want to know how something works and that is why they’ve hired me.  I also can’t count the number of times that clients have protested my resistance to continuing without additional compensation.  A handful have been presumptuous enough to question why it would take so long to do.   Excuse me?

With all due respect, if you don’t know what it takes to get something done and you don’t want to take the time to learn how to do it yourself, don’t challenge the person who does know how to do it when they tell you how long it will take to do what you need to have done!

I like living with the belief that all people are reasonable and that they are also willing to parlay a little give and take in our business agreement.  Recently, a handful of  new clients and prospects have come my way who are much happier with the “take” part of the equation, however.  These same people have had no qualms expressing their opinions about wordpress website design services that I should deliver for free or at an unreasonably low price when the simple truth is that they don’t want to pay fairly for the services they are requesting and they are upset about the fact that they are unable to convince me that I should perform those services within their limited budget because they are low on cash.

For those of you who are reading this and are feeling a twinge of guilt about making similar demands of your website services professionals, please ask yourself these questions:

  1. If you wanted to buy a luxury car and couldn’t afford it, would ranting at the salesperson change the facts?
  2. If that sales person felt sorry for you and went the extra mile to find a financial program that lowered your monthly expense, would you blame them for the fact that the payment was still out of your reach?

wordpress website designWhen I chose an entrepreneurial career, I was happy to leave my IT Executive role behind in Corporate America because I was weary of leading teams whose contributions to the company’s success were repeatedly diminished by some top-level executive who viewed IT as a necessary evil.  It would seem that I’m growing weary of explaining to new clients and prospects that the skills and knowledge that I’ve gathered throughout my professional life are worth much more than a waitress’ wage.

Yet, referrals keep coming in from my large base of previously satisfied clients.  Several times a week, new business comes in through my website at http://virtuallymarj.com.  Generally speaking, life is good and I enjoy working with the many nice people on my client roster.  I also enjoy taking on a good challenge now and then so I guess I’ll continue growing my wordpress website design business  and keeping it fun by choosing to work with clients who are willing to take advice, understand the value that I bring to their efforts and are willing to pay fairly.  🙂


6 Responses to “I’m Not Really a Waitress …”
  1. Nancy Radlinger says:

    You are so right – as always you get what you pay for – I was in an offline business for 25 years with my ex and we heard the same thing and felt the same way. We had a landscaping company and we would always hear “the neighborhood kid will mow our lawn for x amount of dollars” why are you so expensive. Well, the reason that we were is that we are reliable, we carry insurance in case something happens, it take money to buy our equipment, vehicle to get there and then misc. expenses in operating as a business vs the neighborhood kid using either YOUR equipment or his parents and heaven forbid if he gets hurt – your home owners don’t cover it and then if he get invited to Great America for the weekend – do you think he cares about your lawn getting cut? So yea, have been there – and hear what you are saying.

    Skype: nancyradlinger

  2. Nancy Radlinger says:

    Excellent post and I sure can relate with this as my ex and I had a landscape company for 25 years and we heard the same thing – how come the neighbor kid will cut my grass cheaper. Well, there are many reasons, one they don’t have their own equipment (either using yours or their parents) don’t have insurance (so if they get hurt – it’s you that will pay) and then they are not reliable (if there is something more fun to go – then they are not going to show up) – nowadays you get what you pay for. If you want a fly -by night type of job then there are plenty out there that will help you out but if you want a professional job – you have to pay for it. This is true in any business.

    Skype: nancyradlinger

  3. Xarah says:

    Maybe because there is a lot of free stuff in the internet a lot of people think, everything has to be free. Funny part is, they have a service they want to sell on the internet … LOL Keep up the good work Marj, you are worth it. For some reason you are attracting those at the moment. A challenge? Something to learn? Maybe make it look harder LOL

  4. Joe V. says:

    I thing making businesses off the internet is a very good business. You can make more money when owning your own business than working for someone. You get to stay home and spend more time with your family.
    Joe V. recently posted..$299 | Williamsburg, VA | Spring Break Vacation Package | 5 Day 4 Night | Kings Creek Plantation Resort | Cheap Family VacationMy Profile

  5. hagar says:

    Its the old, old line between a cost and an investment – and you can’t prove you’re an investment until they pay for you to do what you do. Then there’s always a doubt that someone else couldn’t have done it cheaper or faster. Sad to say, I prefer my clients to have been mauled before by other clients – then they’re more appreciative about someone who doesn’t snow them or steal from them, just does honest work for an honest price.
    Damn shame you can do better business with the victims, but as long as you’re honest with them, they are fine…

    • Marj Wyatt says:

      There’s something to be said for your observations. I’m not sure I would go so far as to describe it as having been mauled but I have found that it is much easier to discuss deliverables and pricing with people who have had bad experiences.

      I have lost count on the number of clients who’ve happily paid my fees after working with less expensive developers, mostly offshore, who quote a low hourly rate and fail to deliver after running up hours to the point that the overall costs are actually higher.

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