On A Shoestring – Paying Yourself

When I started out with my business, I figured up the cost of my materials, thought about what I would pay for my items and there was the price.  Needless to say they were pretty low. Then, I started reading more about business, studying what other successful entrepenuers were doing to figure out their prices and saw that I was missing one vital thing. I wan’t paying myself.

It struck me dumb. All the years that I’d been working for someone else, all those years of making sure I was given every due cent on my paycheck, and when the time came to finally work for myself I forget to factor in my own labor. I wrestled with that for a while. What should I charge? Is my talent really worth that? My prices will have to rise! Then nobody will buy from me! Oh woe is me!

But I ran across a post someone made in one of the forums I frequent: Isn’t your talent worth just as much as someone with a “regular” job? Why yes, yes it is! For me, my talent/craft is sewing, something that was done regularly way back when, but not so much today.  I thought to myself that if my sewn items are just as good as a seamtresses, then why can’t I be paid like her?

Paying yourself is one of the most important things to remember when you start your business. No one started out wanting to work for free, but if you just charge for your materials that’s exactly what you’re doing. Now, don’t start comparing what you want to be paid to what other crafters are doing. Everyone has their own separate needs and goals. Also every region is different. What would be a normal wage in a small city in Georgia would be laughable in say NYC or LA.

Once you figure out what you want to be payed for your time and labor then your prices should reflect that. And your prices will show buyers what that lovely blanket that you spent all weekend knitting is really worth. When you know what you’re worth, so will they.

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