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It’s happened to every service provider at one time or another—probably more than once. You offer a proposal or contract, only to have your potential client respond with, “That sounds great, but I can’t afford it.” What do you do? For a lot of service-based businesses, the first response is to lower their rate. After all, they reason, the client really does need my help. Plus, it’s good karma, and they’ll talk about me with their friends, and refer business to me later.

It might just be the most stressful decision you ever have to make: what to charge? You’ve got the competition to consider, or maybe not. If you are very credible and have enough evidence of that in the form of repeat business, charge what you know you are worth or another way to do this is charge the value of what you are delivering to the client. Write down all the things you do for your clients and what value that adds to their life and business and then put a number to that value. Other aspects to consider are your own skill set, what you perceive to be your skills (yes, this is different from the former for most of us), what your market will pay, your location, and a host of other variables. Working it out can feel like a hurdle you can’t quite get past, but the more informed you become, your answer starts jumping out at you.