Charging Like a Doctor

My friend Miguel is a fireman.  I’ve known him since high school.  Like me he’s creative, competitive, and entrepreneurial.  The fact that he likes running into burning buildings is where our similarities die off.  

A couple of years ago he started a t-shirt screen printing business.  He also does his own graphics and logo work for his clients.  A couple of weeks ago I was in his studio looking at his work.  

He was good.  For a guy who just picked up graphic design his work was solid.  I asked him how much he charged on his last project and he told me less than $200 (don’t remember the exact number).

My brain rattled the biggest WTF! I could manage without saying the acronym out loud!  

As Wayne Dyer used to say, there’s a fine line between being a prophet and an asshole.  I know what I know but I try not to annoy my friends (and strangers too for that matter) with my unsolicited wisdom.

But me holding this one back would be like a single beaver trying to damn up Niagra Falls.

I barked that he was too cheap.  He explained how he made money on the shirts, used software that made it easy, plus he was new…  Blah, blah, blah.

I fired back with, “when a doctor graduates and starts a practice he charges what a ‘doctor’ makes.  So stop making excuses and charge what a graphic artist charges!”  I did all this while smiling so I could come off more as a prophet and less of a Sith lord.

His wife worked in a dentist office for years so she got it immediately.  He got it too but who knows if he changed his prices moving forward.

I say the same thing to you..  Are you charging the right amount or are you playing small?  And if what you’re charging is good are you raising your prices every one to two years to keep up with inflation?  

I do and I recommend you do too.  It’s so easy to get faked out thinking we always need new clients.  Sometimes you need to charge the ones you have MORE.