2020 Day 30: Needs that Healers Have – Determining Market Value

In 2020 Day 28: Helping Healers determine what to charge for their offerings, I discussed how to determine what to charge for products and services. I presented a couple of equations:

Cost of Product/Service < Price of Product/Service < Price Customer Will Pay

Price Customer Will Pay < Customer’s Perceived Value

I also noted that it can be difficult to determine the customer’s perceived value of a healer’s offering. If measured by the benefit to the customer, the value could be unbounded in many cases. However, often customers use the price of similar offerings to create a perceived value without considering the actual value to the customer. For instance, if a customer can find multiple places offering $50 one-hour massages, then they may come to perceive the value of a one-hour massage at $50.

A different way to determine a customer’s perceived value is to give customers a coupon for any one of a group of products and/or services and see which one they pick. With enough coupons, this will give you relative values of your products and/or services.

A third way is to just ask your customers how much they value your offerings. Understand the non-monetary value in as much detail as possible. From this you may be able to find competing offerings that would give the customer the same non-monetary values.

If your offering requires your customer to commit a certain amount of their time, then you need to factor in how much your customer values their time. Imagine a customer who makes $100/hr after taxes. Then they are already spending $100 of their time for a one-hour massage.  Whether they consider this consciously or not, these customers will normally be less price sensitive than someone who values their time at only $25/hr after taxes. This is not just a factor of the amount of disposable income each person has. It is related to how much they value their time.

The perceived scarcity of your offering will greatly affect its perceived value. If your offering is seen as a commodity, then it will have a value similar to that commodity. If your offering is seen as one-of-a-kind, then its value is determined by your offering price and the demand from customers who can afford your price.

2020 Day 28: Helping Healers determine what to charge for their offerings

This is post number 4 of a series of posts going through 2020 Day 21: Surfing Universes – Life Coach – 60 Needs that Healers Have. I’m focusing this series on individual healers serving other individuals.

In 2020 Day 26: Helping Healers identify products and services to offer I offered some questions that you can ask yourself in order to brainstorm and narrow down the products and services you wish to offer to your desired target market. In this post, I’d like to discuss how to determine a price to charge for your products and services.

For a sustainable business, the price you charge for a product or services needs to be greater than the cost to the business and less than the amount that the customer is willing to pay. The amount the customer is willing to pay is different than the value to the customer. The customer may not even be aware of the actually value of the product or service. In fact, it may have no value or infinite value, and both the healer and client may be unaware of the true value. What does matter somewhat is the customer’s perceived value of the product or service in the moment that they commit to purchase the product or service.

Cost of Product/Service < Price of Product/Service < Price Customer Will Pay

Price Customer Will Pay < Customer’s Perceived Value

While it is difficult to determine the value of a product or service to a customer, especially for those in a healing profession, it is not difficult to determine the customer’s perceived value. This can be done easily by setting different prices for a product or service and seeing how many people pay that price. If you want to geek-out on this, you can calculate and graph the price elasticity of demand for each of your products and services. I would encourage you to have an intuitive feel for how changes in price affect the demand for your offerings. This will give you information either about your customer’s perceived value of your products/services or their ability to pay.

Price Customer Will Pay < Customer’s Ability to Pay

It’s good to know which of these, your customer’s perceived value or their ability to pay, is more of a factor in limiting the price your customer will pay. You can gain information on this by offering a sliding scale along with trying different top prices. You can also gain information on this through adopting a “gift” price determined by the customer.

For the minimum price to charge, you must know the full cost of your product/service. If it’s a product, it will have a Cost-Of-Goods-Sold (COGS) amount which includes the total per-item cost of the product. You will also have the overhead for you business which includes all of the fixed costs that don’t directly depend on the amount of products/services you sell. Advertising is best considered as a separate cost. Ideally, you would have focused advertising and track your advertising costs for each product/service.  Then you can more easily calculate your Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS) for each product/service. For services, the COGS should include the total costs of the employees, including yourself, who are providing the services. Your per item Profit will then be your Price charged minus the COGS and ACoS.

Profit = Sales of Product/Service – COGS – ACoS

2020 Day 26: Helping Healers identify products and services to offer

This is post number 3 of a series of posts going through 2020 Day 21: Surfing Universes – Life Coach – 60 Needs that Healers Have. I’m focusing this series on individual healers serving other individuals.

Determining the products and services you offer is an important step in developing a successful healing practice. This step should be done immediately after determining your desired target market. You may revisit your desired target market after completing this step.

Below are some questions to help you brainstorm and narrow down your potential products and services. Writing (or typing) the answers down will help you gain clarity.

  1. What are the needs of my desired target market? What challenges do they have? What products or services are they currently paying for? What products or services would address their needs or challenges?
  2. What are my unique strengths? What do my friends say are my unique strengths (ask them)? What would my friends pay me for (ask them)? What products or services have I purchased for myself or others that I could offer to others?
  3. What products or services have I made or offered in the past? What products or services am I qualified to make or offer currently? What products or services would I like to be qualified to make or offer in the future?
  4. What products or services do I wish that someone offered to me earlier in my life? What impact would this have had on my life?
  5. What products or services would, by providing these to my desired target market, make the world a better place? How would this occur?
  6. What products or services would, by offering them, give me a sense of meaning, purpose, and connection? Why?
  7. What products or services can I see myself most easily providing? What products or services do I feel would be a challenge for me to provide? Why?
  8. If I provided just one product or service, what would it be? Why?
  9. Which products or services would I be willing to offer for free to my friends and family? Which would I be willing to offer for free to anyone on a limited basis? Which would I be willing to offer at half-price to anyone? Which would I only offer if I were paid full price? Why?
  10. Which products or services do I feel I would be most successful in offering? Why?

2020 Day 24: Identifying your desired target market

Brainstorm item #2 in 2020 Day 21: Surfing Universes – Life Coach – 60 Needs that Healers Have is identifying your desired target market, which is the set of people or businesses to which you plan to offer your products and/or services. By example, my desired target market for this blog post includes human healers, worldwide, who can read and understand English (or perhaps translations of English). I’m not targeting corporations. I’m not targeting entrepreneurs in non-healing professions. It doesn’t matter that corporations and non-healing entrepreneurs might also benefit from reading this blog post. I have chosen to exclude them from my desired target market. This focus is important, from both a practical marketing point of view, and a universe surfing point of view.

When identifying your desired target market, think about the present moment first. Then consider further out in time, e.g. one month, one year, one decade. Notice how you feel as you consider any changes in your desired target market over time. Also consider narrowing and expanding your market and notice how you feel. Guide yourself through meditations in which you consider serving different markets. Notice your feelings during these meditations. If your meditations go well, you will gain some insight into your desired target market. This may present itself as an “ah-ha” moment, or perhaps as an energetic happy glow within your chest (fourth chakra if you count such things) when you are meditating on a specific target market.

By going through this process, you will use both your mind and your body to select your desired target market. One final step is needed and that is to consider your spirit. This is where you connect your market to your own personal higher purpose, as much as you understand that through your own spiritual development to date. Look inside yourself and identify personal stories from your past that are important to serving your market. Be able to explain to anyone who asks why this particular target market is important to you.

As another example, I’m going to continue with the business for which I posted a business plan for yesterday in 2020 Day 23: My longest run 5.47 in 53:33 and Life Coach business plan. After meditating on it just now, thinking it through, and giving it the spirit test, I see my desired target market to be English speaking healers of any age, residing anywhere, who are providing products and/or services that I would want to provide myself if I had their talents, energy, and inspiration. During the meditation, I felt myself drawn to focus on women. I see an initial market that is focused on members of the same community who are in a limited number of female-dominated healing professions.

2020 Day 23: My longest run 5.47 in 53:33 and Life Coach business plan

Being now in Santa Cruz I thought I’d check to the status of my old and new habits in this new location. My old habit of checking stocks is still not present. I did talk stocks with friends. My new habit of running is still present. I just ran 3.33 miles at a 10-minute mile pace, 5 miles in 49:19, and 5.47 miles in 53:33. My experience with universe surfing is to increase your chance of moving to a desired universe, it is helpful to change as many things as your have control over. It is also especially helpful to give energy to each cell of your body. I find that running causes a lot of cells in my body to replenish themselves. I can imagine old cells being recycled into new cells. From a universe surfing perspective, I am moving to a universe where I’m more fit, strong, and healthy. And by moving universes, it is likely by random chance that other things will be changed, especially things which are correlated with the primary things changed (in this case, the running habit and removal of stock checking habit).

In 2020 Day 21: Surfing Universes – Life Coach – 60 Needs that Healers Have, the first need I mentioned was the need for a business plan. Your first business plan should be realistic and serve as a guide for you to get clarity on the goals, risks, and priorities of your business. Before you invest much time and money into your passion project or business idea, you should convince yourself that your business is worth this investment. Your business plan only needs to be a few pages long. Here is an example one:

Life Coaching Business Plan Example 2016-12-01

2020 Day 21: Surfing Universes – Life Coach – 60 Needs that Healers Have

I’m on the bus traveling Hwy 17 to Santa Cruz. It’s been a day of physical traveling and I have found that when physically traveling, it’s also easier for me to travel dimensionally to different universes. Over the last few days I have noticed a nearby universe in which I’m a life coach. One event that I noticed was I reached out randomly to someone who had sent me a marketing email and asked him if he wanted to do a trade. During the exchange, he asked me to send him a link to my offerings and I realized that I didn’t have such a link. That was my first feeling of the universe where I’m a life coach. I then made a decision to start creating such a website and tried to feel into what my offerings were. I signed up with bluehost.com to host my new WordPress website. As I tried to imagine what was on this website, I got a call from a friend who wanted help listening to their phone marketing pitch. For an hour and a half, I acted as a life coach for my friend. During the call, I even had the chance to work on my phone pitch as I gave her an example of how I would have done the call.

Earlier when I was on the plane flying from Austin, I found myself journalling about these events and I began planning my life coaching business. My target market for life coaching is anyone in a healing profession. I brainstormed a list of common needs that these people have:

  1. Creating a plan for a successful business that is measurable and achievable, given their resources;
  2. Identifying their desired target market to which they wish to offer products and services;
  3. Identifying the products and services that they wish to offer;
  4. Determining the value to their market of their products and services;
  5. Determining the price to charge for their products and services;
  6. Determining how to let their target market know of their offerings;
  7. Building their customer list as efficiently as possible;
  8. Having a work/life balance;
  9. Determining if/when to hire/outsource employees/contractors/vendors;
  10. Determining if/when to partner with outside investors;
  11. Finding affordable health care insurance for themselves and their employees;
  12. Saving money for retirement;
  13. Taking time off without disrupting their business/practice;
  14. Keeping track of income and expenses for tax and business purposes;
  15. Continuing to learn best practices in their field;
  16. Knowing when conferences, events, festivals, workshops, and speakers of interest are happening around the world;
  17. Being part of a professional community that can support one another;
  18. Managing computers, phones, internet, mail, and website;
  19. Having a social media presence;
  20. Finding a place to work – private office, shared space, home office;
  21. Investing their profits and earnings into their business, life, and future;
  22. Developing communication skills;
  23. Developing negotiating skills;
  24. Understanding borrowing money options and risks;
  25. Understanding how self-employment can have an affect on relationships;
  26. Knowing when to engage in bartering and trading with other service providers;
  27. Staying focused and productive;
  28. Working remotely;
  29. Storing and backing up content and digital business records;
  30. Search Engine Optimization;
  31. Attracting the first, first 10, first 100, and first 1000 super customers;
  32. Understanding options for online store fronts;
  33. Growing into higher self through personal development;
  34. Knowing when to quit or pivot or stay the course;
  35. Understanding the challenges and benefits of bringing on equal partners;
  36. Understanding how to minimize taxes through legitimate expenses;
  37. Passing on the knowledge they’ve learned to others;
  38. Being as successful in life as in work;
  39. Avoiding legal and liability problems – contracts and ethics;
  40. Successfully mixing friends and business;
  41. Serving clients with authenticity;
  42. Being productive, organized, and efficient;
  43. Knowing how to deal with clients when you are sick or injured;
  44. Quitting your “day job” to focus on building your passion business (including the importance of saving up before you quit);
  45. Picking a beachhead for your initial target market;
  46. Determining the features of your minimal viable product/service;
  47. Understanding the costs, benefits, and process of hosting free webinars and online classes;
  48. How to determine pricing and whether to offer sliding scales or discounts;
  49. Dealing with unsatisfied customers, refunds, and customer service in general;
  50. Building online and local communities around your products and/or services;
  51. Writing and publishing a book;
  52. Live streaming and podcasting;
  53. Understanding free advertising options;
  54. Understanding paid advertising options;
  55. Protecting your intellectual property through copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and patents;
  56. Developing your brand;
  57. Creating your logo, business name, and business cards;
  58. Managing email and phone lists and outreach;
  59. Offering retreats; and
  60. Having fun!