Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Erin Haag, Founder of Pricing Overhaul, located in Boynton Beach, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I run a coaching business called Pricing Overhaul™. The majority of my clients are self-employed women in service professions—think: massage therapist, yoga teacher, dermatologist, gym owner, spa owner, numerologist, designer, copywriter, bookkeeper, coach, attorney—and here’s what these women share in common. They’re excellent at what they do. They are passionate about helping their clients achieve results, but they are working too many hours per week and not making enough money. I work with each client to do a complete pricing overhaul. Upon finishing the process, my client has not only raised her prices (significantly), but she also has an upgraded business model—new premium offers with a premium price tag, new recurring revenue flowing in every month, and a whole new attitude about business. Like I said. Complete overhaul.
Tell us about yourself
In 2008, I was laid off from my corporate sales job due, in large part, to the Great Recession. I had spent years building wealth for the various companies for which I worked, but in an instant, when the going got tough, I was expendable. I realized, very abruptly, that the only real “job security” was going to come from being my own boss - owning a company of my own. So, at the age of 27, I opened my first business, a brick & mortar Pilates & Yoga Studio. Despite having years of experience working in corporate America, dealing in numbers, metrics, and sales, I made very bad decisions in my own business that were profit-killing. Five years into owning my business, I found myself in the hospital with Viral Meningitis, stressed beyond measure, and with a bank account that was one bad month away from overdraft. While spending weeks on bed rest recovering, I decided that things needed to change in my business if I was going to remain open, and the first thing that needed to change was my pricing.
The simple fact was: that my prices were too low, and my pricing model set me up for failure. There was no way around it. The math does not lie. I was not charging enough to cover my business expenses, pay myself, and generate a profit, and I had zero predictable revenue. Most months, even when clients would pack into the studio, I was barely breaking even. That was the moment I realized that something needed to change—and that something was my pricing. After completely overhauling my prices, I had an entirely new business, one that was profitable and sustainable. Three years later, I sold my cash-positive business for 40 times my original investment and began consulting for other small businesses to help them overhaul their pricing. Now, my mission is to help women owners master their money and numbers so that they can do what they love and pay themselves abundantly.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is creating a true work/life balance. Now I know that the term “work/life balance” gets tossed around all the time, and millions of women roll their eyes and think, “that sounds lovely, but there’s no way that’s possible.” But it is possible! The thing that I am most proud of in my business is being able to help other women owners find this same balance in their own lives. After that hospital visit all those years ago, I made a choice - a choice to change the way in which I priced my services. And that choice changed the trajectory of my life. Today, I work an average of 20 hours per month. I take off roughly 16 weeks each year. I travel 6-12 times per year. So far this year, my travel schedule includes Puerto Rico, Aruba, France (twice), Belgium, Ireland, Tanzania, and Switzerland, and it’s only March! There’s still plenty of time to add more destinations.
I pay myself multiple six figures. On the daily, I pick my daughters up from school and take them to their activities—and I treasure these sweet moments riding around together in the minivan. I work out every morning. I take an hour-long bath every evening. I enjoy nightly family dinners. I connect with my girlfriends. I sip wine with my husband in our tropical backyard oasis by the pool. I live my life! I love my life! And I love helping my clients build profitable businesses so that they can live and love their lives, too!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I think one of the hardest parts of being a business owner - especially being a female business owner - is struggling with imposter syndrome. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, imposter syndrome is the chronic feeling of inadequacy and incompetence, despite the success, and it plagues women. Women often assume that everyone out there is smarter and wealthier than we are, especially other women business owners, and this prevents many of us from stepping into our own power and making decisions that are in the best interest of our businesses. Instead, we copy our competitors, assuming they must have it all figured out. (But they sure don’t!) The statistics show that the majority of women business owners have and operate businesses that are barely profitable and that are unsustainable. If we as women can learn to fully trust ourselves in our businesses and stand firm and unwavering in the decisions that we know we need to make for our businesses, millions more of us would be living and loving our lives (“work/life balance” and all)!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Have a very clear vision for the life and business you want. It is super easy to get caught up in the daily grind when trying to start a business, but if you begin with a clear vision of how you want your life and business to look, this vision will keep you on the right track.
- DO THE MATH! I cannot stress this enough. DO THE MATH. Know, from the very beginning, how much it’s going to cost you to run your business (operating expenses, payroll, taxes, owner’s salary) and price accordingly, making sure to bake at least a 30% profit margin into your prices from DAY ONE! Then, continue to DO THE MATH. As your business grows and its needs change (and yours, too), you need to re-evaluate the math to know exactly what it’s going to take to continue running profitably.
- Invest in yourself. It takes money to make money; if you truly want to grow (professionally and personally), you need to invest. Invest in that coach you’ve been wanting to work with, that business retreat you’ve been dying to attend, or that continuing education program you’ve been so curious about. Each time you invest in yourself, you will see a return in your business!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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