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I have a Mural business question

Dear Sandy,
Thank you so much for your help. Although you already know this - you are an answer to prayer!!

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I have Bible Study this morning and can't wait to tell the girls about how, once again, He has blessed me!

I am going to guess that some of my questions are Sales 101. So, here goes:

1) I think I have to get the business part solidified first when approaching clients, and I have been doing that last. With the businesses and church I have worked with so far, I realize I have done the same exhausting thing 3 times now. Part of it is conditioning - when I worked at the counseling centre, I needed to jump and see what I could do to get whatever it was dealt with as quick as possible. This meant putting whatever I was doing on the back-burner until they were served. Things I recognize already: a) In these cases - they haven't approached me, I have approached them.
b) They haven't had anything in mind at the time re: artistic improvements
c) To be able to get a better idea of what it was they would be interested in, I have spent considerable amounts of time drawing up ideas and designs to see if this is along the ideas of what they want.
d) Inevitably, they see it and want changes. Now, because I never spoke to them right at the start about how this should work, I am spending all of this time on their projects without any compensation for it. Dumb of me.

How can I do this better? I don't want to give away my time anymore - that is not using my head!

Thank you so much,
Kim Schellenberg
Kimba Murals - Miniature to Majestic

Hey Kim,
So glad to hear a fellow christian put Christ first in all they do. It's so refreshing.

Got your question. First off, since I just prayed for my answers to be God's, I sense that you need to write down what you should be charging for your work, including the time for designing, so that you have it in your mind and begin to jump off of that instead of how you work with your counseling clients.

As for the amount, ask the Lord what is fair. I tend to charge too little myself. What I suggest to clients, is to find something in a book, magazine or internet that they would like (not exactly but similar). That way I know where to start. If you have pictures of other jobs you have done, that helps them choose. When someone wants a quote, you can repeat what you state on your website and let them know if they make changes to the original design that it will eventually cost them (decide how many changes are free). Since I do more faux painting, it's easier cause I make a board and once they agree, I charge them if I have to change the walls later.

Pray against a picky spirit. That's all I know how to call it. Sometimes the enemy makes clients hard to work with just to get at us. A laborer is worthy of his wages, therefore, when your conscience is free and you know that you are owed, then pray that the devil won't use others to take advantage of you.

Do you have a contract? That is a great way to keep your costs before the client and if it's written down, they can't argue. I personally don't have a satisfaction guaranteed because you could get someone to constantly change things just for changes sake.

The main thing is to be upfront, as you are realizing. I like to quote a little over and tell the client that it will probably be lower...they like that. Keep in mind that you are working for the Lord and your real reason for being put together with people is to be a light for Jesus. So sometimes you will make out real good on a job and other times you might lose money. But if you remember who you are working for, it helps cause you never feel robbed. Besides, He'll bless you in other ways....believe me. Hope this helps.

Let me know if you have further questions.

God bless,
P.S. Tell your bible group that I said to keep the fire!