How much to fix the widgets, mister?

Let me tell you a story…

A story about a man who fixed production lines. Let’s call him Joe. He’s worked in a whole bunch of different industries and seen just about every type of production line there is – and how and why they break down. 


Know your worth, learn how to position yourself and charge accordingly.

One day, one of his customers – a big one – called him in a panic because the machine that puts the caps on the widgets wasn’t putting the caps on straight… and when you’re supposed to be capping 60 widgets a second, that’s kind of a big deal.

Over the course of a few hours, there’s enormous waste of widgets, caps, and time… costing tens of thousands of pounds. And the longer it’s out of action, the more expensive it gets. And the worse the customer – let’s call him Ted – feels. Because it’s all on him. This is his production line and his reputation, and at the moment neither of them are looking good.

Ted needs to fix this. Fast.

What to do?

Call Super Joe, of course!

Joe came out, took a look at the problem, adjusted the cameras’ parameters slightly… and 15 minutes later, the widgets were off again. Caps on straight, this time – no jaunty angles.

Ted’s relieved and delighted. Problem solved, and it shouldn’t happen again.

Joe goes away and sends an invoice…

…and Ted gets on the phone because the invoice is a bit of a whopper.

“Joe, mate – I’m gonna have to justify this huge bill to my boss. You were only here for 20 minutes. How can it possibly have cost £5,000? Can you send me a breakdown?”

“Sure thing, dude,” said Joe. And resent the invoice to say…

Adjusting the camera parameters: £500

Knowing how to find and fix the problem in less than half-an-hour: £4,500

Are you charging an hourly rate for your services? Don’t you think you’re worth more than that?

I do.



Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

PS If you wanna know more about this worth, value, and mindset malarkey, you should read Business For Superheroes. Then start charging what you’re worth. None of us are, you know. Me included. It’s a learning curve, and part of that is believing you’re worth it.

Do a L’Oréal: look in the mirror and say “I’m worth it”. Ha ha, maybe not. But start telling yourself you are. Cos you are.


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