Owning a coaching business can be very rewarding and lucrative. Unfortunately, too many coaches turn their businesses into struggling headaches. One of the key components to being a successful coach is knowing what to charge and how to get it.

There are many talented coaches out there who are constantly undervaluing their services and facing the ugly reality of going out of business. I don't care whether you're a business, executive, family, relationship, life, or any other style of coach-you need to take a good hard look at what you're charging before it's too late and you're forced to find another way to earn a living.

Raising your fees not only helps make YOU more prosperous and fulfilled, it can help make your CLIENTS more prosperous and fulfilled.

I've identified three critical reasons why you should raise your coaching fees.

1. Your clients will get more value out of their coaching relationship with you.

Perceived value is a powerful concept. It's been ingrained into our heads that you get what you pay for. Charging too little for a valuable service such as coaching is a lose/lose situation for client and coach. Here are just a few reasons why your clients are losing out:

They have a low perceived value of the coaching relationship

They will "go through the motions" because they are not truly invested

They can come to their sessions with the wrong energy

They may not use the "gifts" that coaching has to offer

Here's an example of how it works-one I experienced myself. I recently met a coach who was having business issues. She wanted to start cranking out a newsletter and get her website up and running, but she didn't know where to start. While I was going through my coaching certification program, I noticed many coaches were having a difficult time getting the basics of their business set up, so I wrote the e-book "From Lazy to Loaded: Business Success Blueprint for Coaches and Consultants"

Because she didn't know where to start, I wanted to help this particular coach out, so I sent her the e-book for free. It had all the answers to her problems and I thought that I was doing her a favor by not charging her for the book. A couple weeks later she called and said she was having problems getting her newsletter started. I asked if she read the e-book and she said that she hadn't, and she wasn't even sure where to find it on her computer so I sent her another copy. Two weeks later the same thing happened. I kid you not! I couldn't believe my ears. She was asking me questions about the exact same problems and once again I asked if she had read the e-book and again the answer was "NO."

I would bet dollars to doughnuts that if she had paid $500 for the book that I sell for only $49 she would have gotten thousands of dollars of information out of it. This is the way most human beings operate. If you don't pay for it or if it comes too cheap, it must not be very valuable. The information doesn't have to be any different, but the clients receive the information on completely different levels.

2. You will be perceived as a more high-powered coach.

Raising your fees is one of the quickest ways to be perceived as an expert in your field. Let's face it. You never want your clients running around saying, "Yeah, my coach is really cheap." I had a conversation with a coach the other day who has been having trouble picking up new clients-and she's stressed out because the clients she does have are driving her crazy.

This coach thought I was nuts when I told her that the last thing she needs to do is lower her fees to pick up new clients. I explained to her that all she will be doing is devaluing her service (which reflects on the entire coaching industry) and the clients that she does attract will stress her out even more than those she is working with presently.

Would you consider hiring a coach that was only charging $50 a month? Probably not. Yet when you see a coach who's charging $1000 per month and beyond, you probably think they are an expert and you are eager to learn more about them. For all intents and purposes this could be the same coach, but now you have a completely different perception of them.

So, how do YOU want to be perceived?

3. You want to differentiate yourself from your peers.

Raising your fees is a fantastic and FUN way to stand out from the "competition." I can't think of anything more exciting than making more money and lowering my blood pressure at the same time. ;-)

When you are charging the same as all of your peers, you might as well just have your name thrown in a hat with the names of all the other coaches, and your prospects just reach in to see who they pick. You blend right in with everybody else. To be a successful coach you do NOT want to blend in. You want to be noticed.

When prospects see that you aren't charging the "same old same old," they WILL take notice. They will begin thinking that you have something the other coaches don't and that they can get more value out their relationship with you. And if that's what they believe, then that's exactly what will happen.

Here are a few ideas to think about:

Give yourself permission to raise your fees.

Recognize that your clients are OK with it and will, in fact, benefit.

Overcome the emotional barriers that are preventing you from creating a prosperous coaching practice.

Become comfortable with communicating your new fees.

Learn how to retain your existing clients when raising your fees.

Although it may take a little while to change the way you look at your fee structure, it's definitely worth considering now instead of later. The fact is, you're not doing yourself or your clients any favors by not charging what you're worth. By offering a "discount" or "waiting until the client is established" to charge what you deserve, you're de-valuing the important work that you do. Instead, consider the value you provide your clients and think about how you can create a fee structure that not only works for you and your client, but benefits the both of you.

Author's Bio: 

Tom Buford, "The Fee-Setting Go-To Guy," shows coaches and other service professionals how to establish pricing and marketing strategies so that they can make more money and have the time to enjoy it. To discover if you're making common, but costly, fee-setting mistakes just grab the FREE report "5 Deadly Mistakes to Fee-Setting and What to Do If You Made Them," go to http://chargewhatyoudeserve.com