Increase Your Earning Potential by Solving Bigger Problems
Dan Levenson March 24, 2022
Everyone aspires to earn more money for their skills and expertise. As your career progresses, you may be paid more for the solutions you can provide. But the value of those solutions, and your potential income, is limited to the value of the problem and the ability of your clients to pay. If you work on cars, you can’t charge more than the car is worth or more than local car-owners can pay. The same principle is true for the value of every professional and the solutions they provide.
Value and Compensation
So you want to earn more. Not just a little more each year, but to seriously increase the compensatory value of your time. The answer is to solve bigger problems. We all start as entry-level teens and young adults doing delivery jobs, waiting tables, and sorting mail. These jobs are often low-paying because the problems the jobs solve are not high-value. We need deliveries, but the consequences of a missed food delivery are not high and easily recoverable.
Those of us who seek bigger clients and bigger paychecks need to seek out problems that need big solutions.
How Do I Get Bigger Clients?
Most contractors, providers, and service teams strive for bigger accounts, bigger clients, and bigger payouts. It’s a natural part of business growth. But how do you grow your business to bigger clients instead of increasing your capacity for small clients? It’s all about your problem-solution offering. Solving a $40,000 dollar problem probably won’t yield a $250,000 dollar fee for the solution. Likewise, small businesses by necessity must keep their costs modest so they can be covered by a small-scale revenue.
If you’re good at solving small problems fast for a good price, you can win as many small business clients as your services can reach. However, if you want larger-scale clients you will need to solve larger-scale solutions.
Just What Is a Big Problem, or a Big Solution?
A big problem is one that can generate or cost the company a large amount of money. This means the company has more to lose, to start with, and the problem will likely require a more large-scale solution. Sometimes, this is because a larger company has bigger systems that need maintenance, upgrades, and integrations. Other times, it’s because your clients have bigger clients themselves, and each of their projects is higher stakes when put in jeopardy.
Let’s look at these concepts as two examples:
Big Systems, Big Problems, Big Solutions
A local company provides backup generators for lease during emergency outages. They usually provide small generators to a few dozen small businesses in each outage. However, seeking larger clients, they expand to large permanent generator installations and emergency power backup systems. Larger clients not only need larger emergency generators and backup systems, they also have more to lose with hours of delay between the outage and activating their generator. By taking on bigger systems, solving bigger problems, the electrician business wins bigger clients.
Higher Stakes, Bigger Payout
A new hack is using a vulnerability in software used to process health insurance claims. The information at risk private patients’ data, from their social security numbers to their medical records. Every company hacked not only puts patients at risk but is faced with hundreds of thousands of dollars in HIPAA, PCI DSS, and GDPR fines for the exposure.
The cost of a breach means that even small practices are willing to invest a big amount to both protect patients and offset the fines.
Strategies to Scale Up Your Value and Compensation
What if you’ve been solving small problems and are ready to scale up? There are several approaches to your ability to solve bigger problems for bigger clients with deeper pockets.
Scale Up Your Service Capacity
The first is to scale up your business capacity, like our electric generator example. By investing in larger generators and a team to provide concierge on-demand power recovery services, a business service can solve the same problem on a larger scale for larger companies. This mainly requires an investment in your business resources and your team’s capacity to perform skills you already have.
Scale Up Your Skills
Another is to up your game in the types of problems you can solve. The cybersecurity example might involve a technician who ups their game from securing one server to a multi-server network to an international business cloud. This mainly involves building new skills and increasing your personal capacity for big problem-solutions.
Innovate Solutions to Existing Large-Scale Problems
The last option relies on your intuition to innovate solutions to existing large-scale problems. In marketing, this is called seeking a pain point. In other words, look for areas in the market where there are bottlenecks, chokepoints, or hassle where there needn’t be. An example might be writing an API that bridges two essential pieces of software used by large companies in an industry you are familiar with. Another example might be introducing a service that smoothly provides regulation compliance in a challenging industry.
Companies that are struggling with the pain point you solve will pay for your solution. Many will pay whatever they can afford.
If you want bigger clients and higher-dollar projects, you’ve got to solve bigger problems. Your skills and understanding of your clients will determine which problems you solve, and just how big-value those solutions can be. Know your worth, increase the value of your service, and don’t be shy about seeking bigger clients than you’ve ever dealt with before.
When scaling or changing operations, it is important to keep your insurance broker in the loop. A small general liability policy may have been sufficient when you first started out. However, as companies grow their insurance needs change.
Hiring employees, changes in revenue and operations, work locations, and equipment needed can all impact your insurance considerations.
For more information on how changing operations can affect your insurance, contact us today.