Fighting the Granny Mindset




First, this is not a post to bash grannies. I love grannies. I just want to address what I call the granny mindset, but let's start with a basic understanding of what a service-based business is.


Premise: a service-based business exchanges knowledge, expertise, and labor to perform a task the client is unwilling or unable to perform, or can only perform inefficiently. Succinctly put, they fix problems.


Obvious examples of service-based businesses are plumbers and mechanics. They fix problems with pipes and cars. We gladly pay guys who know what they're doing to bang pipes, cars, and knuckles because we don't know how to do it, or don't have the time to do it.


I fix problems with clothes. A client doesn't even have to know what is wrong. They just know something is wonky. My job is to find the wonky parts and fix them so the clothes fit as if they were custom-made.


When I first started doing alterations eight years ago, I fought the granny mindset: everyone was used to paying Granny $5 to alter anything.


As I got better and faster at fitting and altering clothes, my prices went up. Some people were shocked that I wanted to be paid for my time. Other people thought I didn't charge enough.


I have learned over time to say my prices without blinking, choking, apologizing, or backing down. I've lost some clients to higher prices, but I've also gained clients. People are welcome to go find someone else to take on their sewing for a cheaper price. That's their business, and they get what they pay for.


For my part, I know the time and talent that go in to making each piece of clothing fit my clients just right. I take pride in my work, and I appreciate each person that uses my service.


No granny mindset here. Just honest, hard work with a fair price and a smile attached to it.

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