Dear customer,

This could be a defensive letter, but it’s not. I could list all the reasons why *I* deserve to make a living, starting with needing to pay the bills. The irony is, I don’t make a living from my services, and I am nowhere near being able to pay the bills!

What I am doing is building something, and I’m really glad you’d like to be a part of it. I’d like to share some of the reasons I charge for my services, and I hope you’ll agree that it can benefit us both.

I can give you my full attention

Charging allows me to pay towards childcare expenses. This means that when you pay for my time, my attention is not split between you and my three children. I can focus on you and your child/ren to achieve what you need to during our session, so you get value for money

I can pass on the benefit of my learning

I have undertaken over £1K worth of training and qualifications, not including travel expenses and time. I draw upon what I have learned in every consult and workshop I offer. I also work with volunteers and help develop their skills, so that they may confidently help you at sling meets. Charging means that I can undertake additional training and CPD, and hopefully eventually subsidise volunteer training.

You can be confident in the professional nature of my services

By charging, I am able to pay for insurance covering information and advice given during our consult or workshop. If you hire a sling from me, that’s covered too. If you receive information from a peer supporter on my team at a sling meet, that’s also covered.

I am a sole trader; I complete a tax return declaring my income from my consultancy. I keep clear and accurate accounts. I think these things are all really important to inspire confidence in my services.

I can offer you more slings to try

As part of my consultancy, I run a small lending library. Your hire fees plus consultancy takings allow me to add to that library, and I am heavily influenced by customer requests. If you ask me to buy in a particular carrier so that you can try it, I will usually put it on my list. But I can’t buy any slings unless I charge for my services.

I can volunteer at sling meets

I volunteer at 4 sling meets a month; they are all free to attend. Charging for my consultancy services allows me to volunteer for more than 12 hours a month – not including the admin, promotion, and customer communication around these meets. That means that anyone who doesn’t want to or can’t pay for my services can still access advice.

There are many avenues of support with slings, so if you’re not convinced, I can signpost you elsewhere. But whatever your opinion, I hope that my post will give you pause before questioning those of us who do charge for our services – we are certainly not out to profit from you – but we are not ashamed of trying to earn a living for our families.

Thank you for reading,

Ellie Thouret

Dear customer: yes, I charge for my services – this is why
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3 thoughts on “Dear customer: yes, I charge for my services – this is why

  • June 17, 2016 at 6:16 am

    This is not a defensive letter . You have a great vision and lots of love for your enterprise. My daughter is the same and she helps so many new parents with her slings and knowledge. Katie, my daughter, is still learning . She now volunteers in her local maturity hospital twice a week.
    As you can probably tell, I am so proud of her. It’s nice to see another parent with like minded ideas.

    • June 17, 2016 at 8:04 am

      That is fantastic and she is lucky to have such a supportive mum! Thank you for commenting.

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