Episode #117: Why I’m Changing To US Dollars (& What It Means To Me + My Business)

Which currency should you be charging in your online business? I’ve been thinking about this a lot, I’ve made my decision, and I’ll be sharing my entire thought process with you in this episode (including the people-pleasing part of me that was afraid to make it).

Listen to the Episode:

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which currency should you be charging in, in your online business? Now I have been thinking about this a lot, I have made my decision and I'm going to be sharing my entire thought process with you. In this episode.

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You're listening to quietly ambitious with conversations about how it really feels to build a business that honours your whole self unapologetically. And that includes who you are, how you feel, what you really desire, the impact that you want to create, and importantly, the money you want to make. I'm your host, Ruth Poundwhite. And my superpower is supporting sensitive and ambitious humans to make more money by fully expressing and owning all of who they are. Let's dive in.

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Hi, and welcome back to another solo episode of The quietly ambitious podcast. Now, I was actually planning to start releasing the interviews because I've already got several interviews recorded. But actually, I really wanted to do this episode to explain a change. I've literally just made in my business, which is also why the episode is big is a bit late to be released, because I'm talking about this in real time as I'm doing it behind the scenes. And hopefully, I will have figured out a snazzy title to give this because it's basically about why I'm changing all my prices to US dollars. And it sounds kind of I mean, to me, it sounds kind of boring, but I don't think it's boring. And I think it's really important to talk about, I think it's gonna be quite short and sweet. But yeah, hopefully you find this interesting. It's about running a global business, selling to people all around the world, and making choices in alignment with what feels good to you versus perceived people pleasing, because there's been a lot of that going on behind the surface. So why am I changing all my prices to US dollars? In case you don't know, I live in the UK, I use pounds pounds is my money that I need. So why would I be changing my prices to US dollars, basically, the decision is about simplifying and also expanding my business. So I recently spoke to one of my business mentors about this Lizzy Goddard. And she made the simple but brilliant point that if I want to have a global business, then I need to be charging in US dollars. And she didn't say like that. Listen, there's no like need. It's not one size fits all. But US dollars is a global currency. Right? I already have a global business I have had, my first business was a global business. This business is a global business. My clients come from all around the world, there is a bit of a skew, I would say, more so in my one to one of my group programme of people who are in the UK or certainly in Europe. But honestly, I have a huge amount of customers from absolutely everywhere in the world, especially, you know, a lot a large chunk in the US. And actually, I was looking at my book stats recently as well, because I'm selling my book on Amazon, and more people have bought that from the US and they have in the UK, which really surprised me or recently anyway, I don't know about at the beginning. So yeah, I already have a global business, US dollars is a global currency. All of us as business owners will know what it's like to pay for things in US dollars. Like everything that I work with, like my shopping cart, thrivecart US dollars, my email service provider, ConvertKit Oh, I have to pay for that in US dollars. I have to pay for all the software that I use in US dollars, I have to pay for my podcast hosted in US dollars, I have to pay for my course platform in US dollars. It's all US dollars. So it's not like if anyone's running a business and if anyone pays for anything in their business, they will be used to paying in US dollars. And I think that that is a really important thing to remember. I don't know if I should talk about this now or later. But basically, I have been debating on this decision for months and months and months and months. So let me back up a little bit and tell you what I have been doing at first when I started this business and I was really, really at first I was definitely in the kind of UK scene that is so not a good word to use. But you know, I read I was it was had UK contacts and friends business friends and clients and I just charged in pounds. And it was easy then and then you know my business has been growing over the last few years and I feel like it let's just say it can be confusing sometimes to figure out exchange rates to you know, to know what what you're actually paying for stuff when you're not used to having to pay in a foreign currency because your currency is the dominant one. So I had been using two different payment buttons for all of my offers. I had a pounds price and $100 price. And let me just tell you, I mean it was really interesting firstly to see how many people use each option. last the last few launches I've done majority of people have used the doll

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was, which has been a shift, I would say earlier on more people use the pounds.

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And I can just tell you having two payment options is a pain. It is a pain, it's logistically annoying, it's more effort. Changing exchange rates meant that I was either constantly shifting the prices a little bit, or I was ignoring him for a while and then realising the exchange rates had really changed a lot, probably because, you know, the pound is really volatile. So everything he keeps changing very quickly, politics. And yeah, it also made it hard for me to like create coupon codes, it was just so much more admin behind the scenes. And like I said, a lot of people like seem to be swinging more towards paying in US dollars. So I've been wanting to make this decision for like months. But I had this kind of fear around alienating my British clients, because I am British. And I know that it's annoying in some ways. If you want to work with someone who is in the same country, as you'd be, you've got to pay a foreign currency. And the exchange rates fluctuate. Maybe you don't even have a card that lets you pay without being charged for it. By the way, I'm with Starling bank in the UK, I don't need to pay any extra fees when I pay in US dollars. So I highly recommend looking for a bank account that doesn't charge you extra fees. But yeah, it was it was kind of people pleasing. It was me being afraid of what people might think no one's made any comments about this? Because I haven't talked about it. I mean, now that I'm talking about it, you might have a comment or a thought or whatever. But at the end of the day, yes, it might annoy some people, is it going to annoy them enough not to work with me? Probably not because they have to pay all their expenses in US dollars anyway? And is it worth not making the decision? For a few people? It might annoy? No, no, absolutely not. I don't make my business decisions based on other people's opinions. I need to make my business decisions based on what is best for me and my business. So that is why I put off this this decision for too long for so long. And actually, I should say in my previous business, I charged in US dollars. So it's not like I'm new to this. I charged in US dollars at a time when the exchange rate was very, very different. So back when I started in 2008, the pound was a lot stronger. The Pound was literally worth about two US dollars, like can you believe that? I can, I can really hardly believe it. But at the time, the pound was worth about two US dollars. So it was actually quite bad for me charging in US dollars. Because not only was I just totally undercharging anyway, because I had no confidence in myself. But when I exchanged my dollars for pounds, I was getting like 50 p per dollar. So yes, it does. So happen that because the pound is weaker. Now, one US dollar is worth more to me getting paid one US dollar is worth more to me than it was back then. But that is not the reason that is not the reason that I'm changing. Plus, by the way, what I should have done back then is just raise my prices. So as I was getting paid better, the exchange rate shouldn't have dictated at all like in the way that it did. And yeah, actually, I had so many clients back then, that were my absolute majority of clients in my previous business or outside of the UK that I've never had to pay VAT. I've never had to charge VAT. I mean, do my customers, because the threshold here in the UK only applies to your total turnover from UK sources. So I've never had to charge VAT because of this. So it just highlights even further how much of a global business I had back then, and how much I have right now. So as a result of this decision, actually, firstly, I just want to say should you be making this decision? No, you don't have to make this decision. I don't want this to be about this. There's a right way of doing this. I mean, I work with very, very successful business owners who charge in their local currency, pounds, euros, whatever. So you don't have to make this decision. For me, because I've been so used to doing it for my entire business journey. I'm totally set up for this behind the scenes. I have a US Dollars bank account, my accounting software Xero is set up to import store the transactions in US dollars. My accountant knows what's going on. I'm already doing it. And I already have been doing it for over a decade well over a decade. So I'm totally set up for it. It's really easy for me, I can see why if you hadn't been doing it for so long that this might be you know, more of a logistical pain. But actually for me, this is me simplifying logistically. And I will say so what's going to change for my clients and customers? Actually, before I talk about what's going to change, which isn't that much by the way. Let me tell you how you can get set up for this in case you're kind of thinking about it. You need you know a shopping cart that does a different currency which they all do. Basically, you can have a PayPal account I've got a pound British Pound balance and a US dollar balance in my PayPal account. Now PayPal is really annoying. They will charge a really annoying exchange rate to change your dollars to pounds. But that is a cost of doing business. And what I have done is

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Is I have got a starling bank account, Starling lets you set up other currencies for a really small fee. So I think it's something like either $5 or five pounds a month to have a US dollar bank account, I had to phone PayPal. And if you've been around for a while, you know, I will do almost anything to avoid phoning people. But I had to phone PayPal, because they make you jump through hoops when you live in a different country to add a US dollar bank account to them. But I did it, I had to send them a bit of information, they did make me send them a bit of information economy, but it was probably identification business registered stuff. And I now my Starling US dollar bank account is added to my PayPal account. So I can withdraw my pounds to my pound account, and I can withdraw my dollars to my dollar account. Now they PayPal us to let you withdraw dollars for free. They obviously saw that people were getting around their fees by doing this. So now they charge like a 3% fee, it's still cheaper for me to withdraw directly to my US dollar bank account with the 3% fee than it is to change it to pounds first because they give you such bad exchange rates. So please know, it's like just set up a bank account, it's really not that much work, it just requires you to do this phone call and send them a bit of information upfront. But Starling is really reasonable with their exchange rates really reasonable. Like I said that a US dollar bank account was stalling only costs like five pounds or $5 a month.

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And my accounting software Xero handles everything. When it comes to like tax for tax purposes, it pulls in whatever exchange rate from the time. So it does convert it automatically into pounds for me because obviously with my tax return, I do have to do it all in pounds. Super simple. My obviously my accountant does it for me, but I do do the bookkeeping, so I am aware of how that works. And then get an accountant that understands online business. I use Amy Taylor accountancy she's brilliant. And if you if you want to check her out, then let me know I sent you because I do get a referral fee, but I would recommend her regardless of that.

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And yes, Starling bank is just brilliant recommended for everything because it's not just about being able to have that US dollar bank account. It's also spending in US dollars, when I spend in US dollars on that card, I don't get charged any foreign currency transaction fees, and I get the exchange rate, they don't change it, it's the current exchange rate, they don't like change it to take some money off, or take some extra money from you. So Starling is brilliant. And I think that's really all that you need to get set up. It's actually it's not that complicated. This is the way that the world is going. And the technology is there to support us, you just have to get it all up and running. Okay, so now I need to talk about how this is gonna affect my current or future potential clients and customers, I am totally on board. If you are a UK client, and you are signing up for kind of higher priced service, I mean, it's probably not worth me offering this for my lower ticket stuff. But if you're like working with me one to one, or in my restaurant group programme, or in any higher price courses and stuff, I'm totally happy to invoice you in pounds. Absolutely, like I can still do that you can still pay in pounds, so don't worry about that. What's going to change for everyone else, honestly, a lot of my stuff has actually just become a lot more affordable. Because the value of the pound has really dropped

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my courses, my group programme, my one to one work, the US dollar price is now based on the current exchange rate. So if you are outside of the UK, if you're in the UK, nothing's changed, it's still the same price. If you're outside of the UK, effectively, it's going to be cheaper for you now. So I kind of just want to highlight that as well. Like now's a great time to sign up to work together to sign up to any of my courses. If you've had your eye on something and you weren't sure about it have another look because it might just be a lot more affordable than you thought.

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And yeah, don't worry UK clients, I'm happy to invoice you in pounds. And the last thing I really want to say about this is when you make decisions that are going up like having an earring about for a long time in your business, you don't know what's right, people pleasing and perceived judgments are coming into it, it's really helpful to notice how you feel when you actually start to put it into motion. And what I did for this is I just made a really simple spreadsheet, I put all of my offerings in the spreadsheet, I put all of the current prices in pounds in this spreadsheet. And then I started filling it in with the US dollar prices that I'm going to change them to. And I know it might sound silly, like why would I get a feeling about this, but oh my goodness, I felt so excited. When I was filling this in like yes, this is this is what I want to do with my business. actually starting to put it in motion not publicly but just privately behind the scenes gave me such an excited, happy, expansive feeling that instantly I knew this is the right decision. And you know what some other people might not like it, but if it feels right to me, and it simplifies my business and it means that I can reach more of a global audience and it feels

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feels good that this is the right decision for me in my business. So if you've been thinking about changing to US dollars, if you charge in any other currency, I hope that this kind of thought process has been helpful to you. If you do charge in a different currency, I hope that you know that you are the person who gets to decide what is right for you. And what's right for me is not necessarily right for you. So don't worry. But hopefully it's given you some things to think about. And you can find my new prices on my website, I'm literally in the process of changing them now. So if you're listening, when this immediate like first goes out, you might find that there's still some things that are not quite right. But go to my website, have a look at my offers. See if there's something you had your eye on that is now effectively cheaper for you. You can see everything I do at Ruth poundwhite.com forward slash everything. By the way, there's literally everything I do on that page. And yeah, I can't tell you how excited I am about not having to create to two payment buttons, two shopping cart things too. Yeah, for everything I do. It's all going to be simplified from here on out. And I'm really excited about this decision. And I'm really excited about the fact that I work with business owners from all around the world. Isn't that just the most magical thing about running an online business?

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Thank you so much for listening to another episode of quietly ambitious, if you have a moment to rate and review know that it really does make a difference. And if you'd like to carry on the conversation, then you can connect with me on Instagram at Ruth Poundwhite Join me in the Facebook group or my personal favourite. Sign up to my newsletter letters to quietly ambitious humans. Just go to Ruth poundwhite.com forward slash newsletter to subscribe and keep doing what you're doing because your work really does matter.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

Note: at this time transcripts are automated and unedited, which means errors may occur. But we hope you find them helpful!

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“I don't make my business decisions based on other people's opinions”

Show Notes

In this episode I talk about why I've made the decision to charge in USD (vs. GBP – I'm based in the UK), why it has taken me so long, the people-pleasing part of me that has been fearful, what this means for my business and considerations for anyone wanting to charge in USD when it's not your native currency.

Some of the things I talked about:

  • Why charging in 2 currencies wasn't working for me and why I have chosen USD over GBP (even though I'm based in the UK)
  • The fears that the people-pleasing part of me had about this decision
  • How it impacts my clients and my prices
  • The tech/ accountancy details to make this easier

Links from the episode:

Other episodes you might like:

“I'm really excited about working with business owners from all around the world – isn't that just the most magical thing about running an online business?”

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Thanks so much for listening!

When you subscribe to updates you get access to 3 bonus episodes of the podcast – exclusively for email subscribers – that dive behind the scenes of my business (I talk about failures, money, community & more!)