By Allison Bliss

A recent article in The Atlantic magazine revealed that women only applied for a promotion when they met 100 percent of the new job’s qualifications. Men, the story noted, felt no qualms about seeking more responsibility and higher pay, despite being only 50 percent qualified for the job.

For female business owners, this often translates into a similar gap in establishing a pricing structure: A vast majority fail to charge what their products or services are worth. It’s not just a confidence issue, but a lack of knowledge about how to determine the value of a service, product or job.

Why are women reticent to set rates that match the true value of their expertise? At an upcoming event – which intriguingly combines tequila and brainstorming – female business owners, leaders and employees will have the chance to participate in a group discussion about this phenomenon, and discover tips and techniques to absolve the price disparity and create the value they’re worth. (Tequila is optional.)

Tequila, Networking and “Shop Talk” Event

Oakland technology hot spot and salon Tech Liminal will be the backdrop for the September 16 focus group-cum-networking event, to be led by Allison Bliss, director of Allison Bliss Consulting, and Tech Liminal founder Anca Mosoiu.

Bliss, who spent 20+ years in the film and television industry before launching her own Oakland marketing and communications company, has served Apple, Intuit, and dozens of Fortune 500 companies as well as small- to mid-sized enterprises. She’s helped many women business owners earn more with fair and proven methods. Mosoiu built Tech Liminal as a co-working facility and to coach Oakland entrepreneurs to take control of their businesses with technology. She brings decades of software development and consulting experience across a breadth of clientele including Razorfish, Cisco Systems, Lawrence Berkeley Labs, and more.

Bliss and Mosoiu created this upcoming “Shop Talk: Get Paid What You’re Worth” event as a forum for women business owners to achieve their true value. The event takes place September 16th from 6-7:30pm at Tech Liminal: 555 12th St. #110, Oakland.

“Many women, particularly those in the service professions, such as healing professionals, coaches, consultants and so forth, fall short of charging what they are truly worth,” Bliss observed. “They somehow believe that it is greedy or unfair to withhold their help from those who need it most – even if their customers can’t pay full price. Other professionals have a “field of dreams” belief that if they were good enough, clients would come. Both are limiting beliefs that hold women back.”

Trends in Oakland Businesses

In her dealings with Oakland’s female business owners, Bliss has noticed several trends: Only a third have raised their prices in the last five years (even when the owner has had more than a decade of experience), half had not conducted any market research to define pricing – relying on their own assumptions to set rates – and more than 60 percent stated that taking more classes and/or earning additional licenses had not increased their earnings.

During what promises to be a lively interaction, Mosoiu will highlight a range of online productivity tools that are available to business owners while Bliss guides attendees in making informed decisions about their pricing, including how to conduct research to determine what the market will bear, and other techniques proven to increase earnings.

“You don’t want to price your rates out of your market, or be greedy or inflated on price,” Bliss advised. “But don’t cheat your business earnings, either.”

As a business & marketing expert, she’ll reveal dozens of tips that men use and the methods she’s developed to help businesses build value and increase earnings, which will be discussed at this “Shop Talk” event. “It’s not just about charging as much as you can, rather building business acumen to know how to charge your full value – in business or as an employee.”

Sign Up Details

For business owners who lack $20,000 to conduct market research, Bliss and Mosoiu will offer an enjoyable, viable alternative. Tech Liminal is located at 555 12th St., #110 in Oakland. The discussion runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Admission is $19 before September 9th; $25 at the door. For details and tickets visit

“Shop Talk: Get Paid What You’re Worth”
Date: 9/16/14
Time: 6 -7:30 p.m.
Location: Tech Liminal, 555 12th Street, #110, Oakland
Phone: (510) 832-3401
Cost: $19 before 9/7; $25 at the door

Editor’s Note: This piece reflects an individual opinion and is not a reported story from Oakland Local. Oakland Local invites community residents to share their views about events and issues in Oakland.
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