Starting a new online business is so exciting. You have so much to share with your potential customers and you are practically bubbling over. But you might also be a little scared and those little voices in your head may make you wonder if you are giving enough value for what you are charging.
“What if I’m charging too much?”
“What if they buy and don’t think it’s worth the price?”
“I’m new at this, I probably shouldn’t charge as much as the experts.”
Many people start off offering products or their time for free. It helps them work out the kinks and it’s a lot less scary (customers can’t ask for their money back if it’s free). It might also help build somewhat of a customer base.
Other people may start off by under pricing themselves again and again and don’t even realize it! How much time does it take them to create the product, how much $$ in supplies, how much $$ in expenses? What is their profit margin? These are hard numbers and they need to be figured out and assessed before putting a price on the product(s).
Many new businesses tend to price products according to the standards in their industry. They don’t do the math and instead figure others have done it for them, so they price themselves right in the middle. But one company’s expenses and supplies and time can be vastly different from another’s, especially when one is a sole proprietorship and the other is a corporation.
Another thing to look at is how a business wants to position itself with the consumer. A low pricing strategy can backfire as it can make the product seem cheap and inferior. Pricing on the high end can give the image of a well-made product and great service. The higher end pricing may mean fewer sales though.
So how should a business raise their rates once they’ve figured out they’re not paying themselves properly or paying all expenses or making a profit? There are several ways they can go about it. They can raise them incrementally – perhaps quarterly or yearly. They can raise them for new customers first. This works well for services or coaching. They can raise the rates for existing clients on a specified future date with advance warning. New products just coming out can be given a higher price and the older ones retired. Also, business owners can even reinvent their brand with higher rates and get a new customer base.
If you find you’ve priced your products or services too low, question yourself as to whether you’re proud of your business and what you offer. If so, charge what your services and products are worth and concentrate your time marketing your new properly-priced business.
(By the way – this post was inspired by a conversation that I had with some folks in a private mastermind forum that I am a lifetime member – you can join us as well for a extremely nominal fee – it is less than you think! Come join us!)
Julie Jordan Scott says
This is one of those lessons that we can be told over and over and over. Thanks for the always welcome reminder. Grateful I found you from the Ultimate Blog Challenge today!
Thank Julie. It is one that *I* need to review over and over as well!
Hi Paul, I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately, as I underpriced my services when I started my business. Then to make things worse, I worked for free every time a relative needed something. I increased my rates as I’d rather have fewer clients who pay more than work myself to death for the same money.
Thanks for another great post!
Working for family is tough… Been there and done that!
Bill G says
Good shout on this post. Clients expect the world for nothing and then moan about having to pay you when you deliver it. Don’t undersell your work, don’t underestimate the value of WordPress’ functionality and make a donation when you do finally get paid. Good mantra to live by
People also tend to think that since WordPress is free, you should work for free! Donating is always a great thing to do – donate to the causes that are near and dear to you!
Thanks for stopping by, Bill!