If you’ve recently started a new business, congrats! As you dive into the exciting world of entrepreneurship, one question you may be asking yourself is how you should price your products or services. Pricing can seem daunting at first, when you’re not quite sure what customers are willing to pay. That’s why we’re sharing some simple and effective pricing strategies that’s been tested and proven! By the end, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to set prices that attract customers and boost your bottom line.
When you’re just starting out, a reliable and simple pricing strategy to start with is cost-based pricing. This approach involves calculating all the direct and indirect costs associated with your products or services. Consider materials, labor, overhead, and marketing expenses. Once you have your total costs, add a reasonable profit margin. This ensures you cover your expenses and make a fair profit. While straightforward, keep in mind that this strategy doesn’t consider market demand or customer perceptions. It’s a good starting point for setting a foundation for your pricing structure.
To understand how cost-based pricing works, let’s walk through an example.
Imagine you have an online clothing store, and you’re pricing a t-shirt. You determine that the cost of materials and manufacturing for each t-shirt is $5. Additionally, you have fixed costs such as website maintenance, marketing, and packaging, totaling $500 per month. Let’s say you want to make a 50% profit margin on each t-shirt sold.
In this scenario, your total costs for the t-shirt are $5 + ($500 / number of t-shirts sold). If you sell 100 t-shirts in a month, the cost per t-shirt would be $5 + ($500 / 100) = $5 + $5 = $10. To achieve a 50% profit margin, you would add $5 ($10 x 50%) to the cost, resulting in a selling price of $15 per t-shirt.
Keep in mind that profit margin percentages can vary depending on your industry, market conditions, and business goals. A 50% profit margin is just an example, and the actual margin you choose will depend on your specific circumstances. It’s important to research industry standards and assess your business’s financial needs and growth objectives.
Typically, profit margins for small businesses range from 10% to 30%. However, it’s important to evaluate your pricing strategy in relation to your market and competition. For example, if you’re in a highly competitive industry, you may need to adjust your profit margin to remain competitive while still covering costs and generating a reasonable profit.
Additionally, consider the perceived value of your products or services. If you offer unique features, exceptional quality, or a premium customer experience, you may be able to command a higher profit margin. On the other hand, if you’re targeting price-sensitive customers or facing intense competition, a lower profit margin may be necessary to attract and retain customers.
As you gain experience and gather feedback from customers, you can fine-tune your pricing strategy. Monitor your costs regularly and assess how your pricing strategy aligns with your business objectives. By striking a balance between covering costs and setting a fair profit margin, you’ll position your small business for long-term success.
Another approach to pricing is value-based pricing, where you focus on the perceived value your offerings bring to customers. It’s not just about covering costs; it’s about pricing based on the benefits and outcomes your products or services deliver. To implement this strategy, conduct market research to understand what customers are willing to pay for the value they receive. Identify your unique selling points and differentiate yourself from competitors. Price your offerings accordingly, capturing a fair share of the perceived value in the form of higher prices. This strategy emphasizes the quality and benefits you provide and can lead to increased profitability.
How much is your customer worth to your small business? (LTV)
Let’s explore some examples of value-based pricing to better understand how it works:
Suppose you own a small business that specializes in handmade jewelry. Your unique selling point is the exceptional craftsmanship, attention to detail, and use of high-quality materials. Market research reveals that customers are willing to pay a premium for unique, well-crafted jewelry that carries sentimental value. By pricing your jewelry based on the perceived value of the craftsmanship, rarity, and emotional connection it creates, you can set higher prices compared to mass-produced alternatives.
Imagine you offer consulting services to small businesses, providing expert advice and customized solutions to help them grow. Your value proposition lies in your extensive industry experience, personalized approach, and track record of delivering tangible results. Through market research, you discover that businesses are willing to invest more in consulting services that guarantee a higher return on investment. By pricing your services based on the value they bring, such as increased revenue, cost savings, or efficiency improvements, you can justify a higher price point.
Let’s say you provide software development services, specializing in creating customized solutions for businesses. Your value proposition lies in your ability to tailor software to meet specific business needs, improve efficiency, and streamline operations. Through market research, you find that businesses are willing to invest more in customized software that offers seamless integration with existing systems and delivers a significant competitive advantage. By pricing your services based on the value of increased productivity, cost savings, and enhanced competitiveness, you can command higher prices compared to off-the-shelf software solutions.
When implementing value-based pricing, it’s important to communicate the value proposition effectively to customers. Highlight the specific benefits, unique features, and competitive advantages that set your offerings apart. Emphasize the return on investment, improved outcomes, or enhanced experiences customers can expect by choosing your business. This helps customers justify the higher prices and reinforces the value they will receive.
Should You Charge by the Hour or Per Project?
Another pricing strategy you could implement is competitive pricing. Competitive pricing involves researching and considering the rates and pricing strategies of similar businesses in your industry and location. Do you want to position your offerings as lower-priced, on par, or premium compared to your competition? While pricing is important, don’t solely focus on being the cheapest. Differentiate yourself through quality, customer service, or unique features. Competitive pricing helps you attract customers who have alternatives, but remember to maintain profitability and deliver value beyond just price.
Let’s delve into some examples of competitive pricing strategies to help you navigate this approach effectively:
If you’re a small business entering a competitive market, offering an entry-level pricing strategy can be effective. By setting your prices slightly lower than your established competitors, you attract price-sensitive customers who are seeking affordability. This strategy helps you gain initial traction and build a customer base. However, ensure that your pricing still covers costs and allows for a reasonable profit margin in the long run.
Parity pricing involves setting your prices on par with your competitors. This strategy positions your business as equal in terms of quality, features, and value. Customers may perceive your offerings as a reliable and trustworthy alternative to the competition. To succeed with parity pricing, focus on delivering exceptional customer service, building strong relationships, and emphasizing the unique aspects that differentiate your business.
Instead of competing solely on price, differentiate yourself through value-added pricing. This strategy involves offering additional benefits, features, or services that go beyond what your competitors provide. For example, you could offer free shipping, extended warranties, or personalized customer support. By emphasizing the extra value customers receive, you can justify slightly higher prices while still remaining competitive.
If your business has established a reputation for exceptional quality, superior craftsmanship, or exclusive features, you may consider premium pricing. This strategy positions your offerings at a higher price point compared to your competitors. It appeals to customers who prioritize top-of-the-line products or services and are willing to pay a premium for the added benefits. Premium pricing works when you can clearly demonstrate the unique value and superior experience customers will receive.
Bundle pricing involves offering packages or bundles of products or services at a discounted rate compared to purchasing them individually. This strategy incentivizes customers to buy more by providing a cost-saving opportunity. By bundling complementary offerings, you can increase the perceived value and encourage customers to choose your business over individual competitors.
Remember, competitive pricing is not a one-time decision. It requires ongoing monitoring and adjustment to stay aligned with market conditions and customer preferences. Regularly evaluate your pricing strategy, conduct competitor analysis, and seek customer feedback to ensure that you’re providing value while remaining competitive.
When implementing competitive pricing strategies, keep these key considerations in mind:
How to Charge What You’re Worth as a Freelancer
If you’re entering a new market or launching a new product or service, penetration pricing can be a powerful strategy. Start with an initially low price to attract customers and gain market share or create brand awareness. The goal is to capture attention and establish a customer base. As your business grows, you can gradually increase prices to reflect the value you bring. Careful planning is crucial to ensure long-term profitability and sustainability with this method. Penetration pricing can be a fantastic way to make a splash and get your business off to a strong start.
Here are a few key points to consider when implementing penetration pricing:
By offering a lower price compared to your competitors, you create a strong incentive for customers to try your product or service. This generates interest and encourages potential customers to give your business a chance.
Penetration pricing allows you to quickly capture a portion of the market. As customers are attracted by the lower price, you can establish your brand and build a loyal customer base.
A low introductory price helps create buzz around your business and generates word-of-mouth marketing. This can lead to increased brand awareness and exposure, helping you stand out from competitors.
Once you have established your presence and gained a significant customer base, you can start increasing your prices. This can be done gradually over time, ensuring that your business remains profitable and sustainable in the long run.
Keep a close eye on how competitors react to your penetration pricing strategy. They may adjust their own prices or offer promotions to counter your efforts. Stay agile and be prepared to adapt your pricing strategy accordingly.
Congratulations! You’re now equipped with practical pricing strategies to make informed decisions for your small business. Remember, pricing is not set in stone. Continuously monitor market conditions, customer feedback, and your own costs to make adjustments as needed. Embrace experimentation and be open to refining your strategies as you gain more experience. Pricing is a journey, and with the right strategies in place, you’ll attract customers, maximize profitability, and build a thriving small business.
Needing a little guidance when starting a new business?
TrulySmall has you covered.
If you've recently started a new business, congrats! As you dive into the exciting world of entrepreneurship, one question you may be asking...
As a freelancer, learning how to price appropriately is as important as an adult learning how to navigate their taxes.
It’s not a shoul...
Starting a business of any kind can be an uphill battle. You need to come up with a creative idea and more importantly, you need to fund it....
As a contractor, there’s a lot that goes into each one of your projects. Whether it’s a major renovation, routine fix or one-off client ...
Set your invoice payment terms for your client and start getting paid on time. Read the full article and view actionable templates on our TrulySmall blog.
Starting a new small business can significantly impact your life and the lives of those around you. While starting a business takes grit, vu...
To start a business takes a lot of grit, resilience, vulnerability and motivation. If you're reading this, chances are, you've contemplated ...
Amidst all the excitement that comes along with onboarding a new design client, sending a contract may not even be on your mind. But it real...
For those in the startup or beginning stages of business, the terms "accounting" and "bookkeeping" may be completely terrifying, and rightfu...
Customer acquisition is no easy feat. Today's marketplace is extremely competitive, and the truly small business owners, entrepreneurs and s...
Did you know that using invoicing software not only helps you to get paid faster but also reduces your invoicing costs by 29%? Start sending invoices free today with TrulySmall Invoices!
Enter your email below to get the free template sent straight to your inbox!
Or save time and try our free invoicing tool instead!
Sign up for our launch newsletter for exclusive updates and offers!
Sign up for our launch newsletter for exclusive updates and an early bird discount!
Enter your email below and we’ll send your new budgeting template right to your inbox.