Pricing Tips that Can Pump up Your Profits
The role that pricing plays in the financial structure and competitive profile of a small business is often misunderstood. Many business owners and entrepreneurs automatically assume that price increases put them at a disadvantage. But that’s not necessary so if you have a clear strategy for setting prices at your business. Some pricing experts, for example, argue that small, strategically targeted price increases can actually give a company a competitive edge.
The key is to bridge the disconnect that exists between pricing strategy and profits for so many businesses, both large and small. Proper pricing is more complex that most of us realize. Business owners usually see pricing as a mix of markups, margins and matching the competition – plus a modicum of “gut feeling.”
But such an approach has no relevance for the most important component of all: What customers are actually willing to pay. As a result, many businesses are leaving profits on the table every day because they haven’t priced their products or services properly.
For businesses seeking bottom line growth, better pricing can be the quickest path to better profits. You can literally change prices one day and start seeing the results the next.
Achieving optimum pricing, however, requires thinking more holistically about your strategy.
It’s NOT simply a matter of jacking up prices across the board. Most businesses can benefit by employing a variety of pricing tactics – and so can customers. Instead of presenting customers with one take-it-or-leave-it price, for example, offering a choice of prices, versions and pricing plans can attract more customers and improve profits.
Here are nine pricing tips to consider:
1. Focus on profit, not margin
: Many businesses equate “high margin” with pricing success. Maybe so, but a high margin can also point to opportunities to serve more customers by using discount tactics as well. Profit is your goal, not margin.
2 Avoid the markup mistake:
The most common pricing pitfall is setting your price based merely on a set markup. Such “cost-plus” plans often forego potential profits because they never account for what customers are willing to pay.
3. Avoid one-size-fits-all:
Pricing is more personal than you might think. Customers have different needs, product preferences and expectations. For example, some prefer package pricing, while some like a la carte. Implement a series of pricing tactics that serve those different needs.
4. Price for value:
Take a lesson from street vendors who understand better than anyone the principle of value-based pricing. Umbrella prices go up the moment it starts raining. It has nothing to do with the cost of the goods, and everything to do with the value the customer places on the product.
5. Know your value proposition:
Create a “value statement” for all of your products and services. This is a simple declaration of why you are proud of what you sell, and why customers should buy it from you instead of someone else.
6. Don’t discount across-the-board
: Discounting can be damaging if handled badly. Try this instead. Hold steady on prices to maintain current purchases, and then implement pricing tactics – such as discounts, lower versions or financing – to keep and attract new price-sensitive customers.
7. Let customers choose how much to pay
: Most businesses can boost profits by offering “good, better and best” type choices for a wide range of products and services. Think about creating different versions of what you offer at different price points.
8. Create a different offering for your most price-sensitive customers
: For any given product or service, some customers are willing to pay more than others. Offer a spectrum of prices based on customer actions. For example, those who line up to be “first to own” something are perfectly willing to pay a premium price. Those who drive an hour to shop at outlet malls aren’t. It’s a pricing jigsaw puzzle. Each new pricing tactic you create has the potential to add another customer segment to your mix.
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