What should I charge?

Ten things to think about when setting prices

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1 | Review your 4Ps (Product, Price, Promotion, Place) annually to ensure that you make it easy for clients to buy something that they want or need, at a price they are willing to pay.

2 | Identify and build on features that differentiate and add value to your product and services.

3 | Set prices appropriately; quality products sold cheaply encourage scepticism; cheap products sold expensively encourage incredulity. Either way you lose credibility.

4 | Research your prospects and markets in detail.

5 | Being professional and knowledgeable builds trust and enables you to charge more for your products and services.

6 | Understand the risk profile of your client contact. A manager may be risk-averse and driven to minimise costs whereas an MD might take more risks paying for insights that drive up revenues.

7 | Controlling your cost base and business models will enable you to understand whether a service makes a contribution to profitability and therefore whether or not you can flex your prices.

8 | Never forget that your wisdom, creativity and knowledge has taken years to acquire. Never undervalue it or give it away.

9 | Setting prices involves understanding your business; how many hours can employees work; are they efficient and/or fully utilised; what are your fixed overheads and what profits/margins are you trying to achieve?

10 | Never price by the hour (if you can avoid it) but by the value of the product or service to your client.

By Allison McSparron-Edwards, a DBA Expert, NED of various agencies and consultant and MD of Consultrix Ltd (consultrix.co.uk) specialising in enhancing the business growth of creative businesses. Allison has presented Design Business Association workshops on pricing summaries which are available to DBA members via dba.org.uk