We hear from so many business people about the struggles that they have setting their business pricing, particularly in service-based industries.

Where are you in all of this?

Here are some tips that may help you to work through the challenges of setting your business pricing, assuming you have a service-based business.

What NOT to do:

Do not cheapen yourself – while it is tempting to think of client-is-a-client – you are making you and your business appear as just another off-the-rack offering. If you really offer a special service (and of course you do because of who you are) then this must be communicated to your potential client. Therefore, presenting an “anytime, anywhere” approach will less the importance of what you have to offer. This is also communicated in improper pricing strategies.

Do not worry about what competition is charging – they probably have a different business model than you and even if they do not, what they offer for what price is probably different. Focus on you and what your business needs and you will be much more successful.

Do not ask your client what their budget is – if you are a “real” business person, your pricing requirements should reflect your business needs. What budget that people have to hire you for your services is not what is important. It also places them in the driver's seat to dictate to you what they can afford when it should be what value you deliver.

Do not trade “dollars for hours” – this is a model that is sure to cause you to undercut your services and result in haggling with clients for what exactly you have done and how long it has taken you. You do not want to be subject to such specific criticism. After all what difference does it make how long it takes you to perform a service – when results are all that matter.

What TO DO:

Invest in quality – although it looks obvious, many smaller business owners do not consider the quality of their clients as important, but rather they focus on quantity. As with anything, you are working to get those who really, really need your services and will be repeat business. How do you find them? You must spend the money to advertise to find them. You do not want those only looking for the free or low cost option.

Show your results – have your clients understand what results that you provide, not the length of time or the process for getting there. Let them see client reviews and explain to them what results that you have achieved for your clients.

Find the right clients – at the end-of-the-day – you do not want to work with everyone as there is no possible way that you will appeal to all potential clients and frankly: you do not want to! Therefore, have a method to find the right clients as they will become a good current client and hopefully will provide repeat business and referrals.

Have confidence – if you exude the confidence that you should, your clients / customers are kindly to understand the value of what you have to offer. You must respect yourself and what you do – if you do not then re-engineer your company and your life so that you feel this way about yourself. As in the old saying “believe in yourself utterly to have others believe the same.”