Guest Post by Euphrosene Labon
When did you last raise your prices? And is it right to think about price rises in an economic downturn?
Raising prices when belts are being tightened around every corner may, in some instances, be commercial suicide, but it is sound business sense to monitor your pricing structure on a regular basis. It is also a sign of confidence in your products and services. If your clients value you, they will remain and pay up, although it is wise to keep regular clients sweet with special rates.
Never spring price rises on your clients. Give them at least six months’ notice that you will be increasing your fees. This is especially true if recurring costs are involved. They too need to forecast and work to budget.
Sometimes you may need to offer discounts. Paradoxically, this can also be a sign of business confidence. A strategically-offered discount package could result in more lucrative long-term business. However, unless you value and regularly monitor your business, you are unlikely to know whether you can afford to change your structures.
Most buyers are careful with their money. They shop around for the lowest price. If competition is high, usually with non-unique product sales, there might be less room to manoeuvre, although there are marketing techniques which can be adopted to overcome this particular challenge.
Where unique or personal service is involved, and assuming it is of sufficiently high quality, then raising prices should be implemented, no matter what the economic climate. But why not test the waters first?
When did you last send out a customer satisfaction survey? Are you brave enough to try now? It might bring you unexpected results.
Euphrosene Labon is an author, artist, journalist and copywriter. Her specialised subject is everything to do with mind body spirit. However, she is also a pragmatist, having spent over 25 successful years in IT sales and business development. Visit www.EuphroseneLabon.com.