This is an excellent post by Sanera owner Alicia Arenas for small business owners and it got me thinking. Deciding what to charge is such a touchy subject. My contract rates are lower than my competitors and, I try to be as flexible as they come. But I often find that sometimes people want to “pick my brain” (read between the lines: for free) or talk me way down or sometimes decide to go with an intern instead of investing in my services.
Now, I’m all for a bargain. I’m not ashamed to say I CraigsList and Estate Sale shop with the best of them. But most other goods–and services–well, there’s only so much wiggle room there.
The way I look it at is: if you go to the grocery store and see a gallon of milk for $4, do you go to the cashier and ask them to drop it to $2? Or do you go to the local college and ask someone to produce milk for free? Imagine if you are in your hairdresser’s seat and tell her you want to pay $5 for her style instead of the normal fee. I’d be afraid of the result, wouldn’t you? But you really want that milk. What good is cereal without it? And, your hair do has seen better days. How about your surgeon. Not many people would ask a surgeon for a 50 percent discount!
As small business owners, we all experience this on many levels. Personally, we are consumers trying to save money. But as small business owners, we are simply trying to stay “in business.” Thankfully, my clients see the value in the services I provide and I know yours do too. Hang in there, and do all you can to ensure that your clients and customers see the value in what you do.
Let me hear your thoughts. As a small business owner, what do you experience? How do you determine the best price for your services and products? As a consumer, how do you make your decisions?
Update: this blog created a wonderful dialogue of small business owners, freelance writers and others. Don’t miss out on the wonderful advice provided. See my comments below for the links to the groups.