What do your rates say about your business?

As I mentioned in a previous post, pricing can often be a catastrophe for business owners, particularly us women. It's quite possibly the hardest part of running a business.

But today, I'm not here to talk about how to price your services.

I'm here to talk about what your rates say about your business. What impression are your rates giving your potential clients? And is it a good one?

There are 3 areas of pricing; we all fall in one of them. Which one do you fall in to?

1. Cheap & Chirpy

Some businesses have a competitive pricing strategy, meaning they're cheaper than their competitors. This isn't a very good category for service-based businesses, like designers. Here's why:

  • You're cutting down the hours spent on each client, meaning you have to work fast to make money. This sadly results in poor quality work, and often poor quality clients. Do you seriously want below-average work in your portfolio?
  • You'll get penny-snatching clients who don't value their business enough to spend much money on it, don't value your services, and think they can tell you how to do your job.
  • The work experience is not as fun because you're rushing and your clients aren't exactly, um, amazing.

What your pricing says to clients:

  • I'm a beginner.
  • I need money faaaaast.
  • I don't have time to give my clients special attention.
  • The work I provide won't be high quality, but hey, I'm cheap and work fast!

2. The middle woman

If you haven't got years and years of experience then I personally think the middle ground is a nice place to sit.

  • If you're a middle woman then you're pricing isn't cheap enough to attract clients with super low budgets.
  • Your clients will be easier to work with.
  • You'll easily find the places where these 'middle ground' clients hang out.
  • But unfortunately, most service-based businesses target clients with a middle-ground budget, so you'll have lots of competition. That means making yourself stand out without altering your pricing. You need to think about how you can improve your services, how you can niche your business and how you can make a better impression than your competitors.

What your pricing says to clients:

  • I'm trustworthy and you'll really enjoy your experience with me.
  • I'm not going to give you crappy, rushed work.
  • I can give you more time and energy. I'll fulfill your needs and you'll walk away feeling totally satisfied.
  • You're working with a professional- expect greatness.

3. Pricey 'n' exclusive

In my personal opinion, the only time you should be stepping it up to the 'pricey and exclusive' team is when you have years of experience, you've worked with crazy-popular clients or what you do is so unique and so in-demand that you can charge whatever the hell you want.

  • If you're pricey and exclusive, you're going to enjoy your work more than ever because you'll be working with AMAZING clients!
  • Those amazing clients will likely give you as much creative freedom as you could dream of.
  • Your bank account will be something you actually WANT to look at.

What your pricing says to clients:

  • I'm a pro. I'm the real deal. No one else has anything on me.
  • If you want your job done thoroughly, properly and passionately then I'm your lady.
  • I give you more care, attention and love than all my competitors put together.
  • If you want the best, this is what you'll have to pay.

Word of advice- don't charge 'pro prices' if you're an amateur. Clients don't like it when they're paying for a pro and getting work from a beginner!

What price bracket do you fall into? What do you think your pricing is telling potential clients at this very moment?