Find Out What Your Competitors Charge
Ring round some of your competitors (you might want to use a fake name), and find out what they’re charging for the services you offer. You can then make a price comparison table. If you’re working in an industry where price isn’t a big thing customers look at, you might charge around the average of your competitors’ prices. If price is a big factor in your industry, play aggressively — put your table in your advertising materials, and price yourself so you beat everyone on the list (you might not be able to do this in some industries, however).
Be aware, though, that you might not always want to be the cheapest out there. Somewhat strangely, you might find that you can take away a competitor’s business in some industries simply by moving into that sector and charging a higher price than they do for similar products. One of the biggest secrets of pricing is that people assume price means quality, and purchase accordingly. There’s jewellery out there, for example, that is priced at thousands of dollars but only really worth a few hundred — what people pay for, oddly enough, is the status that comes with buying something with such a high price.
If you’d like to be more scientific about your pricing, here’s a way to do it. First, work out your costs. This is any materials that you use for your work, as well as your overheads, such as electricity, advertising, lawyer’s fees, and so on. Once you’re done, you should have figured out how much each product you offer costs you, before you include the price of your work. You should overestimate this number, but not by too much.
Don’t Get Emotional About It
You will get customers who want to negotiate with you over your prices. Play them at their own game. Make it look like you’re making silly negotiating errors so that they feel like they’re getting a really good deal. Just make sure that you know the minimum price you’re willing to take before you meet with them, and don’t take any less.