Pricing is challenging for everyone, especially us. We are people who live/love to serve but we also need to eat…
Figuring out your pricing is difficult for everyone in business especially people like us, who are super caring and ultimately feel like our lives are spent in a loving service. Many of us would be happy to give our services to others if we simply didn’t have to pay for food.
But we do have to pay for food and we have to pay for the other things that we need to live our lives. We are householders and we have responsibilities.
To be mindful about pricing & to be compassionate with our pricing, we might start to think about things like sliding scale pricing.
Could we offer cheaper sessions for people in hardship and full priced sessions to people who can afford it?
Maybe we could have another session in between for people who are a little bit tight for money but not in dire hardship.
And then we could have another level, providing a “pay it forward” option for people who are comfortable and who would love to pay a little extra so that others can enjoy our services without having to be in financial duress?
Sliding scale is appealing
One business that has been really inspiring to me is Worts and Cunning Apothecary who have been experimenting with the sliding scale in their own business for several years and so have personal Insight about how well the sliding scale system works.
Alexis, the owner and writer at Worts and Cunning has written two blog posts: the first one outlining a sliding scale pricing system and then later, another blog about some limitations of the sliding scale pricing system and ways that she suggests the whole pricing dilemma can be improved. I highly recommend these articles to deepen your consciousness around money and pricing.
In my own business, I offered free sessions to people in exchange for market research in the very beginning.
This was great for me because I got to practice delivering my service and I also got valuable market research information. This felt like a loving and thoughtful energy exchange.
Once I had reviewed my market research and was developing an offer that I would share with the world, I priced that fairly low, around $50 an hour. That was more than I had ever earned in an hour; I was very pleased to be earning $50 an hour! Especially because before then, I wasn’t selling any services and suddenly I was selling my services. I am so grateful for my clients.
The next step for me was: once I was fully booked at that price point then I gently eased my prices up. Every 6 to 12 months is a great time to review your pricing and if you are in Australia then I would encourage you to review them at least every financial year.
If you wanted to, you could also review them in the New Year holiday break while you’re doing your New Year’s planning. I also recommend easing them up in increments that don’t trigger your imposter syndrome (unless you have lots of time to process all that emotional baggage it will stir up!). Five to ten dollars a time is fine. Or you could price up in anticipation of paying GST.
Choose a low price to start. Once you’re booked fully at that price, put your prices up incrementally.
Ultimately, I recommend setting a price that you feel really happy to receive. It’s important that you don’t feel resentful about the small amount of money you’re receiving, so under charging doesn’t work. It’s also helpful that your price isn’t prohibitive so that you can actually get clients. It’s most practical if your rate is achievable for your target market.
If you find that you aren’t booking any sessions at your current price you might try lowering your prices for a while and then once you’re fully booked at that price point, you can gently ease your pricing back up.
I hope this has been a helpful discussion for you. If you have any questions please pop them in the comments below. I hope you have a beautiful day.
Founder of Connected Marketing