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Setting the Right Prices for your Holistic Business

Posted by on June 28, 2014 in Biz Talk | 4 comments

Setting the Right Prices for your Holistic Business

Pricing for Holistic Businesses

Let’s talk about pricing.

A tricky subject for many small biz owners, I know!

I’m currently in the middle of revamping my services to better meet the needs of my clients – and also to better meet the needs of my business, so it can continue to run well. This includes raising prices to match the value of these new services. The new pricing will also be more competitive with other web designers & developers who are on the same level of knowledge, skill and talent.

Many of my clients are holistic wellness practitioners, and determining the rates for their services is something that often comes up while we’re in the planning stages of their websites.

I think there’s a bit of a challenge – a “block” – for holistic, heart-centered businesses (By this I mean, any business that offers services which provide for more than just one particular need, and that connect with their clients on a deeper level i.e. yoga teachers, reiki practitioners, artists, craftspeople, life and business coaches, etc.) when they begin setting the right prices for their services, because of the nature of the work they do: Mainly, helping others. One of my missions is simply to help people do the work they love for a living, so I often have that mental block about money, too. It’s always been difficult for me to justify charging what a website or logo is actually worth because 1. I want to be accessible to small business owners, and 2. I feel that if my prices aren’t affordable, there will be no clients and my business will fail.

How (as a service-based business owner that provides services to promote the well-being and livelihood of your clients) can you set your prices to where they need to be to best serve your clients and your business?

Here are a few things I’ve learned:

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

This might even be something you empower your own clients to do. But don’t forget yourself! You offer a very important service that helps people (heal, learn, live healthily, de-stress, find joy..), and if you’re running your business ethically and with grace, your clients will be more than happy to pay whatever (fair) price you set for your knowledge, experience and skill. So, never sell yourself short! If you did, you’d be devaluing your hard work and talent, along with the time you dedicated and investments you made to become trained and/or certified in your field.

You run a business that helps people, but you’re not a charity. As a for-profit studio, private practice, teacher, coach, you still need to pay the bills, take care of your own family, and cover the expenses of keeping your business running. To be able to take care of others, you have to be able to take care of yourself, too.

Competition

If you’re like me, this word can make you a little uncomfortable even when it’s healthy competition! But you should always check out your competition so your pricing is close to industry standards. I consider that healthy for the sustainability of your business. Plus, it shows your clients that your quality of service is comparable to others doing the same work you do.

Expenses

As for business expenses/overhead…take that all into account, of course, and remember costs can always go up, and probably will.

Are your current prices working for you?

This is another thing to consider. If clients are telling you they’d love to work with you but your pricing is a bit out of their budget, there is so much you can do to gain or keep their business:

  • Create bite-sized versions of your regular services: Shorter sessions, shorter classes, etc.
  • Bundle your services in a package or series, and give a discount.
  • Add more value to your regular services: A free consultation before a session, a coupon for 10% off their next class, etc.
  • Offer referral discounts or loyal customer perks.

There’s so much you can do to reach more people and gain repeat clients. For example, I offer my Website Packages at three different levels (soon to be four). Because I work with a lot people starting brand new businesses, the Starter and Premium Website Packages are very popular. A new business’ budget may not always allow for the full Business Bundle service, but I’m still able to help them. Plus, this has kept my own business going, and growing! It’s a win-win.

Raising prices later on

Taking all of the above into consideration, set your prices at a healthy and fair level right from the start. It can be challenging to raise them later on, and the biggest challenge can often be yourself! You may feel obligated to keep your prices where they are, because that’s what your clients are used to and you’re afraid to stir the pot. Meanwhile, business expenses are going up, living costs are going up, you have to pay for additional training, or you’ve gained more certification to justify a price rise. Your competition is raising their prices to match or honor these costs, trainings, or progressions. If you kept your prices the same, you’d definitely be selling yourself short and maybe struggling a little, too.

Don’t be afraid to raise your prices if it’s justifiable. Your regular clients will understand the occasional price rise, and new clients will see that you’re competitive with other businesses in your area and will choose you based on other factors. In the end, your clients will choose you because you’re you. They’ll want to continue working with you because they know you, trust you and have developed a relationship with you – so they’ll know that you’re worth every penny!

If you’re struggling with setting the right pricing for your business, what is one thing you can do today to work towards overcoming that block? Lets discuss in the comments!

 ~

Catherine McManus is a Web & Graphic Designer with a passion for helping small businesses and women entrepreneurs make a living from the work they truly love and feel called to do. For nearly a decade, she’s been designing visual brands and websites for the holistic wellness industry, all types of artists, and many other types of creative business who are as passionate about their work as she is about her own.

 

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4 Comments

  1. I say bravo to all of this! Very well said. I checked with my competitors, and my fees for authors and artists wishing promotion and P.R. is VERY reasonable, yet I still am not generating clients . I have over ten years combined experience as a successful marketing manager, increasing revenue 60% for a highly-rated national company, and I am not a charity. Unfortunately, I have put in 16 hour-days as an independent marketing/P.R. director in the past, and not been paid . It is essential to be paid for one’s skills, proven results, and talent in a manner comparable to other competitors.

    If you want results and a good product, you have to be willing to invest.

    I am currently a full time Honors Pre- RN student who wants to go on to become a Physician’s Assistant, which will require working while in school full time to pay tuition.

    • Investing in the right tools, classes and coaching is so important! I’m really glad you brought that up. Not only do you get more education and skills when you invest in these things, you get networking opportunities!!

      The biggest reason I am in business is because I have a small group of repeat clients who I have developed a healthy and beneficial (for both me and the client!) working relationship with. That, I believe, is the key to finding and keeping work.

      It’s not always a “feast”…there is often enough a “famine”, too. But by finding multiple ways to be accessible to my clients, I’ve been able to meet their needs in more than one way. I design brands and websites, but I also maintain websites and develop & launch marketing strategies. The latter actually keeps my business afloat. And I’m working on ways to shift that so I can bring my business to a place where I have the time to create products and services that help people even more.

  2. Thank you for sharing! I initially set lower prices as I was thinking of my clients and wanted them to have an affordable service. Now my practice is evolving and growing leading to more expenses. So I face a dilemma of having to inform my clients that I’m going to be raising my rates. I did some research in my area and found that even if I do raise my rates to what I’m willing to accept, it’s still less than what other’s are charging. I was surprised to see that some Reiki practitioners were charging more than a $1/minute for their sessions. Not to mention most only offer 60 minute sessions. I also take into consideration our seniors who many are on a fixed income, so I offer lower rates for them as well. While there may be no price for the cost of healing we are paying for the time and ability to see the practitioner of our choice.

    • Nikki, good for you for doing a health check for your business! I think best the way to handle notifying your clients of the price rise is to offer them a loyal client discount off their next session. Or whatever perk you can come up with that is reasonable for your business, and will let them know you care about them and want to continue working with them.

      Good luck!

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