Article: Is Flexing On Your Prices Always a Sign of Weakness?
Pricing struggles hack at the heart of most business owners. Too high? Too low? Too greedy? Too co-dependent?
I've written extensively about how to set your price, and the problem with sliding scales. I've also interviewed the person who I think is the smartest on the "Pay What You Can" model.
Today I want to talk about when it's okay to not be rigid with your pricing. And what to watch for so you don't slip too much.
The Deeper Significance of Price
People want to attach all kinds of significance to price. For some, pricing represents how much you value yourself. For others, it represents how much control you have. For yet others, it represents how savvy you are.
Let's drop all of that. The heart of everything is the Divine. Price, like everything else in this world, represents the Divine and our relationship to it.
To have a price you believe in, you need to have the sincerity, humility, and love that represents an honest and nourishing relationship with the Source of Love.
The only thing your price represents is this relationship you have with your Source.
What does a healthy relationship with Source look like? Love, compassion, gentleness. Strength, wisdom, clarity. All of these and more.
And spaciousness for mistakes. Flexibility for change. Graciousness for growth.
Now let's ask a big question.
What Does Your Business Need Most Right Now?
It's not as obvious a question as it appears, mainly because your needs and your business' needs may be tangled up together.
You personally may need money, but your business may need some spaciousness and ease. You may need some boundaries, but your business may need to be wide open.
This separating out your own needs from your business' needs can take a little time in your heart to discern.
Let's take someone who has been a care-giver all their life. She is waking up and finding that she needs some clear boundaries around how she gives.
Yet, her massage business is only six months old and doesn't yet have real momentum to it. The business needs a lot more energy and clients flowing through, more than it even needs money. The more people who are affected and "touched" by this business, the easier it will be to create sustainability.
This is a place where flexibility on pricing, not insisting on her highest possible price, could bring some real flow to the business.
Yet, she still needs boundaries around her giving.
Identify All the Needs and See How they Balance
For instance, in our example with the massage therapist, she needs boundaries and her business needs flow. She may find flexibility in the pricing, but she may also find that she wants to be super-clear about when the session ends, and not go over by five (or twenty) minutes. That it's okay that something is left to do next session.
She may also find that in being flexible on pricing, that she is clear about needing to be paid at the time of the visit, and not letting people owe her.
This can be subtle, and a little scary. Yet it may also be a relief to know that you can find a combination of strategies and agreements with yourself and your business that can meet the different needs.
I often tell clients that are lacking clients themselves, especially with new businesses, to find the lowest price that feels acceptable to their heart, and to use that. Throw the door wide open, I tell them, and get as many clients move through as possible. The learning, experience and energy that comes will be very powerful.
And, with some clear systems and clarity, that energy flow can translate into repeat business from those clients, as well as referrals, testimonials and other avenues that will feed the business and you financially.
As for folks that have been in business for longer, it may be that their relationship to the Divine in this aspect of their life is needed a bit more strength and forthrightness. Maybe they are ready for the commitment to their own mastery and it's no longer right to flex on prices.
However, perhaps the business has a need for generosity. That can be met in other ways than price. I find that clients who charge a premium price often feel great about flexing in ways that our earlier massage therapist shouldn't.
Going over on sessions, doing a bit of extra work, showing up in a emergency without an extra invoice, can all feel generous and great when charging a premium price.
So now it's your turn. What differences do you discern between your needs and the needs of your business? How does that play out in your pricing and elsewhere?
p.s. Needing some hands-on help?Two options. We have two fabulous practitioners, Jason and Yollana, who can dig in with you to get your business running and your heart soaring. And there's me. I enjoy working with clients myself. Take a look and see if we're a match.
We Love to Hear From You
Liked the article? Bugged you? Questions?
- Drop us a line
- Discuss on the blog
- Follow us on Twitter
- Read Mark's articles on The Huffington Post
Even more, we'd love it if you forwarded it to someone you think would enjoy it.
If you need the Getting to the Core of Your Business workbook (and you do ;-)), it comes free with a subscription to this eZine.
If someone forwarded you this ezine and you aren't yet a subscriber,click here.
If you are already a subscriber and you've misplaced your copy, click here.
This eZine is ©2012 Mark Silver, all rights reserved.
You may freely reprint any eZine, website, or print journal. Simply include the following attribution, and if you print online, make the link at the end live:
Article ©2012 Mark Silver, all rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. This article and hundreds of others, along with other free resources are available at http://www.heartofbusiness.com