Now this is definitely a topic that gets debated regularly amongst bookkeepers.
This month, in The Bookkeeper’s Voice, I talked about whether bookkeepers should put their prices on their website and whether this is good for business (or not!) >>> Episode #026 (Should You Put Your Pricing On Your Bookkeeping Business Website?)
If you want to get a bit more insight into the challenges our industry faces, and the parallels that can be drawn with other industries and experiences, then check it out!
By now I’m sure you’re wondering, “So, Amy, what IS the consensus in the bookkeeping industry?”
Well, from what I can see, most people advise against putting prices on your website. The idea is that people will judge you based on price, instead of value (which isn’t a good thing!).
So…just leave the prices off. Problem solved, right?
There are so many factors to take into consideration when making this decision, and most of them are depend on the way you run your business.
Today, we’re going to focus on the big two, and how to use them to make an effective and informed decision.
Finding your target market is the first and the most important step when it comes to determining whether or not to put pricing on your website!
This probably isn’t a new concept to you! In fact, you might have heard this mentioned in my blog, and podcast, over and over (and over!), but finding your niche, and identifying your target market, is absolutely vital to the success of your business and your brand.
It is always best to start by taking a good look at your current clients, when you think about your niche. Who are your current clients, and are they the kind of clients who you enjoy working with? It seems obvious, but it’s a pretty good first step.
If you don’t enjoy working with these clients, try to determine why they are not your ideal clients. What is working and what’s not working?
Take notes about your current clients, as this will provide the framework for determining who your ideal clients are (and help you to find your niche and your target market).
One of my favourite ways to help my Savvy clients work out their niche is to get them to make two lists.
List 1: List all the qualities and characteristics of people you don’t like working with. List 2: Write down the opposite qualities and characteristics of that list.
And, voila! There you have…your ideal client…
Are you targeting a certain age-group, or people in your local area? It helps to know these things!
How does this match up to your ideal demographic? Who do you think would really benefit from your services, and from your value proposition?
Through identifying each of these categories, you will be able to find patterns, and identify exactly who your ideal clients are.
This is exceptionally helpful in knowing whether or not it’s appropriate to put your pricing on your website.
As a bookkeeper, it is vital that you don’t overlook the importance of creating a strong, clear ideal client outline, on which to base the rest of your framework, and decisions!
This is a tricky one, but it’s one of the best ways to determine things like pricing.
What value are you bringing to your clients? Take the time to identify what value you are bringing to your customers and think about the type of customers that you might attract.
Are you attracting the type of clients that you want?
Remember, it’s okay to be specific and work to a niche (or even just a niche problem, or type of client). You don’t have to try and target everyone, all the time!
Now that you’ve got a good idea of your niche, you can start looking at the type of pricing that you’re going to offer.
Obviously, there are so many conflicting opinions. Some people say you should use hourly pricing, others say you should use fixed pricing and even more people say that value pricing is the best.
So, which one should you choose, and which one will really work best for your business?
I’ll be honest with you… I’m not here to debate which one is better. Instead, I’m about to suggest something that I call Intelligent pricing.
Intelligent pricing is something that I really believe it, and it can be a game-changer.
What is intelligent pricing?
Intelligent pricing, put simply, is pricing your services in a way that is best for you, your clients and your business model.
To start with, you need to get off the bandwagon! SO many bookkeepers say that transitioning to value-based pricing is their number one priority…But is value pricing really what your business needs? Or is it just what everyone else is doing? Pricing is not a one-size-fits all approach, despite what the industry is telling you.
Stop following the latest fads (it’s hard, I know!). Stop thinking that the latest Facebook storm will fix all of your problems… Sadly, it just won’t.
The same goes for pricing. You don’t need to chase the crowd because they don’t know your brand. Instead, focus on learning about yourself and your target audience.
This is super empowering, especially if you’ve been frustrated with a specific style of pricing. If it doesn’t work for you- don’t do it.
It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
So, now that you’re off the bandwagon, you need to answer a few questions.
To start: How much money do you need?
This can be a scary question to ask yourself but take the time to run the numbers.
Once you have a number, then you have your wage. Add this to your expenses and determine what other expenses you have when it comes to managing your business.
Next, you need to consider your other revenue streams. How much money do you have coming in already? Subtract this from the total you need to earn.
Once you’ve done this, you should have a good idea of the amount of money that you need to earn in order to live comfortably and grow your business. Now it’s just a case of working backwards.
By working backwards, you can determine how much you need to earn, and you can work on determining the rate you should be charging, as well as how much work you need to do, in order to earn that amount.
Next, you’re going to take a good, long look at your niche (that you’ve just determined). Through looking at the types of services you’ll be offering your ideal client, their pain points, and the type of service that they are looking for, you’ll be much better positioned to determine whether or not you should be putting your prices up on your website.
Making your decision
Now that we’ve looked at the factors that impact whether or not you should put your prices on your website, let’s look at how you can use them!
How are you pricing? Is this something that is easily put on a website (Price per hour, for example), or is it better done via a personalised quote?
Who is your target audience? Are they likely to be highly price-sensitive people, or more open to reviewing value before price?
Do you think that your ideal clients will be scared away by your price, or will you be able to clearly highlight the value that you are providing?
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size fits all approach when it comes to this question, which is why there is no clear answer to this debate!
That can be pretty frustrating (I know!). But through taking the time to review your niche, and price intelligently, you’ll be able to make a decision that has been carefully considered and is informed and tailored to your business.
Remember, just because something worked for another person’s business, doesn’t mean it will work for you!
Some clients really want to see the price before they contact you, whereas other people might be put off. It’s all about understanding your ideal clients, and the people who YOU want to work with, and what they respond to best.
We've shared our views on pricing on website. Over to You…
Hopefully, you found this post informative! Unfortunately, there really isn’t a standard answer, and that’s one of the reasons that it is so important to keep this conversation going.
If you have any insight into this ongoing debate, I would absolutely love to hear from you on Facebook >>> Click here to Join our Facebook Group!
Again, if you want to hear more about this, feel free to come and listen to The Bookkeeper’s Voice Podcast >>> Episode #026 Should You Put Your Pricing On Your Bookkeeping Business Website?
P.S. If you want to learn more about how to prepare a quote for and do a Bookkeeping Health Check and Report >>> Register for Job Scope & Bookkeeping Health Check training!
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