• Pricing for Profit

should I increase my prices

“Should I Increase My Prices?” on the “Decision Vision” Podcast

January 4, 2020

“Should I Increase My Prices?” on the “Decision Vision” Podcast January 4, 2020 Normally I’m behind the board producing “Decision Vision” in my role running the North Fulton studio for Business RadioX®. I was honored to be asked to come around to the other side of the mic to discuss pricing with host Michael Blake, CFA, ASA, ABAR. We covered the importance of pricing in a business, how to negotiate prices, why hourly billing is the wrong way to price,…

Offering options or choices to clients

Flowers for Mom and the Power of Offering Choices to Clients

December 17, 2019

Flowers for Mom and the Power of Offering Choices to Clients December 17, 2019 My mom’s birthday is today. Yesterday, I went on the website of the flower shop near where she lives, one I’ve ordered from before, to have an arrangement delivered to her today. I chose an arrangement I thought she’d like, clicked through, and here’s a snippet of the next screen: I suddenly had options I didn’t expect. I could go with what was “shown.” For $10…

Warren Buffett on Pricing Power and Your Idiot Nephew

December 13, 2019

Warren Buffett on Pricing Power and Your Idiot Nephew December 13, 2019 I’ve written previously about Warren Buffett and his comments on pricing power. Buffett made a comment on the importance of pricing in evaluating a business which is frequently quoted by investors and folks like me who do work in pricing: The single most important decision in evaluating a business is pricing power. If you’ve got the power to raise prices without losing business to a competitor, you’ve got…

A Niche or An Ocean?: A Consultant’s Muddled Message

December 6, 2019

A Niche or an Ocean?: A Consultant’s Muddled Message December 6, 2019 Last week I was on the phone with a consultant ready to launch his practice. “Who do you serve?,” I asked him. “Businesses between $5 million and $50 million in sales,” he replied. “That’s not a niche,” I told him. “That’s an ocean.” Later, out of curiosity I looked it up:  according to NAICS, there are over 300,000 businesses in the U.S. with sales between $5 million and…

“Should I Price My Service Lower When I’m Starting Out?”

November 12, 2019

“Should I Price My Service Lower When I’m Starting Out?” November 12, 2019 This question comes up frequently when I speak to student entrepreneurs or owners of new businesses. I recently got this question from a business school student who said he wanted to start a consulting business. It’s an understandable question, but it comes from a faulty assumption. The premise is that lower prices attract customers, and that’s an understandable misconception that all services professionals have labored under when…

Another Way To Think About Value

November 8, 2019

Another Way to Think About Value November 8, 2019 Sometimes business owners get confused about value. They think value is tied up in the product they sell or the service they deliver, and that’s where they think value begins and ends. They think that value is what a customer receives when they consume the product or service. For example, an attorney sees that she has delivered value in the contract she prepares and delivers to a client. Value is intangible,…

Confidence and Pricing Your Services

November 1, 2019

Confidence and Pricing Your Services November 1, 2019 I’ve given several presentations to various groups over the last few weeks, including some student entrepreneurs just starting out. In the questions which come during and after those presentations, the underlying problem of confidence always comes up. Lack of confidence is that uneasy sensation when you get to that point in a conversation with a client when you start to discuss the price. Suddenly there’s a knot in your gut. You feel…

Look Who’s Coming to Dinner

October 29, 2019

Look Who’s Coming to Dinner October 29, 2019 If you’re a solo professional services provider or you’re a partner in a small firm, you recognize—or you should recognize—the importance of accepting clients who are the best fit. Not only is your time limited, but clients you shouldn’t have taken on often absorb the time available to take on great clients who come along later. Sometimes it’s hard to know prospects until they become clients. I’ve written about the warning signals…

Your Certifications Are Worthless

September 17, 2019

Your Certifications are Worthless September 17, 2019 Earlier this year, I was working with a bookkeeper who wanted to sharpen his proposals and achieve better pricing for his work. I ask him to role play with me as if I were the client and he were talking with me about what he could do for me. “Well, I’m QuickBooks Pro Advisor,” he began. “Stop,” I said. “Why?” He had a puzzled look. “That does nothing for me,” I said. I…

Will the Last One to Leave Please Turn out the Lights?

September 3, 2019

Will the Last One to Leave Please Turn out the Lights? September 3, 2019 I started my career at J.C. Bradford & Co. , a Nashville-headquartered investment banking firm. By the time I joined the firm as a wide-eyed puppy, the founder and firm’s namesake had retired. He would make only very occasional appearances, as his health was declining. When he dropped by, Mr. Bradford—and everyone, even senior officers, called him–would walk around, say hello, and offer great stories. Mr.…

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