Ten Commandments of Pricing


Pricing a product or service is one of the most complicated yet important decisions that can determine the fate of your business. Most small business owners tend to price their products and services lower than the customers are willing to pay for out of the fear that increasing the price will make customers flee. However, it is possible to increase your price, and have customers love you for it. It is not only desirable, but imperative that small business owners understand how to properly price their products. After all, it is much more fun to compete on value rather than price Look at how Apple is able to charge premium for all its products
Based on our own experience and feedback from our readers we have compiled a set of rules that will help you in pricing your products. Here they are:
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How to Charge Premium Price (and Have Customers Love you for it)


Do you want to increase prices for your products without getting a hit on your sales? How about customers thanking you for charging them higher price? You probably think we have lost our minds, but trust us; it is possible do just that! We will show you how in this post.
It seems counter-intuitive to say that you will be able to improve customer satisfaction and increase sales while at the same charging more. Conventional wisdom says that if you are not doing well lower the price and customers will flock to your business. As natural as it seems, this is simply not true. Competing on price is not a sound business strategy for small business owners as explained in the previous post.
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Tools you can use to Uncover Customer Needs


Finding and serving the “right” customers is the most important step you can take to improve your sales. Many small business owners feel that the task is easier said than done. As a result, they fail to align their business with the right customer segment. Even when they do attempt to do it they either go about finding the customer needs in ad-hoc fashion or they use wrong tools to segment the customer base.
As we have noted earlier, we firmly believe that segmenting the customers based on their needs as opposed to demographics or location can improve your sales significantly. But how do you go about finding what customers really need and want?
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How to Make Daily Deals Work for your Business


Daily deals facilitated by companies like Groupon and Living Social are double-edged swords for businesses. On one hand, they help you get new customers and improve sales. On the other hand, you end up with high operating expenses and dissatisfied customers, if not done right. Reading the horror stories that some businesses experienced you might think that it is never a good idea to work with daily deal companies. While this reaction is understandable, it may be extreme and may result in you losing out on the benefits offered by daily deals. We think with the right approach and proper planning you can make daily deals work for your business. Below we provide tips on how to do it.
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How can you Beat the Larger Rivals at their Own Game


In the previous post we mentioned that it is possible to beat your larger competitors and own a successful small business. Many small business owners are scared of their large competitors because of their wrongful perception that large companies can use their size and vast resources to drive smaller rivals out of business.
We described why this is not true in the last post. Here we will take it one step further and show how you can beat those larger rivals.
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10 Things (Bad) Franchisor will not Tell you (Franchisee)


When buying a franchise business you should make sure the franchise you are looking to get into is good and will make you successful as well. After all, selecting the wrong franchise can hurt you and may even wipe out your hard earned savings. Below we have listed traps many novice business buyers fall into when choosing a franchise.
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How to Team up with Cool Businesses and Improve Sales by 10%


In the previous post we mentioned that small businesses can improve brand and increase sales by 10%-20% by teaming up with “cool” businesses. Subway’s partnership with American Heart Association to position them as a healthy food purveyor by teaming with an organization that promotes heart health is a great example. Recently, Ford announced partnership with a Zipcar to improve their brand perception in the minds of college students based on the same principle.
Small businesses such as yours can also realize benefits from such partnership. It can improve the brand image of your company by “rubbing some the coolness” from your partner to your business. In the process, it can bring new customers and increase sales from those new as well as existing customers. The association can also teach you a great deal about how to work with and attract different customer base.
The key to successful partnership is to understand your overall objectives as well as the target customer base you want to attract and find businesses that are deemed as “cool” by those customers. This needs careful planning on your part. We have come across number of ways in which businesses have gone about implementing this. Below we explain some of the tactics based on our experience and observations.
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Improve Sales by 10% by Teaming up with Cool Businesses


Small business owners can improve their brands, while increasing sales by 10-20% by teaming up with the “cool” businesses! On August 31 Ford announced partnership with Zipcar by which Ford will sell cars to Zipcar at a discounted rate for them to use for their rental fleet. For those not in the know, Zipcar is a next generation car rental company with a very different business model. They typically rent their cars on a per-hour flat fee that includes fuel and insurance to mostly young customers, college students and such, who do not own a car. By associating with Zipcar, Ford will improve their brand image and get more sales from the younger generation. This is a brilliant move on Ford’s part to attract buyers at an early age who typically tend to stick with them for years to come. You can find similar tie-ups at many places in the business world.
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Wildly Successful Companies that Decided NOT to do Everything


We have highlighted virtues of focus in the last couple of posts. The decision NOT to pursue something is the most important decision small business owners will make to be successful. You can use the framework described in the previous post to get better understanding of how to apply this principle in everyday decisions.
In this post we want to show examples of companies that have used this principle and have become wildly successful. They are the companies whose products we use every day. After studying their business model and decision making we have come to appreciate the way they go about doing their business. Here they are:
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Framework for Deciding What NOT to do


In the previous post we highlighted that the most difficult decisions you will ever make are the ones where you decide NOT to move forward. By focusing your resources and energy on narrowly you can achieve number of benefits and get higher return on your investment of time, money or effort. We mentioned how Apple has succeeded to become the most valuable company in the U.S. by applying this principle, while GM had floundered by spreading resources over multiple brands with lot of overlaps.
You should use this approach in decision making every step of the way. If you take a step back and think about the decision in terms of cost vs. benefit of the current choice and evaluate it against alternatives you can improve the odds of making the right choice. You can use this principle in number of different areas as shown below.
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