Research your pricing

Your pricing strategy is more likely to be effective if you research 3 key areas – your existing costs, your competitors price and research your target market. This research will help you to set prices that:

  • cover your costs and make a profit
  • compare favourably to your competitors
  • appeal to your target market.

Research your existing costs

Your fixed costs may include the base cost of goods, rent, wages (for full and part-time staff), loan repayments and other overheads (e.g. EFTPOS terminal fees). Remember to take into account any hidden or infrequent costs such as superannuation, insurance, licensing, adviser fees, and any professional development, training or networking costs. Your financial adviser or accountant can help you to work out your expected cash flow.

Variable costs may include (not limited to) casual staff wages, water and energy consumption freight costs and commissions.

While it may be difficult to reduce costs in some areas (i.e. rent, wages) you may be able to reduce your purchasing costs if you buy stock in bulk from your suppliers. Don't forget to factor in that some of your costs will increase over time such as insurance, superannuation and electricity costs.

Research your competitors' pricing

Ask yourself:

  • What value do customers place on your benefits over your competitors? Do you have a unique selling proposition?
  • How do your competitors price their products or services?
  • Is the market highly competitive or are there few competing businesses? The fewer competitors there are in a market, the more each is likely to be able to charge.
  • What do customers value when they decide who to buy from? (e.g. reliability, speed or cost of delivery)

Researching your competitors can be as simple as looking at the prices on their website, reading marketing flyers, or phoning to ask for a quote.

Competitor pricing comparison chart

Create a comparison of your competitors' prices by researching their pricing and typing your answers into this competitor pricing comparison chart.

  Competitor A: Competitor B: Competitor C:
Product 1:
Product 2:
Product 3:
Service 1:
Service 2:
Service 3:

If your price is much higher than your competitors, and you are both selling a similar product, services or experiences, you may price yourself out of the market if your consumers cannot see the added value in what your offer. If your price is much lower, you run the risk of underselling your services. Both problems can be avoided with thorough research before you set your pricing.

Research your target market

Understanding how much your target market is willing to pay for your product, service or experience, and value they are looking for, will help you determine an effective price structure. If customers believe your prices are too high they will probably buy from one of your competitors. If they think your prices are too low they may question the quality of your product, service or experience and buy elsewhere.

Get your pricing strategy right from the start and you will attract customers and make a profit. The best way to understand your target market is to conduct market research.

Also consider...