By Stanley Louissaint, President, Fluid Designs Inc., ASCII member since 2014
Pricing is a touchy subject for many, including your prospects. People tend to shy away from discussing money for one reason or another. Unfortunately, in business, this is not the right attitude and pricing should be at the forefront of your mind with all of your engagements.
- You are an asset. Not only are your clients an asset to you, but you are an asset to them. You will help guide them through and navigate the complexities of technology. Additionally, your skillset will save them money by providing the proper solutions for their unique business goals from the onset. A lot of businesses recklessly spend money twice because of not listening to their trusted advisor from the start, in many circumstances.
- Your skills have value. The value you and your team bring your clients is an accumulation of all of the things each of you have learned over your careers. The education and knowledge was not bestowed upon you by some great wizard. Instead it took time, energy, resources, and money for you to develop and become an expert at your craft. You are not bringing all of that value to your clients.
- You are not moonlighting. Have you ever taken on the client who has said they can never get a hold of their “IT guy” because they are at their 9-5 job? Well this is not you. You have dedicated yourself to your clients and this is your full-time profession. You are not hiding under a desk picking up client phone calls while working another job. You have built a business and gathered all the necessities needed to not need another form of employment.
- Your toolset. That’s right. There are tools needed for every job and those tools cost money. For you to properly provide the services requested of you, the toolset needs to be right. This ranges from your PSA, RMM, CRM, etc. But that’s not all. How about the specialized tools you need for the job? Do you handle cabling jobs? If so, how about that Fluke tester? Last I checked some of those testers cost upwards of $10,000. Or what about hardware for your lab? The same lab where you will test out client scenarios before pushing them out in their live environments.
- You have overhead. As stated earlier, you are running a business and with that come expenses. Bills such as rent, utilities, taxes, and a host of others. Most of these expenses go up on an annual basis. When those costs go up who’s going to cover them?
More often than not your pricing will dictate the type of clients you deal with. In my own experience, I have learned that when you change your prices, you change your client. Pricing affects value that someone may or may not put on the services that you offer. It is best for you to determine who and what type of clients you want to deal with, figure out your expenses, and then add in your individualized value. I want you to ask yourself this question: can I still run a successful business in the long term if clients don’t compensate us properly?