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A new business can struggle to get the pricing right - we offer some simple tips

By 22nd August 2017

This is something, as Accountants, we come across time and time again.  It’s often the reason for early business failure and it’s completely avoidable.  Here are some simple tips.  Follow them and you should make enough profit to make your accountant happy


We do realise that the biggest stumbling block for new businesses is lack of confidence but if you’re services or product are good enough to warrant your new business, then keep that confidence level high when it comes to pricing.  Do remember bargain hunters will always move onto the next bargain.  Customers who appreciate quality don’t mind paying.


No 1 – quite basic really – work out your costs. 

That’s all your costs.  So take some time to jot them down, then revisit the list to make sure you have covered every base.  Remember to include some speculative costs to ensure a safety net.  Some key things overlooked sometimes are

  • Insurance
  • IT and web costs
  • Marketing budgets
  • Your time at a realistic rate

Compare your costs against your business projections for break even and you now have a fair idea of what you need to charge.


No 2 – Belief

Just because you are a new business, it doesn’t mean that you are anything less than an existing established business.  After all you must have spotted a market gap that lit the start-up spark.  Keep this in mind.


Now do your research on your competitors noting not only their prices but their features and benefits.  This exercise will help you see where you should pitch your prices because you should have some feature and benefits they don’t offer.  Never ever choose to be the cheapest – it’s just not the smart move and potential decent customers will not be impressed with cheap.


Get ready to sell your benefits and never apologise for your prices.  Get used to stating them with total confidence.



Every new business needs testimonials and referrals.  Getting those can be hard and often the temptation is to start cheap.  Sometimes this is necessary for early clients to tempt them in.  But we recommend that if you go down this route that you make quite clear to those customers of what your true prices are and that they are getting a discount which will only be valid for x period of time.  You don’t even have to say it is because you are a start-up, you can say it’s a Spring promotion or similar.  But beware doing this for too long.


For one thing if your product or service is fabulous and your delighted customer recommends you to one of his contacts saying that he only pays £xxx for the service, they will expect the same. Remember it’s easier to reduce prices with flash sales, monthly offers, introductory trials etc than it is to put them up.


An extra word of advice here is, don’t, if possible, offer friends and family special prices when getting started.  The same as above still applies re passing on the good word.


The whole issue of pricing can be major stumbling block and often an independent ear can make the difference.  Remember your accountant has almost certainly met several businesses similar to yours and already has a good idea of what is acceptable in the marketplace.  Speak to them, they can help.  And if they can’t, call us.  A coffee and chat can make all the difference


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