It seems that every videographer grapples with the dilemma of how to price his or her services. Deciding the right price range will largely determine what kind of customers your business attracts and most importantly, how much cash flow your video services will produce. Starting a video production company is very costly and bad pricing can keep your business in the black if you don’t do it correctly.
What criteria should you consider when choosing the price for your services?
First, how much money do you need to make to at least break even with the expenses of your business? Don’t forget to consider taxes and any insurance you may be paying. On top of those costs you have energy and phone bills, marketing expenses, and payments on equipment maintenance and upgrades.
Second, once you know how much you must make per month, I suggest you double it. That way you’ll be able to make your efforts worth your time and meet your expenses. Too many businesses are battling for the low “bargain-oriented” customers and undercut themselves on the cash flow level because they don’t value their own services.
Third, how demanding is your market? If your local market can’t support the price you determined in step two, you need to find a way to market your services to high spenders or cut your expenses. I recommend the first option. Marketing your services to people or businesses who have money to spend will save you effort in trying to haggle with cheap customers who don’t value your services for what they are really worth.
Fourth, make it easy for your customers to pay you. If your buyer relies on American Express and you only take Visa and Mastercard then you lose the sale. There are so many different payment options nowadays that there is no excuse for someone not to be able to pay nor for you not to have some method available that your customer can use. Consider online processors like Paypal, Stormpay, or Egold for example. Merchant fees for taking credit cards are so inexpensive that every business should be able to pay them, but no business can afford not to accept credit cards.
If you have a customer who wants your service but insists that they don’t have any means of paying your price at the moment, provide financing. Create an account for them and simply divide the payments over the course of a few months. Have a very simple and clear written agreement that you can mail or fax so that the buyer knows exactly when to expect your bill and how much to expect to pay. It can be beneficial to have many customers on payment plans because it assures monthly income for your business and you can budget upgrades and marketing expenses accordingly.
Make your price as high as your market can possibly support. Your business will have better cash flow, better customers, more credibility, and overall fewer financial problems.