Know Your Math
I was recently working through some marketing strategies with one of my coaching clients and we got onto the topic of pricing. She really wanted to make a push to increase her sales in the short term and wanted to decrease her prices and have a sale as a promotion.
I told her that I didn’t think that it was a good idea. There are better ways in which you can offer your customers more value with different strategies such as bundling. But first I wanted to walk her through the numbers to show her why I didn’t think a sale was her best option.
Unfortunately I haven’t always seen it this way and have made similar mistakes with my own companies in the past. But now that I’ve worked through the numbers and see the math, I definitely focus on other marketing strategies.
I’ll spend some time in other articles to talk about different strategies, but for now I’m going to walk through the steps I showed her that explain why I don’t like the idea of using a sale to add value to your customers.
The real key to success in marketing is to offer more value than your competition. Prospects will pay twice the price if they believe they’re receiving four times more value. Unfortunately, most businesses in a vain attempt to increase their value begin to offer discounts, and that often destroys their margins.
Would you believe me that in some businesses if they discount their price by a mere 10%, they now have to sell 50% more just to break even?
Let’s look at an example:
If you sell a widget for $100, and you have a 30% profit margin, you make $30 for every widget you sell. That means your cost basis for that widget is $70. If you discount that widget by 10% and sell it for $90 instead of $100, your cost basis is still $70. Now you are only making $20 in profit instead of $30.
For this business to make $1,000 in profit selling their widgets at $100 each, they would need to sell 33.3 widgets ($30 X 33.3 widgets = $1,000). But by discounting their price 10%, now they need to sell 50 widgets ($20 X 50 widgets = $1,000). They now have to sell 50% more widgets just to get back to their original profit margin. (33.3 X 1.5 = 50).
But consider this… when was the last time you saw a business offer a measly 10% discount? Most of the time they offer 20% to 40% discounts… and wonder why they are going broke. And to add even more bad news on top of this already bleak scenario, did you know that the latest research shows that discounting doesn’t actually impact a prospect’s buying decision unless that discount is for 40% or more?
So what about increasing prices?
Most small businesses have NEVER raised their prices. That’s because they don’t know the facts when it comes to increasing their pricing. They’re scared to death that ANY price increase, no matter how small, will lead to a mass exodus of all their customers. But is that really true?
Let’s use the same scenario as before. You are selling your widget for $100 and decide to increase that price by 10% to $110. Will that small increase REALLY lead to a loss of customers? Honestly, I believe a few will leave, but they are most likely your biggest price shoppers that show NO loyalty or patronage to your business anyway. They are the ones that beat you down on price every chance they get, and the moment you begin to make a decent profit, they will leave you in a heartbeat for the next business willing to accept a financial beat down. But even though there will be some customer attrition… to what extent? Let’s look at the numbers.
Their business is now making an additional $10 per widget… All of which is pure profit. Right there, that’s a 33% profit increase. For their business to make $1,000 in profit selling the widgets at $100 each, they needed to sell 33.3 widgets. But now, by increasing the price 10%, they only need to sell 25 widgets.
That means just to BREAK EVEN, they would need to LOSE 25% of your customers over a measly 10% price increase… and that simply ISN’T going to happen!
Want to know the closely guarded secret that successful businesses don’t want you to know?
STOP Discounting!!! Instead, innovate your business so you offer more value than your competition and increase your prices.
Of course, if we were working together we would need to perform a thorough price analysis on your business and determine the most lucrative price increase for you, but this is definitely a strategy I strongly recommend to all of my small business clients to help them increase their revenue. There simply is no FASTER or EASIER way to generate additional revenue.
After working through these numbers my client made the decision to increase her prices rather than have a sale and decrease them. So far, along with some other marketing strategies we applied, it is proving to be the exact thing she needed to do for her business.
Once you know and understand these and the other marketing strategies I teach, it’s just a matter of getting it all implemented in a timely and efficient manner to watch your business explode!