When we originally set out prices, we did market research of both national and local businesses offering similar services.  It is extremely important to do complete analysis of your competition to see how you can compete.  Looking back, we had some fault in our research, more on that later.

In order to set our pricing for our services, we found some pricing on the web of some of our competition.  Some companies did not have their pricing and we had to call to get details (obviously not revealing why or who we were).  Using this information, we set our pricing at something competitive in order to gain entry into the market place.  Quite easy for a small business with no overhead and mainly service-oriented.

So the question is:  Do you post your pricing on the internet?

At first we did, since we knew we were lower than the competition and full disclosure is always best.  We recently removed the pricing, asking the viewer to call us for details.  Our prices have not changes since we have started and we are still one of the best deals on the marketplace.  Our decision was based solely on complexity of some of the requests we have been getting and we did not want to scare off potential clients.

By complexity, I do not mean a difficult job that would cost an incredible amount, but more of requests for photos that did not fit into our pricing scheme.  For instance, we have been hired to build the portfolio of a glass company, with the potential of over 100 sites to shoot.  Based on our pricing we had posted, the only option was to charge them the cost to shoot a small home.  This certainly would have made them look elsewhere.  Needless to say, they called and we worked out a deal.

The web is filled with two type of folks, those that are introverts, and those looking for instant gratification.  Neither one will be satisfied by not having prices posted on your site and will keep searching until they find what they are looking for.

I can not tell you what is best.  What I can tell you is whatever you decide, provide the best options for the viewer.  If you have your pricing posted, ask them to call for special pricing/rates or custom and volume work.  Give them the hope that what they are looking for is doable.  If you do not post rates, make it easy for them to get the rates without calling.  For example, provide a contact sheet to send an e-mail to request pricing, or have them sign up to receive special deals and a price list.  Encourage them throughout the web site to contact you, whether through the phone or e-mail.  You can also list a “Pricing starting at…” for each service to give them a baseline.

Whatever you do, have a solid pricing strategy and do not waiver.  You have determined what you pricing is through market research, but it also defines what your services are worth.  Wavering on this lessens the value of your business.

Thanks for reading 🙂