Your horse business may be successful in terms of performance, but is it as successful when it comes to establishing profitable fees to charge your clients? If the answer is no, you aren’t alone. There is no rulebook or set of guidelines to follow when it comes to determining what should be charged for a specific service in the equestrian world. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some things you can do to make sure that you’re getting paid what you are worth. Here are some options to consider:
Study Competitors’ Rates
One of the most important things you can do to ensure that you aren’t underpaid for your services is to see what the competition is up to in terms of fees. Most horse business owners have pricing sheets, so collect them from competitors in your community and compare them to one another to see where your anticipated pricing sheet stacks up.
Make sure that your price sheet is competitive with the others, but you don’t have to offer the lowest rates to get good business. In fact, don’t be afraid to charge a little more than most other service providers if you feel that you offer a superior service.
Don’t Focus on Discounts
Offering discounts may get customers in the door for the first time, but it sets the bar low when it’s time to negotiate pricing for future services. Your customers may get used to those discounts prices and be turned off when they’re faced with paying full price for your services. So offer discounts no more than once or twice a year, and reserve them for loyal customers who have already been paying your normal service fees.
Be Precise About Services
Be upfront about the kind of experience your customers can expect from you right away. Nobody expects you to be available 24 hours a day or to guarantee that you can train a horse in just a couple of days. If a service might take a little longer than your customer wants, it’s best to be upfront about it than to get the fee you’re asking for and end up disappointing your customer. When advertising your services, take the time to go into depth about what it is that sets you apart from the competition so your customers know exactly what they’re paying for.
Fake It until You Make It
Even if you don’t have much experience with certain services you’re offering, it’s important to have complete confidence in your abilities because your confidence will rub off on customers when they inquire about your services. Be clear that you have all it takes to follow through on the services that you’re offering. When you have confidence in yourself, others will have confidence in you as well.
Always Set the Bar High
If you are going to name a price for your services first when you’re negotiating with potential long term customers, always set the bar high so that there’s room to haggle without the possibility of you taking a deal that pays you less than you’re worth. If you want to make $100 an hour for a specific service, start by offering those services for $125 an hour. This will help you stay within your pricing goals a majority of the time.
These methods and techniques will help your horse business stay ahead of the pack in terms of profit margins, and help to set you apart from the competition so that your customers know they’re getting a quality deal.