Learning how to make any big decision in your company requires a lot of analysis before taking the plunge. But if done right, a decision like whether to increase your pricing structure can do wonders for your product or service's perceived value.
The problem is that many of us get stuck testing changes before we've really done the research. Failure to lay a foundation before making a big decision in your business has the potential to make you appear cheap, amateur, or even unprofessional. But done right, you can reap the rewards of your early diligence.
Regardless of what kind of change you're making to grow your business, we've found that there are some simple steps you can take to increase your chances of fruitful returns. Whether you're looking to increase pricing, add a new product, hire a new staff member, or even purchase promotional stickers, there is a lot of data collection that can be done to ensure that your decisions have a sound foundation.
Below is a list of steps you can take before you decide to launch into any major business decision to boost your odds of success:
1. Make a List:
Write down a list of things you want to change in your business. Then create an actual process structure. (Make it easy to understand and create an outline that makes it simple to digest information.)
2. Do Your Research:
A little bit of market research is always a good idea, especially in the case of increasing prices. Research competitors, check pricing. Compare prices of competitors and find a happy median that you are comfortable with. Helpful hint: (To research prices, act like a potential customer and see what your competitors are offering that are good, bad, or different.)
3. Check the Math:
Make sure you take the time to run the numbers. Factor in your costs, seasonal changes, referral sources, lead generation strategies, and anything else that can affect your over all profitability.
4. Make a List of Mentors:
Narrow the list down to 3-5. They should be people you respect and have access to that you can run ideas by them or brainstorm with. Be sure to connect with your mentors so they already know what you need before the meeting so you can keep it short, sweet, and to the point.
5. Survey Your Customers:
One of the best ways to increase the perceived value of your service is to learn how to market aspects of your business that set you apart from your competitors. Tap into the problems of your customers through a simple survey to help answer questions about why your products or services are worthy of a higher cost.
6. Draft a Letter:
When you feel confident with your plan, begin work on an e-mail draft you want to send out to your current clients. Let them know that you will be increasing your prices. You will want to run the draft by a few people to help iron out the details and ensure that your letter does not sound abrasive or unfair. Once you are comfortable with it's flow, send your email out to a small test segment of your client list before sending it to the entire list. This will help you catch any mistakes before you've ruffled too many feathers.
Last but not least, commit to holding steadfast to your new structure change. You may lose some clients with the adjustment, so you must be willing to roll with the punches and accept the consequences.
Be sure to stick with the new plan for a few of months. There is nothing worse than abandoning a change you've made after publicly drawing a line in the sand. You don’t have to second guess yourself when you've done the research, administered testing, and made the change. But once you've implemented the plan, it's never to late to make adjustments to improve results.
9. Rinse and Repeat:
These methods work well for just about any business decision you could be making in the foreseeable future. So be sure to remember these tips and save yourself some sleepless nights.