Pricing and Profitability

One of the most frequent questions we see asked all over the internet is how to price ones work.   There’s no “standard answer” except that the business you are doing should be bringing in more money than it costs.  So how do you figure that out?
NAPP has provided an online Cost of Doing Business Calculator and it’s a great place to start. What you do with the information presented, really depends on where you’re at with your business.

But some universal business truths remain. Customer Service rules and service sells! (Check  out an Article about that here!) And you had better be bringing in more than you’re putting out.   The last time I did this calculation, my daily cost was $663.37 based on a 4 day week. (Yeah, I know, I know…ONLY 4 days. But let’s be honest, as a business owner, we all know that even when you’re off, you’re on!)

Needless to say, I can’t afford to do $125 or even $250 sessions with CD included.  Because at $125 per session, 5 sessions a day wouldn’t have even covered my costs of JUST shooting and keeping business running. And handing over a CD/DVD at $250 is cheating me out of income I know I can make from selling prints!

Have you considered your daily cost of doing business lately?  Have you analyzed how you do business to trim your expenses and increase your income?  Are you taking orders or are you selling? (Click here to get a few tips on how to stop taking orders!)

You have GOT to cover your daily cost of doing business. There’s no two ways around it. And if you’re shooting $125 shoot and burn sessions, you are going to get burned out and you won’t last.   Pricing is far too volatile and market dependent to give you any advice for your particular area. But I’m willing to be that at least 70-80% of the photographers in your market have their pricing online. So,  study their pricing.  Look at their images objectively. Are you a better photographer? If you can say yes, charge more than they are. And charge more for both your product and services.

If you don’t have the confidence to do that, then match their prices. But if you truly believe you’re better, then newer, or not, you should be at least the same price, if not more.

What strategies have you implemented to make sure your pricing is where it needs to be?  Go ahead and comment below.

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