The goal of almost every business owner is to generate a profit either for themselves or their shareholders. This can be challenging at best. So much thought and effort go into running a business, accounts payable, accounts receivable, dealing with vendors, customers, etc. Because of this people sometimes do not focus on one of the most important factors- pricing. Knowing how much you can charge for your product or service is invaluable information. Businesses typically want to increase volume and prices at the same time. In a perfect world that would be easy to accomplish, yet we do not live in a perfect world. So just how do businesses go about deciding how much to charge for a product or service?
One way that businesses do this is through trial and error, by seeing how much they can charge before volume starts to drop off. This is a very ineffective method, but is practiced by more businesses than you may realize. Another method is determining what percentage of profit over cost that you want. Perhaps you sell automobiles and decide that you require a profit of 5% on every car that is sold, and then you price accordingly. While this method is good for determining if you are going to cover overhead and other expenses, it may not be the best way to increase sales. A person can spend weeks trying to determine the correct price for their products and services. Economists have many formulas to determine price elasticity, market demand, and cost shifting. All of these economic formulas can be helpful, but are very time consuming and sometimes require hiring a consultant.
There are some easier ways to go about setting prices. Once you have determined a 'ballpark' price that covers your costs, you can begin adjusting it up or down to maximize profits. A relatively new concept that is garnering a great deal of attention from businesses big and small is the concept of price popularity. Price popularity is just what the name implies, looking at how popular, or how frequently a price is used. For example, surely you have noticed how many commercials on television sell items for $19.95. This is a very popular price when compared to $19.77. Do you see many products priced at $19.77? The frequency in which consumers see a price has a strong effect on their purchasing decisions.
Knowing about price popularity, and how to apply it, can help turn a slow selling item or service into a highly demanded item or service. Should a business set a price at $19.99 or $19.95? Does a price read differently to a consumer if it appears as $72.00 or $72? Research shows that it does in fact affect a consumer's decision making. Gaining access to the research that shows the most popular prices, the ones that consumers feel most comfortable with, is a precious resource to a business. This is much easier than spending the numerous hours of financial analysis to make an educated guess at what volume business will drop off if you raise or lower the price by a mere few cents.
The more a business owner knows about pricing strategies the more successful they will be in generating profits. Incorrect pricing can have devastating effects on a business. While many spend time trying to determine a break-even analysis and price elasticity, how many have really considered the psychological appearance of a price and the popularity of that price.
In today's extremely competitive business world a business owner needs every advantage they can get to outwit their competition. Researching the information available on price popularity simply puts a business one step ahead of their competitors.
About The Author
Konstantin Goudkov studies the psychology of pricing, ways to manipulate prices for maximum profit, and tactics to control consumer price perception.
You can find his latest report at: http://www.PricePointReport.com