Protect and grow your most valuable asset

(Copyright © 2015 by Rayne Bradshaw, all rights reserved)
(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)

A young woman began acquiring valuable business skills as a restaurant chef and manager. She worked in restaurants in Johannesburg and at private game lodges. A country girl at heart, she eventually ended up in the small Free State town of Parys and got a job as an assistant manager at the Ruby’s restaurant. The owner was more interested in relocating to Cape Town and the young restaurant owner seized this opportunity. She decided to buy out Ruby’s restaurant. Now she is building on this fine dining restaurant’s reputation and is loving it. Continue reading “Protect and grow your most valuable asset”

A secret about pricing strategy learnt from a busker

English: Busker in Arles, France
English: Busker in Arles, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other day I saw a busker next to the parking pay station playing on his guitar and singing a popular song. In front of him was his black canvas guitar case and on top were several R2 coins. After I had paid for my parking, I gave the musician R2. As I did this I remembered what a musician had told me while she had busked her way through Ireland. I suggested to the musician that he place a R10 note or two on top of his guitar canvas carrier. He smiled and said he would try it out.

I don’t know whether the busker tried the approach or not but I do know that pricing products and services is based on perceptions. You see if you price too low people don’t place a high value on your product or service. If the busker put out R10 notes, passers-by would notice that the musician placed a high value on his service. Continue reading “A secret about pricing strategy learnt from a busker”

Get more, much more, out of what you’ve got

Image by lalunablanca via Flickr
How much money do you leave on the table when pricing your services and expertise? Are you charging enough for your service or expertise? Do you often feel that you have over serviced clients but have been underpaid?

If any of these questions get your blood churning you might want to consider your current pricing strategy. Are all your services priced the same or do you charge different hourly or project fees for high level work? Routine work may only warrant standard industry rates but as the level of your value in your speciality rises, fees may need to be adjusted upwards. Complex, specialised work that requires a high-level of technical expertise and judgement would attract the highest hourly rate or project fee. Geographic market location, market position and size of client also have an influence.

The most audacious example of a high fee strategy in a field that requires a high level of judgement, creativity and strategic thinking I have come across is that involving a brand naming company. The agency did not particularly want the business from a client so decided to put in a bid at an outrageously high project fee. Work from similar companies was priced in the $15,000 range. The agency put in a bid for $150,000 – and won! Much is at stake when renaming a company and the company thought the highest priced solution would give them the best advice.

Continue reading “Get more, much more, out of what you’ve got”

Exploring the outer limits of e-book prices

Scan of modern reproduction of The Birds of America (edited and color-corrected)Exploring the outer limits of e-book prices Imagine you could acquire advice to make money, save money, gain knowledge, enjoy happier relationships and be more healthy. If your interest in any one of these areas is high, you might be willing to stretch your budget to the max and buy the advice whether in a magazine, book or from a trusted and respected professional adviser.

Without the means to pay for such specialised knowledge, you would probably ask advice from someone you know or try to find it for free from the Internet or a free downloadable PDF. But would this information be of high enough quality to make a significant impact in your life?

What if you require more in-depth, well-researched information laid out in easily digestible chunks that rapidly add to your knowledge on the subject? What if the information could help produce ideas for new additional income or shape your life in ways you never dreamed possible?

What would you be willing to pay for such information? How high would you go?

The answers to these questions depend on how hungry or desperate you are to gain the information and what impact or difference you are seeking in your life. When, for instance, you need to pass a crucial exam that would make a meaningful difference to your life and livelihood, you may up the stakes. I once paid what I thought was an outrageous price for an international book on finance. It was a crucial primer on a subject that was new to me but I knew that it would help me to pass the subject for my degree in business administration.

Books rise in price depending on the value of their content and how rare they are.

I thought the book on finance was outrageous until I came across the e-book for “Comprehensive Structural Integrity” at $18,304. Value is in the eye of the beholder. This book must contain very specialised information to sell at this price. Perhaps the main buyers are professional firms.

Another e-book that has an astronomical (if that’s the correct word) price of $6400 for the Kindle edition. It’s titled “Selected Nuclear Materials and Engineering Systems”. One buyer was pleased with the purchase. “I had to sell my car and take out an equity loan on my house to buy this book, but it was worth every penny,” the buyer wrote on The Digital Reader.

Some books hold high intrinsic value because they are so rare. A copy of “Birds of America” recently fetched $11.5 million in an auction in London. This book – a 170-year-old collection of life-size bird paintings – is hardly expected to land up as an e-book. Comics have high value when they are rare and in mint condition. A copy of “Action Comics #1”, published in June 1938, which introduced Superman was bought by an anonymous buyer for $1,000,000 in February 2010. Another copy was sold for $1.5 million at an auction in the same year. Another comic book has joined the $1 million club. A copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 (Aug ‘62), the first appearance of Spider-Man, sold for $1.1 million on 7 March in a private sale.

The costs of publishing e-books may be lower than conventional publishing but the expenditure involved in researching and writing the book can be huge. An enormous investment in time is required. The specialisation and writer’s reputation (which also require enormous investment over time). It’s expensive and time-consuming to promote e-books, despite what pundits say.

Some consumers show price sensitivity to e-book’s higher than $9.99 but what is the real price of a specialised e-book? What if the book is written by a specialist in the field with proven success? We’re not talking about a textbook with generalised information but by an expert who has practised what they have written about and taught it successfully to others who have benefited significantly from it.

An e-book, whether it’s price (excluding the highly specialised exceptions such as the two mentioned above) is a fraction of the cost of a seminar hosted by an author. A day’s workshop with the author would be extremely rich and rewarding. Two authors recently held a three-hour morning talk at a cost of $370. The book on the subject cost $15. It’s hard to argue against the impact of seeing and experiencing the authors in-person but the book gives you valuable and actionable information that you can refer to repeatedly and at any time.

How much would you pay for an e-book that offers you proven techniques for producing ideas? How much would you be willing to pay for a book prepared after hundreds of hours of research and years of successful application? What if this book could lead you to produce streams of income, give you greater personal freedom and peace of mind? What if the book could shave off years of painstaking trial and error and heartbreak.

Whatever the price of such a book, the potential value from such a book is inestimably higher than the initial purchase price will ever be. Ultimately it’s for the customer to decide.