16th September 2014
"or how to lose money faster than you can shake a money losing stick!"
By: William J.
I just had a few days away in York (which is as beautiful as I
remember but somehow a little bit smaller!) and was surprised at the number of examples I found of people randomly
reducing their prices and engaging in general cheapness for no apparent reason - other than a desperate attempt to
try and seem busy or to reduce overheads / increase sales.
1. The hotel stayed at was on a price comparison site so it was possible to book through six
different agents and pat six different prices. I rang the hotel and told them the price I had been quoted online
which they said they would honour and they pointed out it didn’t include breakfast. I asked them if they could do
the room for the same price with breakfast and after checking the receptionist said yes they could. So with the
internet price and breakfast I saved 33% per night.
2. Whilst browsing a shop the assistant
asked if they could help to which I replied I was just looking. She then offered me a loyalty card (I’m not sure
how I can be a loyal customer when it was my first time in the place) that gave me 10-15% off anything I
3. I ate out at several restaurants using a
membership discount card and proceeded to get either 25% off the total bill or BOGOF (Buy One Get One
4. I was looking in a therapist’s window
for inspiration and new ideas when the practitioner turned on the lights. He told me that he kept the lights off to
save money unless he had clients…
All of these places are making life so much harder for themselves than they need to -
all in the vain hope of seeing more people and making more money…
…but it just doesn’t work like that!
For a start there is no need to reduce your prices unless you want to attract cheap
price buying patients who will disappear as soon as another cheaper therapist sets up in town.
I won’t go into the maths in this article (so you’ll just have to trust me) but on
average for every 10% you lower your prices it means a drop in turnover of 37%! Decreasing your fees means having
to work a third harder to make up the difference!
There are so many things these places could do differently to make more money and
work less - and they really should try implementing them.
1. Why advertise any discount? I offer
a family discount where two or more of the same family attend at the same time - I don’t advertise it and if people
get their happy but they’re not expecting it or looking for it!
2. Why not differentiate yourself do
you can charge more? I ate across the street from one of these discounting restaurants at a great Nepalese
restaurant. Never eaten that type of food before and it was fantastic! Tasted great and was served on these metal
plates and in metal carved intricate bowls that made it stand out. It served Nepalese lager which again was
different to the usual offerings in most restaurants - and whilst it was brewed in the UK it “appeared” different
3. Why put yourself in a position where
you are only going to attract bargain hunters? I use a card for discounts in restaurants because I have it! I would
still eat there if I didn’t have it - and pay full price. Anyone that thinks they can make up for discounting their
prices by seeing more people is wrong - you just end up working harder for less… and if you do Groupon / Wowcher /
Livingsocial you deserve the cheapskates it attracts!
4. Loyalty cards / bonuses / discounts
are for people who are loyal! There are for people who attend regularly and refer others to you - if you give them
out to often they lose their value and people just end up thinking you are charging too much initially!
5. Turning the lights off to save money
(and making the place appear closed) is just madness! Having an empty clinic where if you do have patients randomly
appearing to sit on their own wondering if they are your only patient (so you can’t be any good I’ll go where the
other people go…) is stupidity. When I had multiple clinics I had them staffed and open even when I wasn’t there.
The receptionist could answer the phone, make appointments, deal with queries and sell things to people that popped
in etc. - and they all made money and appointments during these times. People have a herd instinct - they move in
crowds - and they like to be where everyone else is… or at least appears to be!
6. Final thought - if you charge more
for your services and treatments you give better treatments! This year I put my fees up by over 15% across
everything and now because people are paying me a lot I make sure they get tremendous value for it and a damn good
treatment! I am focused and everything I do is to get them better! None of this filling in time with a bit of soft
tissue time-wasting or day dreaming about tea - I am fully committed to them and it shows with the better
For more ideas on pricing strategies check out my kindle book “Raise Your
Available from amazon.co.uk here: http://www.amazon.co.uk//dp/B009QPGRC0/
from amazon.com here http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009QPGRC0/