Creating an effective pricing structure for your freelance web design business can be challenging. Ideally, you’ll want to strike a balance between making a decent living and providing value.
This is harder than it sounds. Sometimes, we set pricing too low – undervaluing the worth of our expertise. But problems could naturally occur as our business evolves. After all, what made sense in the past may no longer be relevant.
Raising your prices may be necessary in these cases. Once again, that same balance needs to be struck. You’ll want to be fair to both your clients and yourself.
While it may be an uncomfortable subject, there are good reasons to raise prices from time-to-time. Beyond the obvious boost to your bottom line, you might find some other benefits as well.
Today, we’ll take a look at a few positive side effects that come with an increase in pricing.
You May Price Out Your Worst Clients
The cold hard truth of running a web design business is that clients come and go. Losing a paying customer is never fun. But sometimes it’s actually a positive outcome.
Think, for example, of that classic “cheapskate” client. You know, the one who always expects you to move heaven and earth for a bargain basement price. An increase in your pricing can be just the thing to push them out of your life for good.
These types of clients tend to feast on those of us who lack confidence. We let them walk all over us and they get exactly what they want.
So, how does a price increase help? It demonstrates assertiveness – which can be a major turn-off for someone looking to take advantage.
They may try and sweet talk you into a discount – but hold your ground. Once they see that you’re willing to stand up for yourself, they may set their sights (er, sites) elsewhere. At worst, they’ll at least be paying you fairly for your hard work.
It Will Make Clients Think Twice About Sending Nuisance Tasks
Charging too little can mean that some clients simply won’t place much value on your time. Therefore, they’ll inundate you with tiny, “nuisance” requests. Little things that they could easily take care of themselves (or include in a more comprehensive list of edits).
Sometimes these tasks are so small that you may not even want to charge for them. Or they may not be directly related to web design at all. This type of work can be frustrating, as it takes you away from projects that will actually make you money.
Higher costs could stop one of these taskmasters in their tracks. Knowing that they’ll now have to shell out, say, 20% more for something will give them pause. They may decide that it’s cheaper to just do it themselves (just like you trained them to do years ago).
That being said, you don’t want to discourage every request. But wouldn’t it be nice to avoid those little time wasters that might end up costing you money? Raising your prices may be your ticket to freedom.
The Potential to Avoid Less Desirable Projects
Another potential benefit of charging more for your work is in avoiding projects that aren’t a good fit for you. These include websites that tend to be more work than they’re worth. Whether that’s because a client is on a super-tight budget or they’re just difficult to deal with – you’ll be glad to say “Thanks, but no thanks.”
There is, however, a catch. Just because you have a particular pricing structure doesn’t mean that your contact form won’t be inundated with undesirable projects. Most web designers don’t make pricing publicly available, so there’s nothing stopping someone from inquiring.
If you’d rather not be bothered, consider taking a slightly more assertive approach. Somewhere on your website, mention your starting price for taking on a project. This will allow prospective clients to determine whether it’s within their budget while perhaps saving everybody’s time.
The idea here isn’t to be snobbish. Rather, it’s about attracting the types of clients and projects that are good for both you and your business. In that respect, higher pricing can help filter out the ones that don’t meet that criteria.
Make More Money and Streamline Your Web Design Business
When we think about raising prices, the first thought is usually of the extra cash it can bring in. That’s certainly nice, but it’s not the only benefit.
As we’ve seen, there is the potential to positively impact other parts of your business. This could mean saying goodbye to troublesome clients or avoiding them in the first place. Then there’s the possibility of freeing up your busy schedule by cutting out those little nuisance tasks.
The decision to charge more sets off a domino effect. That’s why it’s so important to do some critical thinking when going through the process. If you do it well, the end result will mean more money for you and a more streamlined business.