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How Much Should You Charge For Anything – Cheat Sheet?


Here is the quick answer to how much you charge, you need to put in your own work on this.  This is the burden and benefit of being your own boss that you signed up for (making decisions).  But I can help guide you.

I want to start with the proverbial elephant in the room.  You may have been told in the industry to start out modestly in pricing services.  You likely may have also been told (passionately) your prices are way too low.  There is an element of truth to ‘getting your foot in the door’ before raising your prices.  But I also believe a majority of business owners regret being reluctant in raising their pricing earlier on.  There is a sobering reality, to the ‘give us a try for cheap’ mentality!   A certain percentage of customers who you claimed to love your quality of service will go to another detailing business once you raise your prices.  I am probably going to steer new business owners into charging more than they anticipated for that reason alone.  I am also, when it is time to hire employees, likely going to encourage the offering of truly competitive wages.  A lack of congruence, often when business is scaled for growth, can derail a business that I am told wants to be branded for quality service.  But I am not going to give you exact numbers, for how much you should charge.

2003 Porsche 911

The reason that no one is qualified but you to decide for yourself, is no one can put themselves exactly into your position.  You could hear from a business owner about a generic detailing term for a service and a price.  We do not know the person’s reputation, detailing skills, marketing skills, experience, area (relevant but overrated), overhead, tools, products used, staffing, business model, or level of success.  I could go on.

A key point is often made by successful people in the industry.  You need to be profitable!  You need to be profitable enough to motivate yourself to keep showing up.  When you frame the question into an inquiry of “how much should I charge to want to stay in business?”, the question takes on a different meaning.  But if you dig a little deeper there is a more significant issue.  The customer is not employing (hiring) you to work for him or her.  That is not how selling a service works.

I want you to think about these things when you set your rates.  At a job do you pay for your own supplies?  When the printer at the office, the oven or fridge at the restaurant, or the office building where you work is damaged; who pays for the repairs?  Who pays for the insurance?  Who pays for the tools and resources?  You were not hired to do a job by a customer.  You are partnering with a client in the care of his or her vehicle.  The question, “how much should I charge” for (whatever) service should never be a staple of your grammar once you formally inform the government that you are a business owner.  I am not crazy about a dialogue of “how much would you charge” or “what is the average rate” for various services.  But at least that gives me hope that you are making your own DECISION.

Source: YouTube

Rodney Tatum
Mirror Reflections Auto Spa
Gainesville, Florida
YouTube | Facebook

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