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Independants underpriced


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I think a lot of independants undervalue themselves, Most of us would skin & heel the multiples in every department. I've worked for myself for 20 years, and spent the first 10 years undercharging for my services, which are always of the highest quality. I moved location and was determined to increase my prices in line with the multiples. It was the best thing I ever did. I often charge more than them now and very rarely get any moaners. Also because of the price's I charge it has allowed me to invest in new machinery and allow my business to grow. I have 4 computerised engravers on the go most days. We make ALL our own signage. Everything is done inhouse. Totally independant. I couldn't possibly have done this by charging 1970's prices.

What do you guys think?

PS this isn't a dig at some Independants, But maybe a wakeup call.

I've curtainly woke up.

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A long running issue this and one that will continue for years to come.

I have been stating the same since the forum started and am pleased to see that you understand the logic though some will disagree due to location / population or market forces.

I do not see why you should not charge more than the multiples is your service is superior and let's face it you would not have to try hard would you.

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Location is of the essence la!

Location Location Location.

Stuck smack bang in the middle of a dense Chinese or Muslim community that has grown up around you means that high priced quality repairs are

a bit thin on the ground.

Toe post repairs on sandals, stick the sole down and the odd bit of stitching is the order of the day in some of these locations. And they goad you into trying to get the job done for peanuts.

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maybe you are the one stuck in your ways and views uk900.

if you look back through the posts as to why people charge what they do then you maybe wouldn't be so quick to dismiss their reasons.

 

i am the first to admit i have made many mistakes since establishing my business, one of which was not knowing my market!!!!!

 

as for the remark about hanging about in a dense muslim community, maybe you should look at the reasons some of us do just that :!:

 

as hugh says this is an ongoing issue but please don't belittle anyone for what is after all only an opinion based on what appears to be your own experience.

 

market forces are very dynamic and can change, some of us try to move with these forces and set our stalls out accordingly.

 

regards, rick.

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maybe you are the one stuck in your ways and views uk900.

if you look back through the posts as to why people charge what they do then you maybe wouldn't be so quick to dismiss their reasons.

 

i am the first to admit i have made many mistakes since establishing my business, one of which was not knowing my market!!!!!

 

as for the remark about hanging about in a dense muslim community, maybe you should look at the reasons some of us do just that :!:

 

as hugh says this is an ongoing issue but please don't belittle anyone for what is after all only an opinion based on what appears to be your own experience.

 

market forces are very dynamic and can change, some of us try to move with these forces and set our stalls out accordingly.

 

regards, rick.

 

Anyone who express's an opinion on this forum knows it's just there opinion and not everyone will agree. If we didn't agree or disagree there would be nowt to talk about.

You seem to take my comments personally, If you read my opening comments you will see that I myself made mistakes and it took 10 years for me to realise. I underpriced my skill's hence I found it dificult to expand and invest in new machines and services.

I agree that some locations have a limited footfall, but that doesn't mean you have to do the job any cheaper.

I have a really good pal who has been in the trade all his life, and self employed for around 20 years. His location is crap, really crap, but he has a great turnover. He charges high street prices and does a great job. People go back time and time again because of his quality reputation.

As for the Muslim thing I was picking up from Hugh-can't-doit,

The Muslim community are not our greatest customers although I have some regulars. Thats why I said get out of there.

 

Love uk900

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trust me, i didn't take it as a personal thing, i was responding in defense of your insinuation that some of us, not i specifically, undervalue ourselves.

 

my point was as i stated, some of us and again, not i always, have to work in the market we have, we may not be always happy with it but we do the best we can to make a good living from what we do and what we provide. if life was only so good for some people that they could have the crappiest location but still be making the most money in an area.

those who do manage this in today's market forces are probably the exception and not the rule (this in no way takes from their ability as a competent repairer, it speaks for itself when they're doing that well).

 

i have known some excellent repairers who have had their own businesses who have tried to increase prices in line with what they think the work is really worth in terms of their time and skill, one of these went out of business a year later :shock: once he'd rasied his prices, he found it almost impossible to drop them back down.

 

indeed, after undertaking an appraisal of some of our own prices since joining the forum and reviewing some of the opinions on this subject we have noticed a drift off in trade in some of the services we offer, albeit and thankfully, minor areas.

 

as for your comment about 'the muslim thing' that's an outdated and bigoted statement.

10 years ago your comments would have held water but they just aren't viable now that i can see, i can state this as a good 50% of my turnover is generated by muslims or other non christians. the other repairers on my area would agree.

 

you made some very good points that i happen to agree with but you can't generalise that people who don't charge the same as what you probably would are undervaluing themselves, that is for them to decide, not i, not you and not anyone else.

 

best regards, rick.

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absolutely, i've always held the opinion that if you come across like you're just after the money then that's the message the customer will get.

 

i took a pair of shoes in today for example that really were worthy of the bin, i informed the customer in advance that it would probably be cheaper to replace them but if he decided that he wanted them doing then for the work involved, never mind the materials then it was going to cost him thirty quid, payable in advance (rubber sole and heel with replacement sock linings). he paid up no problem.

 

a friend of mine who had been watching asked how i could charge that without blinking. i replied to him to look at the work involved, i thought it was well worth the price and this was the message conveyed to the customer, unspoken or not.

 

confidence :shock: something i lacked terribly in the high pressure, push the extra sale environment of the multiple but which i'm abundant in when pricing most of my work now i'm an independant. :D

 

regards. rick.

 

ps, welcome on board :oops:

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well: i've decided to add again to this topic in line with the original thread regarding prices. and offer you all a bit of my humble pie :lol:

 

we decided to push the boat out and seriously review our prices since the last posts were made. the result: we've increased our prices on the majority of our services and products twice since with no discernible problems, yes, we've had the odd moaners but they're the folk who would moan if you'd dropped the bloody price. i can happily say that despite an exceptionally quiet summer for my town that trade is fantastic! 8)

 

wish we could find premises for a decent sized shop though :cry:

the rates in this town are killing all the small businesses on the high street, even dixons and bodycare moved out because of our greedy council :evil:

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Being somewhat involved in this problem of council owned shops I can tell you this,

The local authority has a legal duty to obtain the maximum rent for any premises or land that are/is let by them.

 

Very pleased that you are now of a different frame of mind in regards to pricing. just remember to keep in line with inflation now that you have got your prices right. A little rise each year is not so noticable as a huge hike 3 or 4 years later.

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