I’ve been deliberating for some time over whether to raise my professional service fees. My practice is located in a small city where an automaker – the major industry in this town – laid off thousands of workers years ago. Tourism and other industries have suffered, and I suspect many shopkeepers and service providers have wrestled with their pricing decisions for fear of customer reprisal. It causes me to reflect on how I, and indeed my colleagues, set pricing.
How do we set our pricing? Is pricing based on the type of massage or sector served (rehabilitation, spa, integrated wellness, in-chair massage)? Time-length of session? Inputs of labour or added elements like hydro\electric therapies or special hand-tools? Are some outcomes (pain reduction, better mobility) more valuable than others (reduced anxiety, relaxation, better sleep quality)?
What role does wealth of the local economy, reliance on generous employee benefit plans, competition with peers or other services promising similar benefit play? What are our own beliefs about the value of our work, our relationship and experiences with money, and what we believe patrons are willing to pay?
Pricing is how the practitioner “captures” the value they offer to the marketplace. “Price transmits the most important signal to the customer…what the (practitioner) believes the product is worth”, states Ronald J. Baker, author of Pricing on Purpose: Creating and Capturing Value. Read the whole article at Massage Therapy Canada magazine