Pricing services can be difficult since there are so many factors included in dog training. These factors include: customer interactions, communication skills, location and travel, education, experience, perceived value, and amount of competition in the area.
Cost Of Operation
Before you can determine a good price point for your services, you’ll want to make sure that the prices will make a net profit after costs are deducted from your profit. If your costs end up being more than profit, you won’t be in business very long. The basic principle of starting a business is to make a living from it.
While it is noble to donate your time to rescues and those that cannot afford to pay you for your services, pricing yourself lower so that more people can afford you is a recipe for burn out. You have to make each client worth your time and energy which means you need to be charging for the value you provide to your customers. Your prices should reflect the audience you want to reach.
Location plays a huge role in determining your prices. It would be quite difficult to begin a business if you were the most expensive in the area. Also, it is not to your advantage to be the least expensive in your area because many customers understand that they will get what they will pay for. Being the least expensive tells the community that you do not think highly of your skills. Make sure your prices are competitive, but also exude confidence about your training skills.
Many trainers start off using an hourly fee to price their services. This is a great way to get started. However, as your business grows you’ll discover that you only have so many hours in a day and, thus, can only make so much money each day. Once you start running out of hours in the day, or maybe even sooner, consider changing your pricing model to the following.
A flat fee pricing model is commonly used for board and train programs because it is more than an hourly commitment. This kind of service can provide a lot of value to clients who can afford it. A flat fee pricing strategy can allow you to make customized training packages for each family you work with and provide them a variety of services to increase their chance of success. For example, you can create a package that includes day training and private lessons for a flat fee based on that family’s needs.
Understand Perceived Value
As dog trainers, we provide incredible value to families everywhere – we give them peace in their lives again. Perceived value is about what the customer thinks they are gaining by hiring you. When clients look for trainers, they aren’t really looking to hire a dog trainer, they are looking to get balance, peace, and control back in their lives again. Understanding perceived value for the customer will help you determine the right pricing for your services.
Pricing can be very difficult for new trainers to understand and implement. Consider reaching out to your mentor and ask them how they first determined their pricing strategy. Most importantly, when customers call, make sure you can articulate how and why your services are worth their prices.