Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out to Help Out experiment will soon be ending. His novel tactic of subsidising meals out on the quietest 3 days of the week was designed to get local economies moving again by luring us out of our protective bubbles and back into pubs and restaurants: a price cut to boost demand.
But what of those of us in other business sectors? We’re not going to get a government subsidy but should we follow suit and try to boost demand with a price cut?
We’ve been hit by pandemics before: I remember as a schoolboy catching Hong Kong ‘flu during the 1969/70 outbreak which may have killed 80,000 in the UK. But this latest pandemic is not just a public health emergency; it may be the first since Black Death swept Europe in the 14th century to leave us with lasting economic and business damage.
Those of us who own and run small businesses know our problems won’t be over when the lockdown ends. There will not be an immediate bounce-back, and even if there was, history tells us that business failures are common at the start of a recovery.
In this series of posts I’m going to explore how we can help our businesses survive and prosper in the aftermath of CV-19.
A business owner at a networking meeting yesterday asked me the question “Should my website show prices?” And it’s a great question because trawling through the websites of businesses offering professional services (I was chatting to a life coach) it’s clear there’s a mix of approaches. Some don’t show any prices while others have opted for detailed fully-priced menus of their services.
So what are the advantages and disadvantages of advertising your prices online?
It all depends on what your website is for, and what kind of relationship you want to build with potential customers when they visit it. Read more
All of us in business know the experience of receiving price complaints. And they can dent our confidence. It could be a raised eyebrow, a potential customer who simply walks away, or maybe a full-blown whinge. But the root cause of price complaints is nearly always around value: the customer doesn’t see the value in what you are offering. Whether it’s an expensive Michelin star meal or my attempt at a plum crumble, potential customers need to see that they’re getting something they value.
Price complaints are about value
And that doesn’t necessarily mean your products or services are over-priced. It could be that this particular customer just happens not to value whatever it is that you sell. He may even give voice to his feelings in a way that assumes everyone else will share his low opinion of the value. But of course that’s nonsense. For me there’s no value in tickets for a Formula 1 Grand Prix (unless I could see an opportunity to sell them on) but opera tickets have a lot of value; other people would see the value very differently.