In a Facebook Group that I’m a member of, there was recently an interesting discussion.
A very busy photographer (he’s booked out 3 months in advance) posted about getting help in his business because he is so busy. He wanted to spend less time doing all that behind the scenes stuff (that most of us don’t really like to do anyway) so that he would have more time to photograph more clients.
The response he got was very interesting, to say the least and in some ways, it was a sad reflection on the mindset of many photographers.
This is relevant to any kind of business, not just photographers.
A lot of people (without knowing his business model, the market he chooses to serve or his vision for his business) said that he should just increase his prices because that would mean fewer people would book him yet he would still make as much if not more money.
There were also comments that he should charge more because he was damaging the photography industry!
Some of the comments were patronising and a little rude shall we say.
They were making assumptions about how much money his business is making (it’s profitable and fully supports his family – he’s a full-time professional – which is more than could be said for some of those making the comments) and his vision for his business.
This isn’t to bash high-end photographers, believe me I’m all for making good money.
However, a lot of the comments displayed a lack of understanding of the basics of different business models and that there is room for low priced, mid-priced and high priced photographers.
Just as there is room in just about all markets for low priced, mid-priced and high priced businesses.
I would go as far as to say that it’s important that all three kinds of business serve the market from the industry perspective and that of your clients.
For today, let’s look at it from the customer’s perspective…
All of the criteria in this graphic are important when deciding on the positioning and pricing of your businesses products and services.
Some people will buy something because it is good, or the best.
Maybe they just want to keep up with or one step ahead of the Jones’ or it’s about their self-worth and how having quality makes them feel.
These are the people who will spend 3 years looking for the right purse and then buy one that costs over three figures because it’s the right size, well made and it feels good to the touch every time you hold it… (ahem…nothing to do with the brand by the way, never heard of it before, it was just the right purse and will last a long time.)
or maybe they like Prada or top-end Mercedes…
or they’d rather have an Omega that costs several thousand than a Timex even though both tell the time…
Some people will buy something because it is cheap.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s important that cheap is available for those who just can’t afford the best.
That Timex tells the time just as well as the Omega for a fraction of the price…
Cheap can be highly profitable with the right business model.
I know that some people will scrimp and save, but quite frankly, what does it say about us as a segment of society if we deem that our products and services should only be available to those who have plenty of disposable income?
Can you imagine a world where there were only Michelin starred restaurants?
Or all watches cost 4 figures or more?
Some people will pay to get something fast, they will pay more for speed.
People are busy. The thought of having to spend 2 -3 hours of their limited time on a photo shoot to get some beautiful family portraits is very off-putting for some.
That doesn’t mean that they don’t want quality, they just don’t have a lot of time for that luxury.
This is one of the reasons why online shopping has become so popular.
I can do my weekly food shop online in a fraction of the time that it would take me if I had to make a round trip of 50 miles to the supermarket that is big enough to stock all the things that I want…
Sometimes people want a combination of these things, but from a business perspective, it’s incredibly difficult to provide ALL three in a sustainable (profitable) way.
Remember too, that a person’s priorities won’t be the same for everything.
It will vary depending on what’s important to them.
They might be looking for the best they can get when it comes to buying shoes because they spend a lot of the time standing, but when it comes to a car, they are not fussed, as long as it gets them from A to B reliably and cheaply…
None of these ways of positioning your products and services is any better or more right than the others – they can all be profitable when combined with the right business model.
What is important is how you balance them in your business, and that you know which ones are in alignment with the people you want to sell your services or products.
And that you have an appropriate business model that is sustainable and profitable for you as a business.
I’d love to know, which of these (good, cheap, fast) is important in your business and which are important in your personal life…
And if you disagree, comment below and tell me why – I’d love to hear your perspective…