Pricing your services

When setting up my business in 2007 one of the hardest things to work out was what and how to charge clients.
I had a proven idea, a targeted customer base but what were they prepared to pay?

Taking in to consideration overheads, outlays, and what my knowledge of my client base indicated they were prepared to pay I finally settled on a fee structure which people seemed happy with.

There was no set formula for arriving at the price which is what made it so difficult.

The resources below have been compiled to assist you through the process of coming up with a price to charge for your products or services.

In The key to charging what you’re really worth business strategist Andrew Griffiths delves into the reasons why business owners fail to charge what their products or services are really worth.

Marketing strategist, Rachel Klaver discusses why you should charge for your services in a manner that is sustainable and profitable in her article Pricing right will help you make more impact
” … a business that has healthy cash flow and an owner who is paying themselves can provide stable employment, have more consistent giving, and can make decisions based on best practices rather than “what we can afford”

Related to this is her article Marketing can kill your business if your pricing is all wrong.  In it Klaver says :  It’s really important to start by working out your true costs, including what it’s going to take to pay yourself.

Pricing expert Natalie Coombe offers a series of informative blog posts on her website, including How much does it really cost to run a business and How to stop giving your time and value away

Mark Peacock, a UK based Price Coach, offers a series of video and podcasts on the resources section of his website.
Linkedin learning offers a range of video courses on price setting and valuing services.  Just use your library registration to sign in and then enter pricing into the search box.

Finally, from the Library book collection there is :

Smarter pricing : how to capture more value in your market / Cram, Tony
“Are your prices too low? Some of your customers would pay more, and there are times and places where you could charge more. Of course none of your customers will tell you this, as competitors tempt them with promises of lower prices and the media trains them to be bargain-hunters. All this price pressure is one way – downwards. This book will help you to move your customers and your business in the other direction – upwards. It’s all about commanding the right price, and the right price is, more than you would imagine possible, a higher one. This is Smarter Pricing, and these are the rules of commanding a higher price and capturing more value.” (Catalogue)

And available as an e-book from Overdrive :

Pricing for Profit : How to Develop a Powerful Pricing Strategy for Your Business

Price is the most significant factor affecting the profitability of every business, profit centre or department. When the pressure is on to perform or grow, your instinct may be to discount, undercut your competitors, cut costs and promote through price. Yet these are often the last things you should do. Pricing for Profit is the most practical guide on pricing available. Using a firm, profit-focused framework developed running real projects for real businesses, this book shows you how by getting your pricing structures right you can make a huge difference to your bottom line. It gives business owners, managers and leaders simple, achievable pricing strategies that will deliver sustainable business growth. Can you afford to leave money on the table? If not, Pricing for Profit is the guide for you.

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library. We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources. All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Saying Thank you

Remember when your mother used to prompt you to say “Please” or “Thank you” with the phrase “What’s the magic word?”.

Do you still keep your mother’s words in mind?

Saying thank you is an important way to acknowledge customers, clients and employees.

In a time when competition for business offers so many options, a simple “Thank you” can make a customer feel valued and help retain their business.  

Marketing advisor Graham McGregor provides a strategy on how to use gratitude marketing to increase sales

The article How to Say Thank You for Supporting My Small Business suggests ten small, inexpensive ways to acknowledge customer support for your business.

Customer appreciation is an important part of running a small business. It not only helps make customers happy and want to come back but also builds your brand’s reputation as a good company to do business with.

It is also important to acknowledge your employees.  Regular recognition and acknowledgement of staff makes for a happier workplace and more employee loyalty.

O great one! : a little book about the awesome power of recognition / Novak, David
“When was the last time you told your colleagues how much you value them? It sounds like a trivial thing in the middle of a busy workday. But as David Novak discovered during his years as a hard-charging executive, there’s nothing trivial about recognition. It can make a life-or-death difference to any organization when people see that someone important really notices and appreciates their contribution. Rather than explain the power of recognition in a typical business book, Novak decided to write a fun story that draws on his real-world experiences at Pepsi and Yum! Brands, as well as his personal life.” (Catalogue)

Influence and impact : discover and excel at what your organization needs from you the most / Berman, William H.
“Many people are unhappy in their jobs, feel frustrated, or limited for reasons they cannot identify. A lot of them think they are doing a great job. But they are not getting raises, recognition and promotions. However, most of the time they are not doing the job others need and expect. They do not clearly understand all aspects of their job, and unintentionally end up doing the wrong job or doing it in the wrong way. This book will help leaders and employees clearly analyze their current situation and figure out if they are doing the job that the company and the culture want them to do. The goal of this book is to help individuals understand their real job ? the one that everyone wants them to do – and deliver the results they expect, regardless of what they were told when they were hired or what is in their job description. Sometimes the next step is to find another job – not because they are failing but because they do not want to do the job they are expected to do. More often, they are able to work with their manager and their team to shift gears, and everyone then experiences better results and more satisfaction in their jobs.”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Digital Boost – support for small businesses

Digital Boost is a series of free, self-paced training videos prepared by MBIE for the benefit of small businesses.

These short – 3-5 minute – videos give you the full rundown on how to operate a business in today’s world.  There are hundreds available with printed learning summaries.

MBIE’s figures show that over 40,000 small businesses are participating in this free training initiative.  If your business isn’t one of them, sign up now.

Learn more here

Organic week

Along with celebrating Te reo this week it is also Organic week throughout the country.

A listing of events associated with Organic week can be found here

With a growing interest in organic products here are some of the library resources that may interest those who are either working with organic products or considering developing or diversifying into that field.
Read Organic NZ online via Overdrive
Organic NZ.
“Organic NZ is filled with info to live a healthier lifestyle – for you and the planet! Published by the Soil & Health Association of New Zealand, working since 1941 for sustainable organic agricultural and good health. Topics range from home garden to large-scale success stories; eco-building; urban organics; genetic engineering & chemical issues; food matters & natural health.” (Catalogue)

Some hands on advice for regenerative gardening comes in this new book by a New Zealand market gardener. Available in both hard copy and e-format 

The abundant garden : a practical guide to growing a regenerative home garden / Kay, Niva
“Niva and Yotam Kay of Pakaraka Permaculture, on the Coromandel Peninsula of Aotearoa New Zealand, share their long experience of organic gardening in this comprehensive book on how to create and maintain a productive and regenerative vegetable garden. Taking care of the soil life and fertility provides plants with what they need to thrive. This is grounded in the latest scientific research on soil health, ecological and regenerative practices.” (Catalogue)

If you wish to know more about building organically, or in an eco-friendly, sustainable fashion then you will glean some ideas from
The sustainable house handbook : how to plan and build an affordable, energy-efficient and waterwise home for the future / Byrne, Josh
“The Sustainable House Handbook is your comprehensive guide to building an affordable, eco-friendly and energy, plus water-efficient green home for the future. In this book, sustainability expert and Gardening Australia presenter Josh Byrne takes takes readers through the process of planning a 10-Star rated high-performance home according to the Australian Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), and outlines how it is possible to build with conventional materials, in an accessible and cost-effective way.” (Catalogue)

If you wish to reduce synthetic chemical cleaning products in your home then checkout
Fresh clean home : making your own natural cleaning products / Graham, Wendy
“Discover how to make your own cleaning products to maintain a germ-free home whilst avoiding a cocktail of chemicals. Reap the potential health and environmental benefits of natural products with these organic and environmentally friendly mixtures. Using a base of essential oils and natural ingredients, these cleaning products are easy, eco-friendly and as effective as any shop-bought mix.” (Catalogue)

You can learn how to make your own skin care and hygiene products with
Botanical soaps : a modern guide to making your own soaps, shampoo bars and other beauty essentials / Tarallo, Marta
“Learn how to simplify your beauty regime with Botanical Soaps as this book shows you how to create your own beauty products using all natural ingredients. Demystify your skin type and discover how to combat bathroom plastic, minimize your routine by making your own soaps, shampoo bars and other beauty products including, lip butters, cleansers, bath salts and natural deodorants. Botanical Soaps is a beautiful and inspiring guide that will encourage you to green up your beauty regime with all natural, organic projects that are kinder to both the planet and your skin”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue) is a NZ government site offering “Tools and expert advice from government and industry, designed to help Kiwi businesses save time and succeed.”

There is a Covid-19 section.

COVID-19: Information for businesses  

The government’s central resource for COVID-19 business information with updates about COVID-19 and guidance to help businesses. Here’s where you’ll find information about:

  • operating at Alert Levels
  • business travel across regional boundaries
  • contact tracing
  • financial support for businesses
  • employment and work visas
  • leases and tenancies
  • exporters and importers
  • working from home.


Business plans

Small businesses often tend to grow organically. An entrepreneur or self-employed person juggles many roles and in order to function effectively you need a plan, or several plans – one for external business development and one for the internal administrative processes.

This new addition to the Wellington City Libraries collection provides you with a guide to establishing a business plan.

The business plan workbook : a step-by-step guide to creating and developing a successful business / Barrow, Colin
“Lay down the foundations of a successful business venture through a thoroughly researched and competitive business plan. Based on tried and tested business methodology used at the leading business school, Cranfield School of Management, this 10th edition of The Business Plan Workbook guides you through all the necessary steps to constructing a winning business plan. This is a practical run-through of 24 key areas of development of strategic planning. It will allow you to think of these areas in isolation through the use of assignments that ensure you have stress-tested your business proposition. This guide covers how to – Come up with a winning business idea – Complete market and competitive research – Set up a winning marketing strategy – Forecast watertight financials and projections – Define realistic operations and staffing – Deliver an unforgettable pitch to potential backers and investors This new and fully updated edition includes 67 business case studies that show you how successful entrepreneurs have dealt with strategic planning in the past. The content has been streamlined to focus on the most critical parts of business planning, ensuring you spend time where it matters and stay competitive. With new information resources and financial planning consideration, this is an invaluable guide for entrepreneurs, business executives and students”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

But, as this article Here’s why your business needs an admin plan points out,  you will also benefit from including administration in your plan. “An administrative plan is similar to an operations plan, but for your business admin – your unique combination of technology, tools, systems and standard operating procedures that make the business run smoothly”.

Once your plan is done you also need to follow up your plan with action

If you require more information on this topic please contact our team via email  or on 021 596 274

Are you in hospitality?

The inaugural New Zealand Hospitality Summit 2021 will take place 8-9 of September at The Trusts Arena in Auckland.  Featuring “A line-up of industry speakers and think tanks that focus on growing business into the future”

Whether your interest is food, coffee or brewing you can find inspiration among Wellington City Libraries great collection of books and magazines.  Below are some recent additions to the collection.  They may be found in the 641 area of the non-fiction collection.

Vibrant botanicals : transformational recipes using adaptogens & other healing herbs / McGruther, Jennifer
“When used properly, plants provide a wealth of healing powers. Adaptogens (plant extracts that help the body adapt to stress) and herbs are some of the most potent sources of such energy and immunity–plus they have a host of additional health benefits. Cookbook author and blogger Jennifer McGruther of Nourished Kitchen expertly guides readers through the properties of herbal energetics and how to gain the most from these dynamic sources. Jennifer explains each function and application, and how to extract their benefits into tinctures, infused oils, teas and tisanes, vinegars, and more. And while store-bought adaptogenic powders and elixirs from popular retailers may be a hefty investment, Jennifer’s creations cost only a few dollars to make at home. Vibrant Botanicals provides more than 70 recipes for helping you feel your best when using herbal infusions. You’ll discover how cacao and licorice naturally awaken the body and can be incorporated into granolas, beverages, and breakfasts to jump-start your day. Garlic, astragalus, reishi, and more are showcased in homemade broth and fire cider to help build immunity; while passionflower, ashwagandha, and chamomile are mixed into creamy milk blends and teas to ensure peaceful sleep. Whether you are looking to fortify digestion, lift your spirits, or just enjoy a good night’s rest, Vibrant Botanicals provides the natural solution, through nourishing and herbal-rich recipes.” (Catalogue)

Blooms and baking : add aromatic, floral flavors to cakes, cookies and more / Ho, Amy
“Create incredible desserts with the unique flavors and aromas of chamomile, lavender, rose, Jasmine, and more. Innovative and beautiful, these desserts add floral flavors to cakes, cookies, pies, and more to create something new and absolutely delicious. Amy Ho, founder of the baking blog Constellation Inspiration, shows you step-by-step how to use these aromatic flavors to make your desserts taste just as wonderful as they look. Chamomile cake is perfectly paired with peach and mascarpone buttercream, decadent chocolate is combined with lavender caramel to create a delicious two-bite cookie and jasmine fruit tartlets showcase delicate jasmine blooms, green tea and strawberries. Perfectly balanced, Amy’s creations will be sure to wow you and anyone you bake for.” (Catalogue)

Fine cider : understanding the world of fine, natural cider / Nash, Felix
“In Fine cider, esteemed cider merchant and advocate Felix Nash looks at the history, the styles, the apple varieties, the processes of cider making, the cider-producing regions, how cider partners exceptionally with food, and, of course, ciders you need to try.” (Catalogue)

Coffee obsession / Moldvaer, Anette
“This is perfect your barista technique with over 100 global coffee recipes from chai latte to ristretto. You can take a journey from bean to cup with Coffee Obsession, which shows you how to make iconic coffees through step-by-step barista training. From the techniques of roasting, grinding, tamping and brewing to how to make a cappuccino, you’ll learn everything you need to know to make the perfect coffee and about the beauty of latte art. Over 100 recipes include brews to suit every taste, from contemporary favourites such as the flat white to classic choices such as the ideal Irish coffee recipe. From french presses to cloth brewers you’ll explore all the different equipment you need to create fantastically flavoured coffee, along with a guide through the flavour wheel and “cupping” tasting notes. You’ll also go on a voyage through the life of a coffee bean and learn the ideal harvest seasons and roasts of each different bean, all combined with mouth-watering flavour profiles. Coffee Obsession is perfect for coffee lovers who want to make the best cup of coffee in the world in their own home.” (Catalogue)

If you require more information on this topic please contact our team via email  or on 021 596 274

Women in business

Recent research from Statistics New Zealand found More Women Taking Up Self-employment
“The number of self-employed women without employees increased almost 14 percent to 143,500 in the year to March 2021”.

However Only one in five of the country’s high growth startups have at least one woman in their founding team, data from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment shows.

Electrify Aotearoa is an all-day national conference taking place in Christchurch, October 14. Spearheaded by Ministry of Awesome and Blackbird Ventures, the event brings together Aotearoa’s leading founders, aspiring entrepreneurs, and early-stage startups for a day of inspiration, strategy, and connection.

If you require more information on this topic please contact our team via email  or on 021 596 274

Enhancing your online presence for Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions

So many businesses will be thinking how can I convert my current face to face customers into online customers. Hopefully, some of these courses will help you with that.
Sales: Business to Consumer online sales
It is well-known that many consumers prefer the simplicity of online purchasing, but for many of us, everyday items are usually purchased face to face. If Covid-19 Level 4 restrictions are lifted soon, many businesses will need to sell online, in a non-contact way in order to remain afloat. In this course, learn about the opportunities of B2C.

Learning Shopify
Create a simple online store with Shopify, the trusted and easy-to-use ecommerce tool.

Developing adaptability as a manager
With digital transformation and disruption everywhere (ie our present situation) being adaptable is a foundational skills for managers allowing you to responds to change in a positive, resilient way, and seize new opportunities.

Social media marketing with Facebook and Twitter
This course teaches you how to use social media to promote your business, and learn how Facebook differs from Twitter and how to adjust your strategy to succeed on both platforms.

FREE Business and research clinic Karori Library 5th September 2019

I will be at Karori Library on 5th September 2019 between 5.30 and 7.30 providing individual business and research advice. I will be demonstrating the Library’s business resources, and general searching techniques. Anyone is free to attend. If you would like more information and/or to make an appointment, please contact me on 021596274 or email me at I was intending to make the appointments 30 mins, but this is dependent on the number of people booking, and appointments could run longer if time is available. Although I am a “business specialist” I am a long-time researcher across all sectors.

Wellington City Libraries has an amazing collection of e-resources through our Mygateway.