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Business Bits - Pricing

Monday, March 01, 2010

Topic: Pricing
First, let's start off by noting that pricing might just be one of the most difficult + personal aspects of starting & running your creative business. It's tempting to compare yourself to others. Don't. It's easy to second guess yourself. Don't. It's quick to be cheap. Don't.

So then, what should we do?
Image Credit: The Paper Addict

Well, start off by writing down the actual cost to make your item. I mean actual. Every last cent that goes into creating your pretty little gizmo. Here's where it's easy to short change yourself. But again- don't.  For nearly a year my husband urged me to do this. I avoided it. Finally, I acknowledged his MBA and gave in.  I sat down and crunched some numbers.The results were so astonishing-  at first I wanted to cry....but then seeing the numbers in black in white inspired me to make some serious adjustments and improvements....and led to a more successful business. 

So....let's go through an example and pretend you make pretty patchwork aprons. Here's what your breakdown of actual costs might look like:

Supplies Cost:
1 yard fabric = $8 
fabric scraps = $2
1 yard of ribbon = $2
 Thread = .02  (200 aprons per $4 thread spool)
Garment Labels = .10 ($500 for box of 5,000 labels)

Production Cost:
Use of sewing machine = .10 (approx. 1000 aprons for every $100 maintenance fee)

Packaging Cost:
Tissue Paper= .02 ($2 box of 100)
Hang Tag = .04  ($40 box of 1000 tags)
Business Card= .05 ($25 for 500 cards)
Mailer = .03 ($30 for 1000 mailers)

Labor Cost: {for this example we'll use $10 per hour}
Cut & prepare materials = $2.50 (1/4 of a $10 hour)

Sew 1 patchwork apron = $10 (one $10 hour)
Package 1 patchwork apron = $1 (1/10 of a $10 hour)

Total =$25.86

This means that the actual cost of making each apron is $25.86

Note, this does not include fees or time spent listing and marketing. 

Wow! See what I mean?  The actual cost sure seem high, but there is power in just knowing the true cost of your item. It makes decisions about pricing, offering discounts, giveaways, or establishing wholesale accounts.  Plus, it is absolutely critical in determining the long-term sustainability of your business. 

So, what now? Well, more than likely you'll need to make some adjustments- raising your prices, establishing your worth, improve your sourcing of materials to lower your actual costs. But seriously, dust off the calculator, grab a cup of coffee and hunker down to crunch some numbers.....you can thank me later ;) 


Julie said...

Such a great post and so true. i really need to do this.

Marci Girl said...

Are we talking aprons or patchwork coasters? Just kidding. Loved this post...very useful!

Bridgett said...

Thanks for sharing!

SweetBeaker said...

great business sense allisa!

live a colorful life said...

Great series!

Downtown Girl said...

Thank you for sharing! Enjoyed the article ^_^

Pili said...

Amazing article! I know so many new sellers would appreciate this!!