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Source: Redmond Channel Partner
Author: Joanna L. Krotz
With customer expectations reset, businesses find themselves in uncharted territory as the economy improves. We canvassed experts for advice on setting your own pricing before the market sets it for you.
If you've been waiting for the economic pileup of 2009 to get cleared off the road, it looks like now's a good time to step on the gas. Employers nationwide are at least talking about hiring again in 2010, and technology spending seems to be on track for a modest recovery. All in all, business appears to be slowly pivoting from cost containment to growth.
At this unique time in the history of post-World War II business, the question of pricing becomes especially tricky. Customer expectations for what IT does and how much to spend on IT changed last year, but sales booked now, especially IT services on managed contracts, could reverberate for years to come. Set prices too high before businesses are really sure they're in spending mode and you won't get the business. Set prices too low, and your pricing will come back to haunt you.
"Enterprises can't be in hide-out mode forever, so there will be some kind of spending spree in 2010," says Adnan Raja, director of business development at Atlantic.Net, a managed services provider (MSP) and data center in Orlando, Fla., with such clients as the NBA's Orlando Magic. But that hardly signals a return to business as we knew it. Buyers remain skittish. Recovery varies by industry and geographic location. "Contrary to the last 20 years, where businesses invested in IT to cope with growth, companies now are looking for IT with value creation and cost savings," says Raja. "Pricing is going to be one of the major considerations for businesses in the future."
Success moving forward depends on taking a hard look at the value proposition of your products and services and at whether your pricing reflects the new realities and demands. You'll need to adjust accordingly. The key to reeling in business is flexibility around fees and customizable options.