Like many small businesses kennels offer a variety of services, each with their own values. So when creating a pricing structure for your kennel it is important to keep in mind that there is a fine line between enough variety and too much variety.
With pricing it is really easy to get carried away by creating layered services or offering too many competing add-ons. As a business owner the goal should be to offer a variety of competitively priced services while avoiding redundancy.
One of the biggest issues kennel owners experience as they grow is cluttered and overlapping pricing, an issue that can seriously impact long term profitability. So why overcomplicate your business when you can keep it simple and profitable?
Simplicity is Key
It is really easy for your ‘services’ list to start small when you first open your doors and grow overtime into a massive maze of add-ons, convenience charges and confusing layered pricing structures. This pricing complexity makes life more difficult for you and your customers, so if it can be avoided it should be.
As your kennel grows you can lose sight of the simplicity that made you successful in the first place. This is why every now and again it’s important to re-evaluate your pricing structure, ensuring your services and pricing align with your goals. Usually when you give your pricing structure a closer look sub-services are the first things to go.
Beware of Sub-Services
A sub-service is a variation to an existing service add-on. For example, if a stay at your kennel can include an add-on like a walk, but there are five different types of walks (all with their own pricing) to choose from, you might want to consider doing a little trimming.
The reason sub-services aren’t effective is because they over complicate a simple task at the expense of the kennel and the customer; meaning both you and your customer spend too much time differentiating between the variations of what should be a simple task. Offering too many sub-services for each primary service can take away from the overall customer experience and cause a big headache for both of you.
But things really get costly when the pricing for your sub-services are competing with themselves, meaning you’re effectively undercutting your own premium services and getting less return for the same or similar work.
Don’t Compete with Yourself
The biggest issue businesses run into when their pricing gets cluttered is competing with their own offerings. For example, say you have five different kennel stay options (ie: bronze, silver, gold, platinum, diamond), each with their own slight differences. By allowing such a variety of price options you’re actively discouraging customers from going with your more expensive stay options, because they have four reasons (bronze, silver, gold, platinum) not to pick diamond.
This means that your bronze rate might become your most popular rate with frequent customers while your diamond rate sits on the shelf collecting cobwebs, meanwhile you’re doing almost the same amount of work for less money.
Sometimes Few is Better than Many
A good way to avoid competing with your own pricing is to offer fewer options but highlight the distinct value in each option. Consolidating your kennel stay pricing into simplistic service bundles is a great way to do this. The fewer options you have the easier it is to differential between them, meaning the value of each stay option is more obvious.
For example, the incremental differences between the five stay options (ie: bronze, silver, gold, platinum, diamond) could be consolidated into just two stay options with more distinct values and a higher profit margin. So instead of offering the basic packages (bronze, silver and gold) with tiny differences between them, try combining all three of those offerings into a ‘basic package’ and merge the offerings of platinum and diamond into a ‘premium package.’
This means the customer gets more for their purchase and you get a more consistent average return for the time and space you provide. Plus when you fill up on weekends and holidays you don’t have to worry about filling your kennel with bronze stays and while turning down platinum or diamond ones. With the bundle model, even if your kennel is full of ‘basic stay’ packages, you’re still appreciating a healthier price margin than if you were fully booked with bronze stays.
Bundle Your Offerings
By averaging out your prices into fewer pricing bundles you safeguard yourself from chance. Meaning you protect yourself from the potential of everyone wanting the rock bottom price without understanding the value added by your premium services.
At the end of the day your customers come to your kennel because they trust you and your abilities. So why undercut your own services when both you and your customer know that you’re providing a high quality experience regardless of which stay option they select?