Oscar Wilde said, "Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing." Maybe that's why small shops seem to have so much trouble pricing their work. Add that to the incredible downward price pressure from the current economic situation, and pricing becomes even more of a conundrum. Yet, I'm repeatedly amazed at how little attention shop owners pay to this important topic, treating it more like unknowable witchcraft rather than science. OK, it's not all science, but if you've got the technical part down, the art of pricing comes easier.
All of this is by way of introduction to several new developments that could help you in getting a better grasp of the art and science of pricing. The first is a live webinar I'll be giving as part of our CabinetMakerFDM Woodworking Business E-vent, which will be this Thursday. The E-vent is all day, but my seminar on "Pricing Strategies for the Recovery" is from noon to 1 p.m. CDT. Both the E-vent and seminar are free of charge. Just follow the link to register. I'll be talking about some pricing basics (the science), but I'll also talk about hands-on techniques that help you get more for your product and help to locate customers who will pay what you need to get. Check it out.
But that's not all. I'm pleased to announce the revival of the CabinetMakerFDM Pricing Survey. Put on hiatus last year as most shops didn't have time to bid survey jobs when they were trying to chase real work, the survey is back this year and ready to go. For those of you not familiar with the Pricing Survey, it is the only tool in the industry designed to compare prices for custom woodworking projects. We take real jobs done by real shops and ask you to bid on them. Then we print the itemized results from shops all across the country. Besides the final prices, there is data about shop rates, materials costs, construction time, and more. You can read more about it here or instantly download a bid package and participate.