Cost is one of the first things on most horse owner’s minds. How often have you heard a customer ask about the cost of board, lessons or training before asking about your expertise or facilities?
Should an equine business include rates on its website?
Posting your fee schedule can be a double-edged sword. Sometimes consumers are more likely to buy when prices are clearly listed, according to Karen Paul, the owner of Elida Creative in Ballston Spa, New York. It can also save you time and money by sorting out clients who are only looking for a “bargain.”
On the flip side, a potential client can make a judgement on your services based on price alone. Instead of learning about the value of what you’re offering—the quality and expertise—they move on to other—perhaps cheaper—options.
Paul offers some pros and cons to consider about listing prices on websites:
- Transparency to customers
- Builds trust by eliminating surprises.
- Creates inquiries when a base price is listed.
- Leads to decisions based on price alone.
- Limits pricing a on a sliding scale for level of care or services provided.
- Reduces interaction with customers. Some people already have made up their mind about your facility based on price alone and don’t contact you or look for further information.
“I would say if you offer set lesson prices, it is okay to put those on the website, but if you offer coaching or other related services, you may not want to offer up pricing for those services until you have had a conversation with the prospective client,” Paul said. “If pricing varies based on a horse’s needs, I would not put any on your site.”
However, you should know what you charge for your services and be consistent. Don't set full board at $650/month for one client and give the exact same services to another for $450/month. It is fine to have a set price and have "add-ons" that horse owners can pay for (such as scheduling farrier or vet visits, putting on or taking off blankets, hauling to shows, etc.).