Back in 2001 when I was a freshman at the prestigious Johnson C. Smith University, I knew that working off campus was not an option. Our school was located in let’s just say a very “urban” neighborhood. Nonetheless, I was not a fan of work-study so I had to resort to other measures. I enjoyed braiding hair so I figured that’s what I would do, that’s what’s going to make me “college rich”(making more then $100 a week as a freshman)!
So while everyone was getting all settled in because clearly this is the first week of college, I was out asking questions. I was trying to figure out what was the going rate for braids, particularly for males. TIP 1: Never start a business without conducting the proper research.
By week two, I had a plan. Since the going rate for braids was between $20-$25 for males, I started advertising braids for $5-$15. I KILLED THE GAME! I was doing 3-5 heads a day. Oh yea, I was “college rich”. TIP 2: It’s ok to start low, you’ll have more business and after you build good clientele, you can increase your prices. Remember, if you start high, there is no where to go but down, if you start low there is no where to go but up!
There are so many great businesses that can’t flourish because their prices are too high. A lot of business owners want an instant return on their investment, so they mark up items in hopes of getting a great profit. Unfortunately, they struggle when it comes to loyal customers because no one is buying their products or services, the prices are just too high. I see this with a lot of online boutiques. I’ve seen 200% mark-ups and I just shake my head because this is the same business owner that is complaining about the lack of customers. So, if you are a business owner, remember this, if your customer numbers are too low, your prices maybe too high.