Foibles of Fixed Pricing Formulas

We all like predictability. So when a prospective client asks for a pricing sheet, it sometimes requires a little explanation as to why it is not a good way for us to do business. The existence of large translation “factories” that publish cost/word rates can sometimes leave the impression that this is the best way to do business. At Hoahana, we have some general internal pricing guidelines, but we never publish rates because it is ultimately not good for clients. First, no two jobs are alike. Variables include subject matter and expectations like turnaround time, file format, design and layout, and personality of client. By thoughtfully analyzing the nature of each job, we are able to deliver the quality and speed our clients expect. The more information we can gather prior to offering our price, the better the project will come out in the end, for all parties involved. We have also learned that the communication with our clients at the pricing phase helps us learn how to customize our service for each client moving forward.

As we develop a trusted relationship with our clients, we are able to turn around pricing more quickly, with total confidence that we will meet or exceed expectations. If we take the time to price a job and somehow get it wrong, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Anyone who has worked for a professional service agency knows that the very natural human emotion of resentment can compromise quality of service. We eliminate that problem by working hard to mindfully price each job so that when we make an offer to a client, that client knows we are fully committed. As our client base continues to grow, we are heartened by the mutual respect that we have developed with our clients. It reinforces our belief that taking shortcuts in our business may be tempting at times, but in the long run, it is deadly for our business, and therefore also for our clients.