Beware of scams

We are aware of scams coming from email and social media where people try to impersonate us. We will never ask you for money or your bank details. Learn more about what to look out for and how to protect yourself.

The pros and cons of raising your prices

The price of your products and services can be a key factor in your customer’s decision to buy from you.

Determining how much customers are willing to pay can be challenging, but pricing products and services opens in new window at an appropriate level can help your business grow.

Charging too much for your goods and services may discourage customers, resulting in lower sales.

On the other hand, low prices may help attract opens in new window more price-sensitive customers, but you might not make enough profit opens in new window on your sales.

Setting the right price level is a combination of understanding how competitors price their equivalent offerings, how much profit margin your business needs to make, and how much customers are willing to pay.

Pricing isn’t static. It’s worth revisiting pricing regularly, adjusting it to reflect market conditions opens in new window, costs, and competitors’ actions opens in new window.


Making business finance work for you

Starting a business doesn’t come with a set of instructions.

We know that understanding the many different types of financial product in the marketplace can be difficult.

Our Making business finance work for you guide is designed to help you make an informed choice about accessing the right type of finance for you and your business.

Download your free copy


Pricing during economic downturns

Setting prices can be incredibly challenging during times of economic crisis.

Increased costs, such as energy opens in new window and materials, and customers reining back spending, make pricing important.

With potentially fewer sales as households cut back on spending, 78% of small business owners opens in new window cited a rising cost of living as the biggest threat to their business, with 40% reporting that reduced customer spending has affected cash flow opens in new window.

It may be tempting to consider raising prices to protect profit and cover increased costs – but it’s worth planning carefully how to manage pricing best.

How pricing strategies work

Numerous factors can affect the price of products and services, such as:

Together, these can impact the range of pricing you can consider.

Different pricing approaches can be used in different ways, such as to win customers from competitors or maximise profit from sales.

Examples of pricing strategies include:

  • penetration pricing – prices are set lower than competitors to attract customers and establish a position in the market opens in new window. Prices then increase slowly over time as the market share grows
  • economy pricing – keeping costs as low as possible to target bargain shoppers
  • competitor pricing – matching your competitors’ prices or going lower
  • bundle pricing – selling individual products as single-priced bundles, usually at a discount
  • premium pricing – setting prices much higher than competitors, typically linked to product or service quality.

Exploring various pricing strategies could help you decide on the right pricing strategy for your organisation.

It’s worth remembering that there are legal constraints and consequences with some pricing strategies.

For example, if two or more competitors work together to fix prices, this is contrary to UK competition law.

If one business with a dominant position in the market charges a very high price for their goods or services this could be an abuse of its dominant position under UK law.

Read our guide to nine different pricing strategies for small businesses opens in new window.


Pros of increasing prices

Increase profit

By increasing the prices of your products and services while keeping costs in check, you will likely see a profit increase, assuming that sales remain the same.

Business growth

Increased profit can help fund future business growth opens in new window.

Additional income from higher prices means you can invest in additional marketing, more staff, and increasing inventory to continue to expand.

Premium positioning

Some customers assume that if something has a higher price, it has a higher value.

Higher prices may feature on products with premium materials or high-end features, allowing pricing to be higher than lower-quality competitors.

Premium pricing can also be used when a brand has been established, such as a fashion brand specialising in luxury products.

Premium pricing can lead to higher profit margins as pricing is significantly higher than product cost, such as materials or labour.

Tackling cost inflation

Some price increases may be a necessity.

Increased business costs due to inflation, such as higher energy costs, mean your start-up may need to increase prices to cover costs and maintain a profit.

Cons of increasing prices

May lead to fewer sales

Raising prices may push away potential customers unwilling to pay a higher price, especially in an economic downturn.

While you may generate more revenue and profit from each sale, lower sales volumes due to price aversion can see a fall in total income, which means you are less likely to cover fixed costs such as staff wages opens in new window or rent opens in new window.

Losing market share to competitors

High pricing can see lower-priced competitors win customers from your business, resulting in an overall lower share of the market.

Hard to lower prices

Reversing a price increase can cause regular customers to feel short-changed if they purchased at a previously higher price level.

Raising prices for a short period and lowering them can introduce uncertainty about your brand, with customers potentially wary about buying in case prices fall after purchasing.

Alternatives to price increases

An alternative to raising prices is to keep firm control of costs, reducing the need to increase prices.

Absorb costs

An alternative is to absorb as much additional cost as possible and not pass on increased costs to customers.

This may mean your business will generate less profit, but if competitors increase prices, this may increase your competitiveness in the market.

Absorbing costs requires careful forecasting to ensure your business maintains a healthy cash flow.

Reduce costs

Explore alternatives to materials and other costs impacted by high inflation, such as seeking new suppliers or using different materials.

Read our guide to tackling start-up inflationary costs, from buying in bulk to outsourcing opens in new window.

Seek funding

Funding in the form of loans or grants can be a helpful tool to avoid increasing customer costs.

Always seek professional financial advice opens in new window before seeking funding.

Use technology to your advantage

Technology can help start-ups save time and money, reducing costs and the need to increase prices.

Read our guide to cost-saving technologies suitable for small businesses and start-ups opens in new window.


Learn with Start Up Loans and help your business get off the ground.

Thinking of starting a business? Check out our free online courses in partnership with The Open University on sustainability in the workplace.

Our free Learn with Start Up Loans courses opens in new window include:

Plus free courses on climate and sustainability, teamwork, entrepreneurship, mental health and wellbeing.


Reference to any organisation, business and event on this page does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation from the British Business Bank or the UK Government. Whilst we make reasonable efforts to keep the information on this page up to date, we do not guarantee or warrant (implied or otherwise) that it is current, accurate or complete. The information is intended for general information purposes only and does not take into account your personal situation, nor does it constitute legal, financial, tax or other professional advice. You should always consider whether the information is applicable to your particular circumstances and, where appropriate, seek professional or specialist advice or support.

Feeling Inspired?