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Strategy and Tactics for Start-ups

James Yerkess

James Yerkess

Founding Partner

Pricing is crucial component of any successful business strategy. However, it’s interesting to see how start-ups often adopt one static approach rather than regularly adapting it depending on the customer base, demand and costs. These dynamics change frequently and require different pricing tactics to maximise competitive advantage.


Pricing a product can be a complex and challenging process. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to pricing, and choosing the right approach can make or break a business.

Five Tactics

1. Cost-Plus Pricing: The cost-plus pricing strategy adds a percentage markup to the production cost to determine the selling price. This approach is commonly used in industries with lower competition or where few alternatives exist for consumers. The downside of this strategy is that it does not consider the market demand or changes in the production process.



2. Penetration Pricing: This strategy involves setting the product price lower than the competition to gain market share rapidly. Penetration pricing suits businesses with a high production volume or low fixed costs. However, this strategy may lead to low-profit margins in the short term and lower long-term valuations for the business due to profit margins being at the mercy of whatever the nearest competitor charges.



3. Price Skimming: Price skimming is the opposite of penetration pricing. It involves setting a high price for a new product to maximise profits from early adopters. This strategy is common in industries with high research and development costs or advanced products that offer a unique value proposition. However, this strategy is not ideal for businesses with high production costs or products that will likely become obsolete quickly.



4. Dynamic Pricing: Dynamic pricing is a flexible strategy that adjusts prices based on changes in supply and demand. This strategy is common in industries with high competition and is often used by retailers or airlines. Dynamic pricing requires careful monitoring of market trends and competitors to adjust prices in real time.



5. Bundling: Bundling is a pricing strategy that combines two or more products into a bundle and sells it for less than the sum of the individual items. This strategy is a win-win for both businesses and customers. Companies can increase sales, while customers can enjoy discounts for purchasing several items at once.

Bringing It All Together

Setting pricing is essential and can be a game-changer in building a successful start-up. By following the above steps and analysing all those factors, you’re better positioned to make data-driven decisions that lead to profitable starts.


Conduct extensive market research to understand the current competitive landscape better. Also, estimate the cost of goods sold, and profit margins, understand your target audience, including their cognitive biases when making purchases, and set a pricing strategy. In addition, ensure these align with your overall goal. All these combine to give Start-ups a clear view and the steps required to set pricing successfully.


HAL Consulting works closely with a range of start-ups and scale-ups to tailor pricing solutions to their needs and goals. Whether you’re looking to optimise your pricing strategy, improve your pricing processes, or develop more innovative pricing models, our team of experts has the expertise and experience to help you achieve your objectives.