Should Freelance Teachers Advertise Their Prices?
Should You Publish Your Prices In A Teaching Partnership?
(Part 3 of 4. Read Part 1 and Part 2)
In 2012 my husband and I moved to Brittany, France. A new life began for both of us. I had to give up a flourishing teaching service in Germany to begin with my husband a small gîte business (holiday cottages for holiday makers). Naturally, I am offering intensive English courses for the holiday guests who wish to enroll and there is information and a contact form for enquiries.
Should the prices be shown on the website?
Again, this is my opinion. I believe the course prices should not be shown on the website because they are an extra activity within the main business — the gîte business. It’s a separate business entity. And for all the reasons mentioned earlier, I still prefer to have an opportunity to talk to an enquiring student.
In the same manner, there are small teaching partnerships where a group of teachers share classrooms, office space and equipment. What happens when the partners agree to disagree? For example, if they disagree whether to disclose or not disclose their prices on the website or in brochures? And the answer (as always) is… It depends…
The source of work — and its students — provokes price discrepancies
Provided all partners teach the same kind of students and if all teaching partners unanimously agree on a disclosure or non-disclosure policy, there should be no problem. However, reality often proves otherwise, with problems that will arise if the types of private students and business customers differ substantially. For example:
- Private students in small groups or one-to-one
- Private business customers requiring seminars, special training, or workshops
- Courses and students from educational institutes and where large groups of students can be expected
These students are predominant in the education market and their acceptance and financial abilities to pay prices vary enormously. Here is yet another pinch of salt being added to the pot.
The problem in disclosing teaching prices arises in the huge spectrum of prices freelance teachers can charge for their services. Take note, the education market reacts no differently to the commercial market. Business related tuition is higher than public tuition, and industry pays more in the financial or insurance sectors compared to the public sector — or the arts sector (unless you’re famous, of course!).
Should teaching partnerships disclose (or not disclose) their prices?
The education sector could pose a problem when one partner in a partnership teaches small private groups and one-to-one sessions with business customers, where the other partner prefers working with larger classes of students or children, or working for educational institutes. All students and all business customers pay differing prices according to their social or hierarchical business and social standing, and the freelance teacher is going to charge accordingly.
The question here is not about hiding prices from your partners, as everyone has access to all its business facilities — including the website, advertising material such as brochures, pamphlets, business cards, etc. The question a teaching partnership has to answer is whether confusion can be caused by possible leaps in prices between one partner and another.
Price leaps confuse new students who won’t (and don’t need to) understand the reasons behind pricing policies. How can they? And why should they? They are not interested in your work sources nor are they interested in the paying abilities of students coming from within those sources.
Small price variations (up to a 10 per cent) shouldn’t cause too much tension between partners for student acquisition. Anything larger could cause stress or friction.
Source of this series is a chapter taken out of my new book: Pricing Matters
- Part 1 – Should Freelance Teachers Advertise Their Prices?
- Part 2 – Which Teaching Areas Should Publish Their Prices?
- Part 4 – Once Your Prices Are Made Public…