Implementing Value Pricing Apparently we all prefer to read online and whilst even I am getting much more used to that via my iPad there is still something about real books be they fact, fiction,novels or business books.
On the topic of business books what better way to start the New Year but by getting hold of some very good reads that are informative, thought provoking, challenging and innovative-each of which just might help us all a little bit more with our professional and personal wellbeing.
I have read some good business books lately and this one stands out. Many of you will not be surprised to find me waxing lyrical about Ron Baker's new book " Implementing Value Pricing: A Radical Business Model for Professional Firms".
I was fortunate to have read the manuscript last year and this book is an absolute must read for any professional even remotely interested in pricing their services other than by time. Even those ostriches who do not see any change happening in the professions and are certainly not going to change themselves should read it to0- if for no other reason than to try to strengthen their arguments for the retention of the status quo and to know better what they are arguing against.
It is also a book for those professionals and their clients who say "value based pricing is OK in theory but it just won't/can't/ is too difficult to work in practice". You know who you are.
Whilst Ron correctly says there is nothing more practical than a good theory most professionals-especially lawyers- unless they can see/feel/read what others are doing and how they do it find it very difficult to take the first step. This book is filled with good, proven, practical examples of how firms can and do price their services other than by time and successfully answer those critics who say it cannot be done. It can be done and is being done successfully by 1000's of professionals all over the world (not to mention it has always been done by 95% of non professionals anyway).
Not that the firms mentioned all price and operate the same way.They do not and they should not as that is one of the great things about our professions- all firms and all clients are different and they value different things and at different times- its just that time based billing does not recognise that.
This book provides very valuable insights and guidelines into what works and what does not work-more than enough to allow individual firms and their clients to decide what might best suit them. There is no one in the world who knows more about value based pricing for the professions than Ronald J. Baker and no one who has done more to change both our thinking and our work practices to a better way of working.
Is it "...a radical business model for professional firms" as Ron suggests? It should not be but unfortunately it is so it seems.
If it was simply a new form of a billing model then maybe more professionals would have adopted this model by now, but it is a new business model for most professionals who were brought up on, and are addicted to, the "we sell time" model.
In any industry for there to be change to a business model-especially a perceived previously successful business model like time based billing- it takes foresight, innovative thinking, some potential risk and some guts to stand out from the crowd. Clearly it is not going to be adopted by everyone in the professions and should not be, for regrettably too many professionals do not possess these qualities. And our professions are the weaker for it.