It is a frequent occurrence for a new company or sole proprietorship to not have the ability to find the best prices, which are both reasonable and understandable. Comparing your prices to theirs doesn't always work, because you don't know the reasoning, the rationale, and the business plan that caused them to create their specific price point. Of course, you can't charge just any price, so there must be a logical way to find what exactly that price is.
And, no, selling at too low of a price point is not a good way to start! Oil of Olay started out with large jars of their special cream at a very low price. When that did not sell, they changed it to much smaller bottles, and at a much higher price. As a result, their products flew off the shelves and made the company considerably more money!
Put the value of yourself and of your business into the price. With a focus on your expertise and experience, by asking questions to discover what your prospects need and want, you are much more able to find that the ideal price for your product or service is actually well above what you had originally expected.
Just because someone is making $ 40 an hour, or in the case of therapists $ 100 an hour, does not mean that he has a whole lot of money to spend. With higher pays also come higher taxes, and with business ownership also comes very expensive business expenses. Included in your price should be: follow-up and support services (which have recently been widely neglected and doing so caused a great dislike for many businesses); organization and systems to make your business not only more profitable and productive, but also just the daily maintenance of keeping things going; workers, managers, and teams of people; new and improved products as they become available; marketing and advertising; technical research and development; and finally, research for past, current, and future trends and research for product improvement and innovation.
Become good at handling money. Of course, paying bills can cause some stress, especially for new business owners, but stress is actually the wrong response to the bills. Once you are in firm control of the money, knowing what you are making and what you are spending, that early business stress will dramatically subside.
Too many businesses have no plans or visions for their future. You need to price your products or services so that you will be able to meet your future goals and plans, so you can fulfill that vision, and so you can use that money to further improve your business.
Sliding scales are usually too confusing, and far too often also inconsistent, so they really should not be used by new businesses. More often than not, people buy from you because they need some type of help, and you are the one who can solve their problem or fulfill their need. Yes, that means that they want help and solutions more than they want a low price.
Rather than discounts, it's often much better and more of an incentive to offer a bonus with purchase or a payment plan for the full price. That way you're offering support and alternatives that would benefit both you and your customers.