The right price in the right place at the right time

At StartInno in Byron Bay's Industrial Estate businesses can get valuable advice to help them over the startup period.
At StartInno in Byron Bay's Industrial Estate businesses can get valuable advice to help them over the startup period.

When Dan Swan from start-up incubator StartInno met business mentor and Verandah Magazine columnist Sonia Friedrich, the result was a brain-storming session that created a powerhouse workshop on how to attract customers – and the first one is running on May 27 at the StartInno offices in Byron Bay.

“I’ve been involved in numerous successful technology start-ups,” says Dan Swan, who has a PhD in Innovation in the Creative Industries. “I’ve worked in the US, UK and in Australia, and my experience in innovation spans the full project lifecycle which is where I see how I can help people wanting to start a business.”

For Sonia Friedrich, the impetus to work with Swan came from her desire to help entrepreneurs and business owners understand the human behaviour that lies behind business decisions. “I really want people to gain this information before they talk to marketers, advertisers, PR companies and the media because it’s so vital for them know how to present and communicate their ideas to customers and to investors.”

Working specifically on how customers behave towards price, Friedrich, who has a Bachelor of Business in marketing, and has worked for numerous Fortune 500 companies, says that the secret is in understanding what she calls, “behaviour economics. There’s been a lot of research done into the brain and how we (and therefore customers) make judgments and decisions. We understand the biases that are used to support personal beliefs and choices – but what I’ve learned is that we can directly change behaviours.”


Swan, who began StartInno to encourage local businesses through their start-up phase, is a firm believer in the concepts of networking, and co-working. “Byron Bay is a melting pot for new business,” he says. “Outside of the main cities we have the highest density of creative industries anywhere in regional Australia – to me the idea of business start-ups being able to access a community that includes seasoned entrepreneurs as well as fledgling business ideas is a great way to share what’s worked – and why it’s worked. My journey began by just starting, and so what drives me is to help others ‘just start’ as well.”

One of the main topics for the night will be to help participants understand the emotional engagement customers have with price and how to use it to their advantage. Topics will include:

  • The path of least effort
  • The pain of paying
  • Decoys
  • The power of free
  • Why discounts permanently damage
  • and more
Sonia Friedrich, business mentor and consultant

Sonia Friedrich, business mentor and consultant


Dan Swan, StartInno founder.

Dan Swan, StartInno founder.

For Friedrich, teaching business owners how damaging it can be to discount their price is something about which she is passionate.  “When I mentor business people on this it’s incredible to see the direct result that occurs from the shift in thinking that prices have to be discounted to never discounting – it’s a very powerful thing to learn,” she says. Until recently Friedrich was mentoring everywhere but Byron Bay, but – a bit like Swan – she too, as a resident of almost 12 years standing – has seen so many creative businesses start up here, that now she has applied her mentoring to herself. “I realised that I’d really rather not get on a plane to Sydney for work if I didn’t need to,” she says. “I’ve also found it’s very rewarding working with business owners in Byron Bay because small business owners are risk-takers. Unlike many multi-national companies where fear of change can set in, or people are worried about introducing something new because they fear they might lose their job, I find principals of smaller companies welcome the change – directors of small to medium size firms can see the advantage of these ideas and actually implement them in a few days or a week.”


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For more information on Sonia Friedrich go to:  For more information on StartInno go to








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