There are many reasons to avoid raising your prices. You’re afraid your clients won’t be able to afford you. You’re afraid your clients will leave. It’s an awkward conversation to have. But there is one important reason not to avoid it—basically, you can’t afford not to. “You aren’t screwing your clients over by raising your prices,” declares Matrix Business Ambassador and BRAVO TV personality Tabitha Coffey. “It’s the cost of doing business. After all, your costs go up, too.”
But how do you know if you should raise prices? The industry rule of thumb is if you are consistently booked 85 percent of the time or more over a two- to three-month period, or if you haven’t boosted your rates for the last 12 to 18 months, it’s time to give yourself a raise.
The New Year is the perfect time for a price increase, and if you’re planning to raise prices in 2019, start communicating with clients now. Notifying them six to eight weeks before making the change gives them time to adjust to the idea and budget accordingly. Here’s how to do it in the most positive and professional manner:
1. Prepare signage that you can post on your station and in the salon.
Word the signs simply:
As of January 1, my service prices will be adjusted. Haircuts will be $45 and hair color will start at $60. I value your continued support.
If clients question the increase, explain that your product costs, rent and/or education costs have increased. Also, “I recommend a dollar amount increase rather than a percentage,” says Coffey. “It’s easier for clients to understand.”
2. Post your new prices wherever your services are listed.
That includes posting on your website, in the salon, and on social media.
3. Tell your clients in person.
It’s simply good manners to restate your intention to raise prices when you’re with your clients.
4. Don’t apologize.
Your conversations around price increases should be professional and matter-of-fact. There is no need to apologize. “Remember,” says Coffey, “You are charging what you’re worth.”
5. Consider implementing the price increase with new clients and extending current pricing to existing clients.
This grace period can be implemented for an additional month or two as a way of letting loyal clients know you value their business.
6. Do a self-check.
The New Year is an excellent time to do a check of your services, to ensure you’re exceeding your clients’ expectations and giving them what they’re paying for, and beyond. Is your salon looking fresh and spotless? Are you treating each person like a guest in your home? Are you focused on making each client’s experience as comfortable, relaxing and luxurious as possible? Are your skills up to date? Wherever necessary, tune things up!
7. Some clients will leave.
And that’s ok. In fact, that’s exactly how you grow your business—by raising prices and evolving the profitability of your clientele.
Photo Credit: Getty Images