What Would You Do: When To Raise Prices
How To Tell Clients You Are Raising Your Prices
This question sparked huge debate on our Instagram and Facebook, and we’re curious…WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Let’s get into it:
“Pricing question! I’ve been putting off raising my prices, like it’s been forever, but the last straw is realizing I pay more for my dog’s bath and trim (nothing else, no nail trim, gland expression is extra) than I charge my clients!! Not if you add highlights, etc., but sometimes with single-process color I still pay my groomer more! And regularly! Not getting down on groomers ,but that’s crazy isn’t it? But my point is, any tips for price increases? Do I even dare think about it with everyone being hit so hard with the pandemic? Has anyone done so recently? Since everything has happened? Thanks!”
First of all, let’s be clear—we’re NOT comparing the services a dog groomer provides to the services you provide. For one thing…your clients (usually) won’t bite or scratch you. The two professions are totally different. The real issue we want to discuss is increasing prices, which is always a difficult issue for stylists.
“Puts things into perspective, I don’t bat an eye paying $60 for my pug to get a bath. He doesn’t get trimmed, he gets a bath and his ears wiped. It normally takes 45 minutes because he doesn’t dry under the heater. I charge $50 for a cut and blow-dry, and I’m afraid to raise my prices,” @donnablonde_hair shared on Instagram. You are paying the groomer for their expertise, right? And you don’t question it!
So, how do you raise your prices? How do you even know it’s TIME to raise your prices? The BTC Fam delivered on this one, so keep scrolling for advice!
Is Now The Right Time To Raise My Prices?
“I have personally chosen to increase my prices every 2 years. I came to this decision after going 6 years without giving myself a price increase. With annual product prices increasing, rent inflation, classes, gas and implement purchases I wasn’t honoring myself nor my craft. I love what I do and I have a very strong and loyal clientele.😍 Whether it’s a $5 haircut increase or a $10 color product increase, my clients are always supportive. Some actually say that it should be more. Those are the keepers for sure 😉 . You are always worth a price increase. Value yourself enough and remember, your clients come to you because they see your value, your expertise, your love for your craft and how you make them feel and how you make them look. Cheers to your price increase every other year!! 🍻 👏 BTW, I increased my prices this year. Have you seen the price inflation(gouging) on a friggen box of disposable gloves?!! 😮” – @madelinemclark
“Not everyone has been hit hard by the pandemic. People who work on a computer have saved money by working from home. You are worth it. Rent at the salon goes up. The cost of product goes up. Blame your price increase on that. You have to give yourself a raise. Your clients get a raise at their jobs. Good luck!” – @missmetromania
“I raise my prices every 2 years. After we reopened, my prices went up, I’m pissed I didn’t go higher. I bumped haircuts up $5 and color up $10. They walked in and that was new price. No one blinked an eye—except a few…one said it would be nice to know ahead of time. My response: ‘Well gas goes up, milk goes up…I don’t know ahead of time, it’s not like they put up signs out front grocery stores that say price increase next week.’ Yes, she still comes to me.” – Michelle Candino Kauhl
“I raised right after the pandemic, once business slowed down a bit after the initial rush of clients after quarantine. Not everyone had a change of income, some just moved home to work. Either way, charge what you are worth. Always. Set your price, charge it, and make sure your work supports the price you set.” – @josielafield
“I raised my prices June 2020. If color goes up in price, my book is full, or I can only take 1 client at a time because of states covid rules, the price is going to go up. And my book is still full. Clients can and will pay. 😊” –@ jacqui.swan
“Worst case scenario if you lose clients is you work less, but earn more for your time, and make room for new clients that value you your work. It’s a win-win.” – @pronoiayoga
“I just had a price increase this month. There have been some that cannot afford me anymore, but I cannot afford to discount my prices any longer. Upping your prices makes room for new clients that are happy and willing to pay the higher rate and are more likely to stay loyal through additional price raises! If I know someone that has a rate close to my old one, I will offer them to clients that cannot afford me any longer as a referral. I didn’t know anyone in my area, so I just kindly said I understand and to reach out if they ever need me in the future!” – @brooke_blonds
“Get your clients used to you raising your prices. My instructors insist on doing it at least once a year, your clients that are loyal and respect your time and value will gladly keep booking with you!” – @mike__the__b.a.r.b.e.r__
“I was going to raise my prices this year. I needed to. But with COVID, I just wasn’t sure if I should. But my supplies have increased in cost. I told my clients prices were going up and why. No one cared. 🤷♂️” – Neil Mason
“I raised my prices when we were able to come back to working. I was due for a raise during the holidays and put it off then, so I decided it was now or never. If you’ve waited more than 2 years, you’re overdue. Go for it.” – Talia Em
“The salon I work in increases prices July 1 every year. The clients know this and those that complain are always welcome to look elsewhere. Costs rise continually, wages increase, etc. Last week I had a plumber out at $66 per 15 minutes! Takes me nearly 3 hours to earn that!” – Lee Pridmore
“We increased our prices salon-wide by 20% on every single service across the board. We did this in November 2020. We have not had one single complaint! People are more understanding than we give them credit for sometimes.” – @chassieweaverhair
“I went from $45 to $65 for men’s cuts. It’s weeded out the people who always wanted a discount and made room for people who won’t bat a lash.” – @carriedoeshair
How Do I Tell Clients My Prices Are Raising?
We’ve got some great advice from the BTC community on how to communicate your price increase to your clients!
“Raise your prices because you are booked, are kick-ass and DESERVE a raise… not because of anyone else’s prices (even your groomer). Charge your worth and never apologize. I raised by prices 2x since being on my own. The first I made a big ordeal, a big sign in front of them and then a reminder as we booked their next appointment. The next time I just put a small sign up…that no one read! Next time I’m just gonna do it without saying anything since this last time not a single person noticed, commented or cared. If they love you and respect you, they’ll pay it, if not they’ll leave and it’ll open the door for a new client who will.” – Sarah Plank
“I had these printed on 5×7 postcards and added my new price list to the backside. I will be handing them out to every client at their next appt and the price adjustment takes place their following appt! It’ll be up to them if they want to rebook or not. I will gladly refer them to someone with less experience and cheaper if they wish! No hard feelings. But I have to do what’s best for me, my business, and my family! I’ll probably lose customers, but the raise will make up for that. I hope I get to keep everyone though!” – Marissa Mattingly
“I raised my prices the minute we came back from quarantine—and honestly, that’s because I HAD to switch distributors due to my color line switching. And they updated the line and increased their prices. I dunno though, I had also spent a year and a half at least talking to my clients mentioning here and there, like ‘We’ll be raising fairly soon.’ I’d just prepare them in chair and get a feel for it. They’ll understand, and if not, they’ll go elsewhere and come back VERY understanding lol.” – @hairfrom.mars
“I think when raising prices, short and simple is best. No need for an explanation on why or apologies. Most clients don’t ask why, they are fine with it. It seems most stylists raise the prices by 10% when they do an increase. Just give a simple notice on the price increase and date and leave it at that.” – Jenica Lambert
“Value your worth. Raise your prices. Not because products go up, but because your worth it. Think if what it costs to do business. Think of the thousand you spend on product, tools, education every year. We have to remember our worth. Some clients may choose to walk. That’s ok. It opens the doors for new clients to come in. I posted a sign Feb. 1, that there would be a price increase on March 15. It gave all clients ample time to ask questions. Don’t de-value yourself. Rip the Band-Aid. I raised my prices 8-10% on all services.” – @lphairdesignlasvegas
“I am raising my prices right now. I’m always scared to do it but this is what is making it easier this time – I am charging my normal price the day they are in and at the end of the appointment I tell them, ‘I’ve earned a price increase, you will pay your usual price today but the next time you come in it will be X amount.’ Nobody has been upset about it and some have congratulated me. One even asked to pay the new price that day because she thought I deserved it. Best of luck!🙌” – @so.hairstylist
“I put signs on my mirror so everyone could see. One read, ‘Please take note of my new price increase. Sorry, but it had to be done.’ Then I put a list of services and prices next to it. I did this a month after reopening last May. I realized how much they love us, and they would pretty much pay any amount just to get their hair done.” – Rita Marra Shaw
And Again…Pet Grooming Is A Totally Different Profession
Just like your clients value you for YOUR expertise and education, you value your pet groomer for THEIR expertise and education!
“As a groomer I’m shaving buttholes and private areas, squeezing the butt and cutting hair off the WHOLE BODY. But if you spend 4 hours on your feet for someone, I’d say it’s fair to charge similar prices. Also, most dogs bite and poop and pee on us :)” – @_iguessitsmeghan
“I once tried to wash and cut my dogs hair and it was then I realized that my dog groomer is worth every penny.” – @mrs_jordyn_0
“I worked in grooming for six years before getting my career started. Dogs are more work than people. Sometimes the dogs are great, but a lot of them aren’t. PLUS you have to deal with the pet parents who are WORSE than regular parents. Maybe people need to stop comparing their pricing to what other people are charging (especially in a completely different field) and reflect more on their area, experience and expertise. Then price accordingly.” – @scacciahair