For beauty, health, and wellness entrepreneurs and owners of salons, studios, and spas, the prospect of increasing prices can be daunting. There’s a big fear that you’ll anger and alienate clients—especially long-term ones who are accustomed to paying a certain amount for the services and products they buy from you—and send them into the arms of lower-cost competition.
But there come times when every business owner must make the decision to charge more. If nothing else, inflation and general cost-of-living increases necessitate it over time. But it’s also one of the keys to becoming more financially successful and eventually being able to enjoy more personal time and a higher quality of life. Plus, you deserve to be fairly compensated for your time and expertise, and to experience growth and new levels of success; part of that comes from earning more profits over the course of your career.
So, here are some tips for raising prices at your salon or other beauty, wellness, or health business.
Increasing Prices at a Beauty, Health, or Wellness Business
- Don’t raise prices to make up for a lack of business. Instead, concentrate on marketing your brand and asking your clients if they can offer any referrals. Higher prices only risks driving away some of your existing clientele and making it harder to bring in more. Ideally, you should only increase your prices when your appointment book is consistently filled.
- Focus extra hard on delighting your clients first. Once you’ve started thinking about raising your prices, make sure you’re going above and beyond for your clients for a while before you announce the move. The happier they are when they hear the news, the less resistant they’ll be to it.
- Don’t feel bad about raising your prices. Remember that you deserve it, and that it’s essential to the long-term success of your salon, studio, or spa. Employees get raises periodically—often on an annual basis, as well as occasional promotions—and this is your equivalent as an entrepreneur. Most people understand that this is sometimes necessary in business, and they won’t hold it against you.
- Tell your regular clients ahead of time. It’s courteous to let people know in advance about cost increases on services and products they’ve been purchasing at a certain price point. Whenever possible, let your clients know at an appointment that the changes will be in effect at their next appointment. If this doesn’t work out, at least let them know at the time they schedule the appointment.
- Offer more affordable alternatives. When disclosing a price increase, politely explain other services you can provide at lower cost, in case the expense is becoming too great for your client. Offering options for less time-intensive work, treatments, or other services that provide similar benefits can help you retain clients who might otherwise leave just for financial reasons.
- Don’t apologize for the price increase. This is a natural instinct for many business owners, but it’s not professional. It also sends the message that you don’t actually believe your services are worth what you charge for them.
- Consider introducing a loyalty reward program. Offering the potential for savings is great way to retain clients and offset the negative effects of price increases. Clients are willing to pay more—and even more often—for the promise of something for free, or a discount or credit toward future appointments.
- Be prepared to let a few clients go. Again, most people understand that an occasional price hike is part of doing business. But there are probably those who won’t be willing to pay more. Clients who prioritize cost over other considerations will seek out someone cheaper. This is to be expected, but you can’t let it hold you back from doing what you need to do. Tell them that you’ve appreciated their patronage and wish them well.