Posted November 25, 2019
The cost of running a hair or beauty business is getting higher and higher each year. From overheads to wages, training to simply the cost of living, a rise in prices across your salon will have to happen at some stage. That doesn’t make it any less daunting.
The idea of raising prices fills most salon owners with fear as you walk the line between what is reasonable to cover your additional expenses and what your clients will continue to pay. The last thing any of us want is a scene at the register over the new cost of a brow wax or trim. This is particularly relevant for your regulars who visit frequently and become accustomed to and budget for a specific amount each month. The only way to make a price increase work is to do so carefully and to communicate it in the right way.
CHOOSE YOUR TIMING
There are particular times of the year that simply seem more logical to customers to increase your prices. The new financial year is one, and the end of the calendar year or start of the next calendar year is another. That means if you’re considering a price increase as we head into 2020, now is the time to start to give your customers warning. Not only is the time of year important, but how long you give your customers to adjust is important. A few weeks’ notice for any price increase is normal, and make sure you tell them more than once – send it out in your email newsletter, post on your social media platforms and add signage at reception to make sure that you let everyone know well in advance what is happening.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
So, you’ve decided you’re going to increase your prices at the end of this calendar year. Great. Now, how much by? It’s important to consider not only the increases you are seeing in the running costs of your business (which you’re absolutely on top of, right?) but also take into account what your competitors are charging. Do a whip around your friends in the business, call up your competitors or do a good search online and make sure that what you’re looking to charge is in line with “what’s normal” in your area. If you’re providing a more unique service, great – make sure you price that accordingly. But do make your pricing decision based on information and research, not estimation.
It’s important that once you choose your new pricing, you stick to it across the board. Update your pricelist and throw out any old ones. Make sure your team have a printout in the back room and the register to refer to and brief them in your regular staff meetings about change over dates and why the new prices have occurred. Make sure that any communications going out to customers, like email newsletters and social media posts, are all correct and consistent in the presentation of new pricing, write it the same way every time so there is no confusion. Make a checklist of all the places where your prices are displayed – think Facebook, Instagram, Website, pricelist, WOMO, local business sites, salon systems and any affiliates or partners – and make sure that they are ALL updated, systematically.
You need to own the decision to increase your prices and stand by your decision from the minute you make it. You might experience some backlash, but you just need to be completely transparent with your customers and staff and explain why you’re making this choice. You’re not doing it to be a miser, you’re doing it because it’s necessary for the business. Your clients will understand if you’re honest and upfront with them – and if they don’t, then they’re simply not the right clients for you. That’s ok. The people who see the value in your service will continue to work with you and see the great work you do and how amazing that makes them feel.
If you’ve had the same pricing for the past 5 years, now is the time to change. Make the call and increase your prices, within what is considered appropriate, and start communicating it with your customers. After all, this is the business of being in business – and we need to stay in business to be in business. Own your decision and make those new prices work for you.
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