How, when, & why to raise your prices.
Pricing is such a tricky topic, but I have some pretty strong feelings on the subject. So let’s jump right into some thoughts and strategies.
There are several reasons why I believe raising your prices is something to be considered for almost all lash artists.
1) Lash artistry is difficult work. Difficult on our backs, hands, eyes, you name it. It requires a lot of focus and skill that can take years to achieve.
2) If you want to hire staff one day. If you dream of having a staff, or even 1 other artist working alongside you, you will need to ensure you are bringing in enough to pay them appropriately. The larger a business grows, the more the expenses grow and paying staff as much as you can helps ensure they will do their best to serve your clients.
3) Higher prices generally attract a better clientele. What I mean by better, is clients who may take better care of their lashes, schedule appointments appropriately, and possibly be more loyal clients in my experience.
4) If there is a rate the market can bear, why not charge that?
1) If you are turning away clients, it is time to raise your prices. You may lose just a couple, but it will make room for new ones who are willing to pay your desired rates.
2) You are planning to hire/expand. Referring to the above point, if you aren’t bringing in adequate rates to pay a good amount to potential staff- you will want to raise your prices to prepare for this.
3) You are way cheaper than other lash artists in your area. Again, if there is a rate the market can bear, why not charge that?
4) You want to work less. If you are working 6 days a week, back to back clients all the time and on the verge of burn out, it’s time to raise your prices. This may thin out your client books a little to give you breathing room to work less while still making the same amount.
This is the hardest part. I bet most people are on board up to this point, and they are thinking to themselves “but how?”. There are a couple of ways to do this and I’ll go over the pros and cons of each.
But the first step is to assess your business. When I mentioned what others in your area are charging- look at why you are not charging that. Take a hard look at your business and decide what areas need improvement.
Some things to consider are:
- Are you always on time and reliable?
- Is your space completely clean and tidy for your clients?
- Do you dress as professionally as someone who would charge more?
- Do you treat all clients with the utmost kindness and respect at all times?
- Do you have a beautiful space that feels like a clean, relaxing retreat?
- Do you listen to music in your space that is a reflection of a high-end business?
- Do you communicate verbally, and through text in a very professional way?
All these points- assess them with no ego, and think about how they correspond with the prices you would like to charge, and change whats needed. The great news is, all the above points can be changed, and quite easily.
Now that you are ready, here are some options of how…
1) Raise full sets only. This is the absolute easiest way. Clients rarely get full sets over and over, so they likely will not have an issue or even notice if your full sets raise in price. It’s painless and can be done nearly anytime (just be sure to make note of anyone booked with a full set already at the previous price). The downside is that most artists make the majority of their living doing touch up appointments. So it does not help with that. It’s a baby step for someone scared to raise prices, but not a long term solution.
2) Grandfather in current clients. This is a safe bet for the artist who is afraid to lose any clients. It can be good because it is quite painless and easy to do. You can raise your full sets for everyone, and the touch-ups can be raised for new clients only. You can do a significant increase this way because it only affects anyone who is agreeing to that price from the get-go. The only challenge with this is eventually you can get a huge mix of clients so it’s crucial that you have a system in place to keep track of which client pays what price. The other downside is if you are fully booked and cannot accommodate new clients, there is not much space to add the higher-paying clientele.
3) Raise on everyone. This is by far the one that puts the fear in most artists. While I have found the nerves associated with this to actually be quite unnecessary, I have been there and know what it’s like. With this one there are a few key things to keep in mind. I like to make sure I give plenty of notice. Generally, I choose a date a couple of months in the future; January 1 is a perfect day to have an increase go into effect.
With this, communication is critical. First, an email should be sent. The email should be kind, warm, and professional. There is no need to go into lots of gritty details about how your water bill has increased, and your landlord is raising your rent again. I think it’s best to acknowledge that you have not had a price increase in X number of years, and due to increased costs of continuing education and expenses it is time to have a “price adjustment”. Include the date in which prices will be adjusted, and invite clients to reach out to you with any questions. Let clients know how much you truly appreciate their business.
Once you have sent the email, follow up with each client in person about it. In person conversations help humanize the situation to your client, but having the email sent first takes away the anxiety of having to bring it up out of the blue.
So send the email, and next time the client is in (if they haven’t responded to it*) just ask them “did you receive my email about the upcoming price adjustment?”. Now you know you can talk more comfortably about it. I even like to make a note for each client that I’ve talked to them so no one slips through the cracks.
*If you get an unhappy response via email or text- call that client. Having the conversation is much more warm, and can help the client know how much you care about them. It allows for a much better experience for both of you and can often alleviate any issues the client is having.
With this method, when Jan 1 comes, you will feel confident your clients are all on board and ready to pay your new pricing.
There is a chance you could possibly lose a few clients. There may be a couple who just cannot swing the increase, and it hurts to lose them. I know how hard it is, and the guilt associated with it. But, if you are increasing on all clients, you must be fair to everyone and stick to it.
4) Add a new service. If you haven’t taken volume lashes, or only do hybrid lashes, adding full volume, mega volume, etc. can give you the opportunity to offer your client something new, which is also at a higher price point.
I hope you find this article helps alleviate concerns about price increases and motivates you to go for it.
If you are questioning if you can do this or not, I want to ask you- will you be charging the same price in 10/15/20 years from now?
If the answer is no, then why not make a change now if it is needed?
Price increases in all industries are a natural reality. Need help navigating a price increase, or a complete pricing overhaul? Schedule a call with me by clicking here.