For many businesses, as the cost of living continues to rise and essentials such as rent, materials and utilities are also increasing significantly. Hair and beauty businesses are no exception, and as a salon owner, or freelancer, you need to be prepared to increase your prices.
It is natural to feel somewhat uncomfortable rolling out a price increase, as you may think that raising prices may result in losing clients. This, however, doesn’t have to be the case if you implement an effective and well-communicated plan. This article will focus on the right way to effectively increase your salon prices without losing clients.
How To Increase Your Salon Prices Without Losing Clients
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Why should I increase my salon prices?
As we previously noted, the cost of living and running a business is rising significantly; however, this factor isn’t the only reason to raise your prices. When your books are around 80% to 90% fully booked each week, it is also a good indicator that you should increase your prices as the demand for your services is there, and you may need to hire staff to support this demand.
Other factors that may lead to increasing your prices include:
- New certifications you have acquired.
- A price increase to accommodate new, innovative equipment you have obtained.
- An increase when you change your pricing model, for example charging by skill set.
How much should I increase my salon prices by?
Your clients visit your salon with a specific price point in mind for their service, and you certainly don’t want to price them out.
It is advisable to not increase your prices by any more than 10% at a time.
There are no rules on how often you undertake a price overhaul; however, we don’t recommend increasing your prices any more than twice a year as this may cause clients to leave due to unstable and erratic pricing.
How can I retain clients during a price increase?
If your service is unbeatable and you continue to be open, fair and honest, loyal clients will stick with you even after a price increase. Clients will, however, need to hear a plausible reason as to why the price of their service at your salon has increased.
It may be that your overheads and salon expenses are causing your business to be unprofitable. For example, a supplier or utility provider may have increased their prices, which has had a knock-on effect.
With your reasons in mind, if you have developed a loyal and lasting relationship with your clients, they will likely understand your need to charge more.
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Four ways to successfully raise your salon prices
1 Assess your numbers
The first step towards raising your prices is to dedicate time to evaluate your numbers. Where have there been increases in your running costs? Update every figure with today’s prices and account for every outgoing you can, including wages, rent, utilities, suppliers, products and materials. Once you can accurately conclude where your finances are up to, you can see where and how you need to increase your prices. Remember, your business needs to make money to survive, and you have to know your worth and put yourself first.
2 Carry out some competitor research
Once you have worked out your price increase, it is essential to conduct some competitor research on salons in your area and how much they are charging. It is important to stay somewhat competitive in your local area so that clients stick around and don’t look elsewhere.
3 Communicate clearly and quickly
Ensure that a price change is communicated in good time to avoid clients getting an unforeseen surprise. We recommend giving your clients at least one month’s notice, so they know what the cost of their treatment or service will be next time. You can do this face-to-face in the salon during their appointment. It is also advisable to inform clients you haven’t managed to see via social media, email or a phone call. If you are a salon owner, also remind your stylists or therapists to circulate the news to their clients before the price increase is implemented.
A third recommended approach is sending the message via your social media platforms. Keep the announcement professional and honest, and share an image of your updated pricing menu along with a friendly and fair statement explaining the change. Be sure to make yourself available to your clients to answer any questions they may have for you regarding the change.
4 Incentivise your clients
If the numbers add up, you may want to incentivise your clients to stick around by temporarily rewarding them during your price increase. The reward could be anything from a discount off their cut and blow to a free gift when they book a particular service. Not only does this show that you value your client’s custom, but also their loyalty to your salon business. It may also lessen the impact of a price increase if clients feel they are getting a discount or more for their money.
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Striking the right balance between the growth of your salon business and keeping the clients happy who keep you in business is tricky, and when increasing the prices of your salon services, it can be an uncertain time. However, your existing clientele will more likely understand and stick with you by taking a fair approach. Take this period as an excellent opportunity to discover who your loyal clients are, and remember, new clients who have found your business won’t even know the difference!
If you are looking to see where you can make a saving in your salon business to try and avoid higher price increases, we recommend reading our top tips for saving energy and money in your salon or barbershop.
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