Posted on August 29, 2017
Aside from annual increases in cost of living (and dare we mention, salon studio rent), there are so many reasons why a salon owner should routinely raise their prices every 12-18 months. Perhaps you’re booked solid and you simply don’t have enough hours in the day to make more money. Or maybe you’re realizing that it’s been years since you’ve raised your prices, but your rent and cost of back bar have seen a slight uptick in the same amount of time. No matter the reason, you don’t need to defend when and why it’s time to raise your prices. You owe it to yourself to measure and understand your value, and don’t be afraid to do so! Your services are worth it.
We reached out to seven Faces of Sola who generously shared all about how they handle raising their prices.
Kenya Kirk: Know the Value of Your Expertise
To me, it’s so important that I stay up to trend on the newest technology, products and services. I create a yearly education guide to follow and hold myself accountable for increasing the value of my services and my knowledge level to match my price increases. Every two years, in January, I raise my prices for new clients and keep my existing customers at their same pricing for about 90 days. By spring, everyone is on the same pay structure.
I tell my clients about the price increases through email, social media, during their appointments and with client appreciation flyers.
Antonio Heath: Just Do It!
I raise my prices once a year, and I never explain why I am making the increase. All of my existing clients get a three-month notice, and new clients are charged the price increase coming in. That way, if an existing client leaves because of the price increase, it’s ok because I’ve already replaced their business with a new customer.
Tammy Muniz: Assess Your Books
I typically consider raising my prices when my books are about 90% full. Not only does it weed out the clients that were possibly thinking about leaving my salon anyway, but also it allows me to make room for new customers who are willing to spend more on our latest technology and services.
It’s all about finding the right target audience and continuing to deliver quality hair and a wonderful experience! My clients always understand my needs for a price increase because they recognize that the cost of everything goes up over time.
To let my clients know, I put a little sign in my mirror with a date about two months out advertising the increase. I also send a text to all of my customers so they are well aware.
Kim Bennett Horvath: Start with the New and Reward the “Advanced”
As the demand increases for your services, your time becomes more valuable. I raise my prices every other year in the fall. This gives me a little down time after back to school rush and before holiday season to get it all organized.
I always charge new clients a higher rate than my current (advanced) clients. When it’s time for a price increase, all of my customers go to the same pricing, and at that time, I increase my rates for new clients coming in from that point forward. It’s rewarding because I get a little bit of a raise every time I get a new client!
For example: Advanced Client Haircut: $58.00 // New Client Haircut: $63.00
Price Increase: Advanced Client Haircut: $63.00 // New Client Haircut: $68.00
With this structure, the clients who have been with me the longest always feel like they are getting the best rate in exchange for their loyalty. And my new clients love to know that at the next price increase, they will get grandfathered in with the advanced customers. All of my clients are happy with this system and are aware when the next price increase will happen. This way, they have a choice to continue rebooking when it’s time for the price increase – it is always their choice to come visit me, and it’s always my privilege to have them in my chair.
I use SolaGenius to track all of my pricing and always advertise my newest price list so that the advanced clients feel like they are getting a discount J
Sue Scott: Give Warning and Don’t Be Shy About It
Every two years, I raise my prices. My existing customers understand rising costs and I always make sure they know that I invest in my education to stay current with the industry and continue setting the bar high. When I am about three months out from raising my prices, I type of a letter and put it in a nice frame where my guests can see it. I also send an email out so they know what to expect at their upcoming visit.
Brandie Kekoa: Add Value and Over Deliver
Whenever it’s time to raise my prices, it is usually because I have invested in education and/ or added equipment in the salon. For example my hair steaming equipment is top of the line and provides great benefit to the client's hair.
When I raised the price of my cuts, I added a customized treatment so the client feels they're getting a little more value for the increased price of the service. I intend to raise my haircut pricing in a few months and will allow my clients to pick the specific customized conditioning treatment they want with their service.
If you let your work speak for itself the client will see the value of what they are paying you. The client must feel that they're still getting that quality of service that justifies the prices you charge.
When booking an appointment, current clients who come from time to time but are not what we will call “regulars” are advised of the new prices. We definitely don't want them to be shocked when they come into the salon. Regulars who come every week or every other week are given months of advanced verbal notice and also see the new price sheet posted in the salon. New clients pay the new prices effective immediately.
Fernie Adame: It’s all in the Marketing
Continuing education allows me to stay up to date on everything in my business. When clients follow me on social media, they see that I’m investing in trainings and when they visit, they want to see what’s new and always ask what I’ve learned. This allows my pricing to speak for itself.
I like to use email newsletters and text marketing on SolaGenius to keep my customers informed about new services, amenities and changes in my pricing. The more you share, the more your clients know about your studio – I leave no room for surprises!