How to Raise Your Prices (Without Pissing People Off)

Because it's certainly not impossible.

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Whether it’s through increased shipping costs, a change in manufacturers or a few extra years of experience, many businesses will need to reassess their prices at one point of growth. In the same way as asking for a pay rise, money can make things awkward.

Unfortunately, many businesses and freelancers approach the hike in the wrong way – and lose their customer base. While there are many tools that can help calculate what your ideal price is, there are few that guide you through the vital next step: change communications. Here’s how to get it right.

CHOOSE YOUR MESSAGE. 

Communicating your motives is a vital, often overlooked step. Without showing customers or your client the lay of the land, businesses often look exploitative when raising their prices. Justifying the number means providing a valid, quantifiable reason as to why there needs to be a rise, rather than making it look like you’ve got a pricey holiday coming up. Transparency builds trust and you want to get your client or customer offside.
It also helps if the price hike is on-brand: if you say you value transparency, show it now. If you say you value innovation, this is your time to remind everyone. It’s your chance to resecure your value.

REWARD LOYALTY.

In lieu of a cheaper price, look at how you can add value and choice to your customer or client elsewhere. Could you raise product prices, but include free shipping? Could you offer a new, simpler product at the previous price point, with your key product at a higher one? Could add value to a project before a client has asked you to do so? Reward the loyalty of your existing clients and they will return the favour.

SORT IT OUT INTERNALLY. 

Your staff (even if it’s you) should be the first to know of any increases; while you will elect the change, you and your staff will need to be the ones to sustain it. Remind yourself it’s not just the more money you’ll see that might change, especially if you’re aiming to tackle a little more than you’re used to.

Another thing to consider is if your business will be making more money, will your staff see any of it? If their services will suddenly be worth more to the company, they will wonder who is pocketing the difference. Either way, you need to communicate this to them.

GIVE NOTICE. 

Tell your customers and clients that prices will be increasing before they increase – at least a month before, and longer if your product will affect B2B budgets. It may be an email to your database, a video on social media or personalised phone calls. Whatever method you choose, it will need to include everyone and open a dialogue between customers and staff. Let clients and customers know that feedback is always welcome.

MAKE SURE TO KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING. 

It is not enough to tell customers once and then expect the conversation to be over. Repetition facilitates acceptance.

IT’S JUST BUSINESS.

Finally, know that it isn’t personal. It’s just business. Money makes the world go ‘round.

Alison

OMG thank you for this! I’ve been freaking out about raising my prices, but I know it needs to happen. Your article was really reassuring. 🙂

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