We are all so resistant to change!
And price increases are about change; therefore it follows that we are resistant to price increases!
Price increases are a fact of life in the salon business, as it is in any other business in your community. Imagine if we still charged the same amount for a haircut today that we charged fifteen years ago. Trust me… some of you still are!!
There is a right way and a wrong way to raise our prices. The wrong way is to apologize for our increases. We still walk into salons that have a sign up that say, “Unfortunately, due to rising costs we are increasing our salon charges.” When was the last time your bank, favourite retail outlet, plumber, or doctor, apologized for a price increase?
The other mistake is to raise all of your prices all at once. There are salons that will do a small annual increase every year. There are also a lot of salons who don’t raise their prices for several years in a row. And then there are salons that live in fear of raising their prices! Owners and stylists are afraid that their clientele will disappear when the salon prices increase.
Whether you are a business with 50 stylists or an independent contractor these principles apply!!
So what’s the mystery of raising prices?
When do we do it?
How do we implement it?
How often do we raise prices?
Is there a system for this?
Raising your prices should be completely tied into the tier, or career path, program that you instigate for your stylists.
At every level of stylist or aesthetician expertise you will have established a price list for that level, say junior, intermediate, and senior.
Also, at every level you will have a set list of criteria for that stylist.
When a stylist at any level becomes fully booked, and meets all the other criteria of that level, it is time to raise their prices. This is a cause for celebration in the salon! A stylist has achieved the next level!
We let all of our clients know that we are proud of this stylist’s accomplishments and ask them to share in the congratulations. You could put up a sign that says, “Betty’s Beauty Box is proud to announce that Sophie has been promoted to Senior Stylist. We are so happy to reward her hard work and dedication to her clients.” We also let our clients know that the pricing for that stylist is being increased to the next level of expertise.
Usually, clients are really excited for the acknowledgement of a stylist’s hard work and achievement. They stay with the stylist through their climb up the salon ladder. Once in a while a client will not be able or want to pay for the next level of service. If that happens we direct that client to a junior stylist within the salon. This way the salon keeps the clients and it leaves room with the promoted stylist for clients who can afford the price.
The benefit of this system is that price increases are happening in the salon on a regular basis. The increases are determined by the level of dedication of each stylist. This allows the stylists the opportunity for growth at their own pace with no ceiling attached. You have probably all had stylists ask you for a raise or more commission.
The answer is not in increased commissions but in being able to charge more for their services; something they can achieve as they fulfill the necessary criteria at each level of expertise.