Increasing your service prices: how to do it the right way.
When to do it
There’s no set rule about the best time to look at increasing your service prices, but Tsang explains, “We evaluate ours on an annual basis,” though that doesn’t mean they implement an increase every year. Though many salons reassess each year, Ricci adds that every two years is reasonable, too. “We watch what the market does,” he says. “If you raise your prices during a recession, it could hurt you more than doing it during a boom,” explains Ricci. As for the time of year, Tsang explains, “If we decide to implement an increase, we do it at the beginning of the year.” Ricci prefers the latter part of the year, saying “I like to do it in the fall, before the holidays, as clients are often very loyal at that time of year, instead of waiting until after the holidays when everyone is [cutting back on spending].” Bottom line: It has to work for your salon, and the only way to determine that is by looking at your books and speaking with your clients.
How to do it
Increasing service prices is all part of the business, and it’s common to follow suit with inflation and the growing cost of living. Tsang explains that your increases should always be justified. If clients ask why there was an increase, “Letting your clients understand your reasoning and motive [for the increase] promotes transparency and makes you more accessible to your clients,” will hopefully prevent your clients from leaving for another salon. If the occasional client does take issue with the price increase, Ricci will honour the old price for that visit, but the next time they come in, the price will go up; then they have the choice of knowing the total cost before their next visit and they can decide.
How to make it worthwhile
When asking your clients to pay more for their cuts or colour services, you need to be willing to add more value to their services, ensuring their extra money isn’t being wasted. “We spend more time with our clients and offer them a better cup of coffee—anything that we can add to their service to make their overall experience better,” explains Ricci. “The education level in the hairstyling world is so high right now that everybody is a good stylist, but it’s the experience you provide that is going to make the difference.” Tsang agrees that “pre- and post-service treatments add to the amazing calibre of customer service,” adding value while justifying the price.