If you’re reading this blog post, you’re likely considering raising your salon’s prices.
With inflation being at an all-time high, now might be the perfect time to consider your current pricing strategy.
Perhaps you’ve been thinking about doing so for some time but have held off for fear that it might hurt your business.
If this sounds like you, we totally understand. Raising your prices can be uncomfortable. But, with the right salon price increase notice and other best practices that you’ll find in this blog post, you’ll be able to confidently navigate the change. After all, you deserve it!
Here’s the thing: While a small percentage of your clients may leave initially, they’ll be replaced by better clients who will be willing to pay what you’re worth. So while it might be uncomfortable at first, never shy away from charging what you’re worth.
Read on to get everything you need to know about raising your prices with ease.
When to Raise Your Prices
How do you know it’s time to raise your prices? Aside from a gut feeling, there are actually some clear signs that will tell you if you’re on the right track.
You’re Charging Below Market Rate/You Offer Specialized Services
A good starting point is to see what your competitors are charging. If you’re charging below market rate, it’s a definite sign that it’s time to raise your rates.
Additionally, if you offer specialized services, you can also reasonably raise your prices.
You’re Not Charging for the Multiple Steps Required in Your Services
Today’s clients are looking for much more extravagant results than ever before. In the past, a client may have wanted a head of highlights that required two hours of your time whereas today’s clients also expect a root shadow or even multiple toners in addition to the highlights. This has the potential to add up to five hours of time to achieve the client’s desired results.
All of this is to say that it’s important to charge for the additional steps in between. These results require more time, product and expertise and you should be charging for it!
You Haven’t Raised Your Prices in a While
Another sign that it’s time to raise your prices is that you haven’t raised them in a while. As a general rule, you should revisit your prices every 12 to 18 months.
Your Profit Margin Has Decreased Significantly
If your profit margin has decreased significantly, whether due to general inflation, rent increases, rising costs of products, shipping costs or retaining staff, it’s a necessity that you raise your prices sooner than later.
You’re Busy (80% to 90% Booked)
If you’re busy – approximately 80% to 90% booked over a two to three-month period – or you’re working 10 to 12-hour days, this is a telltale sign that it’s time to raise your prices. This is all good news, though: it means that supply is greater than demand!
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Your Services Have Improved
How Often Should a Salon Raise Prices?Exactly how often should salon owners raise their prices? Salons should raise prices every 12 to 18 months to stay on par with inflation and/or salon upgrades.
How Much Should You Increase the Price List?At this point, you might be convinced that you need to raise your prices, but exactly how much do you raise them? Generally speaking, most salons will raise their prices by $5, $10 or $15 increments, but this is just a general rule, and there are always exceptions. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that a price increase should never be more than ten percent. This is considered a safe level. When thinking about how much to increase prices, it’s important to consider the following:
- Your Competition. Consider what your competitors charge for the same services.
- Your Target Audience. If you cater to a more luxury-based clientele, make sure your services reflect your target audience.
Different Ways to Increase Your Salon PricesKeep in mind that there are other ways you can think about increasing your salon prices:
- Offer Tier Services. One approach to raising your prices is to offer tier pricing depending upon the stylist’s credentials and experience. For instance, your more experienced stylists can charge more than recent graduates.
- Upsell. In addition to their hair service, you can also see if the client is interested in a particular hair product or another add-on service.
- Increase Retail Prices. Another way to increase your salon prices is by increasing the price of your products.
Best Practices for Raising PricesWhile you should definitely get comfortable with the idea of raising your prices (as you will want to raise them every year or so!), there are some definite do’s and don’t’s:
- Make Reasonable Price Increases. Consider reviewing your price list on a yearly basis. If you’ve never raised your prices before, or it has been several years since you’ve increased them, don’t try to make up for lost time. Stick to the standard ten percent increase.
- Consider Honoring Your Previous Price List for Previously Booked Services. This is up to you, but you may encounter disgruntled clients if you raise your prices after clients have booked their services at a previously agreed upon price (i.e. if clients have booked through an online booking platform).
How Do You Inform Clients of a Price Increase in a Beauty Salon?If you are thinking about raising your prices, one of the most important things you can do is actually inform clients that you’re making the change. You can do this by sending out a salon price increase notice by email, posting an alert on your website or even posting it on social media. You can also put up a sign in your reception area. In fact, it’s typically a good idea to do all of these things so that all of your clients have a greater chance of noticing that you’ve increased your price list. For some clients, like long-time clients, you might go so far as to even write a personal letter. If you use a salon online booking and scheduling software like Yocale, you’ll also have the option to add a message to the online booking widget. When clients go to book an appointment online, they’ll see the salon price increase notice right then and there. Here are some tips when it comes to informing clients of a price increase:
- Inform Clients in Advance. Ideally you’ll give clients between one and three months of notice that you’re raising your prices.
- Consider Raising Prices Around the Holidays. The beginning of November is a recommended time for raising prices because most people are typically in the mindset of spending money. Additionally, because they have more events to attend around this time, they’re not likely to leave.
- Avoid Raising Prices in January. Most people’s budget has already been spent, so January is typically the worst time for raising your prices.
- Provide a Specific Date. Mention the specific date that your price increase will take effect.
- Mention It in As Many Places as Possible. It’s important to mention your price increase in as many places as possible so you can be sure the message gets heard.
- Consider Asking for Feedback. If you’re truly worried about raising your prices, one approach is to ask for feedback when you raise your prices.
- Consider a Small, Complimentary Add-On. For a short period of time, you could consider adding a small, complementary add-on to services to help with the transition.
How Do You Word a Price Increase in a Salon? What to Say When Raising PricesIt can be tricky to know exactly what to say when explaining to clients that you’ll be raising your prices, but here are some tips. You’ll also find a template you can use below!
- Include the Essentials. A salon price increase notice should always contain the following: your logo, a headline announcing the price increase, the new and old pricing as well as your contact information.
- Focus on the Positive First. Do you know the expression, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it?” If your salon is changing for the better, say it! This way, you’ll frame the message as a positive one. Clients will be much more likely to support you this way.
- Be Transparent (Provide Reasons). While it’s not necessary to explain why you’re raising your prices, it’s still considered best practice to provide reasoning for why your prices are increasing. This can help clients understand and put them in a better position to support the move.
- Express Gratitude. Thanking your current clients and showing your appreciation is critical.
- Be Brief. Keep your note to the point while still keeping a sympathetic tone.
- Welcome Questions. Always end your note by giving clients the option to ask questions. While you’ll want to remain firm in the event you do get questions, it’s important to open a line of communication.
- Consider Having a Team Meeting. Have a team meeting to get everyone on the same page in the event that clients do start to ask stylists questions. For example, you might want to explain that suppliers have raised their prices or the ways in which your salon has improved its services. Whatever the case may be, get everyone on the same page!