With the cost of living rising year on year, the occasional price hike within your day spa or clinic is inevitable. It’s a tough time for any business owner, and can be immensely tricky to balance what is reasonable vs what won’t result in your clients walking out the door. Particularly for regulars that have become accustomed to paying a consistent price for the same treatment each time they visit, a price increase can be a tough pill to swallow.
Here are some things to consider when you’re thinking about upping the cost of your treatments:
Do your research
Beside form consulting with your usual business or financial advisers, don’t forget to research prices of competing businesses and services in the area. It may be helpful to begin keeping a record of these over time. You need to gain a solid understanding of what’s ‘normal’ so that you can justify your own prices according to your business’ unique positioning, staff and treatments.
Get your communication right
As with most things in life, the experience will run a lot smoother if you are meticulous in your communications. Ensure you consult with your staff throughout the process, discuss with them exactly why you have updated your prices – they also need to fully understand the reasons behind the change so they can then confidently relay this to clients. Be sure to deal with any concerns your team may have.
Also ensure to communicate your updated prices across ALL platforms, including website, social media, menus etc. You don’t want any old, conflicting prices floating around in the ether!
Give plenty of warning
Prepare your clients for the price hike well several weeks in advance, and utilise several different communication channels where appropriate. Do an Instagram post, send out a newsletter, display some signage at your reception, and verbally tell clients during their visit.
Stand behind your decision, give the news with confidence, and don’t try to cover it up or be ashamed or apologetic about the change. Clients will understand – as long as you have a reasonable explanation to give them when they ask. Has your rent gone up recently? Have your overheads continued to increase while your prices have remained the same for years? Has the cost and quality of your products changed? Your clients should understand – and if they don’t, you may not want them as clients to begin with!
Honour pre-purchased prices
If you have sold packages to clients that extend beyond the price increase date, do not chase them for more money. Honour their purchase price and charge the new rate upon their next purchase. Another option is to offer packages that incorporate the old prices – for a limited timeframe after your increase date.
Revamp your menu
If you haven’t upgraded your prices in forever, perhaps the deed could be carried out alongside a fresh new menu. This way, clients have something to get excited about, and you have the opportunity to breathe new life and additional value into some of your services, so it isn’t simply a case of higher cost for the same thing, and clients instead feel they’re getting better value for money.
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