You know your business is successful. You are getting plenty of clients, and you’re really enjoying the process of bringing them into your fold. But do you know how to tell when it’s time to raise your rates?
When nobody complains about how much you charge.
If you are sending out quotes or contracts and not a single person balks at the amount of money you’re requesting in return for goods and services, guess what? It’s definitely time to raise those prices.
For brand new clients, this is a piece of cake. You just determine your new rates and update price lists or program materials as necessary. There is no conversation needed. However, it can feel awkward or scary (or even both) when you’re sitting down trying to figure out how to approach your current clients with a new and higher price list. But don’t worry. The clients who know you and value your work will not have a problem with your new rates.
Some clients may recoil at the increase or attempt to talk you into a discount or other reduction in price, but stand firm. You know how worthwhile your services are, and they do, too. Remember, make sure you give clients at least a couple of month’s advance notice so they can work your new rate into their budgets.
And about that free template: here it is. Following is a sample letter you can use as a jumping off point when you contact your clients to let them know about your rate increase. Anything in brackets is for you to personalize.
Dear client name,
I am writing to let you know that as of [insert date three months in the future], rates for my services will be increasing. The last time I raised rates was [insert the date, or if it was never, you can say so], so it’s time for me to catch up with the economy to ensure that I can continue to provide you with the excellent service and high-quality work you enjoy.
[Rate increase A]
The new hourly rate will be $x. For a/an x-hour retainer purchase, the rate is reduced to $x per hour. Rush service will go up to $x per hour and weekend rates will be $x per hour.
[Rate increase B]
Following are the new rates for my classes/conferences/seminars/programs:
[insert list of your offerings with new pricing]
Please respond to this email to confirm that you agree to these new rates, or with any questions. I value you as a client, and it is always a pleasure doing business with you. I’m looking forward to continuing to serve you in [year] and beyond.
Is it about time for you to raise your rates? Take advantage of the services of a Virtual Assistant. I can help with updating your marketing and sales materials, website, and can perform a mail merge to all your clients, so you’re free to pitch new business.
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