Stop! Before You Raise Your Rates…Do This Instead

 

In every entrepreneur’s life, there comes a time when you simply have to raise your rates. Yes…it’s true! I know..it’s hard to discuss your rates.

Maybe you’ve been in business for years without a pay increase. Or, maybe your skills have recently improved through a new training course or certification.

Or you just want to attract a higher caliber of client. Yup…I just confessed to this the other day. (Hanging my head…but unashamed!)

Rates Definition

rate [rāt] NOUN rates (plural noun) a measure, quantity, or frequency, typically one measured against some other quantity or measure: “the crime rate rose by 26 percent” a fixed price paid or charged for something, especially goods or services: “the basic rate of pay” · [more] synonyms: charge · price · cost · tariff · fare · levy · toll · fee · remuneration · payment · wage

Whatever the reason, it pays to have a plan in place before you make your big announcement. So, here’s the plan…you do have a plan right? If not…

Here’s where to start.

First:

Take a look at your current clients. Will you raise their rates as well? ummm… If the answer is no, then you have to consider if keeping them will be worth your time. Or, if you’ll feel resentful at the amount of (lower paid) time you are spending with them.

Resentment can build up, so be wary of this. It’s better to raise their rates than providing substandard services due to hidden anger. YES, you can actually get angry over this situation.

If the answer is yes, then you have to prepare yourself for potential fallout. And this is a reality you need to face, right? Simply put, there are some clients (you likely know who they are) who will balk at a price hike. What??? How dare they right? I’m just sayin’ it could happen!

They’ll threaten to leave. They may actually leave. OMGoodness! Are you prepared for the hit your wallet will take should that happen? Now…what do you have to say about that?

Next:

Consider when your rate increase will go into effect. Today…tomorrow…next week? This might be different for each client, depending on when/how they’re paying you.

A client who is on a package plan might not see an increase for 3 months or more, while a monthly client might be shocked to find his or her rate is going up in a week. Please don’t do this to them, or the word might get out and you will lose all your clients. Especially if they’re from referrals! OH NO!!!

Please – give your clients at least a 30-day notice of the increase. They will need to budget for a higher expense and just might shop around for a new virtual assistant if they choose to. Remember…they can do this…so don’t be surprised if they do.

Finally:

If you’re a little flexible and want to gain a few new clients, you might think about creating a last-minute offer. What a great idea huh?

Announce that your rates are going up on [whatever date], then offer to let X number of new clients lock in your current rate if they sign a contract right now.

Sure, you’ll still be working at your old rate, but with a few new clients on the roster, your cash flow will definitely improve. This is SMART thinking if I do say myself.

The most important thing to remember about rate increases is this:

You have to feel good about the prices you charge. If you think your rates are too low, chances are good that they are.

Raising them will not only make you feel better, but it might just let your current and prospective clients know the value of your services as well.

So…what do you really think about raising your rates? Let me know in the comments below won’t you?

Hope you enjoyed reading…

Let me ask you this…do you need a Virtual Assistant? If so…you can contact me here. I’d be more than happy to chat about what type of services I provide. Just need to fill out a little ol’ form. Thanks…I appreciate that!

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