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When you run your own business, you’ll need to raise your rates from time to time. Here’s how to do it confidently.
It doesn’t matter what niche you’re in or what type of services or products you offer. When you’re running your own business, you’re in charge of your rates.
Some people will struggle with this. If you’re just getting out from working for someone else, you may feel like you need to ask to raise your rates. Those who are hiring freelancers can struggle to get out of the mindset that they no longer set the rates of pay—although they can choose not to pay your rates and go with someone else.
When it comes to raising your rates, you need to be confident. Any sign of shakiness and your clients will jump in on that. Okay, not all of them, but those who really don’t want to pay more will find a way to talk you down.
It’s time to put the big girl pants on. Here’s how to raise your rates confidently.
Don’t apologize for raising your rates
“I’m sorry to write this email, but as of [this date] the cost of my services will go up…”
Yeah, it’s emails that I’ve seen people send. They know that people don’t want to talk about money. They know their clients don’t want to spend more money on them. So, instead of just being confident about the raised rates, they apologize for doing it in the first place.
There’s no need to apologize. You’re not doing anything wrong.
I do find this is more of a problem for women than men. That’s especially the case for work at home mommas. We want to be people pleasers. We want to do the best we can for someone else, and that is often at the detriment of ourselves.
It’s time to get out of the work at home mom frame of mind and put that business hat on.
Business prices go up. So, don’t apologize for your rates going up. However, you can say something like “I understand the inconvenience this causes.” You’re making it clear that it is an inconvenience, but it’s not something you’re budging on.
Don’t suggest you can chat about the new rate
Next up is the lines that people tend to end their emails with. “If this doesn’t work for you, please let me know and we can chat about it.”
You’re immediately opening it up for your client to negotiate a lower rate than the one you want to raise it to. Or you’re opening it up to keeping the same rate.
When you raise your rates, you do run the risk of losing your clients. You’ll know which clients this will happen with before you send the email. If you’re worried about losing the client and you just can’t afford to lose them right now, you may not way to raise your rates just yet.
Yeah, I’ve said it.
You want to find a client to replace that one. That way, when you do raise your rates, you’re not panicking about the client leaving.
If you put in a line about being willing to negotiate your price hike, you’ll open a can of worms you just don’t want to. Remember, you are the service or product provider.
Does Wal-Mart care if you are happy about the cost of groceries going up? Nope! Those prices get raised regardless. When you run a business, you are the one in charge of the rate.
Don’t make excuses when you raise your rates
You may be tempted to tell your client why you want to raise prices. There are all sorts of reasons you’ve decided to do this. It could be the cost of living, or you may have decided you want to save more money. Or you may have decided that the local competition is charging more so it’s time for you to charge more.
It doesn’t matter why you’re raising your rates. All that matters is that you are.
Your client doesn’t need your excuses. They don’t need to know why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Of course, this is different if there is a problem with the work currently being carried out. If the client has added more work onto your shoulders but expects it for free, you need to make it clear that’s not going to happen. This isn’t making excuses but being very clear that your client is taking the piss.
If you’re adding a late fee to payments, you need to make that clear. Let your client know that their actions can prevent the fees being added. They just need to start paying on time!
However, if you’re just raising your rates because it’s time to do so, don’t make any excuses or give any reasons. This is your business. Be confident in the price hike.
Do be armed with everything you’ve done for them
What about things you can do when you raise your rates? It’s all about being armed with facts.
Your clients could push back. Some won’t be able to afford your price increase, which leads to them not wanting as much work from you. There’s little you can do about that unless you are willing to put your rates back down. Only you can decide here if you trust the client or not.
There are some clients who just don’t want to pay more. They can afford it, but they’re happy with the status quo. So, they will try to make up reasons why they shouldn’t pay more.
You need to be armed with the facts. What have you done for their business since coming into your role? Did you help them increase their revenue? Have you helped them gain a larger audience for their blog?
If you can prove you’ve improved their business, you’re more than worth that price increase. This isn’t about begging for the rate but making it clear that you deserve it and they can either pay it or lose you.
That is if you’re willing to walk from them.
It’s time to be more confident when it comes to raising your prices. You won’t regret it.
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