How to Know When It's Time to Raise Your Prices
I remember when I first opened the doors to my bodywork business. It was 2004, and I had no idea how much to charge for my services. So I did what most therapists do, and looked around to see what everyone else was charging — then I started on the low end of that scale.
For me, that meant my fee was $60 for an hour service.
Fast-forward to 2007. I was really struggling to keep the doors open, and I had made the (HUGE!) decision to only offer CranioSacral Therapy. I knew I needed to raise my prices, but I was so scared!
What if no one would come to me at the higher rate? What if my current clients stopped coming in? Was I being arrogant and selfish to even consider raising my rates?
Whenever I thought about it, my stomach would clench, and I would feel anxious and scared. I had to gulp to get enough air to keep breathing.
It would be so much easier just to keep the rates the same!
But I knew somewhere in my heart that raising my fees was crucial to growth — not only to my business, but to me as a person. It was time for me to step into my power…
Now that I’ve been coaching and mentoring massage and bodywork therapists for several years, I know that raising prices is the #1 hardest thing for most bodyworkers to do.
And yes, I recommend raising rates for most therapists, but not all. How do YOU know if it’s time for you to jump in and take the plunge?
Start by asking yourself these 3 questions:
Are you making a good living now?
In The Bodywork Project, we dive into what I call your Exhale Number — you learn to figure out the amount you need to earn every month so that you can stop holding your breath, and finally exhale.
There’s a lot that goes into your Exhale Number that we cover in the program, but basically, we figure out how much revenue you need to earn to keep your doors open.
Once you’ve got that solid number, you can make some choices… If you are making plenty, then there is no reason that you need to increase your prices, though you may choose to. If you’re NOT regularly earning your Exhale Number, then something needs to change.
There are basically 3 ways to earn more income: get more clients; leverage your time with group offerings; or raise your prices.
Believe it or not, raising your prices is the easiest of the three…
How long has it been?
The easiest way to raise your prices is to do it consistently. Every year or two, you should have an increase so that you continue to earn a good living doing the wonderful work that you do.
I now raise my prices every two years. My clients expect it, so it doesn’t come as a big surprise to them, and it’s not a big deal.
And here’s a bonus for you: I suggest raising your prices by at least $10. That’s an increase that you can feel in your monthly numbers. I’ve been asked, “What about raising prices $5 in January, and $5 in July?” I’m here to tell you that raising prices once is a WHOLE lot easier than doing it every couple of months. See how a ten dollar increase feels in your heart.
If it’s been a while since you’ve raised your prices, or if you’ve never raised them, then it’s time to ask yourself:
What’s the fear?
Lots of fears come up around increasing your fees — I mentioned some of my own fears earlier — but these fears don’t have to stop you.
Our pricing is a reflection of not only how we feel about our work, but also how we feel about ourselves. It can feel SO vulnerable to change your fees, and can bring up lots of our “stuff” that we are working through.
You can take a tip from Susan Jeffers and “Feel the fear, and do it anyway.”
It’s easier when you have the support and guidance of other bodywork therapists who are in your shoes, or who have been there themselves, but you most certainly CAN raise your prices on your own.
In my next blogpost, I’ll give you some simple steps to take to make the price increase. In the meantime, just sit with the idea.
Let your fears come up, and let them help you to grow.
Just like I did that first time I raised my prices all those years ago… I’m living proof that you can do it, and that you and your practice can thrive.
I’m here for you, I’ve got your back, and I’m rooting for you!
You’ve got this!
Now’s the perfect time to get on the waitlist for The Bodywork Project. This is where we design ideal practices that help you serve the people you love, and earn a sustainable living doing it -- without burning out or selling out. Get on the waitlist here!