Falling into the trap of inconsistent pricing is a big challenge for many service providers. I completely get it; we allow our hearts to take over and we end up making poor business decisions. The reality is that you will have to make that difficult decision to set consistent pricing throughout your career. While it’s understandable that you might want to give your favorite clients a break, you’re not doing yourself a favor.
It’s important to have a set list of consistent prices that you charge all clients and it’s essential to have a stable business and see growth.
However, if you want to follow your heart and offer your loyal clients a discount then I highly recommend that you have the conversation with them and educate them about why you're giving them a discount: that because of their loyal patronage, you are extending your old prices to them. Take the time to explain that you appreciate them referring their friends and family to you, however, you will need to charge these new customers your current prices. To help have this conversation, provide all clients with your service menu outlining your current prices.
Moving forward, set a timeline when you will create a fixed pricing structure. If you need help creating a plan to do this, we have step-by-step plans here. Advise any customer that you have been offering a discount to that effective on such date you will need to charge your current prices. If your current prices do not fit into your customer's budget, introduce them to a highly talented service provider on your team that does fit into their budget. Take the time to ensure your customer feels comfortable during the transition; after all, they have been a loyal customer and you want to ensure they are 100% comfortable and satisfied.
Keep in mind that during this transition you might lose a few customers. In our industry there is something called a natural attrition rate; this refers to the percentage of customers you will lose from year to year. Do not take it personally if your customer cannot afford your prices. New salon and spa customers contact salons and spas every day requesting a service provider at the “master” level or the service provider who charges the highest prices. Don't back down; stick to your worth and the customers you deserve will come.
Photo: Shutterstock | Tyler Olson
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Patti Wanamaker brings 21 years of experience to the Milady team where she currently serves as an Implementation and Training Specialist. Her intimate understanding of the salon, school, and beauty industry comes from 18 years of hands-on experience as a multi-faceted training specialist, including 8 years of salon and spa ownership of 3 salons with annual sales of $5 million. Her experience in all 3 areas of our industry allows her to think outside the box and develop innovative training that inspires and empowers beauty industry professionals.
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