Last year, about this time, I began a series of video blogs on youtube promoting July 1 as National Raise Your Haircut Prices day. It is time to address this again for 2013.
Now is the time to evaluate your pricing and take an increase if business metrics indicate you should. The basic formula in our business is that if you are 80% occupied you should raise your haircut prices 10%. The theory is that if you were to lose 10% of your clients as a result of the increase you would have the same income with “air” in your book to accommodate referrals from your “top 90%” clients.
The number one reason haircutters do not do this, I believe, is a lack of confidence in their service and their client’s willingness to accept the increase. Following are my top 5 reasons why you should take a hard look at your statistics and consider an increase this year on July 1.
July 1 is the right time of the year – January 1 is a bad time to go up as this is a slow spot in the year after the holidays. September 1 does not work well as it is back to school season. April 1 is tax time and cash is tight. November 1, just before the peak holiday season, makes you look like you are price gouging. These are all great excuses. The truth is ANY time is a good time if your business statistics say it is time to go up.
Everything goes up – Groceries go up. Tennies go up. Lord knows gas goes up. Everything goes up. Haircuts have not kept pace with the economy. The beauty industry has some catching up to do with the price of haircuts. If we make pricing decisions based on facts and not on emption we will get haircuts where they need to be.
When we band together we are stronger – While I am not suggesting price fixing on an organized, national level, I am suggesting that a rising tide raises all ships. If a few of us lead by example, others will follow. If many go up at the same time the entire market benefits. The laggards will either jump on board or be seen as unable to keep up. If the majority raises their prices and you do not, what does that say about them? What does it say about you?
Year three they expect it – If you institute a price increase two years in a row clients expect it in year three. It becomes a matter of conditioned response. Customers will actually ASK for the “new price” before you announce it, in anxious anticipation of it. How is that for changing your attitude about price increases? How does that address the fear of asking for the higher price?
Respect the system – The systems and formulas exist for a reason. The basic laws of economics should not be ignored. The supply of and demand for your time is a powerful indicator of the quality of your product and service. If you run the numbers and you do not have the occupancy to justify a price increase, this is a strong indicator of your need to raise the bar in other aspects of your product and service experience. If you track and can see positive movement in weekly revenue and occupancy, you are on the right track. Do more of what is working well and add new energy to the mix. Sharpen your skills. Expand your marketing. When the numbers say, “go for it”. Raise with confidence.
For more of my thoughts on this subject refer to my series of July 1, Raise Your Haircut Prices videos on my clipperguysays youtube channel.