This started out as a post on a chat board. It morphed into a bigger conversation that needed to be a blog post here.
Only grandfather your Grandfather… or perhaps your dad. Everyone else goes up when the price goes up. No one should be held back or “grandfathered in” at the old price. There is a tendency for haircutters to want to do this for a number of what they call reasons and I would call excuses. Following are my top 5 reasons why you should not grandfather clients at old, now no longer viable pricing.
- You just can’t keep track of who pays what – Even with today’s electronic point of sale tools, who pays what? Who has been held back? Who is at the new prices? You will not remember. You will charge a new price customer the old price because you cannot remember. It becomes a mess.
- You will create ill will with clients – Clients talk. They will discuss haircuts. They will discuss prices. Eventually the cat is out of the bag. Someone will feel they have been charged too much. Someone will fell they have let your secret slip. No one will be happy. No one wins.
- You will grow to resent the lower priced clients - You love them. You appreciate them. Once you get comfortable with your new price you will become uncomfortable with the old price and the clients who are still paying it. The idea seemed like a good one at the time. Now it feels like you are being taken advantage of. Now you resent them.
- Getting the grandfathered clients up to full price later in nearly impossible – When you grow weary of the old prices and attempt to bring the price laggards up to fill the jump it is too great a leap. It is too painful for them to make the transition. You either lose the client or you create a slightly higher, not quite full price interim step. Now you have 3 different prices or four. Now you have a REAL mess. See item number one, above.
- You want to be a professional – The gas station does not do this. The doctor does not do it either. Why should you? Determine a price that compensates you properly for the work performed. Set a price that makes sense with your expenses and profitability goals. Hang up the sign up and stand tall and cut hair.