Regular Price Increases
- Date 11.23.11
- 0 Comments
A lot of Virtual Assistants have a hard time increasing their prices with their clients. They often undercharge their services when they first start out to get themselves going and then cannot seem to raise their prices. I totally get it! How can you justify to your client that you now want to charge an additional $5 per hour for the exact same service you are going to be doing at their current low rate?
Well first you have to get rid of the guilt factor. You are ENTITLED to raise your prices at least once a year. I’ll tell you why…
- ALL industries increase their prices, it’s how economies work.
- Your suppliers (phone, stationary, electricity etc) increase their prices so to ensure that it doesn’t eat into your profits you need to make sure your costs are covered.
- If you were employed by a company (and you were doing a good job) you would likely get an annual pay rise.
- You need to ensure that your skills, software and resources are up to date. This may cost money and as your clients are businesses themselves they will understand this.
If you have included a condition in your client agreement that your services will incur regular prices (please tell me that you have) then you should feel no guilt or fear in enforcing regular price increases with your clients. By removing this fear or guilt, you will always find this process very easy.
To make it completely fair to all your clients, all prices rises should be communicated in writing at least 3-4 weeks before the rise occurs. This will give them time to consider the rise and respond if required. This rise can occur at any time of the year (usually at the start of the calendar year or new financial year is common) as long as you remain consistent
Your clients will not appreciate you increasing your rates on the 1st of July then again on the 1st of August and then nothing for 6 months, then once again. Consistency is important when dealing with money.
When wording your letter or email, be sure to cover these points:
- Do not ask permission. Your price rise is a part of your services and as you are doing a great job it is a reasonable thing that your clients will accept.
- End the letter reminding the client to take the opportunity to make the most of the lower rates for any large tasks they need completing.
After you have sent your letter/email out, save a copy in your client file (or make a note in their file). If your client was to ever come back to you informing you that they were not aware then you have a copy with a date sent on file for you to refer back to.
Be prepared that depending on your client base you may get one or two clients that will not be happy. You may never have any issues (I have never had a client leave due to a price increase). If your clients value you and your support they will accept your new rate as long as you are adding value to their businesses and removing some of their administrative or back office stress.
Do you have any other tips about raising your rates? I would love to hear from you, so please let a comments below.
Also don’t forget that we now have The Virtual Assistant Buddy Hub up and running, so if you would like to join us and create a network of VA’s with tips and resources, just let us know.