By Lisa Marie Arnold, Salon & Spa Solutions
One of my biggest pet peeves is techs who don’t feel confident about raising prices. Yes, even in these economic times, there are still technicians worthy of a price increase — or a “promotion,” if you will. It has always been true that you raise your prices when you’re busy; it’s the law of supply and demand. I struggle with the common notion that clients will not pay more. They will if the value of the service exceeds the price, and if you create a sense of demand for yourself.
I caution all technicians when you calculate productivity to do so by figuring out hours you are busy compared to hours available for sale. Most nail technicians will look at the hours they are busy compared to the hours they are actually physically in the salon or spa. This is incorrect. We must monitor productivity based on hours the technician could be servicing clients if we could keep them busy according to their schedule.
How does a tech get to the point of feeling comfortable about raising her prices? First let me say I do not approach this subject lightly. There are goals and targets that need to be met (i.e. high service tickets, retailing for retention, retaining our clientele, and most importantly being productive). It is only with great consideration and thought that you should decide to raise your prices. Secondly, when it is time, just do it! When we know the numbers makes sense and we know we are in demand, it should not be so difficult. In our industry, this is the way to get a raise – or be “promoted.” Oftentimes I have heard my clients say that their clients are telling them, “you should be charging more.” Yes, the clients are actually telling their nail tech their prices are too low. What a morale booster that is!
You need to remember that if you are not happy with your income in our industry there are two ways to get a pay raise: 1) increase your service ticket; and 2) increase your prices. Most of the time these two go hand in hand because the more services you are doing for a client, the more your book fills up, then word gets out you are great and your referral business increases — filling your book.
When it is time, do it! Do not shortchange yourself. You deserve pay increases just like everybody else!