I recently started working with a salon and spa, and my prices increased for full sets by at least $20. A few weeks prior to starting at my new locations I did inform my clients personally of this increase. Although most of them were happy to hear I was expanding and working at a full-service salon, there were a few who were not very happy with the increase and decided not to follow me. Although I was sad to see them leave, I knew that the increase was well deserved and it was time I knew my worth. - Eva Jenkins, Bellevue, Neb. 

I print out my new prices and put them in a pretty frame. I then stick on a note saying, “New prices in effect as of April 1st.” The clients see it, pick it up, take a look, and set it back down. This totally averts the awkward conversation. My clients generally just go with the flow. I usually have one client who will want to talk about it.

                         - Kathy Kovacic, Hera Beauty, Las Vegas

I have been doing nails for almost 12 years and have raised my prices twice. Once I have decided on an increase, I post a list of my new prices and pass the increase along to new clients. As my regular clients notice the new prices, I tell them that I am keeping them at the old price for as long as I can, but that I will eventually be raising prices for everyone. I give each client a letter telling them how much I appreciate them but due to rising costs of products, education, etc., I am forced to pass the increase on to all clients. That way, they have plenty of notice and they are happy that they have had a bit of a grace period before the increase goes into effect for them. I have only had one client stop coming due a price increase. I’m sure no one is happy when I raise my prices, and frankly I would prefer not to have to do it because it is stressful. However, it is something we all have to do if we want to remain in business. - Kathy Dent, Salon Glow, Reno, Nev.

When I decide to raise my prices, I do it well in advance. I start with a price change note that I post at my station. It states the increase and when it’s starting. I usually post the note in September. This might be a long time before it’s time to start, but I believe my clients need it. Then it gives me time to talk to them before it happens. I address all their concerns and questions. Then when the new year comes, they are ready for the price change with no surprises! - Kristi Spencer, Bentley Salon, Moline, Ill. 

I simply post a sign at each of my nail tables stating that “Due to the rising cost of supplies, on X date, the following services will increase by X amount (usually $2 or $3). Thank you for understanding and for helping me run my business smoothly. Sincerely, your devoted nail tech Jill.” The end. No apologies. No further explanation is necessary. Clients deal with rising prices daily for gas, groceries, clothing, liquor, etc. It’s just a part of life and business. I give at least a 30-day notice and rotate out which services increase so that not all clients are affected. This gives part of my clientele a four-year break in between price increases, so nobody ever complains. One time I raised all service prices by $1 across the board, but that was after I’d moved into a new building with much higher rent. - Jill Wright, Bowling Green, Ky. 

I am in a remote town and if I choose to raise my prices I generally do so around the new year, as it’s a new year with new prices. For example, this past new year, I raised my manicure and pedicure prices by $5, but decreased some of my waxing prices, as people are more apt to wax in the winter. They really enjoy the price decrease for waxing and in turn have no issue paying the extra $5 on another service.  A loyal client who loves the professional and quiet atmosphere you set for them will likely embrace any changes you make to further your business and they will still tip. - Christine Evans, Northern Esthetics, Snow Lake, Manitoba, Canada

Next question: How do you explain to clients why you charge more than the salon down the street? [Answers will be printed in the August 2017 issue.] Share your opinion on the topic by emailing your response by May 15 to Beth.Livesay@bobit.com. Please include your name, salon, city and state, and a high-resolution headshot with your response.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.

Read more about