Several months ago, after reviewing my workload at the end of the month, I realized that something needed to change. As a one-woman team most days, I saw myself taking on more and more work. And the bad part was, I was working harder, not smarter. It was time to send out a price increase letter to my clients.
At EnMast, we talk a lot about how raising your prices reminds your clients that your work is valuable, and the ones who didn’t see that value would fall off with a price increase—while the clients who did would hang in there with you.
I was nervous about it, but I knew I needed to make a request for a price increase across the board. So I did.
How I wrote my price increase letter
I wanted to keep my price increase letter short and to the point, because I know the time of my clients is valuable.
I sent out a personalized notice to each client making him or her aware of my request, expressed the value in my work (and sometimes noted the increased workload since we had started collaborating), and asked him or her to consider. I found keeping it shorter rather than long and drawn out was much better (keep it around 5 sentences or so).
From there, each client had a different communication preference. Some preferred to talk it out on the phone, some wanted to hop on a video chat, and some were fine with a quick email to discuss further details.
Price increase sample
If you’re looking for something to work off of, here’s a price increase letter sample that I actually used with my clients/customers:
Dear (Client Name),
As my responsibilities have evolved the past year, I recently took the time to evaluate my workload and pricing structure. I am going to be implementing some changes in the coming weeks, and would like the opportunity to have a quick conversation about what specific changes in pricing you can expect. Whatever means of communication is best for you (phone, email, video chat) works for me. Just name the date and time.
I very much value our working relationship and hope we’ll be able to continue working together.
And here’s few tips to keep in mind when writing your price increase letter:
- After sending your letter out, be available to discuss via whatever communication tool works best for your client.
- If you get pushback from a client, don’t take it personally. It’s business.
- Always be respectful and professional during discussion. Show confidence in your higher prices — don’t be defensive. If you’re playing defense or cave in, it will communicate to your client that you don’t think you’re worth the new price, and neither will they.
- Be willing to compromise if your client truly wants to continue working together but can only afford a certain amount.
How I felt about it
This was my first time raising my prices as a business owner. I was nervous about it, as there’s always that looming feeling of, “What if everyone bails and then I have no income?” I’m sure you can relate.
However, I knew it was the right thing to do. I was working long days, and even when I’d lay down to go to sleep at night, my mental wheels would be spinning with the tasks I knew were waiting for me the next day. I stopped exercising. I wasn’t pleasant to be around. The work wasn’t as fun as when I started.
When it came time to have the discussion about why I felt I deserved the increase rate, I had my bullet points in front of me. I talked about the value of the work I provided and how the quality had improved over time. Did my voice waiver a few times? Maybe. But being confident when you raise your rates is imperative to communicating your value and worth to your client or customer.
How my clients reacted…
Most clients were on board with the modest price increase. I noticed a decreased workload from a few clients who were only searching for low-cost services—so it was actually a bit of good news to have some mental bandwidth freed up.
I had a few grumbles, but was surprised that most of them gave little to no pushback at my request, and were willing to continue to work with me. It was a confidence booster to see that they appreciated my work enough to pay a little more for it.
The final result?
After the price increase took affect, I started enjoying the work again. I felt I was being paid a fair rate for my services and didn’t feel so negative about the workload. I was able to better balance projects now that a few clients had jumped ship and could stop working on Sunday evenings.
I started making time to take on healthy habits again. I slept better. And the number in my business account started to grow, which was nice, too.
Not only did I start making more money each month, but also I got myself to a place where I could be a good business owner again. I could be a good wife, friend, sister, and daughter. It was a really good feeling.
Why you should send a price increase letter out, too.
For any business owner, there comes a time when you have to raise your hand and ask for more. It can make your palms sweaty, but it’s important…so do it.
If you’re not sure how to say it, here’s another price increase notice to help you find your voice. There’s no reason to be stuck in a position where you feel you’re being undervalued—you just have to be willing to fight for the value of your product or service.
What was it like the first time you raised your prices? Did it go well for you?