Experts in our industry, who are far more business savvy than I am, strongly suggest that we raise our grooming rates by a small amount each year. I struggle with this. I dislike the potential for confrontation or unhappiness when I raise my rates, so I tend to put it off. Before I know it, several years have passed, and I need to raise my rates by a fairly large amount to keep up with the increase in my supplies, insurance, and general costs of running a business. And then I hear a lot of complaints.
I have to remind myself that people are far less to quibble about a change of $1-3 dollars than they are a larger bump. Where I live, in fairly rural Maine, our summers are by far the busiest time of year. I take this time, (usually in June) to increase rates for new customers and inform my regular customers that there will be a nominal new charge at their next visit. This year I raised my rates $3. And I fretted.
Here is an example of how it's been going so far. Mrs. T brought adorable Buddy in last week. Writing her check she asked, "How much is it? I can never remember." I said, "It is $__, but we are having a small increase and next time it will be $__." She wrote her check, added a nice tip and said, "You are worth every penny."
That is how it has gone with almost every customer. Except one, who makes a hobby out of complaining about everything. I just smile and stay quiet, and she keeps coming back.
Now, this being said, I do have what I secretly refer to as my, "little old lady on a fixed income" price. That price has not budged in years, and in fact, sometimes I don't charge at all. I can do that, because it's my business, and once in a while it's fun to make someones day by saying, "Fluffie's haircut is on us today!"
I digress. Have you raised your rates recently? If not, you should consider doing so. I know that my cost of doing business goes up each year, and I work hard and deserve to make a decent hourly wage. You do, too.