Price raises. They’re something that every equine professional has to deal with, but that doesn’t make them pleasant. While price raises are absolutely necessary in order to stay profitable, it’s almost certain that clients will be upset and push back against the changes in your rates.
However, these four tips can help to make price raises easier on your clients, keeping your farrier business profitable while minimizing negative client reactions.
1. Warn Clients Ahead of Time
One of the best ways that you can help to make price raises easier for your clients is to give them as much warning as possible. Always do your best to inform your clients of upcoming price raises at least one trim cycle before the raises will go into effect. Having some time to plan for the raise lets your clients budget for the change. Surprising your clients with a sudden price hike is sure to generate an emotional reaction, but giving plenty of warning helps to minimize that shock.
2. Remind Clients of the Reasons Behind the Increases
Price increases are easier for clients to accept if they know the reasons behind them. When you present the increases, give some reasoning behind them. You might say, “Because of the increasing prices of supplies and fuel, I need to increase my rates. My new rates will be $x, and they will go into effect on x date.”
This approach can help to remind clients that you’re not trying to gouge them, and that price increases are a regular and necessary part of any business.
3. Schedule Increases So They Take Place in the Spring
You won’t always have control over when you have to increase your prices, but if you do have some flexibility, try to schedule price increases so that they take place during the spring. In the spring, clients are excited to get back into the saddle again, and are likely looking forward to a season of riding and competing. Clients are likely to write spring farrier price increases into the cost of owning horses, knowing that they’re going to be actively riding.
If your price raises go into effect in the late fall or winter, you may face stronger reactions from your clients. In the fall, riding activity is wrapping up for the year, and it’s more difficult for clients to accept that they’ll be paying more for their horses’ hoof care. Additionally, the approaching holidays can be financially draining, making increased bills even more frustrating and significant.
4. Provide Notice in Writing
It’s always a good idea to provide notice of your changing rates in writing. This simple act can help to avoid situations where clients say that they were never informed of the price change. Consider making a note explaining the details of your price increase – including when it will go into effect – on the bottom of each client’s invoice.
Staying On Top of Your Invoicing
Invoicing may be tedious, but it’s so important to keep good records and make sure that you get paid for the work that you have done. The Farriers App can make all of your invoicing easier. The App allows you to send invoices with your logo to clients, and you can tell at a glance who has paid and who hasn’t.
Be sure to register for your free 30-day trial of The Farriers App now. The process takes just a few minutes and you don’t even need to provide credit card information. Put the App to work in your business for 30 days and see how it can streamline your invoicing, appointment scheduling, and other elements of your farrier business.