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Is It Time to Raise Your Prices?

By: Lauren Gartland
Posted: August 29, 2012, from the September 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Learning to set boundaries and not being afraid to make tough decisions, such as raising your service prices, are necessary steps for the growth of your career and skin care facility. With the state of the economy causing skin care professionals to struggle in recent years, you most likely have been reluctant to raise your prices. The reality is that adjusting prices is absolutely necessary for your success. Raising your service prices, setting boundaries and saying “no” are absolute musts for the advancement of your professional career, as well as your life.

First, review the regular appointments in your skin care facility. The time to raise your prices is when the demand is greater than the supply. The cost of living goes up every year, your operating costs go up and so should your salary. When you are consistently booked 85% or more of the time over a two-to-three month period or, if you have not raised prices in 12–18 months, it is time.

To identify the average time you really spend working, figure out your potential hours of productivity (PHP). If you work nine hours a day, five days a week, with a one-hour lunch break, that would equal 40 hours. Once you figure your PHP, then figure your real hours of productivity (RHP). These are the hours you actually worked. Keep track of your daily PHP and RHP. To find your daily average, simply divide your RHP by your PHP.

After calculating your average each day, do it again at the end of the week. Keep track of your numbers consistently over a period of two months. If your average is 85% or higher, then it is time to raise your prices, because your demand has exceeded your supply. For skin care professionals who are already booked solid, consider not accepting any new clients who only want basic skin care services or book sporadically. Start to think about forming your business around the ideal client; one who is committed to a regular skin care program or who wants more advanced skin care services. This will ultimately allow you to increase your profits while working fewer hours.

If you’ve found that it’s indeed time to raise your prices, do not drastically raise them all at once. Start with a 10% adjustment. This will instantly increase your profits, and it won’t affect your clients’ service tickets too severely. If you again reach an 85% booking rate in two-to-three months, then raise prices again. You can raise them a few times in a year if your client demand continues to exceed your supply.