The ideal time to reevaluate your current pricing and service packages is January 1st. So, have you done it?
Look, I’ve only been in business for a few years. Less than 10, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way. Most of my mistakes involve money and how I handle it. Those that have been around a while can remember their early days of self-employment I’m sure. The wide eyes gazed upon large deposits as you eagerly exited the bank thinking about that one thing you just had to go out and buy….of course it was an investment for the business or at least that’d be how you would justify it in your head. I’ve been there. We all have.
I’ve also been on the other end of that spectrum; the end that involves saying no and practicing the kind of self-restraint only Sister Mary of St. Agnes could possibly withstand. Nuns would probably make great businesswomen. I wouldn’t know for sure because only my father was raised Catholic. He had higher hopes for me, or so he used to say.
Back to the point. If you’re a small business owner, you’ve undoubtedly learned by now that the only person willing to give you a raise is yourself. The time is now; it’s the first of the year and increasing your rates charged will happen anyway. I used to dread the emails and letters sent by my suppliers stating the price increases pending the arrival of the New Year but guess what, they came anyway. If your costs go up, so should your rates — plain and simple. It may seem hard to do, after all a recent online poll by Small Business Trends online surveyed over 6K business owners asking what their “Biggest Business Mistake” has been. Coming in shortly after “Borrowing Too Much Money” was “Selling Myself Short.” Too often self-employed individuals end up working for the same rate year after year because they’re too busy to evaluate just how much their time is worth.
Enacting a rate increase for new clients as of the first of the year is the first step in the right direction. After that, if you’ve got a list of regular customers, you can notify them of the need to increase your pricing to reflect the needs of running a profitable business. Consider giving your existing customers a here month notice but be firm on the billing side. You owe it to yourself, now is the time to take action. You’ll be happy you did.