If you started doing lashes a good while ago, you may have already started wondering when the best time for putting your prices up is. Once you got trained, you knew you couldn't charge as much as other lash technicians with great experience and good reputation. Time passes and you think - "Is it a right time to increase my prices yet? How much? And when? Am I good enough? And how to tell my clients?"
This article will help you determine whether you should think of raising your prices.
How do we know if it's the time to put prices up?
Well.. First we need to answer the question: Am I better than I was when I started lashing? Have I improved? Do I feel more confident than in my 1st week/month/year of lashing? Do I think that lashes I do are really good? If so - it's a good sign. You probably should earn more than a newly trained beginner.
Next - think of your competition. Have you seen their work? Have you had a chance to see other lash technicians lashes? Were they good? Do you have clients coming to yours with lashes from elsewhere and you see that they're worse than yours? Do you have clients that come to yours and say that you're better than other people who did their lashes in the past? Get to know your competition. Depending on the area you live in, there might be a few or quite a lot of other lash technicians. Do some research. Go to their website or Facebook, Instagram profiles; look for pictures of their work. Do you like them? Do you think you can do better lashes? If so - that's another sign it might be a right time to put your prices up.
Next step: once you've done your research to see how other lash technicians are doing, don't forget to check their prices too. We assume you have done it already, before you set up your own price list, but it's a good idea to update your knowledge, as you never know what your competitors strategies are. They may have increased their prices too and that's another reason why you should do it too.
Another question you may want to ask yourself. Are you better than the others in your area? Or are you the same? Or not as good? Be honest and don't be afraid to admit that you're way better or much worse than the others. If you think there is still lots to do and lots to improve, hold your horses and wait a bit. Maybe it's worth considering getting retrained? Maybe you should ask for opinion from those more experienced, that can point your strengths and the areas you could improve at? But if you're convinced you're much better than other lash technicians (and your clients confirm that by coming back to you and bringing you even more clients), if your client base is strong and getting bigger, if you feel stable and confident that you can offer people more than your competitors - it's high time you should change your price list.
How much? As said above - it depends on how much your competitors charge in your area. Don't look for an advice from people hundreds miles from you, as it might not be relevant to what you can ask for at your place.
Prices vary and you should consider:
where you live (eg. London prices are higher than in other places)
how many people do lashes in your area (if it's only you - you're lucky, as people will pay any price to get their lashes done and they won't have any choice but come to you. If there is lots of lashers - be sensible, don't demand too much, but respect your time and most of all - skills)
how good you are - even if there is lots of lash technicians in your city, you might be the one who charges the most if you're convinced you do better than them.
what type of area you live in - rural areas are probably not the easiest to run beauty businesses in, small towns are potentially more promising, expensive salons in big cities are much more achievable etc...
What type of clients do you have? Moms? Professionals? Wealthy people mostly? Students? Of course some of them afford costly treatments and some don't. Think about your current client base. Would you call them rich? Average? Permanently skint? You know that sort of clients that would pay anything to have great lashes, don't you?! Do you have many of those? You know your clientele better than anyone else, so you probably know whether they'll be ok to pay more or not. Of course some of them, will always say "Why, oh why is it so expensive?" or "I found someone cheaper", or "I know a lady that does lashes for a tenner" etc.. Don't even listen to that! No matter how silly price you'd put, there'll always be someone who's not happy and moan.
Respect yourself, respect your skills, your time and your business.
You don't do it for pleasure only, but most of all - for a living, is that right? Don't feel sorry, show others that you know you're good. You may think "If I put my prices too high, people will go somewhere else and choose someone cheaper". It doesn't always works like that.
Imagine a person who buys a brand new Ferrari. They have money and they don't care that the car costs a fortune. They want the best possible car. They want better car than their friends' cars. They want great quality, posh car to show off or just because they can afford it. They don't look for a second hand car on Gumtree. They don't look for the cheapest car in a city. They don't want "some" car. They want THAT car! No matter the costs.
And same with lashes! There are people who simply can not afford expensive treatments, incl. pricey lashes, but fortunately, there are also people who would pay extra to have the greatest quality lashes. So if you're the one who thinks that can really do "the greatest quality lashes" - go ahead and don't wait any longer but put your prices up.
And you know what? There is one more thing. If you know 10 people that do lashes in a place called XYZ, they all charge between £20-£40 and there is ONE that charges £60 - what would you think? Would you think she must have lost her mind? Would you think she suffers from lack of clients? Would you think she's so stupid that doesn't even know how much to charge? You'd probably think that she must be good if she charges much more than the others, wouldn't you? You'd think - "She knows how much lashes are in her area and she still charges more; there must be something behind it. She must be worth going to". Correct? And you're probably right. In most cases - if some service costs more than the others, that indicates that it's better for some reason. (Not always of course, but we can take it as a rule). And on the other hand - if something is much cheaper than the others - you wouldn't trust it, would you?
So don't try to be the cheapest in the town!
That will bring you lots of clients who look for the cheapest (or free!) service, but do you really want them? If you're good - charge for it! Don't be afraid that you'll lose your clients. You'll only lose those who really can not afford your lashes. But once they go somewhere else, you'll have more space for those, who are happy to pay any price to get their "Ferrari". Remember - there is hundreds of people who search for the best service, not the cheapest service! And you need to be the one who provides best service!
Are you wondering now,
how to tell your clients you're putting your prices up?
Does Tesco or Shell wonder how to inform their clients they want to increase their prices? No, they just do it! So should you. If you have many regular clients and have been doing their lashes for years, you may want to consider giving them special discounts. You may even charge them your current fees. It all depends on how close with your clients you are. Some of them might be your friends and it's up to you if you want to charge them more than usual. Start from changing your price list on your website (which I assume you have, don't you?!). Then advertise on your FB page or other social media that your prices are going to change from .... (the date).... Easy. You don't have to explain why you do this. This is your job. Everything gets more expensive.. Life gets more expensive and so do your lashes! If you want, you can say that your rent has increased, you changed your supplier, you got better products etc. People are used to that. It's probably a good idea to do it, when a new year begins, or after summer, or even on your business' anniversary. And please, please - don't be afraid that you'll lose all clients. Not all of them want the cheapest lashes in town. Don't lose hope and confidence when you see them going to someone else. Some of them will come back and say "I don't want anyone near my lashes but you".
That really works! Don't expect people to be happy about new prices. Be prepared for questions and dissatisfied clients. Don't concentrate on that.
Focus on showing people that you really ARE better and have more to offer than the others.
Focus on getting better.
Focus on being up to date with the newest techniques, products and styles.
Don't bother with malcontents, they'll always be there. Go your way and don't be afraid of obstacles, stay positive. Let people say what they want. At the end of the day - you can't please everybody.