Are you a wedding professional who's been wondering if it's time to raise your prices? You're not alone. It can be a difficult decision to make, but there are a few signs that indicate it may be time for a rate increase. In this episode of The Power in Purpose Podcast, I am sharing valuable insights on how to know when it's time to raise your rates and how to raise your price effectively.
We've got you covered with all the tips and tricks you need to confidently increase your prices and maintain a sustainable business.
It's important for wedding professionals to evaluate their rates regularly and there are some serious consequences of not raising your rates when necessary, like not being able to cover your costs or make a reasonable profit.
On the other hand, if you raise your rates too often or too high, you may lose clients or become less competitive in the market. This is why i's important to balance providing high-quality service while maintaining a profitable business – and we talk ALL about this on the podcast.
In this episode about how to raise your price:
- The importance of evaluating your pricing regularly
- How to know when it's time to raise your price
- The consequences you might experience with a price increase
- Communicating your price increase
[00:00:00.250] - Candice Coppola (Host)
Is it time for you to raise your price? In this episode of the podcast, I'm going to answer this question for you and walk you through some simple steps to decide whether it makes sense for you to adjust your rate.
[00:00:16.850] - Candice Coppola (Host)
You're here to grow a business, but not just any kind of business. You want to grow a profitable business with purpose. A business where you wake up every single day driven to serve your customers and make a difference in your own life. I'm Candice Coppola, published author, business coach, and your guide to building a profitable business with purpose. Join me here every single week as we explore how to build and grow your business with purpose. Get ready to dig in and have meaningful conversations about the strategies and techniques that will help you build your dream business. This is power in purpose.
[00:01:02.770] - Candice Coppola (Host)
Hey there, friends.
[00:01:03.720] - Candice Coppola (Host)
Welcome back to the Power and Purpose podcast.
[00:01:05.630] - Candice Coppola (Host)
It's me, your host, Candice, and on this episode of the show, we're talking all about pricing and when it might be the right time for you to raise your rates. I know that this is a struggle point for pretty much every business owner. No matter if you're brand new to business or you've been in business for a gazillion years, we feel really self conscious about whether we should increase our price, whether we should adjust our rates, what our pricing should be, what it means if we charge more money, what will happen if we raise our rates? We go through all of these questions. It is a process to raise your rates and I'm hoping that in today's episode you will feel a sense of understanding whether it makes sense for you to raise your rates and if you're justified in a price increase across your products or services. That's what we're talking about today. I'm hoping to bring in the strategy to raising your rates so that you can use this strategy in the future whenever you need to make a decision about your pricing so it just becomes easier. So the whole act of increasing your price or raising your rates is based on a variety of factors that we talk about today and you feel good about the price increase that you're going to raise your rates to.
[00:02:18.750] - Candice Coppola (Host)
So let's talk about first why it's really important to evaluate this really at any time. It doesn't have to be the beginning of a year or the beginning of a wedding season or booking season. I think it's important to just always have your thumb on your price and always evaluate whether you need to be raising your rates based on a variety of factors. First, knowing when to raise your rates is important for you maintaining a sustainable business. If you don't raise your price, do you let years go by before you raise your price? You really run the risk of having a business that's not financially sustainable with the cost of living rising with the cost of doing business. Rising with your business also evolving and growing and scaling and making changes whether that's hiring a team or introducing a pricey software to make your lives easier. Investing in equipment you need to make sure that the price you charge your clients compensates you, the business owner and all the other people you need to compensate in order for your business to run smoothly. So knowing when to raise your rates is really important in maintaining a sustainable business.
[00:03:27.120] - Candice Coppola (Host)
Now, if you don't raise your rates when you need to, you may not be able to cover all the costs of your business. You may be taking money out of your own salary or your own pocket in order to keep your business running and we definitely don't want that. While it's okay to invest in your business and take money from yourself to do that from time to time or when you're starting up, eventually your business needs to pay you and it needs to pay to operate itself. So it's important for you to raise your rates so that you can cover the cost of doing business and it's not on you, the business owner, which so often it falls on. I feel like we don't have enough of a conversation around paying yourself, around running a business that's financially stable. Let me know if you'd like to hear a podcast episode on some of those topics. Now on the other hand, if you raise your rates too often or you raise them too high, you could potentially lose clients, you could become less competitive in the marketplace. And this is where we all get really stuck because sometimes in order to gain something more money or a raise in your price, you have to lose something.
[00:04:34.330] - Candice Coppola (Host)
And you might lose out on clients, they might just think you're too expensive. You might lose out on a whole niche of clients, a whole subsection of clients and you could change the competitiveness of your business in the industry. I don't think you would necessarily lose, but you might be less competitive or you might find that you're now competing against a different subsection of businesses. All important things to consider when raising your rates. And so I think it's really important to evaluate your rates regularly and make adjustments when needed to just ensure that you are maintaining your competitive edge when it comes to financially being competitive, but also making sure that your business is sustainable financially. So let's talk about the signs that it's time for you to raise your rates. Sign number one is that you've gained more experience and this goes out to all my people out there who are investing in education, who are investing in themselves and in their business. You are gaining experience as a planner, photographer, invitation, designer and that in turn should affect your overall rate of what you charge. The more experience you gain, the more knowledge you gain, the more experience you have in specific wedding niches.
[00:05:59.070] - Candice Coppola (Host)
So let's say you now have a few really huge luxury weddings under your belt, or you now have a few fusion weddings under your belt. You should in turn be able to adjust your rate to meet the level of experience that you've now gained. And I see experience as education. I see it also as on the ground work, working with a specific type of client, in a specific budget bracket, at a specific venue, or with a specific level of service that you might provide. So if you've spent the last wedding season digging into upgrading your experience through education and or you've gotten the chance to work with some pretty dreamy clients who've taught you a lot, it could be time for you to adjust your rates to meet and match your newfound experience. Experience is valuable. Experience is worth money. And people will pay for experience. Not all people. Not all people, but people will pay for experience. I also want you to think of your pricing like this. It's not about how many hours you might spend planning a wedding or photographing it or working on your craft in the wedding industry. It's more so about the amount of hours it's taken you to become an expert.
[00:07:21.170] - Candice Coppola (Host)
And when you think about experience through that lens, it changes how you think about your pricing as it relates to experience. So when you see experience not as the number of hours you'll spend doing the work, but more so about the number of hours it's taken you to become this experienced, then you're going to charge based on the number of hours and years and time and investment it's taken you to get to where you are, to be the expert that you are. So keep that in mind as you play around with your price. The second sign that it's time to increase your price is you've increased your services. So you've increased the services that you offer your customer and therefore your price should increase for the added workload and the added scope of work that you are giving to your customers. I don't think we talk enough about this. Sometimes as people pleasers, and we're all people pleasers in some form of fashion, we start adding in services to our packages, into our pricing because it makes sense, because it plays off of another thing we're doing. And slowly scope creep starts to take hold.
[00:08:25.570] - Candice Coppola (Host)
And before you know it, maybe you're doing 20% more work, but your rates are still the same. They've still maintained a steady rate. And so when you've increased your services for clients, it's time to adjust your rates to match those services. Now, I believe in experimenting and adding some services, seeing how they work, seeing if you like offering them. So for instance, if you're a photographer, maybe you added engagement sessions to your packages. Maybe you don't really like doing engagement sessions. I don't know. I'm just making this up. And so you decide, hey, this isn't something I want to offer, but you have the chance to offer it. Experiment and then make a decision. But maybe now you decide, hey, I'm going to offer this. Well, make sure that you charge for it. Make sure that you're charging the client for the added value of services. So it's assigned to increase your rates if you've increased the level of service that you offer. It's also assigned to increase your rates if the client experience has been elevated. And so this is sort of a two part. We talk about services, the actual services you're offering.
[00:09:26.940] - Candice Coppola (Host)
But client experience is kind of baked into service, right? And the client experience is the experience we provide our customers from start to finish. It's the little things we do. It's the thoughtfulness we have. It's how we surprise and delight them. It's our system, our process. And if you've increased what that is, if you've created a new process in your business that makes their lives better, if you have added gifting to your experience, if you have just increased and enhanced the client experience, it is probably time that you increase your price to match the enhanced experience. And again, I do believe in testing things out first and seeing how they fit for you and how they fit for the client. And if you decide to stick with that process, or if you decide to stick with that thing, that means it's time then to adjust your price to match what you've decided is a staple in your business. Sign number three is if you are in high demand, if people are contacting you left, right, and center, and your inbox is just blowing up with inquiries, it could be time for you to adjust your rates.
[00:10:36.820] - Candice Coppola (Host)
And it probably is. Being in high demand is fantastic. Congratulations. It's exciting to be the new It girl. It's exciting to be in demand. And it means that you've been doing a lot of things really well, especially marketing and brand awareness. But being in demand means that you need to be a little bit more selective about the clients that you take, because you can't possibly meet the demand if you're just a one person show or if you don't have a large team. So in that vein, you can actually raise your rates and allow the inquiries and the customers to sort of compete against each other to hire you. This is what being in demand does, is it means that we're able to increase the rates. Look at something like Uber. Uber increases the rates as demand increases. And this happens for a few reasons. Interestingly enough, one of those reasons is because it brings in more drivers. It brings more people out on the road to meet the demand. Because if the cost of taking an Uber is increased, the payout for a driver is increased. And that's enticing for people. So for you. If your demand is increased, and if you're becoming very in demand, you too can raise your rates to meet that demand.
[00:11:52.270] - Candice Coppola (Host)
One thing you want to just be thoughtful of is how much you raise your rates. You don't want to price yourself out of everybody, and then you go from being in demand to being not in demand. I'm trying to think of a word that's the opposite. It's tumbleweeds in your inbox. It's tumbleweeds in your HoneyBook pipeline. You don't want that. But if you're in demand, then that means that definitely means that you can raise your rate.
[00:12:17.690] - Candice Coppola (Host)
What if you could spend more time being creative in your business and less time managing it? Real quick, I want to tell you about one of my favorite tools HoneyBook. HoneyBook is an all in one client flow platform that helps wedding pros like you manage your business. From processes like booking and payments to invoicing and so much more. HoneyBook simplifies the process of running a successful wedding business. With customizable templates and even a mobile app, you will be able to manage your client flow on the go. HoneyBook is offering listeners of the Power and Purpose podcast 35% off any one of their three plans for the first year. Use the code purpose at checkout or go to Candice Coppola HoneyBook to learn more. That's Candicecoppolacom HoneyBook sign number four is.
[00:13:17.570] - Candice Coppola (Host)
That your costs have increased. So if your costs of doing business have increased, those costs should be relayed to the customer. The customer should be paying for those costs. Otherwise your business is not sustainable. Otherwise, you are paying for people's weddings. When you really think about it, you are then paying for someone to get married in some form or fashion, whether you're paying for the images, the video of it, you're paying for the flowers, you're paying for the invitations, the rentals, the planning of it. If your costs have increased, then it's time for you to reconsider raising your rates. And I think businesses should approach this thoughtfully because costs are rising across the board. And so you have to be thoughtful about it and you have to be strategic about it. You want to raise your rates to cover your cost. You also want to do so in a thoughtful way. And you have to understand where there may be some lines in raising your rates. If you're finding it really difficult to book clients at your current rate to begin with, raising your rates due to cost is going to be difficult. And what you may want to do is actually evaluate where you're spending your money and to eliminate some unnecessary spending that can help you to even bring your rate down potentially and then book more clients.
[00:14:34.610] - Candice Coppola (Host)
But if your costs have increased, it is a sign that you probably need to raise your rates. Inflation can also affect your business here, and I had a great episode with Michelle Loretta, episode 93 and michelle talks about inflation, the rising cost of doing business, the recession. And so if you're interested in hearing our conversation, definitely go back and listen to that episode. I'm not an expert here. Michelle is way more of an expert than I am, and that's why I invited her to be on our show. Sign number five, that it's time for you to raise your rates is that your competition has raised their rates. And while I am not a fan of doing what your competition does because it's what they're doing, and I'm also not a fan of basing your business price on what other people charge. And I'll explain why in a second. I do think that you need to pay attention to what people are doing when it comes to raising your rates. Because if you are going to be competing against the same people for the same jobs, in theory, your rates should be similar. And if you see your competition raising their rates, I hope that provides you with a little bit of encouragement and a little bit of motivation.
[00:15:40.420] - Candice Coppola (Host)
That if you've been sticking on raising your price out of fear, out of scarcity, out of whatever reason, that it's like, hey, look, your competition is over here, and they're raising their rates, and if they can raise their rates, then it's probably time for you to raise yours. So I see this as like a motivator in that sense. But let me tell you something. I don't want you to use this as the only indicator. I firmly believe that you should build a business around what you want. And your competition is interesting to look at and it's an interesting data point, but it's not a place where you want to get stuck in what they're doing because you don't know if your competition is actually running a successful business period. Everything could look fantastic on Instagram, but they could be broke behind the scenes. Everything could look fantastic in the wedding world, in your local market, but behind the scenes, they could be making $0.00. So if you start building a business based on what they charge and the services they offer, thinking and assuming that they're successful financially, you might find yourself in a very similar situation, meaning you're working your ass off.
[00:16:50.740] - Candice Coppola (Host)
Everything looks good on Instagram, but you are broke as a fucking joke. I don't want that for you. And that happens pretty often. I wouldn't say it's the majority, but I would say that people make things look really great online, but it's not always so great behind the scenes. And this is why you need to have multiple data points when raising your price, and it can't just be on what your competition is charging. Okay. Sign number six that you should raise your rates is that your target market has changed. So we talk about ICS a lot on the podcast. As you know, I have an amazing course called The Client Cocktail which will help you upgrade your clients and book magazine worthy weddings. It's my formula to do that. If you have not purchased the client cocktail and you want to upgrade your clients, go and get it. Go and grab it. It's over on my website. It's $37. It's the best $37 you will ever spend, I promise. And if you're a cocktailr, you know that when your target market changes and you upgrade your clients to a higher budget bracket or they're getting married at different venues or working with different people, your price should really move up into that bracket.
[00:18:02.310] - Candice Coppola (Host)
Similarly, if your target market comes down and you're working with people with less budgets, so smaller budgets, then your pricing needs to change. But usually we're trying to go up. We're not trying to come down. Usually the budgets are growing. They're not lessening. So if your target market has changed and you're working with people who have larger budgets, you certainly can look into increasing your price. It's a sign. It's a signal that it's time for you to increase your price. And if you don't, that actually could be a little bit of a red flag to them. Because if they're looking through all of the photographers for their wedding that have been recommended to them, and you are thousands of dollars less than other photographers that you're competing against, they might think something's up with you, and not in a good way. They might be like, Why is Candice so cheap? Something must be wrong here. This has got to be a scam. We're missing something here. So it can kind of be a little bit of a red flag. And, girl, we don't want any red flags. We want to be waving green money flags, not red flags.
[00:19:06.890] - Candice Coppola (Host)
So if your target market has changed, then it definitely is a good idea to reevaluate your pricing and make sure that your pricing is up and above board of your competition. And these two are kind of working together. Your competition has raised their rates. Your target market has changed. It's time for you to elevate your price as well. So those are six signs that it's time for you to raise your rates in your business. I'm wondering, did all of these signs speak to you? Did any in particular speak to you? Do you have a different indicator of when it's time for you to raise your rates in your business? I'd love to hear from you, but these are the most common areas that I look at when I'm supporting someone in either my Mastermind Wedding Pro Insiders or in an office hours call in the planner's playbook about raising their rates. I look at these factors first, and if we're ticking off some of these boxes, then, yeah, that's the permission we need to raise our rates. I want to encourage you to not just charge what you're worth. That's a mantra that I don't necessarily agree with.
[00:20:19.190] - Candice Coppola (Host)
You are worth all that in a bag of chips. You're worth whatever it is you want to be paid for the labor that you're giving. But I do want to encourage you to make sure that you are being paid for your labor and that there's an exchange, a transaction is taking place, and that transaction you feel good about. So if you feel like you're undercharging and you're not being paid enough to do the work, here's your business coach telling you to evaluate your rates and make a change. Here's one thing that you can do. You can raise your rates by just a little bit, maybe just $100. I know that seems minuscule and small, but sometimes we just need a little push. So you can raise your rates by $100, and the next inquiry, you send them that pricing, and let's see how it sticks. If they say yes to it, then let's raise it by 100 more and see what happens. If they say yes, then let's try $100 more, and we can play around with pricing and see maybe what our current ceiling is based on our experience, where we sit in the marketplace, our ideal clients, their budget, the economy, our location.
[00:21:24.810] - Candice Coppola (Host)
And it takes some pressure off. I think a lot of times we think, I need to raise my rates by thousands of dollars. And sure, maybe you do, but it could be smarter for you to raise it by small increments until you get to a point where you're hitting resistance that doesn't feel good or that doesn't make sense. Everybody's saying yes, and then suddenly now everybody's saying no. That's a good indicator that you've priced yourself out of your current marketplace. So try raising your rates by small increments, and let's see what happens. Report back to me now. I think that based on where the economy is right now, where the wedding industry is going, and just what's happening, the general pulse on the industry, many of us need to evaluate our rates, and I hope that you will do that. Thanks so much for listening to today's episode of the podcast. I'd love to hear your thoughts. You can email me. You can also DM me on instagram. If you enjoyed this episode, share it with somebody who you care about. Share it with your business BFF, share it with a bestie in the industry, and maybe have a conversation about what we spoke about here together.
[00:22:32.220] - Candice Coppola (Host)
Mastermind a little bit, get some feedback from them, and give them some feedback on their rates. I want to encourage you to dig into your communities a little bit more, maybe take what you're learning here in some other places and speak to your local business partners and colleagues and BFFs and talk about what you're learning, what you're hearing, what you're observing, and see how it might apply to your unique businesses. All right, my friend, as always, thank you so much for listening. I'm here to remind you that there is so much power in your purpose. Until next time. Take care friends.
[00:23:06.490] - Candice Coppola (Host)
Thanks so much for tuning in to this week's episode of the the the.
[00:23:10.430] - Candice Coppola (Host)
Power in Purpose podcast.
[00:23:12.030] - Candice Coppola (Host)
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[00:23:19.000] - Candice Coppola (Host)
Head over to Powerintpurposepodcast.com to access all.
[00:23:23.890] - Candice Coppola (Host)
Of the resources and links mentioned in today's episode.
[00:23:28.140] - Candice Coppola (Host)
[00:23:31.520] - Candice Coppola (Host)
I'll see you next time.
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RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Shop The Candice Coppola Shop For Wedding Pros
- Join The Planner's Playbook Waitlist
- Get 35% off Honeybook with this Honeybook Promo Code
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