Afraid to raise your prices? Yeah, I have some thoughts on that too.
When it comes to fear, the only thing it is ever going to do for your business is hold you back from living your dreams. We must be stronger than our fears if we are going to make a living doing what we love.
I'll be totally honest. I am not immune to these fears. I have under-priced much of my work for a long time too. After a long hard look at my own true cost of materials, time and overhead, I raised my prices in one of my shops by almost 20% in one day.
No announcement. No excuses. No explanation.
Was I scared? Yep. I was at first. I wondered if my sales would cease to exist. I wondered if I should have said something first. I worried that maybe I was just fooling myself into thinking that I knew what I was doing. Blah Blah Blah. Fear sucks and then you have to get over it by just DOING it. (Nike had a point there)
I got over it by counteracting my fear with a large dose of REALITY and I realized that if anyone was truly waiting to buy my work then they would simply just have to pay a little more for it.
They could also choose to email me asking for a discount explaining that they were saving their pennies for two years just to buy one of my pieces - and I'd probably give it to them if they asked nicely enough!
But you know what? I sold something two days later with no problem or mention of my prices at all and no one ever emailed me asking why my prices were higher!
That proved to me that any imagined problems that I thought I was going to cause by raising my prices were just that: Make Believe!
What I have learned and now know for sure:
The true value of handmade work is not just based in the cost of time and materials.
I offer very high-quality handmade personalized products with really great customer service
I always make sure to offer lots of communication during the process to let them know exactly how much care goes into every single order
I work hard for my customers and they reward me by buying my work and leaving great reviews
And all of this happens even though similar products are easily found for 1/2 the price!
Still not convinced?
Ask yourself this:
Exactly WHO are the throngs of "customers" that you *think* you are sparing by keeping your prices too low?
Are they really buying dozens of items every week because you are underpricing your work?
Are they emailing you all the time telling you how thankful they are that they can afford your work and please don't ever raise your prices?
Where are they when you really need to make a sale?
Do they come out of the woodwork when you need them to or are you still struggling to figure out how to *reach* them?
If you're going to avoid raising your prices, then please do NOT blame those imaginary customers for holding you back. They are not the problem.
You need to figure out your true fears around raising your prices and counteract them with the harsh reality of the situation:
You need to make a living at this and you must do whatever what it takes to get yourself there. Even if it's scary. ESPECIALLY if it's scary!
Oh, and IF by some strange coincidence those imagined "customers" are real and they come at you, telling you your prices are too high, then look at it this way:
You probably don't want them for customers anyway. I mean, do you REALLY want to sell to a bunch of selfish, greedy people who truly don't value you or your work?
I didn't think so :)
This post was originally published 06/29/10 / Updated 03/19/18 by Marlo M.