Raising Your Rates and Keeping Your Customers

A sound pricing strategy and good communication will help take the sting out  of charging more money for your services

Do you break into a sweat at the very thought of raising your rates and having to tell loyal customers that you’re going to have to start charging them more? The biggest fear for many farriers is that many of their customers will walk away if they add even a tiny increase to their current prices.

If the fear of losing customers is keeping you from raising your rates, here are some pointers to help you get your prices in order and ensure your business will thrive.

The Basics Of Pricing

Before you raise your rates, make sure you have thought out a pricing strategy. A pricing strategy is basically a well thought-out plan for how you will decide on the prices you want to charge for your services and products, as well as when do you want to start these rate increases. When planning your rate increases, you’ll want to ensure you’ve included such things as rate of inflation, retirement or any increasing costs faced by your business over the next year such as insurance, medical and material increases. (For more on this topic, see “A Practical Approach To Setting Your Shoeing Prices,” AFJ, Jan./Feb. 2010,)

I do not recommend that you share the ins-and-outs of how you calculate your rates, but I would definitely consider explaining your pricing policy up front to your customers, as well…

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Esco Buff

Esco Buff, CF, APF, is a farrier in Web­ster, N.Y., and holds a PhD in bus­iness administration. He is a member of the Interna­tional Horseshoeing Hall of Fame.

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