Deciding When To Raise Your Prices … And By How Much

A price increase is sometimes unavoidable — and now might be one of those times as many businesses are dealing with cost increases, supply chain bottlenecks, and labor shortages. The key to implementing a price hike with minimal loss of customers is timing. It’s hard to be the first one in your industry to raise your prices. If others don’t follow suit, your business could be in the embarrassing position of having to rescind price increases and determining other ways to make ends meet. Here are some key considerations when weighing the pros and cons of increasing your prices. Customer Loyalty The first step is to gauge customer loyalty. Some companies have built a base of loyal customers who are willing to pay a premium for their brands. Others have a customer base that’s made up of bargain hunters who would be willing to switch brands to save a few dollars. How do you know how loyal your customers are? Ideally, you’ve been monitoring their purchasing patterns over the years, and watching how they respond if you or a competitor has a “sales event.” Depending on the nature of your business and your ability to monitor customer behavior, you can also gauge loyalty by how long customers have been patronizing your business. If there’s significant customer turnover and you increase prices, your business could be in a vulnerable position. Another consideration is the nature of what you sell. If it’s a basic necessity and you dominate your market, your customers might have little choice but to accept a price increase. And even if you sell “luxury” products and services, you might also be in a good position to raise prices to the extent that your customers have an abundance of disposable income and aren’t price sensitive. Of course, that wouldn’t hold true for cost-conscious buyers of nonessential products. READ FULL ARTICLE>>