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Update Your Service Pricing Annually. Here’s How

Price right!

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PRICING SERVICES CAN be confusing. If you set your prices too low, you may not make a profit. If your prices are too high, you will struggle to find enough clients to stay afloat. Experienced pet sitters and dog walkers can benefit from evaluating pricing every year or two. Part of the reason that pricing is so difficult for most first-time business owners is that there is no concrete formula for finding the right price. Location, demand and even the condition of the economy affect how much customers are willing to pay for a particular service.

Some of the most common mistakes business owners make is setting prices too low and neglecting to raise rates every few years. The idea that the lowest prices bring in the most customers is not always true. People want to feel like they are paying for quality, especially when it comes to their pets. Don’t sell yourself short!

On the other hand, it is easy to price yourself out of business by charging too much. I see this most often with new pet business owners who have no idea what the going rate is for pet services in their area. For this reason, I suggest you start by figuring out what other pet business owners charge where you live.

An internet search should give you the information you need, or you might need to spend some time on the phone with local business owners. Write down what 10 or more other similar businesses are charging per walk, visit, etc. Break it down in terms of time amounts for each service.

If there are any companies charging a lot more or less than the average price in your area, try to figure out why. Are the businesses with the lowest prices new companies? Are their visit or walk times shorter than others? When it comes to the businesses with the highest prices, what sets them apart? What service or experience do they provide that allows them to charge the highest prices?

Review your rates once a year. The cost of doing business and living your life will always go up. If you’ve got more clients than you know what to do with, then you can raise your prices with confidence.

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Some of my coaching clients feel awkward raising rates, especially for friends and family. Failing to raise your rates is an expensive mistake! Here’s why: It will cost you more to do business every year, and if you don’t raise prices regularly, you will work more to bring in the same amount of money. This can lead to burnout and drain all the joy out of your business.

One question I frequently get from my coaching clients is how should they tell their customers about the rate increase? They worry that their clients will be upset or leave altogether. And yet, many of my clients hear from their customers that they are surprised it has taken so long for prices to go up. Those who do leave often make room for more clients, allowing you to attract and retain the best clients who value the service your business provides.

This excerpt from Kristin Morrison’s book, 30 Days to Start and Grow Your Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business, appeared in the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters Association magazine. Morrison is a nationally recognized pet business conference speaker and the founder of Six-Figure Pet Business Academy. She hosts the annual Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference and the Prosperous Pet Business podcast. Her books include Six-Figure Pet Sitting, Six-Figure Pet Business and Prosperous Pet Business. https://www.sixfigurepetbusinessacademy.com

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