How to raise your rates and keep your clients as a contractor

posted in: Profit | 0
Should I Raise My Rates

Have you been contemplating raising your rates, but worried that you will lose your clients if you do?

As a contractor, the prospect of increasing your rates can be a daunting decision, especially when you've invested time and effort in building a client base. However, if your accountant is advising a rate hike, it's essential to carefully consider the implications and strategically approach this aspect of your business. Don't worry - I've got you.  Let's take a look at the steps to consider when contemplating a rate increase:

Evaluate Costs: The first step in determining whether a rate increase is necessary involves a comprehensive evaluation of your business's financial landscape. Collaborate with your accountant to assess material costs, labor expenses (including salaries and benefits), and overhead costs such as taxes, rent, insurance, marketing, and transportation. Aim for a profit margin of around 10% to 15% to ensure sustainability and growth. If your current rates are falling short of covering these costs, a rate adjustment might be in order.

Assess Client Value: Not all clients are created equal, and understanding the value each client brings to your business is crucial. Some clients may serve as valuable assets by providing referrals, being easy to work with, or consistently paying promptly. For these clients, it's acceptable to maintain lower fees - they are the golden geese that keep your business alive with referrals.  On the other hand, other clients are more hassle than they are worth.  They pay late, argue details, and create constant difficulties.  For your pain in the a.... for your more difficult customer base,  a rate increase can help balance the scales and ensure fair compensation for your services.

Research Industry Standards: To gauge the appropriateness of a rate increase, research the industry standards for services similar to yours. Analyze what competitors are charging and assess how your pricing compares. If your proposals are consistently accepted without a bat of an eye, there may be room to raise prices without causing prospects to flinch.  Being aware of market trends and aligning your rates accordingly can help you maintain competitiveness while ensuring financial viability.

Conclusion: While the fear of losing clients is a valid concern, a thoughtful and strategic approach to rate increases can be beneficial for your business's long-term health. By carefully evaluating costs, assessing client value, and researching industry standards, you can make informed decisions that align with both your financial goals and client expectations. Ultimately, communication is key—keeping clients informed of the reasons behind rate adjustments can foster transparency and maintain positive relationships.

As always, I am just an email away to help answer any questions you may have.  Did you increase your rates this year - or are you staying status quo?

Need help deciding if you should raise your rates?

Don't worry, I've got you... Schedule a discovery session and let's chat.

Follow Priscilla Hansen Mahoney:

Business Coach for Contractors

Business Coach for Contractors and Founder of Blazing Trails Coaching I help my clients “get out of their pickup trucks and on top of their businesses.” I specialize in working with skilled-trades business owners to help them streamline processes, train leaders, engage employees, and make their businesses efficient and profitable.

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