Ways to raise prices at your spa or massage practice and not lose clients

When you started your spa or massage practice, you might have set prices for your services geared to the lower end of the market to attract clients. Now that you’ve established yourself, and especially if you are reaching near maximum booking, you may be thinking that it’s time to boost prices to the level you desire.

Even if you started your business with a premium model, it still might be time to raise prices. After all, your costs to do business continually increase. Your rent may be going up, or you need to take on more space, your employees are due a raise, or you need to hire more staff. And ironically, the more you grow, the more marketing you may need to do to keep a leadership position.

Whatever the reasons, you know it’s time to increase prices but is uncomfortable about it and certainly don’t want to lose business in the process. Here are some things to do to help you raise prices to the level you deserve and need for profitability. Keep your clients at the same time.

Give advance notice

Give your clients sufficient advance notice that you intend to raise prices. Post the price increases in your waiting area and/or in each treatment room a month in advance. You don’t want to spring a price hike on unsuspecting clients.  And don’t increase prices right before the holiday season when clients will have additional expenses.

Give clear explanations

Your customers will appreciate knowing why prices are going up. Give them straightforward and direct answers. Details aren’t necessary. Clients want to feel comfortable that the increases are reasonable and credible. It helps if you can point out how the increase helps them, too. For example, you may use a product that customers really like, but its rising price hurts your profit margin. Let your customers know that the increase will enable you to keep using that product rather than switching to lower quality or less effective.

Convey your worth

In conversations with clients, point out that your service offerings are still the best because of your experience and continual effort to learn and stay current with the latest massage or skincare trends, even with the increase in prices. Still, if you find clients put off by the increase, consider offering them something else as a bonus for the next visit. For example, you could offer a hydrating wrap along with a massage just as a way to thank them for continuing to support your spa or massage practice. Or you may offer then a discount on their next purchase of an at-home retail product.

Offer options

If clients still balk at the increase, work with them on options. Instead of an hour therapeutic massage, suggest reducing the time to 45 minutes to keep pricing at the level they want.  Suggest they switch from weekly sessions to one every 10 days to stay within budget. If they reduce the number of sessions or duration of each, advise them on how to extend the benefits of their time with you through exercise or stress-reducing activities in between sessions.

Brief your team

Train everyone on your team about the price changes. The training provides your team with an opportunity to ask questions, so they fully understand the rationale. This way, there will be consistency in the message about the increase from every member of your staff.

In the long run, as long as you maintain the highest level of service, you’ll find a majority of your clients will be supportive of your price increase. Just make sure the increase is reasonable.

Jean Shea

Massage therapy