I recently wrote about lowering your fees (Is it OK to Lower Your Fees?) so it's time to give some attention to the other side of the coin. A friend recently asked me if his services were sufficient for him to raise his fees. Since I don't use his services my response was, there are many things to consider. If you too are dogged by the fee-raising dilemma, here's a few things to consider:
What does worth have to do with it?
You feel that you're "the best" at what you do and therefore your customers should pay a premium for it. Maybe they will and maybe they won't but one thing is certain- they're not buying what they think your worth. They're buying what they want and what they need. This worth thing is your own creation and it alone will not sell a cup of coffee. If you're the best at what you do, you must prove it, show it and deliver it!
Not so fast big guy.
Raising your fees is not for the faint of heart. It's also not for people who've just begun their business adventure. It is something that you aspire to; it's a privilege that is to be earned. Once you've proven your worth to your customers then you can entertain the idea of raising your fees.
Greed is a 4 letter word.
Yes, there are 5 letters in the word greed but greed is a nasty thing and for many it comes into play when raising fees. Raising your fees can be for good and for not so good reasons. On the good side for example you may believe (and have been told) the value you provide far exceeds the fees you charge. On the flip side you may feel you deserve a raise because others charge more than you. Remember those scales of justice? Put good will on one side and greed on the other. Which way would you like your scale to tip?
If you do raise your fees you will not be alone. People do it all the time and that won't change. But just because it's the status quo doesn't make it right for you. When a customer engages your services they have certain expectations. Your ability to meet those expectations and then to go above and beyond and to sustain that level of excellence lends justification for a fee raise. If you're doing these things increasing your fees is manageable. If not, it's quite likely you'll be perceived as greedy or needy. I don't need to remind you what comes next.