How to Charge Your Worth (Even When You Have Imposter Syndrome)
by MoeGo on Jun 9, 2023 9:23:00 AM
Let's be real, raising your prices can be about as fun as giving a feral cat a bath - especially when it means you might lose some clients.
During times of change, it's natural to worry about not being able to fill your schedule. Or maybe you already raised your prices but bookings aren’t flowing in like they did before and you’re tempted to throw in the towel and lower them again.
The reality is, charging your worth can be difficult but being overbooked and underpaid is even harder.
In this blog, we'll guide you through the process of managing those intimidating price increases while addressing the anxiety and stress that comes with the territory.
Raising Your Prices is Stressful
Anxiety about raising your prices is natural - but this nervousness probably stems from not understanding your true value. In fact, this type of anxiety can easily be a direct reflection of doubt and imposter syndrome - not how likely your business actually is to succeed or fail.
Kelsey Ann Sexton, a Nationally Certified Groomer with nearly 20 years of professional pet grooming experience and owner of The Dog Studio spoke to this issue in a recent Live session with us.
“I have felt that and gone back and forth with that doubt so many times,” she said, “ But I will tell you, I envy every single new business and wish I could go back to myself when I was a new business and…tell myself it's okay.”
You can still feel doubt and raise your prices. Feeling doubt, especially while you’re waiting to book your calendar after making a significant price change, is completely normal. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try to mitigate that stress by going about your pricing increase in the most strategic way possible.
Here are a few tips from Kelsey Ann’s insight:
1) Understand Your Budget
Step one is figuring out how much you need to raise your prices. There are a lot of factors that come into play here, but the basic question you’ll need to answer is this: Is my business making enough money to reach my financial needs and goals?
"I realized that I had been undercharging my hourly rate for a little too long now."
Kelsey Ann Sexton
The Dog Studio
“I had to sit down with my business and go through my past budget of my old spending habits and my ideal spending habits,” Kelsey Ann said. “I looked at it and I was like, oh no, this is so bad.”
Things can feel impossible when you are making ends meet like they should but can’t fit any more grooming sessions in a day. If you’re in this boat, it’s time to raise your prices. And having a clear budget breakdown to understand where you’re spending can help you see how much you actually need to charge for your time.
“... I realized that I had been undercharging my hourly rate for a little too long now,” said Kelsey Ann.
2) Know Who Your Ideal Clients Are
Pricing is directly related to the type of customers your business will attract. Before you raise your prices, take some time to understand who your ideal customers are.
“I had to sit down again after I have my budget and think of what my ideal client is looking for,” Kelsey Ann told us. “Who is my ideal client?”
Your ideal client can be defined in many ways. For some, it may be largely based on how much they are willing to spend, but “ideal client” can also include specific breed types and other details.
Having this type of customer profile can make it easier for you to avoid panicking after a price raise and taking on more of the wrong type of client for the sake of filling your calendar.
3) Don’t Panic! (And Take the Wrong Clients)
First things first: Being overbooked isn’t a good thing. Especially if you’re overbooking the wrong type of client.
“Don't overbook yourself with the wrong types of clients just to have the satisfaction of saying that you're booked…It's not a badge of honor.” Kelsey Ann warned.
She goes on to explain that in most industries, overbooking is not viewed favorably.
"Don't overbook yourself with the wrong types of clients just to have the satisfaction of saying that you're booked…It's not a badge of honor."
Kelsey Ann Sexton
The Dog Studio
“It means you're charging too little or your value is being overtaken...This belief that we have to overwork because nobody else can do it, that’s simply not true.”
She goes on to explain that groomers can feel like they have to overbook their schedules because there aren’t enough groomers to meet demand, but this mindset makes it easy to take on the wrong clients and compromise on your personal and professional goals.
It’s Okay to Lose Some Customers
Raising your prices will (and should) result in fewer bookings, but the goal is to offset those lost bookings with customers who are willing to pay what you’re worth.
Think about it like this: If you currently book 10 clients a day at $50 and your business and wellbeing are suffering. If you double your prices to $100 and half of your customers leave, you’re making the same amount of money for half the work and fewer overhead costs (supplies, water, etc.).
5) Market Yourself Like the Best Groomer In the World
Another tip Kelsey Ann shared was marketing yourself, especially on social media, in a way that attracts the types of customers you want.
“If you get overbooked quickly, you're actually shooting yourself in the foot,” she said, “So just know that you will be booked and do everything that you can to showcase utilizing social media.”
It can be difficult to market yourself if imposter syndrome starts to creep in, though. But as Kelsey Ann reminded us, you are the best groomer in the world for your customers - because they chose and trusted you to groom their dog.
“Make yourself look like the best groomer in the world,” she says, “because you are if they chose you to groom their dog.”
6) Listen to the Right People
When it comes to raising your prices and making a significant change to your business model, everyone - and we mean everyone - will have an opinion for you. Listening to the right people is crucial for long-term success.
Kelsey Ann recalls experiencing this herself. “Everything was just starting to click really hard for me when I was just listening to the right people, “ she said. “I listened to my uncle, my cousin and other people when I first started my business.”
She recalls common advice from those around her. “Well, you're gonna have to get some work in there,” she was told, “You're gonna have to do things you don't want to do.”
"Everything was just starting to click really hard for me when I was just listening to the right people."
Kelsey Ann Sexton
The Dog Studio
She then notes this type of advice may be true, but consistent compromise isn’t sustainable. “That’s true to an extent but that's not forever and that's also not a good business model - to take in anything and everything just because you need to make a quick buck.”
Instead, she turned to other experts in the grooming industry. “I have to shout out to Jess Rona, because she helped me a lot with my mindset,” she said.
You Deserve to Charge What You’re Worth
Charging your worth can be a daunting task for any groomer, especially when doubt and imposter syndrome come knocking on your door. However, as we learned from Kelsey Ann’s insights, it is important to understand your true value and have confidence in your abilities.
By creating a clear budget breakdown, identifying your ideal clients, avoiding panic and overbooking, and marketing yourself effectively, you can raise your prices and attract the customers who are willing to pay what you're worth.
Remember that it's okay to lose some clients in the process, and listening to the right people can help you achieve long-term success. So take a deep breath, believe in yourself, and charge your worth - you deserve it!