Over the past several years I have written articles regarding product and service pricing and have made recommendations to my clients regarding the pricing of their products and services. These suggestions were based on my belief and experience that most businesses can pass on at least a 2 to 3 percentage price increase in their respective products and services to their customers each year and should do so annually at the same point in time, say January 1st.
Few customers if any will even notice that small an increase. If you are not doing this type of systematic pricing increase, your bottom-line profitability is going to suffer because the costs associated with running your business are increasing. If you don’t increase your pricing, you are simply absorbing the increases in your expenses (wages, insurance, rent, utilities, taxes, office supplies, advertising, and, the list goes on).
One example I like to use to demonstrate this point is to take any year-end income statement for your business and add 3.0% to your revenue figure; see what that does to your gross profit margin and your net profit margin. Most business owners I ask to do that exercise will come back and tell me they are amazed, and they all wish they would have done something like that sooner.
What prompted me to write this article about increasing pricing for products and services is the present inflationary market we are experiencing. With the last published inflation rate of 9.1% (a 40 plus year high), if you are not increasing your product and service pricing right now by at least 9.1% your bottom line will be greatly affected in a negative way for 2022. I would almost guarantee you that you are experiencing increases in almost every expense item, like the ones I mentioned earlier.
Avoid the Wait
Further, if you wait until next year to increase your pricing, we could be operating in a much different business environment, perhaps a recession, and then it will be very difficult to pass product and service pricing on to your customers.
I recently heard of one business that decided to do a 25.0% increase in its service fee and add a 5.0% monthly fuel surcharge to its pricing, and it experienced had no questions or complaints.
I know and understand passing a double-digit price increase on to your customers might not be possible in every situation due to differences in competitive environments. But I would guess you could pass the inflationary rate of 9.1% on to your customers as a fair increase.
Lastly, I also know and understand that by increasing your product and service pricing you might feel like you are adding to the inflationary spiral. However, if you don’t increase your pricing as stated above, you will be simply absorbing the increases yourself in the goods and services that you have to pay. A simple saying, I have stated over the years might apply here: “Do you want to pay your mortgage payment, or do you want to pay someone else’s”?