Raising Your Prices Ethically

October 19, 2023

Image with the title of the episode and a photo of Rochelle, a filipino woman with her black hair tied back and thick rimmed glasses, smiling at the camera The background is orange and pink with a transparent overlay of some fall leaves image and there are flowers and rhinestones sprinkled around the edges like a digital collage

Description and Show Notes

Let's talk about ethically increasing service rates or product prices without alienating lower-income customers and striking a balance between financial sustainability and service.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Raising prices is a necessary part of business growth and sustainability. It doesn't mean excluding low-income individuals but finding a balance between service and financial stability.
  2. You deserve to earn from what you love doing, and it's essential to value your high-quality offerings while maintaining yourself financially.
  3. Self-employment complexities shouldn’t deter you because there’s an inherent desire for more – better outcomes not only for clients but also personal fulfillment and financial reward.
  4. Wanting more money does not make you bad—it makes you someone who understands that quality work deserves fair compensation.
  5. There are ways to remain accessible while increasing prices; this could include offering free services or donating part of every invoice sent out.

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Hello, friends. This is another throwback to an episode that I originally published in 2019 about the good old dilemma of charging more for your products or services.

So, this is obviously a very charged topic because money is the language that our modern world speaks. And it's been good. It's been used for good. And it's been used for bad and it's been used to hold people back and push some, not so great people to the top.

Capitalism is just how it is right now. And as a heart-centered entrepreneur, I know that you're juggling the different ways that you can best handle your work and serve the people who need your help.

While also creating the kind of life that you deserve for your family and for yourself.

So in this episode, you're going to get some insights on how to raise your prices while still feeling like an ethical business owner.

If you're torn between serving people who don't come from Super high income families and generational wealth. But you know that you can't survive by keeping your prices. At the discount supermarket level.

Then this episode should give you some clarity and some options.

I mean, don't get me wrong. I love a good discount, just like anybody. And I know that. Certain stores are great for shopping for certain reasons. And so it's just like this isn't about that. This is about you and your high value products and services that you're trying to sell. In order to, to make a living for yourself.

Obviously, I can't make the decision for you. But I can help you to feel a little more grounded in how raising your prices. Doesn't mean that you're cutting yourself off from helping folks from lower income brackets.

This is Compassionate Side Hustle Strategy, hosted by me, Rochelle Sanchez. I help solopreneurs like you build good habits and compassionate systems that allow you to show up consistently and authentically in your business. The end goal is to help you onboard a virtual assistant who's 100 percent aligned with your mission and within your budget.

But there are a few things you should probably get in place first, right? You deserve to do what you love for a living, and I believe that you're closer than you think. So clear your schedule, and let's get to work on the next best step for you on your business journey.

This is compassionate side hustle strategy hosted by me, Rochelle Sanchez. I help solopreneurs like you build good habits and compassionate systems that allow you to show up consistently and authentically in your business. The end goal is to help you onboard a virtual assistant who is 100% aligned with your mission and within your budget, but there are a few things you should probably get in place first, right? That's why we're here.

You deserve to do what you love for a living. And I believe that you're closer than you think. So clear your schedule and let's get to work on the next best step for you on your business journey.

Like to talk to you a little bit about raising your prices and some things that might be coming up for you, especially if the idea of raising your prices doesn't feel good or feels like something that you're not allowed to do. And I know that a lot of people, we base our prices based on how worthy we feel of that price and how we feel about the people that we want to help with our business and our products and our services.

And so today I'll be presenting you three comforting thoughts. If you happen to be freaked out about raising your prices, because you know that it's time, but you also wish it wasn't because you wish that you could help everyone and you could help everyone without having that financial barrier between you.

Here are three comforting thoughts if you're freaked out about raising your prices. And just to get into this, when do you know that it's time to raise your prices? The answer is probably when it's already too late. And I'm kidding, but I'm kind of not kidding because you have a business and you're still weird enough to be insisting on continuing to grow this business that you've chosen instead of maybe letting it go and leaning more into your corporate day job or trying something else out.

So you know that you can help people. Like if I put the perfect client in front of you who can pay you, no problem. And you're completely in within their budget, and they're exactly the type of person that you hope would buy your product or service.

You would probably confidently, 100 percent up, show up and change their life just like that.

No problem, right?

You know that this whole self employed thing is slightly more complicated than you thought it was when you started researching.

Whether that was a few years ago or fairly recently, but probably you're noticing that things are a little more complicated than just start a business and get the licenses and then put yourself out there.

But you know that you want more and you want better. And you know that you deserve more and you deserve better. So since we're all on the same page. Let's talk about some objections that might be coming up for you inside your own head. This is what I call the inner drama around raising your prices, and we're going to talk about them one by one, especially if you're like me and you like to work with people who are like you and you're not super thrilled to be working with like uber rich upper class people who are completely unplugged from the world.

And what's Power they have in their money and how they can use their money for good. So if those are not your people, then we're probably the same kind of person. The first thought that I would love for you to keep in your head, at least for the next week, and just to reflect on. is that you deserve to be able to provide for yourself.

And this concept dives into the whole put your oxygen mask on first deal. So if you, well, not right now anyway because of COVID and the pandemic, but if you're a frequent flyer And you're, you're familiar with what happens at the beginning of most plane rides, at least the, the, not, not the super private, private jet kind, because I've never been on those, but at least on the commercial flights, right?

And they do the safety check and they say, you know, in case of an emergency and in case you need oxygen, then these masks will come down from the compartment. above you. And ideally, you'll put on your mask first. So if you have kids or you have, maybe you're like me and you have a special needs brother, then the idea is that you put on yours first before you put on theirs.

And the concept for this is that if you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to take care of other people. And I would say that the same thing goes with money. So let's say that with your current business, you're working 90 hour work weeks. You're taking consults for 20 per hour or less, thinking that, you know, the networking value is worth scrunching in an extra meeting into your already packed day with your family and your day job and whatever, and you're rushing back and forth from workshop to training to school drop off and your kids are starting to know you as the person who's here sometimes and cusses a lot and drops off food, but it's super busy, so don't talk to them.

And as long as the bills are paid and the family is fed, you'll just keep plugging along because eventually things will get better. And you let the guilt go because, you know, every parent has lots of work to do, right? Every person in the family has lots of work to do and everyone is overloaded. But here's the thing.

You deserve to provide better for yourself. So what if the rest of the country is... Same demographics and psychographics as you, age, sex, income, identity. So what if they're all doing it this way? You deserve better. You deserve to be the person who's doing it a little differently and not stretching yourself and not trying to be the person who sets all of these new records that we don't even get credit for, right?

You deserve better than the crap that you've been putting up with for too long. And sure, if it takes a while to transition. into that higher price type of living, then you'd be amazed how many months it can take to figure out how to pronounce the word no, right? It's okay if it's taking a while, but you're better off being in the awkward transition period right now as you are.

Then if you're just gonna keep putting it off until someday, eventually I'll raise my prices. Like, once I prove this and that, once I make this many sales and I can prove that people want this thing. So the solution to that is to know that this is for you. This is one step in your entrepreneurial journey.

And I'm asking you now to set a date to raise your prices. You can put the date six months out if you have to, it's a little better if it's more like two months from now. Just so that you remember it and you stay, you keep paying attention to it, but make it official and do it for yourself because you know that it will help.

Remember that you're resilient enough to keep up with your current workload. You're experienced enough already to know that good things take time, and you're trustworthy enough to do the work that needs to be done and focus on the small changes that need to happen between today and tomorrow. And the official first day of your new prices.

Resilient, experienced, trustworthy, that's all of you, okay? So keep that in mind. Now let's talk about something that might be holding you back when it comes to raising your prices aside from you actually deserving it and it being a good idea. You are not a bad person for wanting more money. You're a good person.

You're a good person who knows that good work requires and deserves financial support. And so here's what I mean. We tend to overcomplicate things when it comes to our businesses. We want to pretend that this is existing in, in some kind of vacuum that has nothing to do with the outside world, because it's just so complicated sometimes.

So let me compare it to something that you're probably used to seeing or hearing about. Let me ask you a question. Is every person who asks for a raise a bad person? And the answer is no, right? Lots of good people ask for a raise. You probably know quite a few people who have asked for and deserved a raise because of all the work that they put into their job and they didn't get it.

So I hate to break it to you, but in your business where you're the boss and you're in charge and you're doing things your way, you are putting a lot of work into your job and you deserve a raise. You're not doing it to swindle people. I mean, you're planning to make some serious change in people's lives because of what the money will do for you and how you can serve people and how you can show up and make your service or product even better.

You know that a lot of those things. On your vision board and all of the changes that you want to make and all of the impact that you see in your own future, you know, that a lot of those things on your vision board don't fit into your current budget. Consider yourself a CEO in a scaling business. You are not an entry level admin assistant.

I mean, sure, you may be doing all the admin type stuff, and that's fine because we're all bootstrapping in our own ways. So you might be doing the admin things, but you're also wearing all the boss hats too. Like the budget hat, the marketing hat, the human resources hat, the networking hat, and all of that.

Also, I need to remind you that you probably know what it's like to work for a boss who's scrimping and saving and totally cheaping out on ridiculous things in your day job or in any kind of job that you've had before that you didn't create from scratch. And you know what it's like to work for a boss who's doing all that, expecting it to show up somehow in the quarterly profit and loss report.

And you know, and I know that that cheapo boss with their questionable decision making never, it never works. It never comes out how they want, and they make their employees miserable, and it doesn't ultimately help anyone to be that cheapo, right? You know this from years in the corporate trenches, in your retail work, in, you know, your partner's work and in everything you've witnessed as a working adult.

So it's time to start leading your business the way you wish people would lead at your day job. That's really the only way that real change happens when the decision makers start putting their money where their mouth is and planning and executing the changes that need to happen. So that We'll actually make a real difference in the world that you're trying to create in the service that you're trying to provide.

So here's your call to action. Give yourself a raise, give a raise to the person in your business who's pulling the biggest load, the person who believes in the company more than anyone, and is also the person who's in it for the long haul, no matter what. And that's you. So remember, we're talking about three comforting thoughts.

In case you're freaked out about raising your prices, the first one was that, hands down, you deserve to be able to provide better for yourself. Like, no excuses, no caveats, and you know, just, you just deserve it. The second one was that you're not a bad person for wanting more money and that you are actually a good person who knows what good work that, who knows that good work requires and deserves financial support.

And then finally, I want to point this out to you because a lot of our prices have to do with what we believe other people can afford. And I just want to say this as the third. Way that you can kind of be a little more compassionate toward yourself. You can still be accessible to people of all budget sizes, even if you raise your prices.

And this is a big one. And I know it was a big one for me too, but you can increase your prices for people who can afford them both financially and emotionally. There are plenty of families out there who can afford larger investments. In what you have to offer and they fully understand how much it will benefit them.

And it's actually not that difficult for them to pay that much, like from a, a budget spreadsheet, financial type of way. They don't have to have like a divorce threatening talk with their spouse or pull their kids out of private school to do it. They have healthy marriages or partnerships and they communicate clearly with each other.

And you don't have to worry so much about being a handicap on their lifestyle. People who are rich are good at managing money, and usually that's how they got that way to begin with, although we could probably talk about that in different ways. So why don't we talk about what this is really about? What if you don't want to help the rich people?

What if you want to help the people who are poorer, or not super rich, or are struggling? Here's the thing, having low prices is not the only way to help the people that you want to help. I get that you want to be available and within reach of these people that mean a lot to you. And I think that that's good, you know, to an extent that's great because that means that you're still plugged in.

You're not completely lost when it comes to what's going on in the real world. We all see devastating news on social media every day, and we all know what it's like to feel helpless, like immediately. People are starving, underserved communities are being abused, rich white men have all the control. And it can, it can really be something to feel all those feelings and then feel personally responsible through your own offer and your own business for helping all of them.

But, I want to ask you, who can help them? And I know that you're probably expecting me to talk about, like, non profits and people with more money and all that stuff, but you know what? You can. You can still help them. You can help them for free. And free is even more accessible than cheap and underpricing yourself.

Free also feels more generous to receive. You know, for them, than like cheap does. I'm keeping my prices cheap. And here's what I mean. A few ideas for helping people that you want to help for free. You can start volunteering. You can volunteer for local charities and non profits, and you can find a way to work with those people that you really care about face to face.

Or you can make regular donations to causes that you care about, and you can share about those causes through your marketing, or you can even make a certain promotion or launch about a certain cause that you care about. You can do fundraising for them. You can include that special cause in your overall branding and business message.

Like. Consider donating a certain percentage of every invoice that you send out to something you care about. And then that way, that cause gets more publicity, they get some money from you via your clients or your customers, because they're happily paying your raised prices, right? You can also get involved with your library, with your chamber of commerce, with local government, or...

Your small business development center to provide your services free of charge through already established programs. The nice thing when you choose to help out this way for free, instead of keeping your prices cheap, is that word will spread about the good work that you want to do. And you'll get that feeling of fulfillment, you know, from helping people.

out much more quickly and much sooner than if you tried to do it all by yourself by selling directly to people who are struggling with money and waiting until years later when you finally turn a profit if you ever do. So don't worry about it. There are different ways to help people who are not super rich, people that you may not like.

And you're allowed to give away your services and your products for free as however you want to, you can just build that into your business plan. So let me review for you. Again, these were three comforting thoughts if you happen to be freaked out about raising your prices. The first one was that you, hands down, deserve to provide for yourself.

You deserve that and no one can take that away from you. And it's just not even up for discussion. Like you actually deserve this. You in all of the work that you put in or in all the smart ways that you're coming up with new solutions to To help out the communities that you really care about you deserve better You deserve better than all this other crap that you're having to put up with because you don't have enough money in your business bank account to cover all of you know, the the system things and the tools and the shipping and all of that stuff.

So you deserve better. You don't have to keep struggling. You can just go ahead and raise the prices. It's a business, right? The second reminder was that you are not a bad person for wanting more money. Good people get rate and get raises at corporate jobs. You deserve a raise at your own job that you've created for yourself.

You are a good person who knows that good work. requires and deserves financial support, so don't hesitate on raising your prices so that you can be paid a little bit more to do the excellent work that you're doing in your business, especially since you're wearing all of those hats. And then finally, don't worry about being accessible to people of all budget sizes, because handedly save.

Or help all of the people that you want to help in this world, there's a lot of work to do. That's for sure. Like we have all of these, these movements going on right now. I know that there are a lot of causes that you care about, and there are ways to help them for free that have no financial thing attached to them.

You don't have to give up your own money out of your own wallet to help people. Because you can volunteer and you can make donations out of your donation budget, or you can host a fundraiser through your business and donate the extra funds to that cause that you care about, or even other ways, of course, you know, with volunteering in your community.

Volunteering with already established programs where they need someone with your background and your experience to just come out and help and mentor and, you know, do, do all of the good things that aren't necessarily money related, if that seems to be a big hangup for you. So you can help for free or for cheap.

There are other ways to go about it. Okay. So with that being said. Please go ahead and raise your prices. I know that it might be a little more complicated than that because money is emotional, right? And even in all of the sales things that we, that we, you know, read and we learn, they say people buy based on emotion and how they feel and how they, you know, all of that stuff.

And well, it goes the other way too. We set our prices on emotion and we create these offers and these products and these designs and we put all of our creative juices out there because of how we feel about the world and how we feel about the impact that we want to make. And so I want you to go ahead and take yourself seriously and raise your prices.

Understand that things cost money. It's not just one of those things where, oh, if you sell this, then that means you're a business owner. No, it's more complicated than that. And now that you know that, you can raise your prices knowing what you've learned and also keeping in mind that this will make things easier for you.

You're probably going to be scaling a lot over the next, what, six months, year, two years. And as you start hiring more help, as you start running more marketing campaigns, as you start collaborating with other people whose businesses align with yours, this will be good for you in the long run to have prices that allow you to be creative and serve in the way that you're being called to serve.

I hope that you found this episode helpful on raising your prices. And to sum up, I want to review three takeaways. One more time. First is that you deserve better. The most important key message here is that as a compassionate solopreneur, you deserve to be able to provide for yourself. Raising your prices is a reflection of the value that you bring, and it allows you to escape the financial struggles often associated with running a business. There's nothing wrong with it.

Which brings me to the second point. Raising your prices doesn't make you a bad person. Good people get raises. Right. And as the single solo preneur behind your own business, you are putting in the hard work and wearing. A lot of hats. And creating financial support for yourself. For your good work is not greedy. It's a fair and necessary step and good people who do good work deserve to be compensated well. And that includes you.

And finally remember that you can be compassionate and accessible even with increased prices. I encourage you to start thinking beyond monetary transactions as a way to help the communities that you care about. Most you can volunteer. You can donate, you can write letters, make calls during elections that you know, will affect your, your people. And you can fundraise for causes that you care about.

Making a difference doesn't always have to be tied to the price tag of your products or services. So let yourself be creative with the work you're here to do in this world.

It may even help you think about how to do less work in your business so that you can free up more time and energy to do the important work that doesn't make money outside of your business. Food for thought. Huh?

All right. That's all for today. I appreciate you and I hoping you're doing all right with all the things happening in the world right now.

Stay focused practice. Good self care. And I will see you in the next episode.

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