There’s been a lot of conversation in Artists and Profit Makers over the last week or so about raising prices. And it’s something that’s been on my mind a lot too as I plan a price increase for one of my own collections.
So today, I thought I’d share some of the signs that I look for that help me know it’s time to raise my prices.
Of course, if you’ve done the math and know your prices aren’t profitable, that’s a sure sign that you need to raise your prices. But often what happens is that our prices may technically look right on paper, but may still be below where they need to be.
Which is why many of the signs that tell me that’s its time to raise my prices are as much about gut feelings than they are about math and logic. So here are three signs that are a good indication it’s time to raise your prices:
1. You feel resentful making something.
This could be an individual piece or a whole collection, but regardless, the feeling is the same. You get an order and that “yay, money!” feeling is quickly eclipsed by that feeling of “ugh, now I’ve got to make one of those.” What I often find is that, when we first design something new, we’re so excited about the prospect of making it that we tend to price a little on the low side. We LOVE it, and we want people to have it. But over time, as you sell more of something, that excitement fades. A process that once seemed magical suddenly seems like drudgery. Or it could simply be that time spent making this work (again) is taking you away from designing new work.
If that’s the case, you don’t have to throw the baby (I mean, the collection) out with the bathwater. Typically, a price increase is enough to lower demand by a bit, make you feel better about how much you’re making when you do have to make a piece, and free up time to add a little play or design time back into your studio day.
2. You’re hesitant to promote something because you aren’t keeping up with demand.
Of course, feeling like you can’t keep up with demand is a reason in and of itself to raise prices. But along with that is often this feeling like you can’t promote because you don’t have the time to do more production. If you’re hesitating to email your list because you’re worried about the orders that you’ll have come in (and then have to make) that’s a sure sign prices are too low.
This becomes even more apparent if you’re struggling with cash flow. If your business is in need of more revenue, promoting your products by emailing your list is one of the best ways to do that. (The other is reaching out to wholesalers for an order or reorder.) But if you find yourself not doing even these most basic marketing tasks because you simply don’t have time to make more orders (even though you really need the money) then it’s definitely time to raise those prices.
3. You procrastinate when you should be making orders.
Do you have orders that need to go out, but instead of sitting down and making them, you find yourself checking your email, scrolling social, or designing new work? Yes, part of this may be because you’re human. But in truth, this kind of production procrastination actually stems from your prices being too low.
Why? Well simply put, our brains put up resistance when we feel like we’re not being paid fairly for something. (Even if we’re the ones who set the amount we’re getting paid.) Production that we aren’t getting paid well for (especially if it’s your bread and butter line, which is often not the work you’re most passionate about) is a bit like eating your vegetables. You know you need to do it, but you just. don’t. want. to. So how do you make eating vegetables more fun? You slather them with flavor. Er, I mean money. When you’re happy with the amount of money you’re making from any given piece, you’re much more likely to just sit down and make it, rather than finding a million things to do instead.
Raising your prices isn’t an exact science, but if you’ve been selling consistently and noticing any of these feelings creepy in, it’s a pretty good indication that it’s time to look at a price raise. Sure, it can be scary to think about raising your prices – but the trade offs – more money in your pocket and less stress in your business – should far outweigh any fears that raising your prices brings up!
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Need help making sure your prices are where they need to be? Be sure to check out my digital workshop, Pricing for Profit!
Want individual feedback on your prices? (Or a personal pep talk now that you know you need to raise them?) I give all of that (and more!) in my online mentorship program, Artists and Profit Makers!