"I don't know what to charge and I'm super stressed about it."
"I want to raise my rates but I don't know how."
"I'm starting my bridal hair business...but I how do I even begin to know where to set my rates?
Any of these statements sound familiar? If they do, you're not alone. I honestly felt terrified the first time I raised my updo rates. What if not a single bride booked me??? What if everyone said it was way too much money??? Self doubt, stress, and uncertainty consumed me. The night sweats were real, my friend.
I've got good news for you: the beauty of having your own business is you can charge whatever you want! I know it's challenging to figure out what is the perfect pricing framework for your business, but here are some ways to get started (and then some things to consider!)
Make a list of ten other businesses in your area that do what you do. Here's a trick for that-go to theknot.com and look at the first two pages of bridal hair businesses in your area. Then, list out their rates for brides and bridesmaids, and any other listed fees they have. Take a look at the lowest rates and the highest rates so you can get a feel for what brides are seeing as they search for hairstylists for their wedding. Then, figure out where you feel comfortable pricing yourself by asking these questions:
1. Are you totally new to the market and you really need brides? Start out lower
2. Are you seasoned at updos, but just need to get more brides through the door? Consider starting your pricing right in the middle
3. Are you seasoned at updos and it's your side hustle, so you work in a salon and you just want a few weddings here and there? You could price yourself on the higher end to make it worth your time.
Things to consider:
Be CLEAR. Don't have any hidden fees-be really upfront with brides and build their trust right away.
Consider your time. You need to spend time communicating with the bride, scheduling their day, traveling to and from their wedding, spend time on a trial, and buy your own products. All of these things are part of your service, so think about that when you're pricing yourself.
Think about the "hidden costs" and list them out. What will you charge for travel? How about extensions? What if a bride has super long hair? What if she wants more than one trial run? Will you charge different rates for all up or half up? These are all questions brides will ask you-so get clear on these things before you present your pricing to the world.
Start simple. You don't have to create all sorts of interesting packages and complicated pricing structures to start out. You can simply just list your rates as bride, trial, wedding party, flower girl, travel. Easy peasy.
Be prepared to adjust your rates each year. As you do more weddings, your skills will grow, and so will your value. Get ready to roll out new pricing and make sure to include it in your contracts.
Ready to do some package pricing? The purpose of packages is to make it a no brainer for a bride to want to book a higher number of services with you-not to make it more complicated for yourself. Group items together that make it easy for your bride to say "yes" to the package.
Here's the deal-it's your business and you can charge what you need to make a living. You can always change things if you're not getting the business you need, so don't be afraid to experiment a little. Try a few months of one rate, and then switch it up a few months later to see if you get any more business. (Just make sure you stick with your original quotes and list current rates in contracts when communicating to brides!)
If you're struggling-feel free to reach out and I'm happy to help!
As always, thank for being here!