It’s no joke. And, as a result, businesses everywhere are increasing their prices. The cost of doing business, heck, of even living, is increasing!
It can be hard for pet care providers like dog walkers, pet sitters, and doggie daycare and boarding facility owners to raise rates for services. The pet industry can feel so personal (because it is!), and we don’t want to lose clients. But we also need to stay afloat and make a living, and that’s okay, too!
Inflation and raising costs aside, did you know that simply raising your rates by $1 can increase your annual revenue by the thousands? WILD.
So, if you know it’s time to raise rates for your pet business but you need some help on how to inform your clients, this blog post is for you!
We’re getting into all the things you need to know about:
Whether you should inform your clients of a price increase
When and how to officially raise your rates
The basics of informing your clients
What if clients don’t want to work with you if you increase your prices?
Price increase letter template
Should you inform your pet business clients of a price increase?
I'd recommend letting regular clients know of your price changes because they'll notice when their daily dog walks go up at the end of the month vs. a pet sitting client who books with you once a year.
Ultimately, it’s up to you as you know your people!
If you’re someone who heavily communicates with clients, then I recommend staying consistent with how you communicate. If you have a smaller business and you communicate with clients via the phone and prefer to do so, consider calling (same with in person). If you regularly send emails to clients, this can be another one of those regular emails. Simple. Staying consistent can help confirm that this is regular programming! You don’t want to give your clients cause for concern or make it a bigger thing than it is. No red flags here!! 🚩
When and how to officially raise your pet business rates
The best thing to do is give plenty of notice. Let your clients know in advance that rates WILL be increasing, even before they start to increase.
I also highly recommend not increasing pricing for reservations and packages already booked or inquired about in your booking software!
Pet business rate increase basics
First tip: Explain what’s going on and why it’s happening, in very simple terms. There's no need to be emotional about it or defend yourself. You're a growing business, things are changing, costs are increasing, you're hiring, you invested in new equipment/a new facility, etc.
Second tip: Give clients the exact date the prices will increase.
Third tip: Thank them for their business and talk about the future. Remember, as a professional pet business, things are always changing and evolving. You want them to know you're investing in things or educating yourself or whatever it is that moves the business (and ultimately their pet's care) forward. Mention your future relationship and how this benefits them too!
A common question: “What if they won’t want to work with me anymore?”
If someone chooses to go to another pet business because you raised your rates by $1 or $2, they are not your best client. Good riddance, my friend! We don’t want clients who are simply motivated by ‘cheap pricing.’ Those are the same clients who often ask for discounts, don’t value your worth, ask for more than you offer, and aren’t brand loyal in the first place.
Remember… The Cialdini Commitment Concept I wrote about in another blog tells us, ‘If someone makes a super small commitment (as small as responding to an email or filling out a contact form), they’ll be more likely to make larger commitments with you in the future!’ How does this relate? Your clients are already FULLY committed. They completed your paperwork, signed your agreements, their pet(s) know you, you know their pets’ routines, you’ve done visits or pet sitting for them before, etc. To start over with another pet business would be a huge undertaking that they probably don’t have the time or desire to do.
The pet business price increase email template
We’re sharing an email template straight from our Email Template Guide, a resource with 42 professionally crafted email templates to help you save time and feel more confident when you hit the ‘send’ button in your pet business.
Hey, [person’s first name], and Happy Wednesday [enter day]!
Our team has been working hard over this past year to upgrade every aspect of our daycare and boarding services [insert your business/service]. Now, we have luxury padded spaces with automatic watering systems, beautiful outdoor runs, and complimentary bathing and nail trimming with every stay. We’ve also added extra mandatory animal behavior classes for all staff members as a way to further ensure your pet’s safety and well-being while in our care [why you deserve the price increase, without complaining or making them feel guilty about it].
With all of these new changes and updates in mind, I wanted to personally send over an email to let you know that we will be raising our daycare and boarding prices in three months beginning on [enter date].
To see the updated pricing, click here [insert hyperlink or list below if it’s simple].
If you’ve already booked services with us after [beginning date], your quoted price will remain the same. This price change will occur for all new bookings for services beginning on [enter date].
Thank you so much for supporting [business name]. We look forward to spoiling your doggos in our new state-of-the-art facility and capturing many more memories for years to come!
We’re here if you have any questions.
All our best,
There you have it!
One final tip… don’t stall on this. The best thing you can do for your clients is to feel confident and excited about your work, and that comes from charging enough to make you feel good about it! Also, the more notice you give them, the better (and more professional!).
Let this template guide you and help you take action to increase your pricing and add more value to what you offer. Because it’s worth it! You’re worth it. You’ve got this, petpreneur!
Want more email template help? We’ve got a FREE email template on pitching partnerships with other businesses in your community along with tips on how to best use it strategically and easily!
Other helpful resources: