How to Raise Prices in 2023

Two women sitting on a couch assess their current pricing on the computer.

New year, new rates? Don’t hold yourself back another year. Determine when and how to prepare to raise your prices in 2023 by following these steps.

Two women sitting on a couch assess their current pricing on the computer.
When did you last adjust your rates? Chances are you’ve improved your services since the beginning of 2021.

As you reflect on 2022 and begin setting new business goals for 2023, it may be time to reconsider your pricing. Determining both when and how to raise your prices as a business owner can be a challenging process to navigate. You may already have a pricing strategy in place, but are unsure how to grow beyond that. And you’re not alone—many business owners find themselves caught in a cycle of self-doubt and uncertainty when it comes to raising their prices.

If you’re considering changing your business rates, read on to learn how to prepare to raise your prices in 2023.

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Signs you should raise your prices before the new year

There are a number of reasons why you should adjust your pricing periodically. For one, rising inflation rates, economic changes, and shifts in the industry can have an impact on your profitability. Tack on the growing demand for your services, heightened expertise, or an improved client experience—factors that all signal a need for increased pricing. While maintaining your existing pricing might feel like the easiest or most comfortable option, choosing to raise your prices is essential to business growth.

Feeling unsure if now is the right time to increase your pricing? Here are a few signs that it’s time to raise your prices in 2023.

You’ve gained more expertise in the past year

Whether you’ve taken a course, received a new certification, or gained additional client experience, your growth in industry expertise may be a sign to raise your prices. Ask yourself, “What added value can clients gain from this growth?” and “How can this knowledge help me better serve my audience?” As you grow in your industry and expertise, your prices should continuously grow with you

You have limited capacity for new clients

As a busy independent, time is money. And if your time is constrained—with current client work, new client demand, or your lifestyle—your capacity to take on new work is in short supply. Raising your prices will allow you to take on fewer projects, free up additional time to pursue other tasks, and begin attracting higher-paying clients.

You’ve upgraded your client experience in 2022

As your business has grown, perhaps your client experience has improved. Each touchpoint the client has with your brand adds value to the service overall, so don’t be afraid to charge more for a heightened client experience. People will typically be willing to pay more for a higher quality service or product.

Pro Tip: We recommend evaluating your pricing objectively and mocking up a clear plan for how to inform your clients. Confusion can make a price increase hit negatively.

You’ve set a goal to grow your business

Are you planning to hire additional team members this year? Will you need to invest in new tools, resources, and systems to grow your business in 2023? If you plan to invest more money into your business this year, the prices you charge clients may need to increase with the investment.

How to raise your prices in the new year

If you’re ready to raise your prices in 2023, start preparing early. Give yourself enough time to follow the necessary steps to implement and communicate changes to your pricing, allowing you to confidently enter the new year with new rates. Learn how to prepare to raise your prices by following these five steps:

Business owners calculating how to raise their prices

Reflect on your pricing strategy, industry, and ideal clients

Is your current pricing strategy working for you? How does your pricing compare to others in the industry? Are you attracting your ideal clients? Now is a great opportunity to reflect on your business’s finances, the competitive landscape, and your business goals. Consider whether or not you should reevaluate your approach to pricing.

Perhaps if you’re at your maximum working capacity but aren’t hitting the income goals you aim to achieve, you could start targeting higher-paying clients or create a scarcity of your products and services to boost demand. If you notice your offers are priced way below market compared to others in the industry, you may want to reconsider your pricing strategy and how you charge customers.

Reflect on where you’re at now compared to where you want to be a year from now. If you find that your current pricing strategy isn’t serving you and your business goals, it may be time to change your approach to pricing.

Define your value

Your expertise is valuable and defining what that added value is can help clients feel confident in what they can gain from working with you. What pain points are you solving for clients? What sets you apart from others in the industry? Do you have data or testimonials that showcase your best work?

Appeal to existing clients and attract new ones by highlighting your value. Showcase your previous work and business success in a case study, website portfolio, Honeybook brochure, or on social media. Increase the perceived value of your service by providing success metrics, work samples, and client testimonials.

Defining your value will help promote your offerings to clients, while simultaneously providing you with proof points to feel confident in your expertise and ability to help solve customers’ problems.   

Project your 2023 goals and availability

Do you dream of working fewer hours? How about bringing in bigger paychecks each month? Perhaps a combination of the two? As you look ahead to 2023, you’ll want to equate your financial goals with the number of working hours you expect or want to put forth each month (plus the number of months you intend to work next year). These will help to determine the number of new projects you’ll need to take on each month to achieve your goals with updated pricing in place.

When equating your availability and goals, be sure to track the amount of time it actually takes to complete a given task or project so that you can better plan for the future. That means adding up all the time spent on the communications, ideation, execution, and delivery of your services or products. Always overestimate how long work will take and consider using a time tracker tool to help manage your time.

Most importantly, account for your physical, mental, and emotional capacity for work. Building a business you love that serves you means identifying your capacity and how you want to work.

Notify your current clients

When you raise your prices, it’s important that you notify your existing clients and customers well in advance. Provide them with some context for the rise in prices, but keep it short and sweet. Open the floor to questions, communicate your timeline for the price raises clearly, and send follow-up communications to avoid confusion.  

Ensure that your tone remains informative rather than asking for permission. Know the value you provide clients with and communicate that value to your clients with confidence!

Update your pricing across all touchpoints

Lastly, ensure you remember to update your pricing across all brand touchpoints. Include your new pricing on your website, pricing guides, and brochures, sales platforms, and profiles to reflect your updated offerings. Don’t forget to highlight your value when you promote and raise your prices so that prospective new clients feel eager to work with you.

Tips for raising your prices in the new year

Consider promoting your updated rates with these effective pricing tactics.

End prices in 9

Ending prices in ‘9’ or ‘99’ is a scientifically proven tactic often used by marketers to boost sales. People tend to focus on the lower digit on the left and round down, making the price seem more affordable.

Offer pricing tiers

Appeal to clients of different price points by showcasing your offers in three to four package levels. Generally, the middle package will offer the most appealing price while posing the best value for clients, and the other packages will be priced at lower and higher ticket prices.

Instill trust

Nothing sells customers on a service or product’s value quite like hearing about other people’s experiences with them. Place client testimonials and reviews in close proximity to wherever your updated pricing appears. If you don’t already have testimonials for your business, reach out to previous and current clients to ask them to provide some.

HoneyBook helps independent business owners create dynamic, interactive pricing guides that they can send to clients online. Beyond standard file templates, these files go a step further to connect your clientflow. If you want to create a more streamlined process, you can create a HoneyBook pricing guide that allows clients to select services and pay online in just one step, instead of going back and forth with you over email.  

Questions to Ask Clients at Every Step of Your Clientflow

Woman writing down questions to ask clients

Refer to this list of client questions throughout your clientflow– from the initial inquiry to the point when you’re ready to collect feedback! The answers to these questions will help guide your projects and business relationships. 

Woman writing down questions to ask clients

Delivering an outstanding product or service is only one part of your clientflow. The rest includes evaluating potential clients to see if they’re a good fit after they inquire, helping them select services, getting them booked, and more. Throughout it all, communication is key. 

That’s why we’ve developed a full list of questions to ask clients at every step of your clientflow. The answers to these questions can help you get a better understanding of your clients and their goals, and know what’s needed for overall success. During the project, these questions will help you understand how your clients are feeling and use their feedback to ensure the project is tracking toward a successful outcome. 

Start building better long-term relationships with your clients by asking the questions that matter!

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While you’re evaluating customer fit

After a lead has discovered you and made initial contact, there’s usually a bit more communication that needs to happen before you move on to booking.

At this point, you’ve entered the part of the sales process where you’re both trying to gather more information. You might be eager to book every lead that’s interested, but first, you need to determine if there’s a good customer fit

Do they understand your services? Do you think you can work successfully with them? These are just a few of the questions you should be asking yourself. But before that, you need to ask the potential client a few key background questions to learn more about them. 

Depending on how you map your clientflow, you can ask these questions during a consultation call or send them automatically as a questionnaire at the time of inquiry. Keep in mind that you may not always need these questions for certain services either, especially if you offer instant booking for smaller projects or digital products. 

  • How did they hear about you – Was it a specific marketing campaign that got them in the door? Which channel did they come through? Understanding the answers to these questions can inform your marketing decision and help you optimize how you target and convert leads. 
  • Budget – Does their budget align with your rates? If not, are you willing to accommodate them in some other way? Getting clear on the budget up front is important to assess client fit.
  • Timeline – Is their timeline realistic for your typical workflow? You don’t want to commit to a project that you cannot complete to your highest ability and risk leaving a poor impression.
  • Pain points – What are the main pain points that they’re looking to solve? Are your services designed to solve these pain points accurately?
  • Goals and expectations – Are the client’s expectations realistic for what you can offer? Do you feel like your services can accomplish their goal with the budget and timeline that they have?
  • Previous industry experience – Have they worked with a similar service provider in the past? If not, it may be up to you to decide if you can include any education that’s required throughout your work. Or, perhaps your ideal customer would have more experience within the industry. 
  • Client’s business history, audience, and mission – If your client also owns a business, you should get a feel for who they are and what they do to ensure it aligns with your work. 

When you have more information about your client, it’ll be easier to showcase your services in a way that’s more personalized and tailored to what they need. 

When they’re booking and onboarding

Once you and your client have decided there’s a good fit, it’s time to move forward with booking and onboarding. At this stage, you need to ask questions to ensure both you and your client are clear on expectations. These are also questions you can include in a client onboarding questionnaire to understand the best way to work together and ensure a smooth transition to the project management stage of your clientflow. 

  • Booking – Do they fully understand the contract and payment terms? Is there anything that needs to be clarified before they sign and pay?
  • Communication – What method of communication do your clients prefer? Along with asking them for this information, you can make sure they have your office hours and your preferred methods of communication for meetings, quick questions, and other messages. Be sure to also ask your clients for their pronouns so you can ensure you’re communicating with them accurately and respectfully.
  • Points of contact – Who are the decision-makers that need to be included in communications and deliverables?
  • Contact information – What is the phone/email for everyone involved? And who should you contact in the event your main point person is not available? This is also important on your end; introducing your client to any team members that may be involved with their work.
  • Approval process – What is their approval process for project milestones? How much time do they need to review?
  • Access – Any access you’ll need, whether you’ll need to download specific software or use the client’s login information.
  • Personal information – Gather information like pronouns and birthdays to incorporate respectful and delightful moments of personalization within your client experience.
  • Inspiration – Are there similar project outcomes that they like? Depending on your industry, this might not be relevant, but their answers could help guide your project.

While you’re managing the project

As you’re working through the project, your main priority should be communicating updates, gathering feedback, and managing needs. During this phase, miscellaneous questions will come up naturally, but there are a few that should be built into your process. 

  • Feedback – Ask for feedback along the way to help you reach your end goals. This is why it’s especially helpful to build in project milestones to ensure you’re staying on track and within the scope of the project. 
  • Client homework – Ask them to continue providing information to move the project forward, whether it’s through questionnaires, worksheets, or simply communicating to gather what you need. 
  • Approvals – Continually ask for their approval. We recommend using a set process, such as sending over proofs at your key milestones. That way, you can ensure you’re aligned at every step of the project (and there’s no confusion about the outcomes!)

When the project is complete

Once the project is over, it doesn’t mean you’re finished with that client. This is the best time to gather valuable feedback about your client experience and business so you can understand what works and what might need improvement. In fact, 85% of customers want to share their feedback, so offering that opportunity at the end of your project is important for a well-rounded client experience. 

If you’ve delivered a successful project, your client could also become a renewal or a source of referrals and new clients for your business! Referral customers tend to have a 37% higher retention rate, so asking for them can be crucial to your business. 

Be sure to ask these questions as soon as you’re ready for project closure– don’t leave too much time in between during which they might forget or be less energized to speak about your business. 

  • Positives – What did they enjoy about the project? What part of the client experience stood out to them the most?
  • Negatives – What could be improved? Was there anything missing from their experience that they expected?
  • Renewal – Are they interested in renewing (if applicable) or purchasing a self-serve digital product? If not, are they still interested in staying in touch/joining your newsletter? If so, you can nurture them towards additional purchases.
  • Review/referral – Are they willing to leave an online review or provide a testimonial for your website? If you have a referral program, ask them if they’d like to be involved as well. 

Gather client information and feedback quickly

We all know that asking important questions keeps your projects moving from start to finish. But we also know how frustrating it can be to ask your clients for more information and then wait days and even weeks for them to respond. 

There’s a simpler way to gather information from your clients that doesn’t involve being stuck in back-and-forth emails: HoneyBook. 

With HoneyBook’s complete clientflow management platform, you can build fully branded and interactive questionnaires. Though you’ll still send them via email, HoneyBook’s read receipts let you know when clients have viewed them. You can also leverage HoneyBook’s automations to trigger them after your client has taken a specific action. 

HoneyBook’s questionnaires let you ask multiple questions at once, and even include messages, imagery, or short videos to convey why the questions are important. Your clients will respond more quickly because it’s easier for them to provide their answers–a win-win for everyone!