Increasing Pet Sitting Fees
I'm sharing how I handled this in order to help other Pet Sitters
In general, I hate dealing with money. After all, what is money but little pieces of paper and metal coins that humanity created in order to get what we need during our time on earth?
Hating money doesn't mean I don't want it! Money helps me survive and thrive as I go from point A (birth) to point B (death). I need to earn it, save it, spend it and manage it. We all do.
All business owners, including professional pet sitters, need to earn money and they must come up with a fair rate to charge clients for the variety of services they provide.
The longer a pet sitter is in business, the more they will need to make the occasional fee increase, so at least once a year it is important to go over your fees and finances to see how you are doing and if there is a bonafide need to raise prices.
Early on in pet sitting, somebody told me that businesses generally raise prices 10% each year. I think it was a speaker at one of the awesome NAPPS conferences I attended.
I wanted to make a living and wanted my valuable services to help me earn a just and fair wage. As a rule, I would only raise my prices when I felt it was absolutely necessary because I knew most of my clients were just regular folk trying to get by like me and I didn't want to price them out of being able to have a pet sitter. We all know, if we are being honest, that having a pet sitter is a bit of a luxury service.
I think I was two years in business before I raised my prices for the first time. My clients were fine with it and many even told me I wasn't charging enough. I did my research as to the average fee a pet sitter was getting around the USA and made increases as needed according to my area and income needs.
I NEVER felt it was fair to spring an immediate price increase on my clients, even if it was a small increase. I raised my prices incrementally per my research, financial needs, and according to the increase in gas prices, supplies, etc.... I also would throw in my good reputation when considering price increases. People pay more for quality and so be honest in assessing your expertise in the field.
This is how I handled fee increases:
I would give my clients a good 2 to 3 month's notice, and I don't think I ever raised fees in the middle of the summer - which was my busiest time.
So, if I wanted to start a price increase on September 1st, I'd let my clients know around the start of June. I'd put it in my newsletter and leave a notice with my pet logs on their counters.
Why so much notice? Well, that is what I would want my pet sitter to do if I had a pet sitter. It gives clients enough time to adjust their personal budgets and look at their travel plans. It also gives them a chance, if they would so choose, to check out other pet sitters and make a switch if the price increase was out of their budget range.
I also think giving a big notice is a respectful thing to do. Most of the time, I'd only raise my prices by one to two dollars, but that can add up for clients so giving them advanced notice gives them time to adjust or move on to another sitter. My clients never moved on to another sitter, so if you are a good sitter I don't think that is a fear you should harbor in your heart.
As the date of the price increase approached, I'd give a final reminder that as of September 1st (or whatever date I chose) the price will go from $ to $$.
Some of my clients would even give me the increased price payment even before the start date because they understood the need and to show me that they appreciated my services.
I hope this blog post has helped you! Please "like" and "Share" this post on your social media pages.
Blessings on your day,