Raising your fees for boarding, lessons and training is often a touchy subject. While you know your costs of operating are going up, a reluctance to raise prices often occurs.
Some of the reasons for this are:
1. Long time customers become friends and you don’t want to offend,
2. You worry that you’ll drive some customers away that say they can barely afford current rates,
3. You’re not sure if the services you offer are equal to competitors who seem to offer more at your current rates or even less.
What other reasons create a reluctance to raise fees when operating costs are continually creeping up?
Do you know about the magic of the Rule of 3?
People love to hear or read things in groups of three. 2 is not enough, 4 is too many.
Three Little Pigs, Three Stooges, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. When writing for your website or preparing a speech or presentation, keep your key points to 3. That’s about all the reader or listener can remember.
I’ll grant you working with horses is a demanding job. It’s not a 9 to 5 occupation with a one hour lunch. You work hard every day.
But, do you have to work hard all day and into the night seven days a week?
Do you have a quitting time regardless of how much is left to do? Do you have a day off each week to rest, relax and recharge?
You’ll get more done when you put limits on your work time and schedule time off. You can tell yourself you can’t, but don’t tell me. I know you can.
Budgets are the diet plan of financial tools for business. When you say “I’m on a budget” it sounds like you are committed to count your spending calories only and are not fostering the chance of an increase in sales.
Alternatively, when your preferred financial tool is a projection or forecast, you’re operating in the realm of optimism and abundance. When you say, I’m projecting an increase of $10,000 in annual lesson income with little increase in operating expense, you are tuned into attracting more profit for a growing business.
Just like how you are feeling physically, the language in your head also affects the financial health of your business.
Instead of visioning scenes today from your self directed film, “When Everything Goes Wrong”, how about playing that other movie in your head starring you as the achiever of your goals living the perfect life?
Your website not only is for providing general information about your business, but also for giving the reader a call to action. Don’t ever assume a prospect is going to take the time to call or compose an e-mail to you about more information about your lesson, training or boarding programs.
Use an online form with up to 5 items to fill in that is sent to you via e-mail with the click of a mouse. Fill in the blank contact forms work 24 hours a day so you don’t have to.
When I was starting out in business, savvy, 65 year old Mike told me a hard truth about running a business that college professors seldom share. He said, “As the owner of a business, at some point in your career, you’re going to Lose Money. That’s right, down the drain, lost, unrecoverable, wasted. “
And he was right. It happens. And no matter how good and how careful you are as a business person, it’s a given you’ll lose some money.
But, no need to pout and cry about the lost money. It’s tuition paid for experience.
From that experience, learn, grow and move on.
Some people think riding instructors teach people how to become better at riding a horse. I think riding instructors teach people how to overcome their fears so they can become better at riding a horse.
No matter how great the natural talent is, fears of: injury, incompetence and failure need to be under control first, before the student accepts what the instructor is teaching.
Architect Louis Sullivan observed when it comes to good design, “Form follows function”
Are your services offered, business operating systems and 3 year strategies of a form that allows for smooth function or are they like using a phillips head screw driver to loosen a straight slotted screw?
Your business relationship with your banker is important.
Bankers can be your friend.
But don’t confuse your relationship with your banker as being the same as your relationship with your bank. Banks are not your friend or the friend of anyone else.
Some banks have the word “Trust” in their names. It’s for the gullible to believe, not you.