When the whole notion of your profession is about helping people, increasing your counselling and coaching fees is often a difficult topic to approach.
No one ever likes to see prices increase – especially your clients – but for you to grow as a counsellor and coach, and get the most out of your work, raising your counselling and coaching fees is sometimes necessary.
It’s definitely one of the hardest things you can do as a business owner, as we often worry that our clients will take it badly, or that it will negatively affect the relationship.
However, at the end of the day, you are running a business, and you need to run a sustainable business to continue serving your clients. Remember, that as you continue to gain experience and expertise, the value of your services will increase too.
Also, keep in mind, that if your fees are not in alignment with your ideal clients’ values around money, you can actually be breaking trust. This is when undercharging for your services can actually be creating a disconnect in your relationship and having the client create less value around your work together. Therefore, they will get less value out of the counselling and coaching relationship, as they tend to have a lower level of commitment, are less likely to show up or do the work, and can allow this to taint their perception of your skill set or expertise.
(Equally as important, is to not appear to be overcharging based on your client’s values around money. There is a happy medium… and the key is to know who your ideal clients are that you are wanting to attract into your practice.)
Increasing your counselling and coaching fees will be the best decision you can make for your business if you feel like you’re completely undercharging. This can really start to make you resent your work if your time isn’t being compensated fairly, and that’s not a place you want to be in.
Here are a few key signs it’s time to raise your counselling and coaching fees and how to go about doing it.
Sign #1 – You feel like it’s time
One of the biggest signs that it’s time to raise your counselling and coaching fees is that you feel like it’s time. If your gut is telling you it’s the right thing to do, and you haven’t raised your rates in a while, then it’s the right time.
Sign #2 – Your income has stagnated
We only have so many hours in the day. If you’re working to your maximum capacity and your income has completely stagnated, a rate increase might be what’s needed to help you grow your business and use your time more wisely.
Sign #3 – Expenses are increasing but your wage isn’t
Our cost of living increases each year with inflation, so that means that the cost of things like rent, Wi-Fi, and services provided by accountants and advisors all get more expensive. If your rates don’t reflect the increasing cost of living and expenses, you’ll end up losing out and seeing a decrease in your spending power. Who wants that?
Sign #4 – You’ve gained in knowledge & expertise
As a private practice owner, counsellor and coach, you learn and grow so much over time. If you haven’t changed your counselling and coaching fees in a while, you’re now bringing more expertise and knowledge to your clients than you did when you first set your rate. It’s only fair for your current rate to reflect your current skillset so you’re compensated fairly.
If you can relate to one or more of these signs, it may be time to raise your counselling and coaching fees.
You can do it one of two ways:
- You could keep all of your current clients at the same rate (old rate), and only change your fee structure for new clients, or
- Give your clients plenty of notice, set a rate increase that you’re comfortable with and be confident and proud of your decision.
Additionally, at a certain point, you may want to increase your yearly income but do not want to continue increasing your fees per client hour, and this may be the time to look at other ways to continue serving your clients in a bigger way, while increasing your income. This may mean shifting your business model a bit to allow a bigger reach with your clients.
Get in touch today to talk more about raising your rates and growing your private practice or coaching business in a way that aligns with your goals and values!