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Think an across-the-board price hike will raise red flags? Here are five ways to quietly bump up your price
-- By Betsy Wiesendanger
We'll have to raise our prices soon. That's a problem, because the main reason our customers use us is our low prices. I have read that home-based businesses consistently undercharge, though, and perhaps we'd attract more business (and betaken more seriously) if our prices were higher. How do we do this? Do we raise them little by little over a couple of years, or take a big jump at once? Do we exclude current customers from the increase?"
This plaintive query, recently posted on an Internet chat board, is bound to sound familiar. Most business owners would love to hike prices across the board worth but don't--or can't--for fear that loyal customers might be alienated or that hard-won accounts might run straight to the competition.
And then there's the timidity factor. When female entrepreneurs hesitate to push up their prices, lack of confidence is often the reason, says Sara Shifrin, a consultant who manages training programs for the Women's Business Development Center in Chicago. "A lot of it is never quite believing that you're it," she notes.
Fortunately, there are ways to push up your price that are easy to sell to both your customers and yourself Here are five of the best.
If your product or service consists of several items, unbundle them and charge a slightly higher price for each. For example, a computer vendor might price keyboards, monitors, CPUs, software and peripherals individually. Or, a …