Be Careful What You Wish For

I got my hair cut last week. I was telling my stylist Donna about Steve Hartman (60 Minutes) and his visits to some New York salons. He paid $180 for his first visit and after a lukewarm response to the new ‘do, went to a different salon for a $250 haircut. Donna told me the top end stylists in Milwaukee can make anywhere from $100 to $150.

I was struck by the next thing she said, “The only trouble when you are making that much is your clientele changes.” One of those pieces of often quoted business advice is that as you become in more demand, you should charge more. I met a consultant recently who accomplished his goal of doubling his billable rate and cutting in half the hours he worked. I wonder how his client list changed.

It seems there are some pitfalls you should consider before jacking up your rate. The companies are going to be bigger. The expectations are going to be larger. You may get demands from the newly acquired customers that you are not used to seeing.

As they say, be careful what you wish for…