First Business

April 10, 2012

Management & Leadership: Five painless ways to raise prices this year

It may sound odd, but small businesses are increasingly handing out pay raises. Unless they’re crazy, those business owners probably also plan to either simply sell more units or raise their prices in the coming year to cover that added payroll cost.

Apparently, the pay-raise trend is pretty widespread. A Pepperdine University/Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. study showed 43 percent of small businesses have already hiked worker pay in the past year, and 42 percent said they plan to raise pay this year. Many workers have no doubt gone several years since 2008 without a raise, and we’re at the point where loyal employees who’ve stuck around need to be rewarded to keep them on board.

This may be a critical time to raise prices for many businesses in any case, as prices are rising or remaining high for many basic materials.

With the economy still so uncooperative, how can you sell customers on a price hike? Here are five ideas:

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