(530) 467-5690 Chris@TeachU.com
Small Business Advice 
 
Funny. Speaking of chainsaws…
 
I took my chainsaw in to the local shop to be sharpened. It was closing time and the owner was just locking up when I arrived. I didn’t expect him to do the work while I waited. The plan was to just drop off the saw.
 
When I asked Fred if I could just leave the saw and pick it up later in the week, an exasperated expression came over his face. “Look in here,” he told me. The shop was crammed with lawn mowers, riding mowers, tillers and trimmers. It’s Spring and people are ready to start gardening.
 
“Wow, you’re doing great!” I told Fred. “I’ve got way too much to do. I’ll have a hard time getting these all fixed in a week,” Fred said.
 
He took my chain saw and wrote up a ticket. “Fred,” I said, “why not raise prices? If you have too much work, why not make more per job, give great service and have a fast turn around time? Raising prices will only cost a few customers and the added revenue will certainly make up for it. And, the customers you lose won’t be your best customers.”
 
“Oh, I couldn’t do that,” Fred said. “People have been coming here for years and they are used to getting a great price.”
 
Fred has a problem we’d all like to have. But what Fred doesn’t understand is that his customer base isn’t big because he’s the cheapest. His customer base is big because he’s the best. He’s honest and reliable.
 
When you get more business than you can handle, service suffers. The answer is to add help which costs a lot of money or raise prices.
 
I vote for raising prices.
 
This is a common problem at the best small businesses. The best auto shop. The best restaurant. The best hairdresser. They are busy and you have to wait your turn. When a gets that busy, it’s the right time to raise prices.
 
Think about it Fred.
 
Chris Reich, TeachU