written by
Kiel Olver

Changing Your Private Lesson Prices

Teach 4 min read

As a Swimming Instructor, you provide a very essential life skill to your students, so thinking about changing the price of your lessons can sometimes bring about anxiety or nervousness. You may feel that an increase in your rates is long overdue, or perhaps you are just wondering when it is appropriate to make a change. Either way, you don’t want to lose your clients or income, and at the same time you need to make sure that teaching lessons is worth your time.

An old fashioned cash register with push buttons in various dollar amounts.

It can be a difficult decision to make, so here are some tips that will help you decide when to increase your Swim Instruction rates.

What Reasons Should I Consider? 🤔

The biggest reasons to consider when changing your price are Experience & Popularity. It’s your expertise as a Swim Instructor that ultimately helps your clients conquer their fears of water and learn how to swim. As your experience grows and your ability to deliver results is improved, so should your fees.

As you become more popular, you should also consider is how much demand there is for your services.

How Should Demand Affect My Prices? 📈

Like all competitive markets, supply and demand are linked by price. When you are first starting and demand for your services is low, starting at a lower price can be a great way to help you build a client base. As you become more popular, your first inclination may be to continually open new spots for clients who are asking you to squeeze them in. But if your calendar is nearly full, you may be overcommitting and overworking yourself. Instead, you should consider raising your fees, especially if you are currently operating below your local market rate.

It's important to know that supply and demand is a two way street. If demand for your services decreases in certain seasons or the economy is experiencing a downturn more generally, you may want to consider reducing your price to ensure your offering is competitive.

How Do I Tell My Clients? 💬

To avoid shock and surprise, give your existing clients time to prepare for an increase in your rate by providing as much notice as possible. Two to three months notice is generally considered appropriate. Giving this notice allows your clients to prepare for the change and if they don’t feel that they can afford the new price point, they may be more inclined to book more sessions sooner and ultimately learn faster! If you like, you can even provide a referral to another instructor who is at a lower price point, helping both the instructor and your client by keeping their best interests at heart.

Tell your clients in person if possible (such as before or after a lesson), and follow this up with a clear and concise note outlining the new charges and the exact date that your new price will come into effect. Let your clients know that you've really enjoyed working with them either at the beginning or the end of your message. It helps to create a positive tone and cement your relationship with them. And don’t feel that you need to provide excessive justification or an apology for the raise. Apologizing may come off as if you are not in control. Instead, be confident and let your price increase demonstrate that you are doing well professionally.

A Text Message Example:

Message 1:

Hey Client! I wanted to let you know that I've finalized my schedule for November and will be raising my price to $60. I initially set a very low introductory rate of $55 to get started but accounting for travel, pool admission, and booking fees, I now need to bring my price closer to the going market rate. For reference, the City charges $70/hr without the ability to cancel/reschedule or choose your instructor!

Message 2 (sent right after):

If you would like me to book you in for your usual time slot of 10am for July X, Y, and Z, I would be happy to get this done for you on my end. Thanks again for booking with me these past few weeks, I feel like we've made great progress and I look forward to helping your kids swim in time for your vacation this August!

Pricing Like a Professional

While you may inevitably lose some clients, if the timing is right then this loss of clients will be minimal and will be offset by the increased revenue that you bring in at your new rate. Focus on delivering results, keep an eye on demand, and don’t be afraid to raise your prices from time to time.

As you build your business and maintain strong relationships with your clients, you will inevitably need to increase your prices. While it may feel a little daunting, taking a professional approach will help the transition to go smoothly and will help you to meet the needs of your business, as well as those of your clients.

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