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17 Tips To Coping With The Cost Of Living As A Small Business

The cost of living crisis is affecting us all, and increased costs are affecting families & small businesses alike. Chances are that it is hitting you as a small business owner even harder. We know prices are rising and you might be feeling the pinch. So we’ve put together some top tips to tackle the cost of living crisis and keep your small business afloat.

Handling increased costs at your venues

Your venues might well be putting up the price to rent their spaces for your classes due to the increase in energy costs. This wipes out some of your profit. So what can you do? Here’s a few ideas that might come in handy:

1) Start a dialogue with the venue owner

Talk to the venue owner and see if you can come to a deal to keep costs the same or make sure the increase is as low as possible as a valued customer with repeat business. Having the conversation and taking the initiative to ask doesn’t hurt, and has the potential to reopen doors that started to close.

2) Increase class capacity

Make youbr classes bigger. Can you add in an extra 2 or 3 more spaces can help cover the extra venue hire cost? Accommodating to extra people will help to bring in more money without increasing your venue costs.

3) Run classes back-to-back

It may workout cheaper for your venue rental if you run multiple classes back-to-back on the same day. Run two classes at your venue instead of one to make more money as well as maximising your time there.

4) Look for a new venue

Think outside the box. Is there a function room at a restaurant that is barely used in the daytime that you could use? Check which venues other classes in your area are using and if they are cheaper. Need a hand finding a new venue? With a Happity membership, you can access our Venue finder, where other class providers are already hosting activities for babies and toddlers (and therefore will already have all the right facilities available for you and your attendees)

Find out more about a Happity membership here

5) Run your activity at playgroups and nurseries

It would be useful to consider working with nurseries and playgroups. They are a great place to have a group ready without any additional marketing.  You might need to charge slightly less per head, but the venue hire will be free.

cost of living: Row of mums sit together holding their babies.

Cost of living: When to increase the ticket price of your activity

You might need to increase how much you charge for each class to make your numbers work. It can feel daunting to put up prices, as the idea of upsetting your current customers feels like a step back instead of forwards.

Here are some of our top tips:

6) Remind yourself of the value for money you are offering

If you are worried that increasing costs may deter customers, then gently remind yourself that there’s a reason why they have been attending up until now. Don’t undervalue yourself. You are providing quality classes and a valuable resource. Price your activity accordingly. 

7) Check other’s prices during the cost of living period

If you’re unsure as to whether how much to increase your class prices to, then it’s good to look around and see what other’s are offering. Check what other class providers in your area charge and make sure you are in line with/competitive with their prices. Try running a search on Happity for classes in your area to find out what else is running, and at what rate (prices, how regularly etc.) 

8) Provide special offers for bulk buys

Whilst it may reduce the amount you receive for a couple of classes, offering bulk buys guarantees a number of customers for a set period of time. It’s a great idea to consider deals or offers. For example: make drop in prices slightly more than if people make block bookings, or offer sibling discounts for kids in the same household. Both of these ticket types are available on Happity too, so if you’re already listed with us, then it’s incredibly easy to set up. 

You can list your class on Happity for free here. Or, you can find out about the different ticket types (and what the benefits of each are) here.

9) Keep track of your budget

During these periods of increased costs, it’s crucial now more than ever to know your numbers. Write down all your outgoings and how much you need to charge to make your small business work for you. Keeping an eye on your budgets and profits will really help you to figure out what needs increasing, and what doesn’t.

10) Increase your prices in bite-size chunks

Everyone is aware of our current situation, but it can be a alarming for your customers if a dramatic price increase happens overnight. If you need to put up prices a lot, consider increasing them a little over a longer space of time instead of a big hike all at once.

11) Be honest and human with your customers about the current cost of living situation

It’s good to remind your customers that, while you are a business, you are only human after all. Keeping the conversation clear, and stating your reasons why there needs to be increased costs, will help you to look genuine and honest. Be clear about why you need to increase your prices to keep your classes running.

12) Keep an open dialogue with your loyal customers

We’re all struggling with the current crisis. As much as your customers need to be open-minded with you, you may need to be open-minded with them. Be sure to let customers know how they can contact you if they want to talk about class prices. We’re all in the same boat, and those who are really struggling financially may not have much choice if prices go up. Starting a dialogue with those individuals may help you come to an agreement for this period. 

Cost of living: three babies sit together, two of them look at the camera.

More ways to make money and tackle the cost of living as a small business

13) Upsell your merchandise

Have you got merchandise or t-shirts that you could sell to your customers to make some extra profit? It’s a great way to make a bonus amount of money at your sessions. 

14) Communicate clearly on your socials, emails, and any other communications

Transparency is key. If you are honest and communicate increased costs clearly across all channels (to both those who have attended your classes and are considering it in the future), chances are your customers will understand.

15) Ask for feedback

Ask customers for feedback and use this to show the value of your classes. Social media posts are a great way to showcase this.

16) Look local!

Diversify! Look in your local area for any events where you can run taster sessions or pop up classes to increase revenue.

17) Put more effort into your marketing

Increase your marketing efforts. To find new customers and keep filling your classes. This doesn’t mean forking out tons of money however. There are plenty of ways to market your class without breaking the bank. Like handing out flyers, promoting your classes on local Facebook groups, or signing up to free listing sites like Happity

If you’re new to marketing your baby class, we have some tips on what questions to ask before marketing your baby class here. It’ll come in really handy for figuring out your budget, audience and method! 

Women chat together

Happity: Created with baby class providers in mind!

If you are looking for ease and a listing/booking service that’s catered specifically to you (busy parents and small business owners) then you are on the right blog page.

It’s free to list with Happity, and you can offer all sorts of ticket options through our site. Though we also offer cost-effective membership for when your baby class needs an extra boost in its marketing or if you would like access to our provider-catered booking system.

Get your classes seen by thousands of parents today

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Social media for class providers – your essential guide

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4 crucial questions to ask before marketing your baby class

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