3 Biggest Inflation Price-Adjustment Mistakes to Avoid

Inflation in the United States is at its highest level in 31 years, according to the Wall Street Journal. Currently, it’s measuring around 6%, and complicating matters more is supply chain issues, along with shortages in key materials, as well as labor availability. Due to these factors, businesses are faced with the decision to raise prices. Although practically any business owner would resist, this just isn’t a sound strategy. When a company’s costs rise, it must pass on at least a portion to consumers. If businesses don’t raise prices, they obviously reduce their margins, thereby reducing their revenues. So, do small businesses deal with inflation?

How Small Businesses can Deal with Inflation

Fortunately, there are a few key strategies you can employ to help your company through an inflationary cycle. One step you can take is to offer bulk discounts on the products you sell, incentivizing your customers to purchase more in exchange for paying less overall. Another thing that you can do is to use the same strategy for wholesale vendors, asking them for a slightly higher discount in exchange for purchasing more inventory, or materials and supplies.
The PPI — producer price index– measures the prices of goods immediately postproduction and serves as a critical indicator of the pressure facing companies. Companies that weathered previous storms the best took decisive steps to counter rising inflation by pushing through price increases consistent with PPI — but that alone was not enough. —Havard Business Review
Small businesses can also help to offset inflationary pressures by scheduling jobs further into the future. Since materials are more scarce at the moment, this might not be a viable strategy. Of course, this does come with a good deal of risk, because you don’t have a crystal ball into what will unfold over the next several months. Yet another strategy for coping with inflation is to move to alternative materials and supplies that cost a little less. But, be aware this might also mean having to settle for a lesser quality product.

3 Biggest Inflation Price-Adjustment Mistakes to Avoid

If these strategies aren’t enough or don’t appeal to you, there are definitely things you should avoid doing. Because any one of these will likely be extremely costly in one way or another. Here are the three most dangerous mistakes businesses really need to avoid in their inflation adjustment pricing:
  • Apologizing. Sure, it’s human nature to empathize. But, you’re not the driving force in rising prices, nor are you in control of the elements that are causing inflation to rise. Although it’s tempting to apologize for having to charge more, it puts you in a position of weakness and can easily lead to you reducing prices at a time where it’s just not feasible.
  • Overcharging. Obviously, price gouging is illegal. But, charging more (particularly above the new, higher market rate) in order to cover your rising costs and increase your margin at the same time is not advisable. Doing this will only result in driving customers to look for less expensive alternatives in your competitors and leave you with a guilty conscience.
  • Undercharging. This is perhaps the biggest temptation small business owners face during inflationary periods. They empathize with their customers, being affected in their own personal lives too. So, they decide to keep their prices the same or only raise them as little as possible, thereby cutting into their margins. While customers will certainly appreciate the break, it could very well become a self-inflicted wound that leads to ruin.
What other suggestions do you have for dealing with inflation price adjustments? Please take a brief moment to leave a comment and share your thoughts and experiences so others can benefit from your strategies. Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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