Monetary inflation is one of those topics that took a while for me to wrap my head around- and I still struggle with the concepts here and there.
I hear older folks, and sometimes even myself, gripe about how much we could get for a dollar back in 19**. But at the same time, it is such a gradual process, that we aren't usually conscious of it year to year.
Instead of griping about it, it's one of those things I just need to adapt to. If cost of living has gone up 3% in the last year (just an average), then I should be compensated 3% more for the same amount of time/effort than I was last year.
If I have become more seasoned, efficient, knowledgeable, invested in more effective equipment, or in some other way become more valuable to my customers, then my compensation should increase accordingly, in addition to the 3% adjustment. Some of that additional compensation obviously comes in the form of increased productivity. But increased productivity or value offered should not become the stop-gap for regular inflation adjustments.
This is obviously the ideal I'm speaking of. But I know there are some business owners who have accomplished this. I don't want to make anyone feel self conscious, but there is one solo operator who (last I was aware of) increases all prices 4% every year. This exceeds the average rate of inflation. It provides a modest but deserved raise in income every year, and from what I understand, his customers are more than happy to "give him" this raise each year.
Also wanted to mention: inflation is something that most of our successful customers will likely understand better than we do. If their portfolios haven't grown by at least the rate of inflation + maintenance costs, they're in fact 'losing' money. They understand that everything goes up.
If you somehow are able to structure your business so that you can "grandfather in" prices for repeat customers, then that will be very appealing to the "thrifty" investors, as they'll recognize that they're really getting a price cut every year in perpetuity.
Personally, I haven't had good experiences working for "thrifty" people. Especially not "thrifty investors".