EileenC - 5:43 pm on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)
Announce that since you are launching your business officially, you will be raising your fees to market rates. However, because your long-time customers are so loyal and were so important to helping you get started, you will phase in their rate increase at X% a year over the next few years. Or, that you will not increase their rates at all, but tell them it's a special rate only available to them, and ask them not to discuss their discount with anyone else. (There's nothing worse than a referral who came to you because someone told him you were the cheapest guy in town!) Send them a letter packed with praise and appreciation for all they've done when you make this announcement, and it should keep them feeling reasonably warm and fuzzy about you.