How can I ask for a raise when I know I have earned one, but my small business is doing badly?

How can I ask for a raise when I know I have earned one, but my small business is doing badly? Find out on

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Answer Paywizard:

You do appear to be in a tough situation. On the one hand, you feel that you deserve a raise because of the great deal of responsibility that you take on and the fact that you haven’t received one in a while. On the other hand, if you were given a raise, you might put a further drain on an already suffering small business.

To be honest with you, in this situation, I would not ask for a raise until your business begins to pick up and the finances improve at least slightly (even if it’s only temporary).  This will greatly increase your chances for actually getting the raise you seek and will also demonstrate to your superiors that you are concerned with the company’s welfare as much as your own. In fact, I suggest that if business does pick up and you ask for your raise, mention that you have wanted the raise for a long time, but understood that the business was in a difficult situation and thus held back.

I understand why not asking for a raise at this point is a problem for you. Indeed, as you mention, if you were someone else, someone that did not have access to the company’s finances, then you would have asked for a raise a long time ago with a clean conscience. Unfortunately, however, you are not someone else. Your boss is well aware that you are privy to the finances and also knows that you know that the business is experiencing financial difficulties. Thus it may seem inappropriate that you ask for a higher salary at a time when the company is strapped for cash.

Once you do ask for a raise, however, please take a look at our “How to Get a Raise” section on the Paywizard site. As I mentioned, you should certainly jump on the opportunity to ask once business improves, but while the firm is faring poorly, it would probably be best to do a great job and hold back. I realize this situation is frustrating, but I think that if you follow my advice and your design company is able to rebound, there’s a very good chance that you’ll get that raise that you want.

Best of luck.