BBB Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI & VT - In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to ask for a raise. In a perfect world, your employers will notice when you’ve stepped your game up and deserve compensation for it. Alas, this is not a perfect world and your employer probably won’t casually offer you a raise without you having to ask for it.Asking for a raise doesn't have to be as scary as it sounds. It is something every successful business man or woman has had to do in order to get to where they are now, and it is in that practice of assertiveness that has helped them get there. Whether this is your first time asking for a raise or one of many times, let us guide you through it. Before blindly going into your boss’s office and flatout asking, make sure you are prepared with these four helpful tips on how to properly ask for a raise. Figure how much you can earnDepending on the business you work for, especially if you work for a non-profit, raises may not be in the budget. Look at how long you’ve been working with your company and what others who have been there for a similar time range typically make. Other factors to take into account are education and prior experience. With that being said, asking coworkers about salary or income can be seen as unprofessional and also very well could be against company policy... but that’s what the internet is for! The are plenty of reputable websites available online that can offer more information on typical salaries for former and current employees that work for your company.Gather evidenceNow it’s time to start forming your case as to why you deserve a raise. Make a list of all you have contributed to the company, how your contributions have benefited the company and most importantly, examples to back up this up. Start with the most recent ones and work your way backwards. This could be anything from positive customer feedback to recent findings from a project you oversaw. You want to highlight your achievements that are not only good indicators of your hard work, but also of your future potential. Anticipate the questionsIt’s important to rehearse what you will say and what you boss might say. Consider the conversation from your boss’s point of view and plan your responses accordingly. A few possible questions that may come up that you should prepare an answer for are:How have you contributed to the business within your position? How have you helped achieve the business's goals?Have you gone above and beyond your job duties?Have a backup planOnce again, in a perfect world your boss will say “yes of course!” and you will skip away happily with a bucket of cash. On the off chance that doesn’t happen and you don’t get the raise you were hoping, it doesn’t have to be the end of your negotiation. If a raise isn't possible now, lay the groundwork for the future. Ask your boss about your company’s goals for your position that need to be met before management will start considering raises.If a raise isn’t possible now due to your company’s budget, suggest compensation for your loyalty and hard work in another form for the time being such as professional development opportunities or increased vacation time.For more business tips, visit us at bbb.org.