One of the topics that I hear about the MOST in this industry is pricing. From questioning how to price their services to complaining about how OTHER people are pricing their services, this is a hot topic, and deservedly so. As an unregulated industry with zero barrier to entry, pricing your services can sometimes feel like pulling numbers out of thin air; but the reality is, how you price your services (and/or products) has a profound effect not just on your business (and whether or not you can STAY in business) but also on the wedding industry as a whole.
And let me be clear – you cannot work in this industry without giving the survival and credibility of the industry as a whole consideration when you operate your business. Failure to do so will result in FEWER clients, LOWER profits, and an increase in the horror stories of a few casting shade upon the entire industry. We all have a responsibility to run our businesses in a way that ensures the survival of the very career that we profess to love.
Having said that – I want to be clear: Pricing is a personal decision, and only YOU can decide what is right for your business and the market that you operate in.
When I encounter wedding professionals who are charging far below industry standards, I hear the following statements most often:
- “I have no experience, so I don’t feel right charging more than I am right now”
- “I didn’t really know how to price my services, so I am charging what I saw another person new to the industry is charging”
- “I want to make my services affordable for couples with a low budget”
- “This is my side-gig, I don’t really need to make a profit so I’m charging less to gain lots of experience”
All of which, by the way, are valid ways of thinking, on the surface. But there are problems inherent in every one of the statements above, and they can have unintended but serious consequences if not backed by a solid strategy.
And – I’ve been there. When I first started my company back in 2009, I had zero idea what to charge for my planning services. Zero. I did some basic research – aka scoping out other planners’ websites in my market – and from that I had a general idea of what some were charging, but in reality, I decided on a number arbitrarily. I did exactly TWO weddings at that price, and I remember distinctly thinking during the second one “I am not making enough money for what I do”.
The very next day, I raised my prices by almost quadruple, despite my fear that no-one would hire me at that price. Shockingly – the number of inquiries INCREASED almost immediately.
Fast forward a year and half or so, and I decided once again that when I considered the level and quality of services I was providing, I needed to increase my pricing again. But this time, I knew that I needed to educate myself and really have a solid understanding of how I determined the new price and more importantly, how I was going to be able to confidently sell my services at a very high price-tag. I also needed to know how it was going to effect my bottom line – by offering a higher-end service, I knew I’d need to up my game when it came to the client experience and likely would need to grow my team.
And so began my obsession with pricing, sustainability, and profit.
I ended up doubling my pricing, which allowed me to work with FEWER clients and make MORE money. Sounds like a dream, right? In many ways, it was. But I also ran into some unexpected challenges, and over the next several years I had to tweak my pricing a few more times before I found the so-called sweet spot.
Can I just say – I learned a LOT. And the most important thing that I learned was that having a solid pricing strategy can make or break your business. 100%. Full stop.
I get it – most of us did not start our wedding businesses because of money, or our inherent love of spreadsheets and profit/loss statements. In truth, most of us would probably rather spend our time perfecting our craft than worrying about cash flow and sales goals. But the reality is (and the entire mission behind the Wedpreneur!) that we HAVE to become smart business owners if we want to continue to be able to practice our craft – be it floral design, stationery design, planning, designing, baking, decorating, and so on.
You know that saying “I wish that I’d known then what I know now”? THIS is the one topic that I really, really, really wish I’d known more about in the first 3-5 years of my business.
And that’s why I’m so incredibly pumped about the FREE Masterclass that I’m offering, on pricing strategies for wedding pros.
It’s everything that I wish I’d known.
Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the biz for a decade, I promise you that you will learn something from this Masterclass. I have done an enormous amount of research, talked to dozens of people in the wedding industry (AND in other industries), and my goal is to de-mystify the process of setting your prices, and help you develop a strategy for a sustainable and profitable wedding business.
Are you excited??? I hope you are – because this is going to be BIG for your business.
Not only that, for the first time, I’ve decided to take this training a step further, and I’m going to be offering an AMAZING opportunity to those who attend the Masterclass. It’s crazy, it’s out of my comfort zone, but as soon as I started thinking about it I just knew that it was exactly what I needed to do in order to have the greatest impact on your business.
…. I totally want to spill the beans here, but I promised myself I’d wait until the Masterclass!
SO! Here are the details:
Masterclass: Pricing Strategies for Wedding Pros
Delivery: Online Webinar
Date: March 8th, 2017
Time: 6:00pm MST
Max: 100 LIVE participants
Can’t make it live? Not a problem. Everyone who registers (see link above) will receive a copy of the replay in their inbox. The replay will only be active for 3 weeks following the live class, so you’ll want to be sure you watch it as soon as you get it.
I can’t wait to share my knowledge, experience, stories, and strategies with you! You will walk away with clarity and actionable steps that you can take in your business to ensure that you have a solid pricing strategy moving forward.
See you there!