Guest Blog

Are you raising prices for 2021?

By Kellie Daab

We're seeing the third round of cancellations coming through for August - December events. In my state, once the mask mandates went into place that seemed to be a final pressure point and clients just started pushing back their events or canceling.

Let's discuss what that will look like for your business in 2021. And how you can really get serious with your calendar.

You likely already have a policy in place for rescheduling and canceling. If it's working for you keep using it BUT you may want to look at your available dates left and determine what now becomes "premium". Anytime 2 years' worth of functions are pushed into one calendar year what used to be premium dates (Saturdays in October for example) are now extended to other not so premium dates (Saturdays in March).

In the first round of cancellations, your goal was to retain as much revenue as possible. But this third wave means you have to get REALLY serious about your availability.

Your time and being open to paying customers is your most PRECIOUS ASSET! And now it's time to protect it more wisely!

To do this, you need to ensure that your calendar allows for new business to book. Premium weekend dates for 2021 should go for a premium price. Your money from your 2020 events is depreciating every day. To stay afloat you need NEW money! And your new clients will want premium date consideration.

Go through your calendar and make some decisions on how much you need to make to give away that date. Then adjust your pricing accordingly.

If you are a single owner-operated business this may seem strange to charge more for specific dates than others... but most large scale businesses and venues have been doing this for years! The ticket price of a hot event date just costs more! To survive... small businesses are going to have to adopt this mindset.

Why? Won't you get all of 2020 and 2021 revenue in one year? Won't that be a windfall? By outward appearance, it looks like it. But operationally NO.

Imagine you charged me 10 skittles to pay for a job. I gave you one skittle and promised I'd give you 2 more skittles every 3 months. But then I decided that instead of paying you those 10 skittles in 12 months I wanted you to extend the payment to 20 months while still serving me and providing a high level of customer service.

Every time I email, call, need help, or make a request more and more of your skittles are depleted and used up. And you're not receiving more skittles for another 6 months or now a year. That one or two skittles you have is gone... and you are putting out time you're not going to receive skittles for until the job arrives.

In the meantime the skittles you have need to keep the lights on, pay for your software and systems, and take care of your contractors, suppliers, and employees - your clients still need their products. Even if your skittles are depleting.

Find out what your new markup should be to make up for these added expenses! Download the Curate Markup Calculator.

Download The Free Markup Calculator

This is why increased pricing for premium dates will help you to fill the depreciating wealth gap! When you charge the next client 20 skittles and get 3 skittles in advance (instead of 1) you now have more working capital to keep you in business.

What you just learned is economics 101. The art of selling at a premium so that your business can have a level of depreciating offers.

The wedding industry doesn't deal with this much because we are constantly in high acquisition mode. But many businesses who target repeat customers know that their baseline offers often lose money over time but that the repeat customer will spend more NEW money with the brand.

Sadly, you're not receiving repeat customer money... you still have to acquire new customers... thus needing more money for premium dates!

I understand this is a controversial viewpoint. I can hear you say it now "My services cost me the same." But in today's economy, they now do not. Your single most valuable asset.... availability has now become a highly sought after commodity. One you should consider protecting and valuing so that your business can stay afloat!

So... are you raising prices for new clients in 2021?

Find out what your new markup should be to make up for these added expenses! Download the Curate Markup Calculator.

Download The Free Markup Calculator


Kellie Daab is the Founder of Wedding Industry Institute and a Wedding Business Architect. Known as a thought leader and disruptor in the wedding industry, Kellie brings a digitally minded approach to clarity, strategy, and mastery in business.

After 14 years in event planning, hospitality, venues, and catering – Kellie has worn the heels and carried the bus tubs. Described by industry peers as “a smack down delivered with a bouquet of roses”, Kellie leads thousands of wedding industry professionals through empowering ingenuity and encouraging innovation in life and business.

As a featured author, educator, and speaker, Kellie facilitates live educational communities and online programs for wedding professionals around the globe. Kellie is an international speaker to wedding professionals and has presented at many of the industries top educational outlets like Catersource, The Special Event, Wedding MBA, and more.

Tags: Tips, Small Business Sally, Established Ed, catering, florists, sales


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