Establishing prices for event planning services is an interesting exercise for the business owner. When Julie first started the business, she did not have the experience nor confidence to honestly value her services. Especially for Indigenous female entrepreneurs, a bad habit is often to offer services for free.
Oh, you don’t have to pay me. I’ll do it for free.
Without prior knowledge or a history of education with regards to money, determining prices was a scary necessity. There is always the fear that one charges too much, even though Julie mostly had the opposite experience where she named a price and customers readily agreed. She learned over time that she didn’t charge enough. Valuing her time, her skills, and knowledge is still a challenge for her today, but she is getting better at it. This includes feeling confident about her academic background benefiting the business.
Through education, Julie developed a “formula” and created her price list from there. Even rate increases, such as a recent rise after the losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, are typically readily accepted by new and past customers. Promotions to claim being “affordable” or less than other event planners are not necessary or advisable for her business. Julie is still not 100% confident with the price discussions and sometimes fears potential customers would complain about the prices being too high, but “they are more than happy to pay what I’m asking,” and negotiations are not required.
It’s just the stories that I make up in my own head!
Another benefit and reason that prices are readily accepted is the fact that her business is registered and insured, while other providers and individuals in her area are not. That means that qualifications that are often laid out in “expressions of interest” sought by organizations can often only be fulfilled by her because of her insurance.
With regards to rebates or deviations from her regular rate, Julie has a particular approach.
Watch Video Clip 5 – Rates (Transcript Available) (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0):