I just read a great thread on LinkedIn about what prompts us as business owners to give away the store, so to speak, when pricing our services. Why do we over-share and under-price? I think there is an enormous emotional disconnect between who we think we are and what we think we're worth. It made me wonder what other questions were floating around about fees, pricing, talking price.

So, what troubles you about pricing?
What do you wish you know how to do better?
What advice would you give others on setting boundaries?

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I am new to the industry, and my biggestfear is having other vendors think I am "undercutting" their prices to get the jobs. I do not want to start off on the wrong foot with my fellow local vendors, but do not feel I can charge the same price as coordinators that have years of experiance where I have 2 weddings under my belt only! What is the best way to approach my pricing in this situation?
Hey Mandy, that's a great question, maybe even the $64k question. Here's what worked for me when I was starting out consulting.

While I didn't have the years of experience in banking like my corporate clients and their usual consultants, I did have something to offer. I was brand-new and had none of the preconceptions about the industry. That mean I could be an invaluable source of feedback and new ideas. I reframed my inexperience in subject matter as a benefit. I wasn't stuck in old thinking.

I'm sure if you take the time to think, and ask others who know you, you also have a unique perspective, interest, passion to bring to your clients. And, that difference is what allows you to be on par with others. Head to head on experience, they can claim more, but no one has the lock on great ideas executed well.

Hope that helps. And, hey, feel free to join my fan page

Warmly,

Dina
I think that because I was such a DIY bride (because I have the skill, knowledge, and resources) for my own wedding, that I sometimes feel guilty about my price point. However, after doing my research I definitely feel that I'm right where I need to be right now. I just know that my target bride is not the DIY but the busy and affluent bride.
Even when people are starting out, flooding the industry with free/cheap work is not helping ANYONE. As a photographer, I see people on craigslist constantly offering to shoot weddings for peanuts to "enhance their portfolios". But, what is your portfolio worth if you don't CHARGE? It's creating a new average price for wedding services, and I believe they are far lower then they should be.

As for boundaries, contracts contracts contracts! Set your limits in B&W and everyone sign on the dotted line! :)

http://www.SoManyMoments.com
Thanks for answering. You know, you make me thing there's a role that experienced wedding folks can play in schooling 'newbies' so that they can charge comparable rates.

It strikes me as such a paradox that veterans don't want new folks deflating the value of the services but then don't want to mentor so the quality of work (and billable rate) can be higher for everyone.

A high tide raises all ships...or so the saying goes.

Warmly,
Dina
Dina I must agree with you. I have found alot of blogs/conversations on the "nebies" and undercutting prices, however I have asked a few planners if they would be willing to go over their prices and packages with me, and none of them will- how am I suppose to know what the average rate is if no one will tell me?
I set my prices on packages this week- please let me know what you think- honestly but politely please!

My day of package will be $500
My week of package will be $750.00
My full service package starts at $2000 plus a 7% fee of any vendors/services that I secure.

Please let me know where this puts me as far as average prices.
Thanks
What exactly does your full service package entail if securing vendors is a separate charge? I would assumne that full planning is exactly that plus all of the other goodies that full planning entails (budgeting, setting up meetings, etc, etc).
I think you might want to look at other planners sites (not necessarily those in your area) and see what their packages include. It's hard to say if your pricing is good or not because we don't know what's included in those packages.
If you're not already a member, www.i-wed.org is a great resource for planners.
I understand that asking local vendors to help me with pricing is potentially cutting their client pool, but with the location I am in, asking anyone outside of my area would not be "comparable" so to speak for me. so that is my dilemma.....

My full service package includes all the booking of vendors, budgeting, timelines, etc that you would EXPECT for a full service planning package, the 7% charge is to cover our mileage expenses for traveling to meet vendors and securing them. this is why I am asking these questions, because I really have no clue- is the set price and then the percentage not a norm for planners? I have not set anything in stone, and am looking for assistance- I would be willing to email my package info to someone if they would be willing to give me some honest helful feedback on it......
You know Glen you make a good point about creating a biz plan, but I think that's the problem. Often I hear that advice without any clear directions on the step-by-step approach you need to determine selling price, break even, profitability. That's why I'm so delighted with the work that Michelle Loretta is doing at Sage Wedding Pros. She actually explains it all and have a live event to encourage it.

Calling under false pretenses is probably not going to make a newbie very welcome in her local community since relationships are built on trust. And, you're right that some people list their prices on site, but then I wonder if those the are prices they are getting or the prices they want to get.
No harm, no foul, eh. I think we agree. I'm only saying that the typical biz plan software or books often don't feature wedding business or other professions besides planners. And, it's really tough to get critical biz data like a cost average for the industry.
Hi Dina! When businesses "give away the store" they lower the perceived value of ALL OUR SERVICES in the eyes of the bride and groom. This is a "hot" topic for me! I wrote a blog post on how to charge what you are worth recently. Here's the link- http://weddingblognetwork.blogspot.com/2010/02/5-ways-to-help-bride...
Well, there you go- talking alternatives. Maybe you should republish that here. I know Christine would appreciate it.

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