Price increases for a better life/ work balance

Oct 12, 2015 | Business, Wedding | 0 comments

When bookings are good, the diary is full, and the work life balance gets strained, it’s time to increase prices. This can’t be done willy nilly, there has to be a perceived increase of the product value or service benefits to justify price increases but that can be relatively easy to achieve. I say relatively because the alternative option is to work ones heart out being a busy fool.

A chart showing the benefits of increasing prices

1. The chart above shows the percentage decrease in sales or jobs undertaken to deliver the same profit once a real price increase has been applied to the goods or services offered. A 10% price increase across the board for a wedding photographer currently working with a profit margin of 35%, can let them shoot 22% fewer weddings each year and still maintain the same profit. This is a game changer for those self employed photographers currently working long hours and feeling the pressure.

To understand what a profit margin is and how to calculate yours, read this blog post on discounting.

The benefits of increasing prices

02. Perhaps this table is clearer to understand than table 1. Using the same 35% profit margin as an example the photographer who puts their prices up by 10% can reduce the number of weddings they shoot by 22% per annum and still make the same profit.

The increased marketing costs to achieve sales at a higher value is offset by the need to book fewer weddings. As the availability in the diary becomes scarce the valuable marketing budget gets swallowed up. It’s always the last few bookings that are hardest to achieve because a higher percentage of enquiries are for dates that are already booked.

How it works

Julie and I at Lovegrove Weddings used the price increase strategy to go from 44 weddings per year to 35, then 30, and finally 25 weddings per year while keeping our profit the same year on year.

How to increase perceived value without incurring extra costs

Spend more time with the clients. Take the time to deliver a full guidance service throughout the customer journey. Be the wedding expert at the first meeting, Use your expert experience to help the prospective client be wise with their wedding budget. Help them with the timings of the wedding day itself and offer them solutions to some of the problems that occur like the table plan and guest list conundrum.

Have fun with the clients and deliver an exciting customer experience.  The pre wedding shoot is an excellent opportunity for extra sales and to exceed customer expectations. It’s the perfect time to build friendships and develop a long term loyalty. The marketing strategy of many a successful high value brand depends upon the personal recommendation of an army of raving fans.

Deliver the wow factor. If you have a studio, paint it with a stylish colour palette. All colours cost the same, naff ones and wonderful ones so make sure you are in touch with trending colour schemes. Excite all the senses, room fragrance, stylish framed products on the walls and lovely lighting in the viewing room all contribute to the customer experience.

Think about your experiences in retail/ service outlets… Candles and table cloths in a restaurant can add 30% to the menu prices and ensure a restaurant is packed at all sittings.

Stay inspired and deliver excellence. Please feel free to add your own recommendations and tips for positive pricing.

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