After chatting with a few folks online and by the good ole' telly..something else came to mind that made me realize I wasn't finished with this topic - not by a long shot! So, "Why I Cost So MUCH" now has a "remix". Truth be told - I love it when a song gets the "remix" by a hot shot producer who knows how to amp the music and lyrics up so all you wanna do is dance! While I may not be a music producer - I do know how to "push buttons"..and my fingers are ready for this one!!
My last post kinda skimmed over the reasons why my fees and prices aren't $500 ( I shudder to think there are still people charging that amount for FULL SERVCE PLANNING, but I digress..), the "REMIX" is about the personal, hard facts: I run a business and I have a family to support. Bottom line.
I'm not in the wedding planning business because it's a fun "hobby" - au contraire..I am a business woman who is out here getting her proverbial hustle ON. This is my "9 to 5"....this IS my livelihood. And as such, I've based my fees on factors such as experience, skill, acumen, education and a little something called "profit"....you may have heard of this notion - it's why businesses are in business!
I have expenses related to my business (that studio of mine has a rent payment due the 1st of each month), I have staffing costs, I have professional costs that come with being a part of this industry..and I also have Visa, a car note, health & life insurance, two kids, an ailing grandmother, a house and a family of cats to feed. In short, I have a life....just like you. And this life requires money in order to live it. I'm not independently wealthy and I can't live off my ascerbic wit. Maintaining requires dollars..which is why I work.
So..when I say that your fee for services will be $$$$, I'm not talking out of the side of my neck. It's not an arbitrary number I just came up with...nope, I've told you what I know to be true. I totally get that some people like to "negotiate", but whoever said that "everything is negotiable" was delusional. It's not. You have to pay for what you want. Good people, excellent people, smart people, stellar people...we cost money. For a reason. We're good, excellent, smart & stellar...we are at the top of our game and we know how to get results. Period. Would you try to negotiate the fee with your surgeon if you needed work done? Of course not...you are coming to him/her for their EXPERTISE, therefore - you pay. So why is it any different when it comes to paying your wedding professionals what they deserve? Hmmmmm?????
To add in another flavor to the remix....please also know that when you don't pay me on time - my life still continues. And the aforementioned Visa, car finance company and landlord still want their money - from me. When you bounce a check....the bank will charge me. And I will charge you. In effect, you've breached your contract...non payment means that I can walk away or put your event on the shelf until you ante up. Depending on where you are in the process..that can be a dangerous situation. Allow me to put it into simple, laymen's terms: It's payday at your place of employment. You get your check or advice of deposit, open it up...and there's nothing there. Or....it's short a few hundred dollars. What are you going to do? Oh, I know EXACTLY what will happen - you're gonna march right on down to payroll and give them the "business" about YOUR money. And you're going to ask your boss "What's up with this - where's my money?" You know I'm right....you will be HEATED until this is resolved. Guess what - that's how we feel as professionals when you don't pay us as agreed upon. Take a moment to digest that.
And for my colleagues and peers in the industry....I'm not letting you off the hook. You have a responsibility to be unwaveringly clear about your pricing and your policies. It is what it is. Stop devaluing your worth, your credibility and your ART by not pricing your services as they should be. The word "NO' is not a four-letter one, it's not foul...it is the truth. Learn how to say it more often and when needed. Every client isn't for you and they are probably better suited for someone else. Let them GO...trust me, someone else will come along who understands and appreciate what you bring to the table without all of the truly unecessary drama and tribulation .
This is a two-way street. The public needs to undestand that we're not some cheap date...while the industry has go to get a grip on solidifying and clearly enunciating who they are and what they cost. Now that's a marriage made in heaven........
(See these two? These are my "babies" and my main impetus for being a success......they're also quite expensive, which is one of the reasons I don't work for free..)