The ugly truth with the wedding industry is that we’re known for discounting our services. It’s a known fact in the business world, and something both of my business coaches have frowned upon… even when I give the explanation that “everyone is doing it”. Why I don’t ask wedding pro’s to discount their services may be personal, but I approach my business ethically. Even more than this, it’s out of respect for others and what they bring to the table.
We price our services strategically, often spending countless hours calculating and formulating what our costs are, what our break even point is and how much it would cost another person to perform the same work. Typical margins for our industry average about 40-60% which covers operational costs such as:
- Insurance (workers comp if you have employees and liability)
- Website hosting and domain registration/renewals
- Internet and telephone
- Software programs such as your client relationship manager (CRM), social media scheduler, appointment scheduler, Canva, etc.
- Continuing education
- Taxes and business licensing
- Membership dues and networking
- Marketing (which should be budgeted at roughly 10% of your revenue)
- Payroll, including paying yourself!
When you start to see all the things you need to pay for, you realize you can’t cut corners. Your pricing becomes much more real. Knowing this and all the costs that go into owning a business will help you see the bigger picture and value your time more.
Why I don’t ask wedding pro’s to discount their services is because I appreciate the fact that they offer a service I couldn’t. I respect them as wedding business owners. The only things I would haggle price on are flea market finds and a new car. You wouldn’t dare see me go into a local store and ask “can you do better?”. I know you’re not making a million dollars (not even close!). You may have a family to feed, a roof to put over your head, medical bills or student loans you’re paying. Who am I to ask for that discount to benefit me?
I chose to work with a wedding industry professional for a reason and I’m willing to pay full price. I don’t work with someone because they’re the cheapest. I learned my lesson at 18 when I got a “cheap” tattoo. I ended up having it covered up because I realized you get what you pay for. If I wanted a lower price, I would go elsewhere. I don’t automatically assume you’re over charging for your services.
My advice, next time it may be tempting to ask for a discount, think of the bigger picture and remember this insight.