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Author Topic: Time to raise prices?  (Read 2534 times)

Bill Schnake

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Re: Time to raise prices?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2014, 12:45:21 pm »

Last Saturday was the third show I did this year where the client handed me more money than I asked for. Also got 4 calls this week that were referrals from previous clients and two were large multi band events. One offered me twice what I would have quoted before I even got a chance to quote it.

Time to raise my prices? I think so.


I remember the first time I told a band that it would cost $600 for me to provide sound and lights for a 3 hour show.  That was a while ago.  I couldn't believe it when they said that was great I worked with them for 5 years.  The next big one was when I booked my first two day festival and ask $2,500.  The town said yes and now we do a five year contract with an increase for expenses every year.  Finally, I remember the first time we did the Beach Boys.  The production for the show was $19,000...for a one night.  I thought I was gonna die.  I remember I got a call from the Beach Boys LD and he wanted an additional $3,000 worth of MAC Movers.  I called the venue told them about the request and the answer was...'Bill, give them whatever they want, it doesn't matter.  We are already up $90,000 over our expense for the night, we'll see you in a couple of weeks.'  My point is that if you never ask for it, you will never find out if you can get it.

Bill  8)
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Bill Schnake

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Steve M Smith

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Re: Time to raise prices?
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2014, 01:26:37 pm »

Bands in my area are only willing to spend about $200-250 max for sound

Is it normal for bands to arrange and pay for the sound hire in the US?  Over here (England) the venue or promoter usually deals with it.


Steve.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Time to raise prices?
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2014, 01:27:34 pm »

That strategy is very difficult to make work.  Once you establish your reputation of low prices, it's pretty tough to shake that.  If you can do a job for a client this year for a low price, they aren't going to be happy if you double it next year.  You'll end up losing that client, and be no better off than if you had started with your pricing where it needs to be.

Now, working up the ladder on the type of events you can do is a strategy that can work.  Simple bar jobs are a starting point, and the pay matches that.  But once you move up and beyond that, you can forget about continuing to do those jobs, because the $$ don't work out long term.

When setting pricing, using the formula equipment + transportation + Labor is an important formula.  Don't let the customer dictate the price.  If they won't pay what it COSTS for you to do the job, don't take it.  This is a business.  Make some $$ at it, or get out of the way.

THIS.  RIGHT.  HERE.

And combine it with Bill Schanke's post under it.  THOSE. RIGHT. THERE?  ;)

I've been down road Brian describes, and all 'exposure' got me was a client base that couldn't or wouldn't pay more down the line.  One of our forum members has this in his sig line "We're playing this gig for exposure."  "This is Canada, people die from exposure."  So right that is.

Getting caught up in chasing every gig I could find meant that I didn't have time to up my game and the income stream wouldn't support upgrades to gear (hell, maintenance was enough of an expense already).  After I discovered that every gig I did actually cost me money at the end of the day, I tried to make changes but there was no viable projection for the needed increase in revenue to make a go of it long term.  I sold off most of my gear, did the BE thing for a few years, then took some accounting and business classes and went to work for others.  I've learned a lot from everyone I worked for and consider myself fortunate to have worked for both successful and not so successful enterprises.

Bill's "Reader's Digest" bio is spot on and shows how the progression of "other people's money" factors into his revenue growth.  When you're getting money from a band or promoter, it's THEIR profit that gets smaller.  With OPM, it's a increase in expenses, not a loss of profit.
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Chewing through your wimpy dreams
They eat without a sound,
Digesting England by the pound.

Tim McCulloch

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Re: Time to raise prices?
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2014, 01:34:54 pm »

Is it normal for bands to arrange and pay for the sound hire in the US?  Over here (England) the venue or promoter usually deals with it.


Steve.

It depends.  In bars and pubs there may or may not be an installed system (and of dubious repair and furnishing).  Some bands will hire PA or buy their own just to avoid using crappy installed systems operated by the guy working for free beer.  Other bands will hire in because they play bars without PA, but the band is not a cooperative venture so no cash to buy a system.

In the case of party bands, big wedding bands, some corporate event entertainment, etc the band might opt to hire in a firm of their choice and pass that expense along to the promoter or event planner... or send a rider and let the event planner handle it.
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Chewing through your wimpy dreams
They eat without a sound,
Digesting England by the pound.

David Parker

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Re: Time to raise prices?
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2014, 02:33:45 pm »

Is it normal for bands to arrange and pay for the sound hire in the US?  Over here (England) the venue or promoter usually deals with it.


Steve.
in the smaller clubs in the Houston area, sound is not provided. Pay for the band is generally $1000 or less, sometimes a lot less. Bands start out owning a system and running it from stage. After a while they figure out it's more work than it's worth, plus they aren't getting good sound quality mixing from the stage. So they start hiring out, but can only afford $200-$300 obviously. There are several providers working at that level. I fought it for a few years. The way I saw it, my gear was paid for, I was getting no return on investment, I was only making wages for myself. But it was a job I could do solo, no payroll and staff to keep up with. Then I got tired of the stress and other investments matured so that I didn't need the money any more. But there are much younger folks getting into it.
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Dave Neale

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Re: Time to raise prices?
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2014, 02:49:00 pm »


Last Saturday was the third show I did this year where the client handed me more money than I asked for. Also got 4 calls this week that were referrals from previous clients and two were large multi band events. One offered me twice what I would have quoted before I even got a chance to quote it.

Time to raise my prices? I think so.

I should mention I am in a very low priced market, and most of you would call me a "bottom feeder" based on my prices but I was trying to establish a reputation for quality work with the intention of getting referrals because of it.

How cheap have you been working? I'm up in Harrisburg and trying to figure out what the hell happened to our market?
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Scott Olewiler

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Re: Time to raise prices?
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2014, 03:32:19 pm »

How cheap have you been working? I'm up in Harrisburg and trying to figure out what the hell happened to our market?

Last 3 shows I did were $250, $200 and $300.  Last 3 I bid and got were  $285, $400 and $700. I price based on a 15 mile radius of York and shows are always outside that so I'm always tacking on additional travel at $25/hr.   I never get any calls from Harrisburg area. I mean 1 so far. That was my second show and I did it for $100.  Band has rehired me for more since then and then broke up.  Everything currently being booked is west of me.
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Apparently I don't know what I doing; but people keep gladly paying me to do it.

Eric Baker

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Re: Time to raise prices?
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2014, 04:52:51 pm »

Last 3 shows I did were $250, $200 and $300.  Last 3 I bid and got were  $285, $400 and $700. I price based on a 15 mile radius of York and shows are always outside that so I'm always tacking on additional travel at $25/hr.   I never get any calls from Harrisburg area. I mean 1 so far. That was my second show and I did it for $100.  Band has rehired me for more since then and then broke up.  Everything currently being booked is west of me.
Scott,
I think you are a little under priced for the area. I working out of Harrisburg, and I don't leave my house for less then $300.00. I have about six bands that only use me. I'm playing at least four times a month in the winter. But, now that fairs and carnivals are starting I will be out about eight times a month which pay at least $400.00. It did take me about five years to get where I'm at now. But, in August I will be moving to Phenix City AL. Send me a PM I maybe able to get you some work in the Harrisburg area.
Also if anyone is reading this from the Phenix City area and would like to team up on somethings in August PM me I will send you a list of equipment that I have. Or I would be willing to run your systems or just help you out from time to time.     
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Richard Turner

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Re: Time to raise prices?
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2014, 11:03:12 pm »

+1 on logo on the polo shirt

if you dont have a local embbroiderer $20 from vistaprint and it arrives in your mail 10 days later.
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Time to raise prices?
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2014, 01:54:56 am »

if you dont have a local embbroiderer $20 from vistaprint and it arrives in your mail 10 days later.

Vistaprint are great.  Once you start buying from them, they start offering lots of free stuff too.


Steve.
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