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Author Topic: Billing customers based on show size?  (Read 865 times)

Andrew Henderson

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Billing customers based on show size?
« on: December 04, 2017, 08:58:34 am »

I’m curious to hear your opinions on this:

I have two main PA configurations that I rent out:
(A) 2x Danley SM80 over 2x Danley TH118 powered by 1x DNA20K4
(B) 2x Yamaha DSR112 over 2x QSC KW181, self-powered

I have QSC K10s and Turbosound iQ10s for monitors and small events.

I rarely have two events booked on the same day. The main reason I own the Yamaha/QSC rig is because I don’t always need a PA as powerful as the Danley rig, and the customer shouldn’t pay for more than what they need.

The thought has crossed my mind to get rid of the “B” rig and just charge the customer the “A” or “B” price based on show size (room size, number of people...). This would free up some cash and and space in my garage and would be one less thing to maintain. The gear was all purchased with income from the business without using debt, so the only overhead I have is not being able to park in my garage and occasionally having to repair something.

The main downside scenario I thought of:
customer rents “B rig” for B price, then later needs “A rig” for another event, gets charged A price and sees the same gear they paid B price for show up... I’d have to make the pricing structure clear to customers so they wouldn’t get a bad taste in their mouth.

Maybe I could use the “fly package” (lifts or truss frame, both of which I normally bring to bigger events) to differentiate prices?

Thoughts? Is this a bad idea?
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Mike Monte

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Re: Billing customers based on show size?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 10:27:47 am »

I’m curious to hear your opinions on this:

I have two main PA configurations that I rent out:
(A) 2x Danley SM80 over 2x Danley TH118 powered by 1x DNA20K4
(B) 2x Yamaha DSR112 over 2x QSC KW181, self-powered

I have QSC K10s and Turbosound iQ10s for monitors and small events.

I rarely have two events booked on the same day. The main reason I own the Yamaha/QSC rig is because I don’t always need a PA as powerful as the Danley rig, and the customer shouldn’t pay for more than what they need.

The thought has crossed my mind to get rid of the “B” rig and just charge the customer the “A” or “B” price based on show size (room size, number of people...). This would free up some cash and and space in my garage and would be one less thing to maintain. The gear was all purchased with income from the business without using debt, so the only overhead I have is not being able to park in my garage and occasionally having to repair something.

The main downside scenario I thought of:
customer rents “B rig” for B price, then later needs “A rig” for another event, gets charged A price and sees the same gear they paid B price for show up... I’d have to make the pricing structure clear to customers so they wouldn’t get a bad taste in their mouth.

Maybe I could use the “fly package” (lifts or truss frame, both of which I normally bring to bigger events) to differentiate prices?

Thoughts? Is this a bad idea?

Interesting question...
In my small-sound-company I price my services according to several factors:
- band riders
- size of event
- location
- "hassle factor"
- # of hours

Band riders: most local bands ask for the moon but usually settle for what I provide.  If a band insists on XYZ then I'll rent it and charge the client

Size of event: # of attendees dictates the size of my rig

Location: a gig in my town will cost less than a similar gig in a town 50 miles away

Hassle factor: "The gig is in the top-floor ballroom of the Biltmore Hotel in Providence...("you have to use the "service" elevator in the kitchen...." which is the worst load in/out hassle in the world...it takes for-ever) VS: "you can back your truck up to the stage...."

# of hours: The show starts at 8:00pm but you need to set up by 5:00pm will cost more than set up by 7:30

My monitor scheme more or less stays the same.  I use three rigs; small medium large
small/medium: I can set up myself
large: I have to hire a hand (or two)

When I bid on a production gig I list all of the parameters and the price.  If the parameters change; "there were originally going to be two bands but now we have five bands so instead of 8:00pm-10:00pm the show is going to be 8:00pm-12:00am"

The above has happened on more than one occasion.

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Mike Pyle

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Re: Billing customers based on show size?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 10:54:35 am »

In some circumstances I find my "big rig" easier to set up and use than a smaller, cheaper system that would get the job done. I charge out only what the smaller system would have cost the client. While I have never had to explain the disparity in cost between different events, my take is that using more system than required FOR MY OWN CONVENIENCE merits a discounted rate.
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: Billing customers based on show size?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 11:48:44 am »

For what it's worth, I have one set of tops that do 95% of my gigs. They're similar in layout to the JTR 3TX cabs, but Jeff uses a nicer compression driver in his cabs.. For small gigs, spoken word, singer + guitar type things, they go out alone. For a small venue that still needs some decent low end, I add a 15" sub and charge for it. Next step up is two subs, then four, then eight. All eight don't go out very often, but it's a lot of fun when they do. The tops match well to eight of the subs, but with smaller numbers the subs usually limit first.

I'd suggest you can do something similar with your system - one TH118 would, I expect, happily replace a pair of KW181s, so you could bill for (and use) a single TH118 for smaller gigs, and use both for the bigger ones. You'd need stands for the SM80s if you were mounting them above subs before, but you'd be able to cut the other system entirely so I'm sure that'd pay for a couple of good speaker stands.

If you charged for one TH118 and brought both, the client might get wise for the next gig.

Chris
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John L Nobile

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Re: Billing customers based on show size?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 12:07:03 pm »

My thought is that since they're both speaker on stick systems, most customers won't differentiate between the two. I really think the average person hear with their eyes. I have SM80's and I would pay more for them. Actually, I did. But I don't think the average person would.

I think you could charge more for the fly package but I don't see the average customer paying extra for the SM80's. They'll probably just go with a lower quote with someone that has DSR112's.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Billing customers based on show size?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 01:05:24 pm »

It depends on why the customer is hiring you.

Are they hiring you to do a particular job, and you choose the gear to do the job?

Or are they hiring specific gear for a job?

Most likely it is the first situation.

IF 2 cans and a string will do the job, then they get billed for the job-NOT the quality of the cans and string.

If one setup makes your job easier, makes you look/sound better, then that is all good.

Always remember, it is NOT just the person who hired you that you are looking to impress.  But also any potential clients who may be at the gig/show.

I was in a wedding band for several years, it was always about FUTURE business from people who might be at the show.

The people looking/listening do not know what was paid or what was ordered, but rather all they are concerned about it the outcome that they are seeing/hearing.

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Rob Spence

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Re: Billing customers based on show size?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2017, 01:11:19 pm »

You mentioned “rent” the systems. However, it seems you are providing production for an event.
In the rental scenario, the price is based on WHAT you are renting and (in case of cross renting) WHO you renting to.

In production, you agree to perform a service and for a price, you bring the tools you need (or as Mike said, want) to provide this service.

I have been known to bring a more expensive mixer to a gig for my convenience but charge for a smaller one.

I would say keep both rigs. Why? Well, for example, getting a couple of KW181s up some stairs is a bit easier than a TH118.


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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Billing customers based on show size?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2017, 01:30:52 pm »

My thought is that since they're both speaker on stick systems, most customers won't differentiate between the two. I really think the average person hear with their eyes. I have SM80's and I would pay more for them. Actually, I did. But I don't think the average person would.

I think you could charge more for the fly package but I don't see the average customer paying extra for the SM80's. They'll probably just go with a lower quote with someone that has DSR112's.

^^^ This ^^^
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Andrew Henderson

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Re: Billing customers based on show size?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2017, 08:15:45 pm »

In some circumstances I find my "big rig" easier to set up and use than a smaller, cheaper system that would get the job done. I charge out only what the smaller system would have cost the client. While I have never had to explain the disparity in cost between different events, my take is that using more system than required FOR MY OWN CONVENIENCE merits a discounted rate.
Thanks; I’m glad to hear this, Mike. This is kind of what I was thinking. My big rig is pretty easy to set up.
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Andrew Henderson

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Re: Billing customers based on show size?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2017, 08:17:30 pm »

I'd suggest you can do something similar with your system - one TH118 would, I expect, happily replace a pair of KW181s, so you could bill for (and use) a single TH118 for smaller gigs, and use both for the bigger ones. You'd need stands for the SM80s if you were mounting them above subs before, but you'd be able to cut the other system entirely so I'm sure that'd pay for a couple of good speaker stands.
Good idea! Yes, the TH118 easily replaces 2-3 KW181 subs.
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