When it comes to business, competition is good, since the customer wins, but we all know that the more competitive it is, the more “cut-throat” it can become! No matter which market you’re in, the wedding and private event business is very competitive. In our market, Austin and Central Texas, there are well over 150 DJ companies, and just as many, solo DJs, who are all competing for the same events! For the average customer, this inevitably leads to price shopping. They may get several quotes, and if all the companies have a similar pitch and offer similar services, the customer will hire their company based on price. Again, this is great for customers, but not so great for us.
Don’t fall for the “I got another lower quote from another company for $___ , will you match their price?” Why? Well, think about it. If that customer got a lower quote, but still wants to hire you, either they see the value of hiring you versus the competitor, or there actually isn’t a competitor with a lower price and they just want to haggle with you. I’ve learned through experience that customers who price shop aren’t our ideal customers. It’s totally up to you, of course. You can certainly price match or underbid every time, and you’ll be very busy, but do you only want to be hired because you’re the cheapest company/DJ out there? Probably not.
So how do you know how much to charge? You can start by placing an actual dollar amount on everything you do for each customer. We invest a lot of money into our equipment, a lot of time acquiring music, talking to customers, sending emails, etc. We can’t simply charge based on the cost of equipment, so a good place to start is time. If you keep track of the amount of time you spend on each customer’s event, including before the event, as well as drive time to/from the event, set-up/break-down time, and the number of hours you’re hired for, and divide that by the amount you’re charging, what do you get? You may be surprised, especially if you’re charging low rates, price-matching, or underbidding everyone else, just to get the gig! Overall, it’s your choice, but always start with knowing your value and set your prices accordingly!
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