Would Your Raise Your Rates. And If so how High

Welcome to ODJT
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Sign up today!
Sign Up

nextgen1

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 23, 2006
3,174
768
115
57
Waterford, CA.
www.tngdj.com
#1
Ok let me preface this thread by saying I do feel that I do an excellent Job and part of the reason is I work very hard at it much like many of you on this and other sites. Every year we raise our prices about 50 dollars. Every year we get the amount of events we seek (about 25 to 30 per year) I have a day job and at this time have no desire to be full time.

I'm currently 49 years old but relate well to older and younger folks so my wife and I interview fairly well. And our clients young and old tend to like us quite a bit and many of our jobs coming in now are referals from past clients, venues and photographers. Our current rate is about 900 to 1000 dollars for a ceremony and reception. Upper level in our area is about 1500 - 2000 dollars.

Most of our weddings in our area we do the ceremonies. I'm not adding this thread to have people pat me on the back. I'm asking this question because it really has me thinking. Many of our clients are telling us that we really should raise our rates higher than we have them.

I guess that means they feel we are worth more than we charge. I try to be a humble person and not think more highly of myself than I should because I know that God has blessed us and I love that. I also know that I'm trying to run a business and if I can raise our rates and make more money, that is in the end what a business is supposed to do. I have no problem with that.

So the question that I'm asking would be should we raise our rates higher. If so by how much given that I have shown the upper level in our area. I have worked hard in our branding and presenting ourselves in a highly professional manner. I do see that much our work is really beginning to pay off. Thoughts please. Again I'm asking this with a humble heart.
 

SoftJock Rick

Industry Icon
Dec 29, 2006
25,213
2,397
115
WitSec
www.softjock.com
#2
Dear Humble Heart,

You mention that you are running a business, and that a business is supposed to raise their rates...

I disagree.

A business is supposed to make a profit. Raising rates just for the sake of raising rates, has nothing to do with running a business, and making a profit. Before you raise your rates, ask yourself the following questions:


Are you currently making a decent profit margin?

What have you added value wise to your service, to justify your proposed rate hike to the consumer?

Is your annual raise in rates anywhere close to the rate of inflation?


There are a number of factors that need to be analyzed, to determine whether a raise in rates is not only justifiable, but will also produce more profit in the long term. Sometimes, even lowering rates produces more profit -- and that is what you should be looking at...


Signed,

Humble Businessman :)
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
14,994
11,059
115
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
#3
Rick, I think you're discarding an over-riding piece of evidence. While I haven't done a lot of years in DJ, I have done a lot in musician and consultant. In looking back, any time that I was actually getting feedback from CUSTOMERS who said I should raise my rates, I was seriously under-market and that damages perception.

Personally, if I were in nextgen's shoes, I'd probably bump rates $200 this coming year. If you jump it too much, it'll kill biz but if you still are well below industry standard, it's probably going to bring in better gigs. What a great, great problem to have.
 

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 25, 2006
5,871
5,330
115
52
Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
#4
Dave,
I think a lot of it depends on how you are getting your leads.

For example, if you are getting most of your leads from the yellow pages, or something similar, it's very hard to justify why you charge much much more than the $500 guy. But if you are getting most of your business from referrals, then it's much easier to charge more because the value is already shown.

You could also consider having "packages" so that the ultimate package has the video screen in it, but if someone wants to save a little money, they could "opt out" of the video screen and save $100-$200...just kinda thinking out loud.

Because a sole proprietor cannot increase his inventory in this business, he should be looking for ways to increase revenue. If you truly feel your prices are competitive with similar services in your area, then there is nothing wrong with charging what they charge. I don't believe you need to justify your increase. You should be able to justify price if needed. From everything I've seen, you'll have no problem doing that.
 

SoftJock Rick

Industry Icon
Dec 29, 2006
25,213
2,397
115
WitSec
www.softjock.com
#5
Rick, I think you're discarding an over-riding piece of evidence. While I haven't done a lot of years in DJ, I have done a lot in musician and consultant. In looking back, any time that I was actually getting feedback from CUSTOMERS who said I should raise my rates, I was seriously under-market and that damages perception.
Perception is not a tangible asset. Goodwill can be somewhat measured and applied to a balance sheet over a long period of time, but perceived perception cannot. It can change daily.

Problem we have here, is the brown nose factor. I have people tell me I should raise my prices all the time -- it's a feel good/brown nosing thing. People want to be liked (most anyway), so they say things to other people, so the others like what they hear, and they will like them back.

It has nothing to do with business, it's simply the way the human mind works in a society such as ours. I lovingly refer to it as BS, and it is very common in the entertainment community ;)


Do you tell the lady at the deli, that she should raise her prices because she slices the cheese just right? No -- you pay the fair market value at the time.

Do you tell the plumber he should raise his rates, because he solders really well? No -- in fact you probably bitch when you get the bill (but you'll tell him how good he solders, the next time your pipes break, and you need him there on a Saturday) ;)


The entertainment industry is rather unique, in that the entertainers really eat up the BS, and start to believe it -- then their heads explode in front of a vanity mirror :sqerr: :sqlaugh:



Any business works on the same principle of supply/demand pricing. It's been working that way for thousands of years, and I suspect it will continue (to the chagrin of many DJs/entertainers)... ;)
 

nextgen1

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 23, 2006
3,174
768
115
57
Waterford, CA.
www.tngdj.com
#6
A few of our reviews and this is just from Weddingwire. Look my main thing is to be a good business man and run a good business,offering a high quality product at a medium based price. When I have clients coming up to us at and event and just telling me with the only reason that they and there family where having a great time.

It just makes me think I may be leaving a little money on the table. I have about 37 testimonials on my site and have not added about 10 more because I have been busy. I know I just booked a weddingwire event based upon these testimonials.


Reviews (15) | Endorsements (1)

Sort By: Wedding Date: Newest Wedding Date: Oldest Rating: Highest Rating: Lowest Review Date: Newest Review Date: Oldest




Shine and John
Wedding:
10/30/2010
5 Reviews
5.0
out of 5.0

Quality of Service:
(5.0/5.0)Responsiveness:
(5.0/5.0)Professionalism:
(5.0/5.0)Value For Cost:
(5.0/5.0)Flexibility:
(5.0/5.0)
Reviewed On:
11/08/2010 Services Used:
DJ



Dave's music selection that he added to our playlist was awesome, and got everyone to stay on the dance floor. He ensured a smooth flow of events and keeping to the schedule.

He is very professional and knows what he is doing. Leave it upto him to read the guests and keep the party going. He strikes a good balance between what he feels will work for your guests and your must-play list. Do not, however, try to give him a 100% must-play list. If this is what you want --- just use your own ipod. If you take his services, you'd probably want to utilize his dj skills in playing the right music for your event -- because he's good at it. He also has a wide selection of music in his library.

The introduction he gave was EXACTLY how we imagined it... maybe more. We only discussed it a few times -- but he already knew what we were looking for.

I am so glad that he heeded to our call when we were searching for a DJ -- when all the DJ's we tried to schedule an appointment flaked on us. When I emailed him and told him how frustrated I was getting, he offered to drive 2 hours to meet up with us in our area. Right there and then, we knew that he was serious in his business and we knew that we would be in good hands.

I highly recommend his services to anyone looking to have a great time during their wedding. Highlight This Review | Respond | Dispute





miasimona
Wedding:
10/02/2010
1 Reviews
5.0
out of 5.0

Quality of Service:
(5.0/5.0)Responsiveness:
(5.0/5.0)Professionalism:
(5.0/5.0)Value For Cost:
(5.0/5.0)Flexibility:
(5.0/5.0)
Reviewed On:
10/12/2010 Services Used:
DJ



Dj Dave and his wife did an amazing job at our wedding! First off, he's very friendly and enthusiastic. I could tell right away that he would get everyone in the dancing mood and get everyone pumped up at the reception! He was the most reasonably priced for the amount of hours he worked- our reception went from 3:30-1:30, which is very long. I liked how he was so organized- I felt like it was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders when I talked to him a month before the wedding and we had a whole timeline worked out. I knew that Dave would keep things moving smoothly and make sure we didn't forget anything (bouquet toss, garter toss). Also we ate and danced in two separate areas and he provided perfect sound for both areas, I was very impressed. Overall I would give him a perfect rating and I would definitely recommend him to everyone!! After our wedding so many people told us that our wedding was the most fun they've been to, and I guarantee Dave had a lot to do with it! Highlight This Review | Respond | Dispute





castle
Wedding:
09/18/2010
1 Reviews
5.0
out of 5.0

Quality of Service:
(5.0/5.0)Responsiveness:
(5.0/5.0)Professionalism:
(5.0/5.0)Value For Cost:
(5.0/5.0)Flexibility:
(5.0/5.0)
Reviewed On:
10/12/2010 Services Used:
DJ



The service was fanastic. Dave (The DJ) was very thorough and made sure all of the fine details were taken care of prior to the wedding. We were worry free about the DJ aspect of the wedding in the stressful days prior to the wedding. TNG assisted in the ceremony and the reception. Both went off without a hitch. The tempo and the mood set at the wedding were perfect. Time flew and a good time was had by all at the party. Great people to work with! Highlight This Review | Respond | Dispute





corn
Wedding:
09/11/2010
1 Reviews
5.0
out of 5.0

Quality of Service:
(5.0/5.0)Responsiveness:
(5.0/5.0)Professionalism:
(5.0/5.0)Value For Cost:
(5.0/5.0)Flexibility:
(5.0/5.0)
Reviewed On:
10/07/2010 Services Used:
DJ



I LOVE LOVE LOVE TNG DJ! They are awesome! No other dj would go out of the way to make your wedding flow more smoothly! Dave bends over backwards to help with everything, including video montage that my friend made! His voiceovers he provides on the father/ daughter dance was excellent. I can say after the dance there wasn't a dry eye in the house. My now husband loved the dj as well. He makes sure he plays what you want when you want! I would DEFIANTLY reccommend TNG Digital DJ for your wedding or any other party! Highlight This Review | Respond | Dispute





ashalug
Wedding:
06/26/2010
1 Reviews
5.0
out of 5.0

Quality of Service:
(5.0/5.0)Responsiveness:
(5.0/5.0)Professionalism:
(5.0/5.0)Value For Cost:
(5.0/5.0)Flexibility:
(5.0/5.0)
Reviewed On:
07/06/2010 Services Used:
DJ



TNG Digital DJ Services definitely met our expectations and more. After the wedding, we had numerous family and friends come up to us and say that they really enjoyed this DJ and that he was well worth the money. He helped us coordinate the wedding as well as keep us on track for time of events. We would without a doubt use them again. Truly great service!!! TNG Digital DJ Services responded with the following comments:
thank you so muchthank you so much
Highlight This Review | Respond | Dispute





Gabby
Wedding:
06/19/2010
1 Reviews
5.0
out of 5.0

Quality of Service:
(5.0/5.0)Responsiveness:
(5.0/5.0)Professionalism:
(5.0/5.0)Value For Cost:
(5.0/5.0)Flexibility:
(5.0/5.0)
Reviewed On:
07/14/2010 Services Used:
DJ



TNG DJ did an absolutely amazing job at my wedding, which wasn't an easy considering it was a bi-cultural/bi-lingual ceremony/reception! Two things stood out to my guests: the food and the professionalism of the DJ. DJ Dave and his wife was knew just how to read the crowd and provided the music that the crowd was looking for (again, which wasn't easy to do considering the make-up of the crowd). I was very impressed with their skills as Master's of ceremony and with the AWESOME music they played. DJ Dave is most certainly the BRIDE WHISPERER! Highlight This Review | Respond | Dispute





nutmegmjk
Wedding:
04/17/2010
5 Reviews
5.0
out of 5.0

Quality of Service:
(5.0/5.0)Responsiveness:
(5.0/5.0)Professionalism:
(5.0/5.0)Value For Cost:
(5.0/5.0)Flexibility:
(5.0/5.0)
Reviewed On:
04/20/2010 Services Used:
DJ



Dave and his wife were amazing. We hired them for our wedding and felt comfortable with them from the beginning. We were sure he would do a good job but had no idea how above and beyond he and Cathy would go for us. Not only did he show up to our rehearsal so we could practice with our music (when our wedding was an hour outside of his regular area), he dealt with one of our vendors that was giving us problems more than once. Dave stood up for what we had told him we wanted for our wedding. Because of him our wedding was so much more fun than we ever could have imagined. He had people dancing all night long (literally) and we got so many compliments on how much fun our wedding was and how great the DJ was. We are so incredibly grateful for Dave and Cathy and the wonderful job that they did. I truly can't say enough good things about them and would tell anyone in the area to go to them if they're looking for a DJ. TNG Digital DJ Services responded with the following comments:
Wow you guys thanks for such a wonderful review. I loved doing your wedding and your family and friends were a lot of fun as well. Thank you for honoring us by allowing us to do your wedding it was a pleasure. )Wow you guys thanks for such a wonderful review. I loved doing your wedding and your family and friends were a lot of fun as well. Thank you for honoring us by allowing us to do your wedding it was a pleasure. )
Highlight This Review | Respond | Dispute





MISTY
Wedding:
12/05/2009
1 Reviews
5.0
out of 5.0

Quality of Service:
(5.0/5.0)Responsiveness:
(5.0/5.0)Professionalism:
(5.0/5.0)Value For Cost:
(5.0/5.0)Flexibility:
(5.0/5.0)
Reviewed On:
01/02/2010 Services Used:
DJ



Dave was an outstanding DJ! We literally cannot even think about what or how our wedding would have been without him and Cathy! Very professional and fun, friendly and respectful people! I felt no stress the night of our wedding, and it was literally smooth sailing! They were so reasonable in price, and really went above and beyond what their cost was. We would have paid more! If I could give any suggestions or advice to all other Central Valley brides it would be, dont waste time put your trust in Dave and you will not be let down!!! That is a promise! **We thank you so much Dave! You are the best!** TNG Digital DJ Services responded with the following comments:
Thank you so much for using our services, and allowing us to be part of your special day.Thank you so much for using our services, and allowing us to be part of your special day.
Highlight This Review | Respond | Dispute





denae11
Wedding:
08/01/2009
5 Reviews
5.0
out of 5.0

Quality of Service:
(5.0/5.0)Responsiveness:
(5.0/5.0)Professionalism:
(5.0/5.0)Value For Cost:
(5.0/5.0)Flexibility:
(5.0/5.0)
Reviewed On:
08/26/2009 Services Used:
DJ



Dave and his wife were the best! They showed up early and set up their own equipment, I did not need to provide them with anything! No table, nothing! They were dressed in DJ tuxes and looked really nice.

Before the wedding I talked to Dave many times! We went over everything, and he had a websitte that allowed me to list all the songs I wanted and I could listen to them first is I wanted through his site. He was so originized! It was wonderful! He made sure he could pronounce all my wedding parties names for the grand entrance at the reception. He was available for any questions, but I didn't have many after he went over every detail with me!

Dave made a timeline of my event and helped me stick to it. I had a unique circumstance, I had to leave at 8:15 pm sharp to catch my plane for my honeymoon, so we couldn't be off schedule at all! He MC'd my event. He played coctail music, then when we arrived he announced us, then played more music while we gretted everyone. Then once dinner was called for he played dinner music. For toasts he brough the microphone from person to person as they spoke. He got people over to the cake table for the cake cutting. He announced special things I wanted guests to know, like don't forget to sign the guest book etc. He had funny things to say when gathering the girls and guys for the bouquet toss and garter toss. He played the perfect songs for that part too! He brought a rose out for the grooms mom when they were doing their dance.

Dave and his wife brough us drinks and kept us calm! They went above and beyond what a DJ woulod do for a wedding. He made the even flow, he made sure not to forget a thing! They were the most pleasent people ever. So sweet and cute! A perfect pair! I was so impressed! I can't say enough about Dave and his wife!

He knows how to deal with stressed brides that are planning their wedding and don't have a lot of time for anything! He is patient, and again very originized! He knows what he is doing! Of all my vendors, he was my favorite!

One thing I can say is that I would have paid double for what he did for me! His prices are much lower than any other DJ that would provide his kind of services! TNG Digital DJ Services responded with the following comments:
Thank you so much for using our services, and allowing us to be part of your special day.Thank you so much for using our services, and allowing us to be part of your special day.
Highlight This Review | Respond | Dispute





Candice
Wedding:
06/13/2009
1 Reviews
5.0
out of 5.0

Quality of Service:
(5.0/5.0)Responsiveness:
(5.0/5.0)Professionalism:
(5.0/5.0)Value For Cost:
(5.0/5.0)Flexibility:
(5.0/5.0)
Reviewed On:
08/07/2009 Services Used:
DJ, Ceremony Music



Dave and Kathy were awesome, if I ever have another big party I will for sure be using them! They really are awesome people! Not once did I worry about the music while planning my wedding, I just knew they had it covered! They kept everything running so smoothly on the wedding and keep everyone dancing all night long! So many guest mentioned how much they enjoyed them! Thanks Dave and Kathy! TNG Digital DJ Services responded with the following comments:
Thank you so much for using our services, and allowing us to be part of your special day.Thank you so much for using our services, and allowing us to be part of your special day.
Highlight This Review | Respond | Dispute





Ms. Quarles and Quincy
Wedding:
1+ year ago
4 Reviews
5.0
out of 5.0

Quality of Service:
(5.0/5.0)Responsiveness:
(5.0/5.0)Professionalism:
(5.0/5.0)Value For Cost:
(5.0/5.0)Flexibility:
(5.0/5.0)
Reviewed On:
06/25/2009 Services Used:
DJ



Awesome DJ. A DJ can make or break your wedding and this DJ will definitly make your wedding. He makes sure you wedding day is perfect. He plays the music you ask for and is great!! He's goes above and beyond to make sure everything is exactly how you want it. He is very outgoing and great to work with! TNG Digital DJ Services responded with the following comments:
Thank you so much for using our services, and allowing us to be part of your special day.Thank you so much for using our services, and allowing us to be part of your special day.
Highlight This Review | Respond | Dispute





Christina
Wedding:
09/13/2008
1 Reviews
5.0
out of 5.0

Quality of Service:
(5.0/5.0)Responsiveness:
(5.0/5.0)Professionalism:
(5.0/5.0)Value For Cost:
(5.0/5.0)Flexibility:
(5.0/5.0)
Reviewed On:
11/01/2008 Services Used:
DJ, Ceremony Music



I don't know how they could have done a better job. Well worth the money. TNG Digital DJ Services responded with the following comments:
Thank you so much for using our services, and allowing us to be part of your special day.Thank you so much for using our services, and allowing us to be part of your special day.
Highlight This Review | Respond | Dispute





kCordeiro
Wedding:
08/23/2008
2 Reviews
5.0
out of 5.0

Quality of Service:
(5.0/5.0)Responsiveness:
(5.0/5.0)Professionalism:
(5.0/5.0)Value For Cost:
(5.0/5.0)Flexibility:
(5.0/5.0)
Reviewed On:
11/18/2008 Services Used:
DJ



An excellent DJ that goes above and beyond the call of duty. TNG Digital DJ Services responded with the following comments:
Thank you so much for using our services, and allowing us to be part of your special day.Thank you so much for using our services, and allowing us to be part of your special day.
Highlight This Review | Respond | Dispute





Carolyn
Wedding:
07/07/2007
1 Reviews
5.0
out of 5.0

Quality of Service:
(5.0/5.0)Responsiveness:
(5.0/5.0)Professionalism:
(5.0/5.0)Value For Cost:
(5.0/5.0)Flexibility:
(5.0/5.0)
Reviewed On:
11/02/2008 Services Used:
DJ, Ceremony Music



Thank you so much for being a part of our day!! Not only where you and your wife professional but extremely fun also. I had and amazing time that day. Not only would Mathew and I recommend your services to anyone, we would insist it.

Your attention to detail from the initial start to the finish was amazing. Plus you let me sit near your fan for me to cool off. Thank you again. And we also give you 5 out of 5 stars on everything. TNG Digital DJ Services responded with the following comments:
Thank you so much for using our services, and allowing us to be part of your special day.Thank you so much for using our services, and allowing us to be part of your special day.
Highlight This Review | Respond | Dispute





Erica
Wedding:
04/22/2006
1 Reviews
5.0
out of 5.0

Quality of Service:
(5.0/5.0)Responsiveness:
(5.0/5.0)Professionalism:
(5.0/5.0)Value For Cost:
(5.0/5.0)Flexibility:
(5.0/5.0)
Reviewed On:
02/18/2008 Services Used:
DJ



Dave,

Greg and I want to thank you for the awesome job at our wedding. We were so pleased with your service. The music selections as well as the quality of the sound were fantastic. Also, you both looked so nice (Dave, your tux looks really good especially - thank you for purchasing it). I received multiple compliments on your service. My parents were particularly pleased. They LOVED the songs and your professionalism. All in all, the wedding was a hit, and you were a tremendous help in making it a success (please thank your wife also)! By the way, how cool was it that Greg's parents won the anniversary dance? His family even enjoyed dancing, which really put me at ease. If you have any potential clients who would like a personal reference, you may always refer them to me.

Thanks again,
Erica & Greg

P.S. Thanks for playing so many songs for me (The Pogues, etc.). TNG Digital DJ Services responded with the following comments:
Thank you so much for using our services, and allowing us to be part of your special day.
 

SoftJock Rick

Industry Icon
Dec 29, 2006
25,213
2,397
115
WitSec
www.softjock.com
#7
Thanks for reinforcing this one Dave ;)


The entertainment industry is rather unique, in that the entertainers really eat up the BS, and start to believe it -- then their heads explode in front of a vanity mirror :sqerr: :sqlaugh:

BTW, I love seeing my words in quotes... yorofl:
 

Valerie Hicks

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 21, 2006
2,665
2,053
115
48
Eastern South Dakota
www.squareonesd.com
#9
I agree with Rick. Your reasons for raising your rates should be based on more than what the other guys charge. Do you have enough left after everyone is paid? Are you closer than you are comfortable with at the end of the month?

If your clients do not believe you are worth more than you charged them, they will not refer you....probably you won't have sold them in the first place. It really has more to do with your sales and hype before the show than your actual performance. It doesn't matter if your fee is $5, $500, or $5000. It's all about being able to sell the experience....part of that process is taking their hand and telling them how things will go and what to expect....that's what makes them think you are above and beyond everyone else (that you delivered what you sold them). Not because you were nicer or a better beat-mixer.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
5,643
3,074
115
#10
As others have said, your motivation is clients and profit - not price.

Don't get caught in the trap of associating price with self-esteem. The comparison to other DJs is mute. Having a more attractive (lower) price is a true advantage when and where you are being simultaneously more profitble and efficient than your competitors.

If you would like to push your rates up - do it strategically. What is it for example, that motivates your clients to buy from you? Is it the actual number (price) or is it the completeness of a combined package for ceremony and reception?

If you don't know the answer then try an additional fee for the ceremony coverage. If this works out then recombine the package at the new rate for a while and then repeat the split when you're ready for a new increase.

Also, what level of your work is repeat customers? Do you know their budget threshold and that point at which they wil try someone or something different?

The road to success is paved with plenty of expensive under-employed and unemployed DJs. Price is not a description of anything - it is just a number.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
14,994
11,059
115
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
#11
Do you tell the plumber he should raise his rates, because he solders really well?
I've never told any vendor they should raise their rates and can't imagine making such a suggestion out of any kind of "brown nosing". First off, a vendor is someone I hire, not suck up to. The only time I've ever offered a compliment is to thank them for a job well done with a possible side motive to keep them motivated to provide great customer service (which might be construed as "sucking up" but never did I suggest they were under-charging me).

Years ago, I was a computer consultant and sold programming labor hours. I had a major client for about 8 years, the guys who make Skoal/Copenhagen. On multiple occasions, I heard various people within their organization separately tell me "You really are charging less than you should". In looking back, they were right. I was charging $45/hr and should've been charging $75-$95. By under-charging, I was creating a perception that I was only worth $45 and I believe that ultimately cost me the account. It cost me respect (which translates directly to more hours) as well as lost revenue per hour. Over the life of that account, I'd estimate (conservatively) that my bad pricing cost me $200k-$400k. At a subsequent client, a few years later, I charged $125/hr and they thought I walked on water. I remember booking $25k in a single month at that client.

I've never heard anyone suggest I was too cheap, except when I really was too cheap.
 

SoftJock Rick

Industry Icon
Dec 29, 2006
25,213
2,397
115
WitSec
www.softjock.com
#12
In looking back, they were right. I was charging $45/hr and should've been charging $75-$95.
Why do you think you "should" have been charging the higher rate?

Were you doing more than twice the work you were being paid for in a given hour? Would you have coded more lines per hour at the higher rate, or would they have been better lines of code...?


When will your head explode? Dave's already did... :D
 
Dec 22, 2008
2,473
10
40
44
Roseville, CA
www.Sounds2Go.com
#13
I'm squarely with Rick (bare-chested one) on this one, and I as well have always preached that pricing should be based on tangibles and have a real-world business basis for them.

"What the other guy is charging" has NOTHING to do with, and is in no way helpful TO any DJ at all.

The proper question to ask is rather "how do you formulate your rates?" And only if the answer to this question is sound from a strictly business standpoint is the answer of any use in helping you to formulate yours.

Dave - As you know, I am pretty much in your market, being just a bit north in Sacramento, and my rates are pretty much dead-on where yours are. I have very little overhead, am a sole-proprietor/single-op, etc.

It is my experience that a pricing structure based on real-world business principles (ie COST + PROFIT) will make you what you need, and the modest profit margin you want, and will find you priced SMACK DAB in the middle of your market for pricing - which is right where you and I are here in Nor Cal.

We're right between the "Bottom-feeders" (save it for another thread guys) and the "worther" types who try to put a real-world dollar value on warm & fuzzies and subjective considerations as if they were tangibles and could/should be priced as such.

What those guys have for their pricing is not justification, but rather and attempt at rationalization.

I say you're doing just fine for yourself, and I would encourage you to follow your gut and be very cautious when raising prices - and as Rick said - never do it for it's own sake. If you raise rates, it should be - again - based on real-world tangibles. ie increased COB incurred by you, or increased value offered to your clients for the increase.

Rates should never be raised "just because" it happens to be January 1st.:tricool:
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
5,643
3,074
115
#14
I was creating a perception that I was only worth $45 [should have been $95] and I believe that ultimately cost me the account.
That is a very valid point. If there is a serious disparity between your price and the expectations or prior professional knowledge of your target client - you will not be taken seriously. If your price is surpisingly out of the expected range then it may imply a vulnerability where you are lacking a full knowledge of what the project demands. Your ability to name a fair price within targeted projections is your first shot at demonstrating competent understanding of the job requirements.

For example, if you quote someone $500 for a full Bat Mitzvah or a black tie gala you are likely to be quickly passed over. Anyone with personal experience of these affairs would know that you could not provide what is needed at such a low price. It is with specialized client needs like this where the parity of your price and the specialized skills needed have to coincide.

On the other hand, there is a large mainstream market of general DJ work including many weddings that do not require any unusual or extended resources, and people's expectations remain relatively fixed and well known. In this arena unusually high prices are not an effective way to communicate preferred talent - you must do that with demand from a solid client list and quality referrals and/or references. I think that your prices in the $800 - $1200 range (varies with region) are right on target and this type of client is plentiful enough to keep you happy for a long time to come.
 

NortheastDJs

Well-Known DJ
Nov 16, 2009
267
218
45
34
Maine
www.northeasteventdesign.com
#15
The discussion of pricing is always interesting. I will share with you my personal experience from 2009 to present.

In 2009 I DJ'd 32 wedding receptions at an average cost of $800 per day. I considered this to be mediocre. I worked a full time career which paid me excellent money and I looked at the DJ'ing income as supplementary.

In late 2009, I merged my DJ business with a good friend to form Northeast DJs. In early 2010 I quit my job in the corporate world to focus on the growth of our new business adventure. In 2010 I DJ'd 35 weddings at an average cost of $1,100 per day.

Heading into 2011 our pricing structure is completely different. We range anywhere from $1,200 to $3,000 per event. The lower priced events are handled by employees while the higher paying shows are handled by the owners. I will say that as of today, I personally have 28 weddings booked for this upcoming summer with another 4 or 5 pending and four upcoming bridal shows. Right now my average cost per day is roughly $1,800. My business partner has 26 wedding receptions averaging $1,650 per day.

Next year, I'd like to see our pricing between $2,500 to $3,500 per day. We are continuously working towards accomplishing this goal.

There are a lot of pieces that went into our price increases. First and foremost we sat down and discussed our actual worth. When we leave to work an event what is our perceived value vs. our actual value. Second, we looked at what our business needed to generate in revenue so that we could survive at a level that would be comfortable. Lastly, we did market research to determine what services we could offer to demand a price that is different than our competition.

In large part, we are the most expensive DJ company in our region. By doubling our prices in two years we have eliminated the price shoppers. As a result, the majority of our business comes from direct referrals from the venues or previous clients. We also spend a lot of time building long lasting relationships with the higher priced professional vendors in our market. Why? Networking is the most valuable asset we have as business owners.

Truth be told, raising your rates is a scary endeavor. At the end of the day, you have to trust that there is a client that will see value in the product you put out. As a consumer our buying habits are based off of perceived value. If you can create an emotional attachment to the services you offer, folks will buy your product.

Ultimately, as a company we determined that we did not want to be associated with the 'typical dj experience.' Therefore, in the past two years we have spent a lot of time, money and energy revamping our entire product line. We redid all of our marketing, we changed our sales approach and we created a line of services that differentiate us from our competition. We established our brand, we set value in our brand and we created a buy-in for our clients. I am confident that you could increase your rates by any amount - as long as you are willing to put in the work to justify your new price point.

Within Northeast DJs the wedding industry makes up about 80% of our business model. We still provide entertainment for many school aged and corporate functions. In total, 2010 saw 150 events. Already contracted for 2011 we have 100. I am confident by the close of 2011 Northeast DJs will have done 200+ shows at a price point that is double what it was two years ago.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
14,994
11,059
115
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
#16
Why do you think you "should" have been charging the higher rate?
Because I had multiple personnel within the corporation, as well as other computer consultants tell me what they were charging (or expected to be charged for the same work I was doing). I was a full $20-$40 per hour less than what everyone else was charging. Was I getting by? Sure. But here I was, automating their plant product delivery system in their warehouse...for a $2 BILLION per year company. And I was getting paid less than the run-of-the-mill coders, working on various accounting systems (non mission-critical). I kept wanting to believe the feedback they were giving me, but I never found the courage to raise my rates, and their expectations. Once that account was over and the next one came along, I wised up and listened to the other vendors I was working with. The IBM guys were bumping $250/hour and the JD Edwards people had a crew of 12-15, all booking at $350/hour. Even at $125, I was a steal in their eyes. If I'd kept my rates down in the basement, they would never have given me a shot at helping them.
 

nextgen1

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 23, 2006
3,174
768
115
57
Waterford, CA.
www.tngdj.com
#17
I'm squarely with Rick (bare-chested one) on this one, and I as well have always preached that pricing should be based on tangibles and have a real-world business basis for them.

"What the other guy is charging" has NOTHING to do with, and is in no way helpful TO any DJ at all.

The proper question to ask is rather "how do you formulate your rates?" And only if the answer to this question is sound from a strictly business standpoint is the answer of any use in helping you to formulate yours.

Dave - As you know, I am pretty much in your market, being just a bit north in Sacramento, and my rates are pretty much dead-on where yours are. I have very little overhead, am a sole-proprietor/single-op, etc.

It is my experience that a pricing structure based on real-world business principles (ie COST + PROFIT) will make you what you need, and the modest profit margin you want, and will find you priced SMACK DAB in the middle of your market for pricing - which is right where you and I are here in Nor Cal.

We're right between the "Bottom-feeders" (save it for another thread guys) and the "worther" types who try to put a real-world dollar value on warm & fuzzies and subjective considerations as if they were tangibles and could/should be priced as such.

What those guys have for their pricing is not justification, but rather and attempt at rationalization.

I say you're doing just fine for yourself, and I would encourage you to follow your gut and be very cautious when raising prices - and as Rick said - never do it for it's own sake. If you raise rates, it should be - again - based on real-world tangibles. ie increased COB incurred by you, or increased value offered to your clients for the increase.

Rates should never be raised "just because" it happens to be January 1st.:tricool:

I must say I do raise my prices once a year now and only by 50 dollars which seems do be about a 5 percent increase. And yes I'am enjoying where I'm at in our market. I tend to market to our clients as a high end service at a medium based price. Which is what I feel I offer to them. My question really was not so much based upon "hey I'm going to raise my prices up and make more money" which of course would be nice.

But basically to step on the ice so to speak to see what others felt about it. I know for myself in the end I always take the advice the pertains to me and our business and make it work. I do see what the others offer and to be honest with you I'm not that impressed though they have been in the game much longer and have been able to capture a market share of the business in the area.

Not to mention they are multi ops and do have the finances that can justify 25 LED slim pars etc etc. I do see that much of my competition offers things that I as of now do not offer such as upgraded lighting and photo booths. I have found that in my area we will start to do things in our area that others have been doing for a few years.

Perfect example would the the cupid shuffle. Most in my are have not even heard about it even though other states have been doing it at least 2 years now. So far I really don't have much of a problem getting out events nor the money that I ask. But most of it is due to me selling a product that I believe in "Us". :tribiggrin:
 

DJ PAUL

Director of Entertainment Fulfillment
#18
If you want to be a business man you must perform in a business like manner. Gathering all financial information and finding out exactly what you need to run your business is the first step. You must review your statement sheets, balance sheets and outlooks atleast monthly though there is no perfect science or system to figure out what you should or need to be charging working your financials will give you a clearer picture of where your business is heading.


I know right where I sit financially with all three of my income generators.

You must be your own comptroller and accountant if you are going to charge lower rates.

Paul
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
5,643
3,074
115
#19
Because I had multiple personnel within the corporation, as well as other computer consultants tell me what they were charging (or expected to be charged for the same work I was doing). I was a full $20-$40 per hour less than what everyone else was charging. Was I getting by? Sure. But here I was, automating their plant product delivery system in their warehouse...for a $2 BILLION per year company. And I was getting paid less than the run-of-the-mill coders, working on various accounting systems (non mission-critical). I kept wanting to believe the feedback they were giving me, but I never found the courage to raise my rates, and their expectations. Once that account was over and the next one came along, I wised up and listened to the other vendors I was working with. The IBM guys were bumping $250/hour and the JD Edwards people had a crew of 12-15, all booking at $350/hour. Even at $125, I was a steal in their eyes. If I'd kept my rates down in the basement, they would never have given me a shot at helping them.
I don't see any major mistake there. You opened a door with that first account and with it you learned where to place your bets for future accounts.

Your old dogs aren't generally ready to accept new tricks. Getting your rates where you want them to be often requires that you move on to a new dog.
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
4,633
3,448
115
36
#20
I must say I do raise my prices once a year now and only by 50 dollars which seems do be about a 5 percent increase. And yes I'am enjoying where I'm at in our market. I tend to market to our clients as a high end service at a medium based price. Which is what I feel I offer to them. My question really was not so much based upon "hey I'm going to raise my prices up and make more money" which of course would be nice.

But basically to step on the ice so to speak to see what others felt about it. I know for myself in the end I always take the advice the pertains to me and our business and make it work. I do see what the others offer and to be honest with you I'm not that impressed though they have been in the game much longer and have been able to capture a market share of the business in the area.

Not to mention they are multi ops and do have the finances that can justify 25 LED slim pars etc etc. I do see that much of my competition offers things that I as of now do not offer such as upgraded lighting and photo booths. I have found that in my area we will start to do things in our area that others have been doing for a few years.

Perfect example would the the cupid shuffle. Most in my are have not even heard about it even though other states have been doing it at least 2 years now. So far I really don't have much of a problem getting out events nor the money that I ask. But most of it is due to me selling a product that I believe in "Us". :tribiggrin:
So what actually happened with this?

Did you continue to raise your rates by $50 per year every year over the last 8 years? Or did you switch things up? How busy are you in 2018 compared to back in 2010/2011?

Also, North Easy DJs, are you still in business? Did you reach your goal of charging $3,500+ per wedding?

It's fun to bring these back from the dead sometimes! :)