My blog post yesterday created a stir. It’s a problem that I hear about at every convention, gchat, tweet, telephone conversation and personal emails from other vendors. With a down economy and the high rate of people losing their jobs, it is natural to see an influx of newcomers in EVERY industry, and that includes the event & wedding industry.
I say they are mostly newcomers because I don’t find the veteran vendors charging mere hundreds for many hours of service. They know they cannot sustain nor make a living as a self-employed business person. With that said, I understand that we are not all “luxury, service providers”. My business does not cater nor market to, the “luxury bride”. Frankly, I think that term is overused and should be rolled up and put away, for good.
So, do not fret. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind:
- Quit worrying. Look if they are grossly (which is the word I used) undercharging their services, they won’t be around long. It’s non-sustainable and they will fizz/burn out. Also, and more importantly, the clients that hire a $500 photographer,Â would not of hired you anyway. They don’t see the value, they see a very low price point.
- Educate them. Some newcomers to this industry may turn out to be stellar players at a later date. That’s right! We all started somewhere. But they may not KNOW how to go about it. So call them, send them to iWed.org or let them know about an industry event coming up. They may just need some education.
- You are NOT competing. If you have been in business for many years, you are not in competition with these new players. You have a different clientele and a different market share. Does it muck up and devalue the industry standards? Yes, a bit. But it’s okay, it will all shake out in the end. Worry about what makes you unique and finding your client that appreciates and values your services.
- Understand your value. It’s time to stop and re-address what makes your services so great and why you can charge what you do. Take inventory, write down the key points of what makes you unique (and saying you’ve been in business for 10 years is not enough nor makes you unique). Once you have done this exercise, it will make it clearer and easier for you to explain your value, worth and expertise to your potential clients.