Establishing appropriate fees
Ever wonder how coffee shops go about establishing appropriate fees? I recently stopped for coffee at a bagel place and noticed on the counter that they were selling Rice Crispy Marshmallow Treats. One little block about 2 inches square was $2.79. Regardless of the cost, I’m sure they sell plenty and no one bats an eye on the price. Will customers understand the costs involved in producing that little chunk of sweetness? Maybe not and I doubt they’ll question the clerk on why it’s priced higher than the box of cereal itself!
Children’s Entertainer Fees
It’s very different when clients are considering hiring entertainment for their children. When quoting my services to potential clients they are always taken aback by my fees. As a professional balloon twister/face painter/kids magician/entertainer, I often have to justify my rates… something the clerk at the coffee shop is never asked to do. Neither is the caterer, the venue manager, the photographer, etc. But for some reason, kid’s entertainers do.
Is Knoxville Party Magic Charging Too Much?
Generally, most people think that I charge way too much for what I do. This reaction isn’t limited to the mom who wants to throw her child a party… I get the same reaction from corporations looking for entertainment during their company events. I’ve often been told, “Come on now, you take a couple of $0.05 balloons and within a few minutes produce a cute little balloon animal and you want $X.XX an hour for this? Are you kidding me?”.
Charging the right amount is nothing to laugh at!
No, I’m not kidding. Whether I’m twisting balloons, painting faces, performing as Ms. Tickle or putting up spectacular balloon decor, this is my business – not a hobby. I pay my bills with this income… I’m blessed that I can earn a living doing something that I absolutely love! However, just because I love what I do doesn’t mean I should do it for free. I’m going to simply explain how I go about establishing appropriate fees.
So, when the time comes and you find yourself considering hiring me (or any other entertainer), to perform for an hour or so at your event, think about this:
Items or areas considered when establishing costs to clients
Before the show:
I will spend a minimum of an hour preparing for this event to make it perfect for you and your guests. Twice as much time if you’re hiring Ms. Tickle for a magic show.
Behind the scenes:
Exchanging emails to negotiate, finalize and confirm your gig. Sometimes I have threads of 15 or more emails… there’s a lot of time involved in correspondence.
I carry over $1M in liability insurance – hopefully, I will never need to use it but for your peace of mind, I still have to have it and I have to pay for it.
I’ve had background checks done and I participate in an ongoing program to maintain certification on child-safe issues. If you’re going to let a stranger in your home, don’t you want it to be someone you can trust and obtain referrals for? I have an established business and can easily provide referrals.
Once we have an agreement, rest assured that I will show up and perform. If for some unforeseeable reason I wouldn’t be able to show up, I will find a replacement for me. My reputation is on the line and I will do everything I can to maintain it at the highest level.
My office and studio located in our home occupy almost all of the basement. Furthermore, in addition to regular overhead costs, I have a vehicle used almost exclusively for my business, which clearly identifies my business.
A large chunk of my income goes towards ongoing education so I can continue to improve my skills, learn current trends and be better at what I do.
Keeping a respectable inventory of products doesn’t come cheap. Sure a bag of balloons is less than $10 but I can’t operate my business on one bag of balloons and professional grade, FDA approved face paint doesn’t come from Walmart.
Knoxville Party Magic is a legitimate business and I pay taxes – including collecting and remitting sales tax when applicable.
Not to toot my horn but kids love me! Isn’t that important to you as a parent? It’s proven that folks do business with people they know, like and trust! Should I have the opportunity to discuss your event with you, you’ll quickly find me easy to work with and will have no doubts as to whether you’re hiring the right person. And if I’m not the right fit, I’ll be happy to recommend someone that would be!
I could easily go on but I don’t want this post to appear as a rant because it isn’t. I simply want to educate folks on how Knoxville Party Magic operates. Should I be fortunate enough to be hired for your next event, know that you are getting your money’s worth and more!
So, the next time you walk into that coffee shop and spot that little chunk of Rice Crispy Marshmallow Treat, remember why it costs more than a box of cereal!