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Is Free Help Really Free? Part 2

By Gwen Helbush, Where To Start, Wedding Management

Last time we chatted about the kind of help you might use in your business.  Now a little about the cost of help.  People tell me “I can’t afford help with my weddings.”  I am confused by this, so me being me I ask why?  The answer I get most often “People expect to be paid too much in the Bay area because of the cost of living”.  My reply “Yes but if you are charging your client’s the correct amount that should not be an issue”. They look at me blankly. And then the light bulb goes off!

If you are not factoring into your fees the cost of staff, then you are not charging enough.  Your prices should include everyone; you may not be paying everyone (although you should) they still cost you and if they are producing work product for the client you should be charging for that work.

The cost of on-site work and anything directly related to an event should be in the fee.  Anything else they do for you is a cost of doing business this should be in your overhead costs, and that should also be factored at least in part in your fees.  If you are not doing this, you are doing yourself, your clients and the rest of us an enormous disservice.

I’m not going to cover liability issues here those are stories for another blog or 10.   I will just say if you are not thinking about liability then you should not be in business. 

Your bottom line is directly affected by how you get the job done.  If you do every bit of the work yourself without any help; then none of this applies to you; you must be exhausted bless you.  My guess, at least some of the work is getting done by interns, apprentices, volunteers, contractors, or employees.  If that is true, then you better be sure you are using them correctly and charging for them appropriately if you want to stay in business.

I finally came to the conclusion, the reason our community is not growing as prosperous as it should is too many of us are NOT running our business like businesses.  It is time to change that!

The time has come, we as a community put on our big girl or boy pants and stop playing at being in business.  We need to be actual grown up businesses.  I say this out of love, sooner or later something very bad is going to happen to one of us if we don’t band together to improve the quality of how we all do business, we will all suffer.

I have had a project on the back burner for a while now is the time to put some fire under it.  We need education and inspiration to create not only great weddings but great businesses that create great weddings. 

We need a Day of Education & Business Expo for Wedding Professionals.  A one-day event where we learn what we need to know.  How to run a legitimate, legal wedding business.  I shared my idea with my friend Sandy Hammer, the driving force behind www.allseated.com, Sandy and I along we a team of business experts are going to make my crazy idea happen.

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