Remember the Magic 8 Ball? If Trish and I had consulted the Magic 8 Ball back in January when we decided we would NEVER, EVER, EVER discount our prices again; we would have asked the wisest of balls these questions...
Us: Magic 8 Ball, will we lose out on bookings because of our strict adherence to the no discount advice of the professionals at Imaging USA?
Magic 8 Ball: Without a doubt.
Us: Magic 8 Ball, will be still be in business in six months?
Magic 8 Ball: Outlook good.
Us: Phew! Thanks Magic 8 Ball. Um, will we be rolling in dough in six months?
Magic 8 Ball: My sources say No.
Us: So we're still in business but not rolling in the dough hmmm... Magic 8 Ball, will we be slowly but steadily growing in the right direction and attracting the type of clients that are the right fit for us?
Magic 8 Ball: Signs Point to YES.
US: Okay, one last question Magic 8 Ball, we're really struggling here with the last piece of the pricing puzzle. What's better, a la carte pricing or package pricing?
Magic 8 Ball: Reply hazy try again.
US: (shaking furiously) A la carte or packages?
Magic 8 Ball: Better not tell you now.
Us: Stupid ball, give us the answer!
Magic 8 Ball: Concentrate and ask again.
Us: Aaargh! (Hucking the ball across the room)
Ah, the psychology of pricing. It's a real brain-drain around here. It's embarrassing to admit that we are completely schizophrenic when it comes to our pricing structure. If you were to follow in our footsteps the course we have taken over the last year would look something like this...
Start your journey on We Offer 7 Successfully Tested Packages Boulevard. You're booking lots of weddings here but you decide to change it. Aint nothin' broke but gosh darn it all, we're gonna fix it anyway!
Next, take a left onto High Falutin' Highway, scrapping all your packages and offering only one scary expensive package. No need to buckle that seatbelt, the traffic flow is coming to a screeching halt! Abandon your car on the side of the road because you can no longer afford the gas.
On foot take a right onto A la Carte Avenue. Spend many days and sleepless nights creating an extensive list of products that your clients can use to create their own collections. Start to cry uncontrollably when a bride tells you she's booking someone else because she likes packages better.
Trade your Magic 8 ball for the bicycle of the first kid you come across. Make a U-turn on Schizophrenic Street where you now offer both packages AND an a la carte menu.
Give up! Sit down and don't move.
There are no magic answers. Trust us! We have exhausted ourselves and all of the possibilities. It's time get off the crazy train--commit to our current pricing or be committed, that's how I see it. Some brides like packages, nice tidy little packages where all the work and thinking has been done for them. Some brides like choices, and mixing and matching and comparing. Trying to choose between packages and a la carte pricing twisted us into knots.
We're sitting down now on the curb to untangle the mess we made and wait for the bride-mobiles to come by. Some will probably speed by leaving us in the dust, but with any luck some will stop and pick us up. It's hard to tell, there's no one to ask here on this lonely stretch of road and I traded the Magic 8 ball for a tiny bike.
It's June. We're halfway through the year and we've decided to let it ride.
FYI...A bride mobile is kind of like a pope mobile, only it's all white and it has a veil attached to the roof. You can't miss 'em.