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When to “Slow it Down” and Book Fewer Clients at Higher Prices

Aisle Planner When to Book Fewer Clients
Photo courtesy Shane and Lauren Photography

As a wedding professional and small business owner, you work to build something that you love and can sustain. From day 1, you’ve poured your heart into building your brand, booking clients, and achieving your goals. But, even after day 912, you still might not have thought about how you would evaluate your business when you are consistently crushing it.

And, when you find yourself in this situation, one of your options is actually to purposefully scale back. So today, we wanted to talk through four scenarios when you should consider “slowing things down” and book fewer clients at higher prices.

Your Calendar Is Booked

What your calendar looks like is usually a great place to start when deciding whether you should take on fewer clients. Regardless of whether you are a one-person-show or have a team, if your calendar has no vacancy, it’s telling you to up your prices!

Here’s a throwback to Econ 101: Supply and Demand. Your calendar is your supply and your inquiries are the demand. And, they are inversely related (which means as one goes up, the other goes down). So, as your supply (availability on your calendar) runs low or out, the cost to purchase those goods should increase. In the world of weddings, that looks like having multiple requests for the same date, needing to open up dates you originally had blocked or hiring freelancers to give you the resources to handle a double-booked date.

So, if you find yourself doing any of these things on a consistent basis, you should definitely ask yourself if it’s time to permanently grow your team or take on fewer (but pricier) clients.

You’ve Met Your Financial Goals

As a business owner, it is likely that you have a set of financial goals. Whether those goals are based on number of bookings or annual revenue, the moment you meet them is a great time to evaluate what it took to get there.

Think of it this way, when you first started in the wedding industry, your goal was to book as many clients as you could in order to build your portfolio, brand, and reputation. But, after that initial hustle, it no longer became necessary to take on a million really small weddings or discount your services just to book the client. (Kicking that discount and upping your minimum felt good, didn’t it?)

Well, in a high-touch service industry, it is not uncommon for the next phase of financial maturity to be having your income come from fewer streams. So, if you have hit (or exceeded) your monthly revenue for the last year, you might want to ask yourself if it’s time to make the same amount of money from fewer clients.

You Want to Invest More in Your Client Experience

Speaking of a high-touch service industry, deciding that you want to invest more in your client experience is another great reason to consider “slowing things down.” Because, just like it feels good to not have to take 35 weddings (as a planning-party-of-1) to make what you need to, it also feels good to deliver the type of experience you want.

If you are ready/wanting to refine your client experience by getting more hands-on, then it might be a good time to book a fewer clients. Having your hands in every detail throughout the planning process takes time. And, so does doing things like sketching out ideas, attending vendor meetings or spending endless amounts of time researching things for clients. If you’re chomping at the bits to provide a high level of service to your clients, you can – you just need to charge appropriately!

You Need A Mental Break

This. One. Is. A. Biggie.

Sometimes you have to accept that your success is not sustainable in its current form. You’ve booked out your calendar, hired assistants and freelancers to take care of the overflow, you’re crushing your financial goals, and have set some lofty goals for both yourself and your business. But, if you’re losing sleep, working insane hours, and can’t even set aside time for yourself, your success really isn’t success.

Now, we’re talking to a group of driven people here and know that almost everyone has had a stint that sounds like that. And, a couple of busy months doesn’t mean you need to totally reevaluate everything. But, back-to-back years does. And, it can be hard for driven people to accept that. (Remember, you can be a great professional and have a full book without having to burn out.)

So, if you ever find yourself missing out on fun with your family and friends, making mountains out of molehills or are just tired all of the time, do yourself (and your business) a favor by increasing your “exclusive” factor and forcing the market to increase your value because you just decreased your supply.

About the Author

Tayler Cusick Hollman
Tayler Cusick Hollman

Tayler is the Creative & Marketing Director at Aisle Planner. She is obsessed with color and pattern, notoriously cooks everything from scratch, and can sometimes be seen cruising around on a skateboard. Follow Tayler on Instagram @taylrd_designs

3 thoughts on “When to “Slow it Down” and Book Fewer Clients at Higher Prices”

  1. Rachel Rice says:

    So true and so good!! Once I hit 50% capacity for 2018 I upped my prices and it feels so great to be more hands on and direct with less clients!

    1. Tayler Cusick Hollman Tayler Cusick Hollman says:

      YAS! That is so great to hear Rachel!

    2. Rachel, that is an excellent idea. I had not thought about that. Thanks for sharing.

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