I wanted to take an opportunity to talk about the work we do as clowns, magicians, face painters - anything that falls in the category of our family friendly entertainment.
Recently, there has been a rash of businesses, coming into our cities and reaching out to us in an effort to recruit us to do work for them. In theory that sounds great. However, as we found out more about these companies, we have found that they are coming in and lowballing the rates and trying to get many of us as their "talent" for 50-60% less of what we charge.
I know that we have seen mom and pop establishments go by the wayside due to larger establishments coming in and taking over. They start out looking bright and shiny, with lower prices and the list goes on. However, many of these types companies are not going to put the same tender, loving care into their business that we as small self employed businesses do. The quality is often times lower, the customer services sometimes not as good, and unfortunately that reflects on all of us.
So, as I think about these companies coming into our cities, we as small busineses need to be aware that while customers are shopping around, they very likely are talking to these folks, then coming back to us and trying to get us to lower our prices to get their business.
I have to say, I am very polite to these people, always letting them know that I do not negotiate my prices. I am very happy that they found a better rate and I wish them a very happy and successful event.
I have heard stories from people who went with the lower rate, then were sorry that they did. I have had people call me to let me know that their lower rate person never showed up, and never offered a refund. I have had customers who called at the last minute (like within an hour of the event) begging me to find my way to their party because the person that had given the lowest price called and cancelled at the last minute.
Unfortunately, as the saying goes, sometimes you get what you pay for.
As I post this message, to my fellow performers, entertainers and artists, I say be true to your calling. Value what you do, and try to keep your pricing in line with those other professinals around you. Everybody wins when this happens. If you value yourself, your customers will value you as well.
To the customers looking for the performer, entertainer, and artist. I ask you to remember, this person has put a lot of time and engergy into what they do. They have spent countless hours practicing, and perfecting their skill. They have invested a lot of money in costumes, tools, and professional equpiment, marketing etc. They are worth what they are asking.
To the larger businesses who want to come into our cities, please don't lowball us. You make everyone look bad, and you do a great disservice to our industry. Come into the market by all means, but understand that to get the talent you are looking for, you must charge a higher price so that you can be fair to the people you are trying to hire. For us this is not just a business, this is a passion.
Thanks for listening.
Til next time, Keep Smiling!