Going Rate for San Francisco Wedding and Party Music

by Robbie Schlosser · 2 comments

Thanks in advance for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas. I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation. Tell me what you think, and I'll reply. Promise.
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Does this ever happen to you?  People occasionally call or email me saying they’re looking to hire a band, and they ask “What’s the going rate?”  How would you respond?

I usually explain (gently) that their question is like asking what’s the going rate for a dress.  Or a car? Or a catered meal?  Then I go on to discover what they’re REALLY looking for.

I recently wrote about conversations that begin with people asking about our fee.  Here is another perspective on the same issue:

If you ask me, there is no going rate for anything, bands included.  I haven’t met them yet, but perhaps somewhere there’s an outfit named “The Going Rate Band”.  I imagine they’d keep plenty busy, right?  Clawing their way to the bottom, trying to serve everyone looking for the world’s best bargain.

Thinking about that “going rate” question, I sometimes wonder how businesses set their prices.  Any ideas?  I suspect they usually balance their competitors’ prices with whatever income they aim to earn.  Or at least need to stay afloat.  Of course this is a very simple summary of a complex process.

It’s too simple, like saying you get what you pay for.  Actually you get what you get, and you pay what you pay.  Instead, it’s more realistic to say there’s Cost, Time, and Quality.  You can have any two, if you sacrifice the third.  Take your pick.

Though this is closer to actual practice, it’s still too simple.

The real world is far more complex.  For example, as a business gains experience and expertise, it’s natural that they fine-tune the market they pursue.  And as the world progresses, that market will likely expand, or contract, or seek new goals and services.  Probably all three.  It’s a moving target.

And the expense of running the business continually changes, too.  No one ever said being in business would be easy.

All these changes mean that every business will continually adjust their prices and fees.  So how can there be a “going rate”?

Bottom Line:  How do you set your fees?  And how do you respond to people asking for the “going rate”?

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Thanks for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas here. Got one or two? I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation -- I'll reply. Promise.

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Meanwhile, the Magnolia Jazz Band entertains at weddings and parties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. If you are ever nearby, you’ll love catching us in action, seeing and hearing us create a great mood.

How can I help you? Call 408-245-9120 or use Robbie@MagnoliaJazz.com. Planning a celebration? Ask about our availability.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

wedding manuel antonio

Its a confusing question and I think that there is always be a different rate according to their performance and the way they they present it should attract the people.

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Robbie Schlosser

Thank you for commenting.  I agree, it’s confusing all right, because anyone asking about “the going rate” often has something else on their mind.  And THAT’s where our conversation really ought to focus.  Do you run into this same problem?  By the way, I loved visiting your website — very nice!

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