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Entrepreneurship Lesson – Competitive and Profitable

August 14, 2019

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration, Wisdom for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Business, Entrepreneurs

I remember back working in Higher Education as the Internet was becoming a useful tool for event planning. Responsible for planning thirty events around the country to gather alumni together for the College President’s visit, I relied on calling alumni I didn’t know from a database to inquiry about beautiful venues to host events. In those days most businesses didn’t have a website with detailed floor maps, room views, catering prices or contact information, so relying on trusty graduates of the college was the only way to discover venues to try.

My job also required working closely with a graphic designer to ensure the invitation had correct details, the PMS logo color and proper staff names were on the invitation. No one emailed invitations then, they had to be bulk mailed for the cheapest price and also the longest delivery time. Protocol and technology didn’t allow for online invitations, reservations or online payment systems, everything had to be done properly and perfectly mailed the good ole fashion way.

Last week as I celebrated becoming a woman entrepreneur on August 8, 1995, when I signed my D.B.A. as Five Star Events, I left the college I was working at with enough experience and contacts to start my own event planning, managing and marketing company. Over the past 24 years so much has changed in the event planning industry including increased costs for event rooms, food and drink, and gratuity percentages. You can see how the economic wheel can stop turning when everyone increases fees but its left to entrepreneurs to either reduce their profit margin, increase their own prices (which can lead to loss of attendees), or get out of the market.

The event industry is one of the industries suffering from technological advancement and the economic climate. It is just as easy for people to watch events online and connect with others through the internet at reduced prices then to attend live events. I have worried about my industry for quite some time and predicted its downturn eventually as everyone gets more comfortable learning and communicating via the internet and prices rise everywhere else to maintain the old way of doing events.

Perhaps my frustration with trying to find a venue for my Rochester members and in other event locales has led to today’s wisdom. I simply keep running into financial walls finding the right place. My heart wants to be in Rochester, Binghamton, Albany, Utica, and Syracuse but the market pricing keeps pushing planning back.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to remind you there are simply times in entrepreneurship when costs and pricing matter most. Finding the right price for your product or service is essential to make consumers buy from you and having enough of a profit to make the sale worth the effort. If it has been awhile since you took a look at pricing in your industry, now might be the time to do that so you can adjust, plan and proceed.

Nothing stays the same forever especially pricing in 2019. Adjust as you must to stay competitive and profitable.

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