My Brother Tim,
You already have the answer you seek my esteemed colleague. More shows for less mo... oh, ah, I mean less shows, MORE money! As rudimentary as it sounds... simply raise your price. If you have to ad more value, do so but my hallucination is that you already add tons of "value" or your schedule would wane, and that certainly does not seam to be the case.
As I've traveled across the net and across the globe, all the conversation surrounding this issue seam to provide the same resounding truth... it seems like the consensus is unanimous... "raise your prices".
I tend to agree, and NOT just so you can make more money, but so you can more effectively support your clients, friends, supporters and family! (and of course yourself!) If you are so busy and stressed-out, how much does that take toll on the business and personal development process.
I would rather be more vibrant and eager (as apposed to tired and stressed) to work with the folks who really "deserve" your time and talent!
It seams to be a bit difficult to convey in writing here... and it seams like the REAL question then becomes how much? (and/or how often?) THAT is where the magic of "testing" comes in.
The "math" is rudimentary... If you double your prices and you are doing 1/2 as many shows your ROI (Return On Investment) just went up 100%. (Less the cost of actually "doing" twice as many shows.)
The best way to go about this, base on my experience is "over-time". Start by adding 10 to 25% to your fees and monitor closely what happens. Truly, there has to be a VERY CLOSE accounting of details in this process. Simply keep raising your price till you see the point at which you have the greatest ROI!
There will be a point of diminishing returns at which the number of show versus the amount of resource investments will go upside down. THAT is why you want to track and monitor your efforts and then your results.
There IS a "cost per show"... do we know what that is?
Most don't. (Though I know YOU do Tim...)
Factors to consider are things like "acquisition costs" per.
i.e. How Much Does It COST You to "acquire" a Gig?
- Marketing and promotional investments
Gifts and Schmuzas
- Sweat equity investments (Time Spent)
Marketing and outreach
Getting to & from gig
Benefits and FREE shows
- Capital investments (Real Money)
- Actual Showtime investments/expenditures
Re occurring costs (Cleaning of & maintaining costumes, equipment, supplies... etc)
Maintenance and upkeep of show, equipment, reoccurring subscriptions... etc
Education and new routines
Live show Marketing
and so on...
In this simple example, if you take all the investments/expenditures and divide it by the number of shows and Viola's, you have your "cost per show". (CPS)
Once you know what that is, you will have a better idea as to how to price your show in the market as well. If your CPS is $200.00 per show, you certainly can't be doing shows for $150.00 and still remain in business... duh!
Unfortunately, most of us are deluded and absolutely clueless as to how-much we really have invested in our programs.
NO KIDDING, just our "training" alone (time and money spent honing our craft) is often NEVER put into the equation! I have literally spent 100's of thousands if-not more than a million dollars on personal and show development considerations (NOT including the SHOW itself) and whether you realize it or not, so have most of us!
What is your true character and personality worth? Ya' know, the REAL "who you are of who you are" when no one else is looking... yeah, that guy or gal! What about all THAT the time spent developing that "who you are" that is a successful performance personality? Most of us have never thought of that as a real and discernible investment in our business. It most certainly is!
How much is you TIME worth?
We spend it like money we don't have... with little or no expectation of return. "Sweat Equity" Investments are some of the most profound of all the categories and yet we treat it as if it's nothing!
What about "opportunity costs"?
Time is the only thing we spend and can NEVER hope to regain it at any price. Once it's GONE... it's GONE! There is no more "a minute ago"... it's gone forever now! Never to be seen again!
Another thought on marketing and development issues...
"CANI" (Constant And Never-Ending Improvement) It's a forever deal, my brother. When we stop learning we becoming rigid in our thinking... kinda' like rigermortise, and we all know what happens when rigermortis sets in... were dead!
Well there it is... another perspective from another brother out there in the trenches along side of ya. Hope that adds to the pool of consideration. Please let me know how I may be of further service and support bud!
I am at your service and in His service,
GREAT question TimMeister!