Have you ever had a friend look at a business and randomly throw out numbers that made it seem like that business owner must be making serious bank? We’ve experienced that many times, and know from conversations with operators and owners in those industries that their real profitability is often far, far less. The reason is often that there are unique challenges to profitability in almost every industry and so we wanted to create a space for entrepreneurs from across industries and markets to discuss the challenges to profitability in their industries.
One of the biggest challenges to keeping a profitable business in the event industry is price inflation. Many event professionals price out their products and services months, sometimes a year in advance of the event date. I primarily focus on weddings, which has proven quite a challenge with Covid-19 setbacks. We are seeing flower price increases from 10-40%, due to the increase in fuel costs and labor shortages. This presents a challenge, because a wedding booked pre-pandemic is locked in at cost during normal circumstances. A lot of the time, the event professional ends up absorbing the additional cost. Read more>>
We are a service company with an industry model that has established speaker fees. The speakers pay the same set commission to all bureaus. There is little room for negotiations. Unlike a company that manufactures a product, the margins are very low. That is our starting point. Then you add in the great resignation and the need to fairly compensate employees and provide competitive benefits…. it requires steady growth to be competitive. Pushing for growth is not always well received by the team. Everyone is tired from the super challenging two year of dealing with the global pandemic. Read more>>
As an author, I often spend years writing and researching a topic. I then pull it together into a coherent book with the help of professional editing, proofreading, layout and design. By the time a book is ready to launch, I have spent thousands of dollars. There is a large upfront investment of time, energy and money to publish a book. People often don’t want to spend much on buying a book, and as a result it can be challenging to break even and make a profit from writing books. For me to keep going and to keep writing books, I need a strong why and purpose that goes beyond a financial one. Read more>>
Within the photography industry, there are many challenges to profitability facing professionals. Profitability is an obvious challenge. The saying “starving artist” didn’t come from nowhere after all. Making photography a sustainable and profitable career is incredibly difficult. Partially because of the second part of this answer (saturation), and partially because photography is not a necessity for people, it’s nice to have. If your customers love your work but don’t love the price they won’t buy it and you won’t make any money. Simple as that. Most people will love your work until they have to pay for it. Read more>>
The biggest challenge is simply asking for your worth from your clients and understanding when a client doesn’t get it and to move on. The joke of “what’s your rate vs whats your budget” and the first to answer loses can be all too true as a creative freelancer. But by undermining the industry standards you don’t just hurt your end dollar, but you hurt the culture and process for everyone else along the way. A hard challenge here is still demanding that worth when you are working with a middle man or woman to connect with a client. Read more>>
Writing anything is hard, whether it’s a 5K word short story or a 75K word novel. It takes a lot of time to write. A lot of writers are people just like me. People with day jobs and families. Sometimes it’s hard to find time to write, even if you can see that entire story rolling around in your head. I’ve invested in an audio recorder so I can just spit out what’s in my brain before I forget it. Sometimes I just type out whatever I’m thinking; not worrying about grammar or even if it makes much sense. You’ve just got to get the words out. There’s an actor/writer named Wil Wheaton who calls this “word vomit.” The phrase fit so absolutely perfect I use it all the time too. Read more>>