Cost of Doing Business CalculatorWednesday, July 02, 2008
Early last year, a photographer friend sent me a link to this cost of doing business calculator. It is a handy tool that calculates how much you need to charge per event in order to cover your costs of doing business and make a profit.
It is set up for photographers, but you can adapt it to your specific needs as a wedding planner. For example, in the field where it says "Photography Supplies" you can put it in the cost of your Wedding Day Emergency Kit supplies instead. The "Total Days a Year You Expect to Bill for Shooting" is how many events you'd like or expect to do per year.
If you receive certain benefits through a spouse, such as health insurance or a retirement account, I'd still encourage you to include those costs in your calculations. This way you will have money in a special savings account and your family won't be at risk should something happen to your other source of benefits. For other areas, like office or studio costs, include the projected cost of a studio now if it is something you plan on having in the future. Put that money into a savings account so that it is easier to transition and make down payments and cover build-out costs when you are ready to open up shop in a brick and mortar location.
These types of tools really help you see the numbers and the clear cost behind running a business. It will also help you to analyze how much you are spending in each area and to be able to track that over the next year. This specific calculator is based on annual costs for each field, so be sure to keep that in mind as you enter your numbers. Be honest about the numbers and costs you plug in, and if you have to guesstimate on some of them, err on the side of generosity. It is better to come up with extra cash on hand at the end of the year than to come up short because your projections didn't really cover your costs.
You really don't need to worry about what other wedding consultants in your area are charging in order to know if you are charging enough. Do the math instead. Numbers don't lie and it is the one thing you can count on to make sure you are charging an adequate fee.