Making Your Cost Your Baseline

Oftentimes retreat leaders base their retreat price on their belief in what they think their client will pay, without considering their list of expenses.

Let’s break down the do’s and don’ts when pricing your retreat.

DO NOT guess the price.

DO gather known and foreseeable expenses before calculating your price.

When pricing a retreat, you need to have your fixed and variable expenses in hand. RetreatBoss™ has provided a formula for you to calculate your retreat price.

What is a fixed expense compared to variable expense?

A fixed cost is an expense that will not change based on the number of guests and calculated globally. Example: flights, venue, legal fees, etc.

A variable cost is an expense that will change based on the number of attendees.

These estimates are per person.

Example: beverages, food, gifts, etc.

Another variable expense is taxes. Know what is taxable both in your country and at your destination country.

When you have a good idea of what your price will be, you should gauge your niche. Ask them if they would pay what you are suggesting for what you have to offer. If they feel it is a fair price, then you are on the right track. You can start pricing your retreat packages and promotions.

DO NOT hope for a profit to pay yourself.

DO calculate your expenses and time from conception to post-retreat and add them to your cost when pricing your retreat.

While figuring out your expenses, you also have to include your time from the conception of your retreat to post-retreat.

Time such as hours spent on:

  • marketing, content creation, social media engagement, podcasts
  • webinars, emails, messaging
  • research and development, meetings and negotiations
  • travel, your time during your stay, post-retreat follow-ups, and meetings

All this time spent on the retreat takes away from your income generation. Therefore, include it in the price of the retreat.

DO NOT estimate the suppliers’ prices.

DO your research and get as many commitments from your suppliers as possible before calculating your bottom line.

Researching many suppliers and narrowing it down to your top three will give you negotiation power and knowledge of what is out there and its value. Make sure they commit to a price. Be notified if the price rises. Get a commitment to reserve the price for a certain amount of time or have them give you a price drop guarantee.

DO NOT base your price only on the major suppliers.

DO have a detailed list of everything you need, plus add a buffer.

Understanding the details of the inclusions can be very revealing of the hidden extra costs. We mentioned in a previous lesson some hidden prices. Here is the full list.

Hidden costs revealed:

Airport expenses:

  • Food and drink at the airport are expensive, and since we have to go early, we tend to spend unnecessarily on overpriced items.
  • Transport to the airport from your home, such as airport parking or hiring a taxi to bring you there.

Hidden Flight fees:

  • Flights can charge extra for baggage, food, drinks, etc. Remember you are likely to bring supplemental baggage with all your supplies, gifts, equipment, etc.
  • Overweight baggage may be costlier than bringing extra luggage.
  • Meals and drinks during the flight are with a supplemental charge.
  • On-flight fees are charged for headsets, entertainment pillows, and blankets.

Venue – Hotel

  • If food and drink are not included in the venue price, be sure you know the prices of groceries and/or restaurants at the destination. There are places where you will pay up to five times the price from what you normally pay in the US. Also, consider in your price treating your group to drinks or meals.
  • Make sure the published rate is your final price, including fees and taxes. Is there a security deposit that you have to pay upfront?
  • Shuttle service to and from the airport at destination.
  • Hotel parking and street parking near and around the venue are supplemental to your stay.
  • Make sure there are no resort fees after you book and upon arrival.
  • Extra fees can include wifi, security boxes, in-room landlines, etc. Look at the fine print.
  • Minibars with very expensive goodies.
  • Laundry service and room service are a choice. Think of cost when purchasing.

Car rental:

  • Car rental agencies may hold thousands of dollars from your card as a deposit in case of an accident. They might require you to buy insurance upon arrival, even if you have insurance.
  • Fuel to fill up for your car rental.
  • Extra drivers require extra funds.
  • Find out if you need an international temporary driver’s license at your destination.

Phone charges:

  • Long-distance fees to the country and while in the country.
  • Buying a local SIM card.
  • International roaming charges and data.

TIP: Before your departure, turn off your data and keep it off. Roaming for even a few minutes can quickly rise to hundreds of dollars. Ask your provider if they have fixed international roaming fees.

Other:

  • Commissions and fees from reservation platforms
  • Visa, country taxes, and entry fees
  • Credit card fees (interest, currency exchange fees, advanced withdrawal, ATM fees)
  • Accounting
  • Income taxes
  • Legal fees for contracts, waivers, consulting, etc.
  • Travel, general, and/or professional insurance
  • Tipping for service at restaurants, transport, staff, etc.

TIP: Be careful not to double tip. In some restaurants, it is included  in the bill.

  • Departure fees charged from the destination country
  • Cancellation fees, reservation changes
  • Pet care while away (if you have a pet)
  • Buying bottled water locally
  • Entrance and tour fees to museums, parks, clubs, etc.

Accidents and surprises:

You may think you have thought of everything, but there are always surprises and fees the are unexpected.

TIP: Make sure your credit card has a big enough balance for any surprises and damages that may occur during your trip. Although it is safer not to carry cash, a lot of countries require cash. It is a good idea to have some on you at all times. Find out if ATMs are easily accessible. If they take both debit and credit cards. Do not forget to advise your bank about your plans before departure.

There are so many things to consider when planning a retreat. In this course, you have identified most expenses, many ways to save, and ideas to collaborate. The hidden fees and surprises during a retreat will deplete your profit fast if you do not prepare for them in advance, consider implementing a 10% -15% buffer in your budget to address these unexpected expenses.

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