When it comes to retreat planning, there’s a huge pitfall to watch out for – one that will kill your dreams of running retreats time and time again. This issue is a doozy, and if you don’t catch it before it takes control of your retreat, we can virtually guarantee your trip – and all future trips – are doomed. Can you guess what it is?
Incorrect pricing and not knowing how much to charge for your retreat!
Year after year, we see hundreds of retreat leaders scraping by, making mere pennies on their retreats, at best. Many lose money all together, only to feel dejected and unable to run the other retreats they planned because it feels like there is no point.
Has this ever happened to you?
If you can relate, take a deep breath for a moment. All hope is not lost. You aren’t the only one who doesn’t know how much to charge for a retreat.
When most heart-centered entrepreneurs hear the words “numbers,” “charging” and “pricing,” they instantly feel nervous. Taken aback. Timid. They absolutely love planning and facilitating incredible transformational experiences for their tribe. But when it comes to the x’s and o’s of budgeting and collecting cash, they turn a blind eye to the details. Does this sound like you?
If so, no need to worry, love. There’s nothing wrong with you. It’s your pricing – not you – that’s the issue. If you’re not making the income you crave from your retreats, the issue lies in your numbers.
Isn’t time to befriend your budget, nestle up with your numbers, and come into right relationship with what you’re charging? We think so. That’s why year after year, we dedicate our time to educating hundreds of retreat-ready entrepreneurs in our online courses about the in’s and out’s of proper retreat pricing. And lucky for you, you’ve stumbled upon this article. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!
Without further ado, let’s break down Wanderlust Entrepreneur’s top 3 insider secrets for retreat pricing.
Step 1: Plan a retreat with a specific income goal in mind
The first step in knowing how much to charge for a retreat is deciding how much money you want to MAKE on your retreat. One thing that baffles our minds is this: so many retreat leaders plan a retreat without having a specific desired income goal. Say it ain’t so! You wouldn’t go to a job in an office without knowing what you’ll be paid for your time, would you? We didn’t think so. The same rationale goes for retreats. Don’t plan a trip without having a specific income goal.
This may seem obvious, but this is a bigger problem than you may realize. Many retreat leaders start planning their retreat knowing they want to make money, but they never land on a specific number (for example, a net profit of $10,000 after all expenses are deducted). What then tends to happen is they get lost somewhere along the retreat planning path. When they hit obstacles, retreat leaders don’t make decisions necessary to keep on track to reaching the cash they crave (because they never had an income goal in the first place). Whatever you do, set a clear income goal. Write it down and look at it over and over again.
Step 2: Use your desired income goal when setting your price
The second step in knowing how much to charge for a retreat is using your income goal as a baseline for setting your price. Whatever your desired income goal is, the first thing you want to do is factor that into your pricing.
For example, if you want to make $10,000 on your retreat, you need to place that figure on a pricing spreadsheet and divide it by the fewest number of people you think will sign up for your retreat. Yes, we said fewest. Always price your retreat according to this number (as opposed to the highest). Think realistically. This ensures fewer surprises down the road.
So, if you think the minimum number of signups will be 10 people, this means you need to net $1,000 per person to make $10,000 (after all expenses are deducted). Your job would then be to calculate all expenses of your retreat (more on these in a minute), and add in $10,000 for your income. Yes, your income is an expense. You follow?
If you’re stuck on knowing how much income you can realistically make on a retreat, use this baseline number as a rule of thumb: a minimum of $100 per person per day. Yes, we said MINIMUM. This is the bottom of the barrel figure you should use. Please don’t charge less than this. You’re a transformational retreat leader with incredible skills and a toolbox full of life-changing techniques. You deserve to be paid well for what you do. Start demanding it by including it in your pricing.
Step 3: Include all expenses, including the hidden ones
The third step in knowing how much to charge for a retreat is taking into account all expenses, including the hidden ones. One of the biggest mistakes we see retreat leaders making is forgetting some expenses. When you do this, guess who gets stuck with the bill? You.
If you’re traveling internationally, you may encounter foreign transaction fees on your credit cards (which are fees certain credit card companies charge for using credit cards abroad). Make sure you check ahead of time to see if your credit cards are subject to these fees. If they are, either get a new card that has no such fees, or add these fees (usually a few percentage points of all total charges incurred while traveling abroad) to your pricing sheet. You’ll have to guess what your total credit card charges will be in order to then calculate the fees you’ll be charged. Do your best and be mindful when you’re on your retreat if you notice you start charging more on your credit card than you estimated on your pricing spreadsheet.
Also, if you’re going to offer an early-bird discount for your retreat, make sure you factor that in as well. An early-bird discount is an incentive offered to people to get them to sign up early. Usually, the early-bird price is a discount of $250-$750 for mid-range retreats, and $1000-$1500 for higher-end retreats. If you are going to offer people any kind of early signup discount, you have to makeup that money somewhere else in your pricing. Yes, we said make it up! That money doesn’t just go out the window. Instead, it has to come from somewhere else. That somewhere is the pocket of your other participants. Let’s break this down a bit more.
On your pricing spreadsheet, you want to determine the number of early-bird signups you’ll be offering, and factor in the total discount you’ll be giving when figuring out how much you’ll be asking your non-early bird signups to pay. So, let’s say you’re planning a retreat based on a minimum number of 10 people signing up. Let’s also say that of those 10 people, you’re going to offer 4 early-bird sign up discounts of $250 each. This means that you’re offering a total discount of $1,000 ($250 x 4). This also means you’ll have to add in that $1,000 as an expense and pass that expense off to the people who aren’t getting the discount. If there are 6 people who aren’t getting the discounted price, this means you’ll have to increase the total price each of them pays by $166.67 ($1000 divided by 6) to get the $1,000 in income from somewhere else. Make sense?
When you price your retreat in this way, taking into account all of your expenses – including the hidden ones – you greatly increase your chances of making the income you desire. It’s up to you to be smart, resourceful, and do whatever is in your power to minimum expense surprises down the road.
For more incredible retreat planning and marketing information and to discover the The 5 Steps for Creating YOUR 5 Figure Retreat, we invite you to click here and check out this awesome retreat planning resource.
Have YOU had challenges pricing your retreat and making a profit?
Please post below and do share your experience with pricing your retreats (and if you have any great tips – please share)! 🙂
As a self-proclaimed retreat-junkie, Melanie knows firsthand the power and transformation of traveling with a group of like-minded people who are ready to dive deep into themselves. It’s pure magic!
Melanie has planned, co-facilitated and attended dozens of retreats all over the world and is beyond excited to help other retreat enthusiasts do the same. As a Retreat Blueprint Business Coach & Copywriter, Melanie specializes in helping retreat peeps crank up their businesses & add sparkle to their offerings so they shine to the cosmos and back.