Here is the 3rd installment of the biggest mistakes I see workshop owners make. Just as a quick review, the first one is overbooking rooms and the second one is going in without a clear objective and strategy. Today we will talk about letting your expenses get away from you. Many first time workshop planners are surprised by some of the expenses they encounter.
Sometimes it is because you have some unexpected expenses and other times you just didn’t plan for the costs that are involved with planning a workshop. It’s so easy to do because you think “I’m going to need this and need that”, but before you know it you spend a few hundred or even $1,000 dollars you hadn’t planned on. Here are some of the expenses that can be big budget busters.
- Service Fees. That can add a quick 25% to your budget on everything from food and beverage, audiovisual equipment, as well as meeting room rental.
- Gratuities. From housekeepers to set up crew and everything in between, it can add several hundred dollars to your expenses.
- Taxes on service fees. Service charges are taxable. So not only do you pay the service charges, you pay tax on it as well.
- Resort Fees, parking and other hidden charges. You may not use it, but you could very well have to pay for it.
Be sure that all the charges are disclosed in your venue contract and that you take note of it. Although I am not an attorney, you may want to think about a clause in your contract that states you will not be paying for any service charges unless they are disclosed up front in the contract.
The best way to control your expenses is to have a running budget document where you keep track of all your expenses. This is something I do for my clients as part of the Winning Workshop Road Map. I create a budget for them that lists all the revenue streams but also all the expenses that you can expect. All the formulas are already included, so once you get billed, fill in your actual expenses and you can see exactly where the bottom line is going. It is a powerful tool that is indispensable for any workshop or event.