When a cafe takes a piece of bread and toasts it, then they can charge you a dollar for one slice, even though the whole loaf cost less. That's the basics of business and it's done by adding value.
The more you add value to your studio offering, the more likely people are going to enjoy their time with you and want to keep coming back. I'm not suggesting a Thai girl doing back rubs, but there are other great ways to add value to your studio and make clients love you.
Here are ways to do it that won't break the bank.
- Free WIFI with internet access. My guess is that you already have it for your studio, but open it up for your clients, then they can check their email or surf when waiting for the drummer to finish his 99th take. If you are in post production then it's essential and expected by producers from all agencies.
- Daily newspapers and magazine. Again, it gives your clients something to do whilst they wait, there's a lot of waiting around in studios. Why not go the extra mile and and to make sure they have what they need by emailing them ahead to ask what paper they like to read?
- Get lunch in. Either do a deal with a local delivery company to come around to your place, or arrange for a time during the sessions for a food trip. You can charge this service on afterwards if you want and as long as you make it clear to your client. If nothing else then a bowl of fruit is a great way to add a little extra for clients.
- Create a space on your web server where their content will be placed after the session. It's even nicer if you password protect it. There's nothing worse than waiting to hear your mixed tracks, but knowing you'll be getting an email with the links to your MP3's is cool. One small word of caution, NEVER release anything until you've been paid in full, it's the only thing you have that ensure getting your money.
- Make paying easy. Offer as many payment options as possible. Yes cash is king, but sometimes if it's a big session that the artist is bank-rolling themselves they may want/need to load up their credit card. This could be the difference between you getting the session or not. Paypal offer credit card services and although there's a fee, it's easy to set up and a lot less hassle and often cheaper than the banks.
Now what I've written here looks like the stuff a good hotel would offer - it is! When I'm booking a hotel this is what I want and what most people expect.
Remember you're not just offering a facility, you are offering an experience. The more enjoyable that experience is, the more people will keep coming back.