"You pays your money and takes your chances"
Since my last writing in this thread, I have helped 6 Santas find work in malls, 5 Santas find work in Bass Pro Shops and 1 Santa hook up with a photography studio that does Christmas portrait sessions. Not a one was for "BIG MONEY" but they did pay decently for the amount of effort that would be involved on the part of the performer. All those positions could lead to future employment for those individuals as well.
The economy is in flux and that leads to employers being conservative in what they are willing to pay. In times like this you must be willing to extend yourself when looking for work. Look and think outside the box. Extend yourself and your circle of search when you do look for work.
An exciting project has just started that may bring work to over 100 Texan Santa in 2019. More details may be coming in April 2018 at the ISC (Denver) and Nationwide Santa (Las Vegas) events. Keep your fingers crossed. What does this mean to You, the individual Performing Santa? Not much unless you decide to start hustling. Get out there and make sure people know you are available for Parties, Corporate events. If you are like me and see the world as "What could this lead to?" rather than "I refuse to lower my standards by taking this job!" You might well find you're making some money by getting out there showing people what you can do which leads to more work this season and in future seasons.
Several friends lost their gig making $12,500 (at $25 an hour) only to find entry level gigs that pay $6500 (at $40 an hour) with the possibility of advincing up the ladder in the new company if they prove their worth. Just saying "I am Worth $250 an hour!" does not do it on this kind of playing field. If you are happy with doing 20 visits a year, 30 even, good for you. If you wish to bring the Joy of "Santa" into more homes or Families, then you need to start hustling to find the work and then do the work.
While doing all of that, Look HARD at the people you are hoping to work for! What is their track record? How happy are the people that are working for them? Do they honor their contracts with you? Every time? The word is out on several current employers and though we have had a "Code of Silence" in the past, today that is no longer in play thanks to the prevalent actions of some of those employers. Honesty is not something you can put in the bank or spend but it does reflect on whether you will receive the funds you contracted for if you hold up your end of the contract. Work for some of those that do not honor their commitments and Contracts and you will find yourself with far less cash to spend.
Learn to do Business! Learn what a contract is for before you say "I never use a contract, a hand shake is good enough for me!" In life there are "ups" and "DOWNS" don't let a setback stop you! Go out and build new contacts, new relationships, New Contacts and start building your Career As a Performer NOW! This is what business owners, business people, creative people do in building their trade and clientele. After this season, you will se a whole lot of that happening in the Southern Coast states and Eastern Seaboard. Strong weather has that effect.
No matter what the climate (Business or Weather) those that prepare and build their base well, those people will be in a better position to take advantage of changes in the ongoing season and what happens from there. No one starts a business with a guarantee of success. In fact more new business fails in the first 5 years than succeed. What those new businesses that do succeed have in common is the ability to adjust to the changes in their industry.
Become a person that is self starting! One that is both ethical and honest. One that in 10 years from now people in the business will point at and say "That person is great to work with and gives fair value for his fees. Customer satisfaction is his/her first priority! Because when it is all boiled down, this is a service industry that lives or dies by its service provided. Advancement up the ladder does not always go to the one making claims of high earnings or "Who" he had on his knee. It is done quietly, diligently and consistently visit by visit, customer by customer.
May your season be Joyous!
Santa Gordon Bailey