Escorting is a service business and just like any other service business it evolves. Often the difference between a successful service business and one which is just scraping by is planning that evolution.
by Hannah Jay
Business planning is about a lot more than just making money. It is about actually maximizing revenue per hour as well as selling as many high value hours as possible. But the as possible is a key question.
Lawyers talk about billable hours – by which they mean time spent on client matters for which they can actually bill to a client. If you take a lawyer’s 100 hour week, he’ll be lucky to bill 65. The rest of his time is taken up with firm business, billing, administration, research, client development and professional training. All of which is non-billable time.
For escorts, the weekly hours of paid companionship are not all the work they do. Consider an escort who is able to sell 10 appointments a week at an average of $300 an appointment. If each appointment lasts an hour and a half she’s only “working” 15 hours a week. However, if you add another hour per appointment for booking, placing ads, preparation and overhead time she is actually working over 25 hours a week.
Looking at an escort’s business from the perspective of time and money is the beginning of the planned evolution of that business. Here are a few basics:
If you hold the time commitment constant, are there ways for an escort to increase her revenue per hour worked? Oddly enough, simply reducing the number of basic escort appointments while charging slightly more per appointment can actually improve revenue per actual hour worked. That’s because the hour of unbilled time per appointment vanishes. (And here is a bit of simple math:
25 hours per week for 10 appointments @ $300 per appointment = $3000/week or $120/hour
20 hours per week for 8 appointments @ $325 per appointment = $2600/week or $130 per hour
In planning the progress of your escort business the most effective change you can make may be increasing your efficiency which means reducing the amount of unpaid time you are putting in to order to make your money.
Looking at higher value dates – retro, light domina, spa – can also boost revenue per hour. But cleaning up your escorting schedule will let you book those higher value encounters.
Tempo and Pacing
Marketing and booking your days and your weeks intentionally rather than at random is the sign of a successful escorting business. Let’s build on the example above: you have increased your efficiency and are booking 8 basic 90 minute appointments a week. So, can you handle more? And, if you can, what sort of appointments make sense to add to this schedule?
If you manage your schedule well you should be able to stack your basic appointments into two to three days in a week leaving you free for at least two and sometimes three days. Now you could simply try to book more of your basic dates but the revenue per hour potential there is capped and the overheads will remain. Plus, the reality is that burnout is a real issue if every escort date you do is essentially the same date.
As well, the eight basic dates a week with random clients scenario does nothing to create predictable revenue streams. Filling those slots every week is not a sure thing.
Taking several days a week and filling them with bookings from regulars or from a patron/sugar daddy makes a lot of sense from the predictable money perspective. Even if these escort appointments pay exactly the same or a little less than your basic escort appointments, their overheads will be lower and your stress levels will be reduced. If you open up four slots for regulars and are able to fill them at a slight discount from your regular rates, that is an extra $1200 a week. An evening or Saturday afternoon with a patron who is paying you an allowance puts, say, another $500-750 a week in your purse. You can do the math but a patron and four regulars are worth almost as much as your 8 basic dates with a great deal more certainty.
Another route to take is occasionally offering an introductory special where you meet and get to know potential new clients in a short format date for much smaller price. Here you make sure you keep most of your clothes on while giving a potential client a whirlwind tour of your space and services. This is, indeed, client-development and adding five or six such intro dates a couple of times a month will allow you to expand your business quickly and effectively.
Big Fish, Little Fish
When you are planning the evolution of your escort business it is important to understand the relative value of different sorts of clients. A random client who books a basic date is worth precisely the revenue of that appointment: ie: your escort fee of $325 and any tip or gift.
A regular who books twice a month is worth $600 a month plus tips and gifts and, if you can keep him for a year, usually a nice Christmas gift. More to the point: over 12 months you as his escort will be paid $7,200 just in escort fees.
A patron giving you an allowance of $3,000 a month is worth $36,000 over 12 months.
So, the hard core business truth for an escort is that her random basic clients, if she can book 8 a week, are worth $130,000 a year, one at a time. But she can add $62,000 a year by having eight twice a month regular dates and another $36,000 from her patron. All in, $228,000 a year. Which will fill many a Louboutin shoe box.
Old Fish, New Fish
The other way in which an escort can plan the evolution of her business is to take a serious look at what she can do to increase her rates. Or, more precisely, her effective rates which is to say her earnings per hour on the job.
From a pure business analysis perspective, increasing your effective rates is something you do once you have established your brand and have a steady clientele. And you want to make sure that you do not lose your initial business as you grow your revenues. While you can certainly raise your basic and even your regular’s rates a little, this is not going to make a dramatic change in your overall escort revenue.
Critically, the same service sold in a different way or to a different market can often produce much higher returns. Evolving your escort business to add clients from targeted markets is very doable once you have your initial revenue base established. For example, you can adapt the tactics suggested in my article on part time escorts (link) to find businessmen visiting your city. You can run such a service on a pure or partial out-call basis and only service the better hotels at a premium price.
Or you can offer themed dates (link) or, if you are a bit bossy, domina services (link) for a change of pace.
If you decide to offer a luxury brand or a specialty, it is likely a good idea to invest in creating a different persona to deliver the services. To move from an escort charging $325 for 90 minutes to a call-girl at $500/hour needs to be a carefully planned. Because you will want to retain your regular escort clients, regulars and patron (if you have one) while upping your game.
Hire a Booker
As Skipthegames.com’s wonderful Sarah Brooke, in her ongoing series, A Glimpse into the Shadows describes it, a booker is a girl hired by a successful escort, and usually paid on a per-date basis or a flat weekly fee, to take care of the phone, email and advertising.
A booker is not an agency or an agent; rather she simply takes messages and either arranges in-call appointments or sends the escort to out-calls. She also takes care of the escort’s advertising – which can become a job in itself if an escort is running two personas.
A good booker can reduce the time an escort spends on making appointments. But, and it is a key element, the escort has to trust the booker’s judgment. Because the booker, not the escort, is doing the client screening.
Other than minimizing downtime, a booker also provides a very valuable cutout between an escort and the paperwork, phone records, and other potentially risky information an escort will have if she books her own appointments. This means that there is a physical separation between the escort and these records. With text messaging, all that need be on the escort’s smart phone is a name, location, and time for an appointment. A simple code can indicate the nature of the appointment. No one but the escort can decipher the code.
A booker will cost an escort a bit – $20 to $40 an appointment is not out of line. However, if the booker saves the escort half an hour per appointment, this will bump the escort’s per hour earnings up significantly.
A booker also provides a degree of security for the escort simply by knowing where she is and how long her appointment is supposed to last. If the escort does not check in with her booker within half an hour after the appointment is set to end, the booker calls the escort and if she can’t reach her, can take whatever action the escort has arranged in advance for such situations. A simple call to the hotel room can do wonders in a difficult situation as can a friend dropping by the apartment.
The downside of having a booker is that there is now one other person who is aware of what the escort does. And perhaps more importantly, the booker has full access to the escort’s personal and business information.
A savvy escort will be very careful when hiring a booker. She needs to trust her booker to watch her back. And she needs to know her booker is trustworthy. It is a wise idea for an escort to tip out her booker on a weekly basis. Nothing says thank you like cash.
(The wonderful women of Soho in London, invariably employed a “maid” who helped dress the girl, took the money, and remained quietly in the kitchen as the date progressed. The Soho maid was a sort of chaperone in reverse.)
Increase your Revenue
As your escort business evolves, your revenue per hour should be increasing. As you establish a luxury or specialty service at $500 per 90 minutes, your basic dates at $325 for the same time begin to look less attractive.
Here is where actually planning the evolution of your escort business pays off. Instead of continuing to advertise your lower priced service you can let those ads lapse to be replaced with your new, luxe persona. Or, and this can make a lot of sense during a transition, you can cut the time on your basic date from 90 minutes to 60 while keeping the price the same.
To go back to the numbers in our example: if you establish a luxe service which books six dates a week, have 2 regulars a week, a patron and eight basic (now one hour) dates per week, your total working time will be around 25 hours. With your booker in place, your time overhead will be around 5 hours, most of which will be date prep. So you will be working 30 hours a week. But you will be grossing $7,000 a week or, roughly, $230 per hour. Not bad. Way better than Starbucks!
As your luxe brand becomes established, you’ll be able to perform a similar evolution of raising your rates and reducing your time commitments. Along the way, you will likely want to have your patron raise your allowance and your regulars move to your new rates.
Careers in the escort business tend to be fairly brief. Girls move on. Life moves on. By planning the evolution of your escort business NOW, you can maximize your profits as an escort, no matter the duration of your escort career.