Wedding Florist Enquiry Process

Wedding Florist Enquiry Process – Our Exact Approach

Looking for an insider's guide to the wedding florist enquiry process? Here's our exact approach.

If you're a wedding florist, your enquiry process is one of the most valuable assets in your business.

Quite literally, that process is worth money.

As per my usual approach, I'm here to bust through the secrecy and give you a run down on our EXACT approach to navigating wedding enquiries. Yep! Yep and more yep!

How I Created Our Wedding Florist Enquiry Process

When I first started as a baby florist, I fell into the trap of thinking that I had to do fancy proposals, custom quotes and face-to-face consults.

I think with my very first wedding enquiry, it took me more than a week to get her a quote. That was after the hour-long consultation. I spent hours on that proposal, trying to make it look at fancy and legit.

Man oh man, I'm so surprised she stuck around but since that experience, I have learned SO much about how to effortlessly navigate wedding enquiries.

The key to figuring it out? I paid attention to what wasn't working.

In 2018, I remember looking back at my calendar and seeing how many hours I had spent on consults. My close rate was disastrous and I was wasting hours every single week meeting with prospective clients...which got me $0.

Talk about a waste of time (for me and the people who didn't book with me).

But that year was also revolutionary in my business.

I could see how much time I was wasting on these enquiries and in-depth consults.

I just knew there had to be a better way.

But, instead of trying to follow the traditions of our industry, I put my blinders on. I decided to create my own way. From scratch.

I literally threw out everything I thought I had to do and got focused on creating a system that was easy for me and super efficient for my clients.

Why? Cause I knew I had to shake things up. I couldn't afford to waste so much energy on non-money-making activities. It was, quite literally, the definition of inefficient.

So, I went through the process of completely overhauling our wedding florist enquiry process. And yeah, I kinda have broken every rule in the book.

Jumping right into the myth-busting bit...I don't use fancy proposals. I don't do custom quotes. I don't do consultations. And I don't use expensive software solutions.

I keep it bare bones.

Why? It allows me to focus on what matters most to my clients – being quick and being helpful. And, I can sort through new enquiries in a matter of minutes, rather than days (or weeks).

Wedding Florist Enquiry Process – Here's Our Exact Approach

Here you go. This is the step-by-step summary of our approach.

Inside Flower Boss Academy I go through this in itty bitty detail and I give you all of my templates + shortcuts. So, if you wanna get my exact approach and shortcut your progress, come join us today.

Let's start at the very very very beginning...well before the client even contacts you.

  1. Share helpful tips in your marketing. Yep. BEFORE the client even enquires, be open with your guidance and share your wisdom. Do this on social media, your website and anywhere where your clients might be on the lookout for a wedding florist.
  2. Be proactive about talking $$$. This is the fastest way to get rid of the budget clients. The first solution I created was a simple blog post that gave a breakdown of key price points (i.e. $2K, $5K, $10K, $20K). I later then discovered a free WordPress plugin that allowed me to create an online calculator. (That was an awesome innovation for us and our clients!)
  3. On your enquiry form, ask them two seemingly unexpected questions (1) what is your budget and (2) what are you looking for in a floral design team. This gets the money piece on the table early and it changes the dynamic of the relationship (less "master > servent" and more "partnership")
  4. After they respond, send them a template email with a few points of personalisation and point them to (a) the budget blog post or online calculator and (b) your top 10 tips for wedding flowers. Also, make it clear what the next step you want them to take if they're happy to continue.
  5. At the bottom of this email, point them to an online form (a Google Doc is good enough). In this form, ask them to give you all the info you'd traditionally get in a consultation (yes, this form will be long!)
  6. Based on what they have supplied in their Q&A, put together a very simple email with two pricing options (a) their wishlist and (b) your recommendation based on their budget. No matter what your client's budget is, their wish list will always cost them more (that's why it's called a wish list!). They will love that you're giving them both solutions. It gives them a helpful point of view and valuable insight to make an informed decision.
  7. After a little back and forth, (no doubt, they'll have questions) wait until they say the magic words "How do I go about booking you in?" That's when you jump into doing up the formal quote, getting the contract together and adding in your notes.
  8. The client pays 25% to secure your team for the date. And shazaam...another beautiful client booked!

My goal in sharing the above process is to give you an idea of what's possible when it comes to navigating new wedding enquiries. But know that it's not the only way to make it happen.

No matter what you end up doing with your wedding florist enquiry process, just know that you get to create a system that works for you. Lean into your strengths and create a system that is easy for you and helps you get to the goal of booking one in four enquiries (without wasting hours and hours of your time or your client's time).

If you wanna dig into this even more and get more juicy tips from me, I'm passing along more helpful insights in this week's podcast episode – Optimise Your Wedding Enquiry Process – 3 Quick Wins

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

My best lessons learned from navigating more than 2,500 enquiries

My best shortcuts for optimising your enquiry process

Three common mistakes many florists make when they're navigating new enquiries

Super simple solutions for dealing with price shoppers and budget brides

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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How to Make More Money as a Farmer Florist

How to Make More Money as a Farmer Florist

Wanna learn how to make more money as a farmer florist? You're in the right place.

Over the past few years, I've worked closely with farmer florists from all around the world. It's been such an honour to watch them grow and really evolve how they show up as business owners, designers and industry leaders.

Truth be told, there are a lot of common mindset blocks that many of my Flower Boss Academy members share – but there are two very specific scarcity stories that farmer florists struggle with.

But First, Some Context.

Now, here's the thing, we're all human beings. We all have a human brain.

Your brain's job is to think. It's what it does day in and day out and it offers up something like 60,000 thoughts in the run of a day.

Of those 60,000 thoughts, 80% are negative and 95% are repetitive thoughts.

And here's the real kicker...every one of us walks around thinking "our thoughts" are "the truth".

We accept every one of those 60,000 thoughts as unarguable facts.

Except they're not.

They are just our brain's default (likely negative) interpretation of the situation.

It's these repeated, negative stories that stand in the way of us creating the results we want to create in our businesses (and our lives).

Here are a few of my favourite examples that many struggle with...

  1. I cannot charge that much.
  2. My area is too competitive for me to charge full price.
  3. Pricing is hard.

Now here's the fun bit: none of these things is the truth.

If you were to ask 100 florists, there's no way they would all agree (particularly if you ask the amazing humans inside Flower Boss Academy!).

The profits in my business finally took off after I learnt the idea that those thoughts aren't actually 'facts'. That they were just stories I was telling myself – stories that "felt true" because I had been telling myself the same scarcity-based narrative for so long.

For years, I walked around believing each one of these stories. It's these stories that stood in the way of me creating the results I wanted to create in my business.

Why? Well, when you tell yourself 'You can't charge that much,' you feel unworthy and undeserving. When you feel unworthy and undeserving, you give away your work. You offer discounts. You don't pay any attention to how much you should be charging and you just stay stuck in the spiral of underearning.

The result? You wake up each day trying to convince yourself that it must be enough just to love your work. And you don't even learn that you can charge more and how to charge more. (Hello, Starving Artist persona!)

It's scarcity thinking at its best. You are not broken and there is nothing wrong with you.

This experience is how your primitive brain behaves without any sort of adult supervision. Just the fact that you can think about what you're thinking about means you can decide to think anything you want.

It's literally about making the choices between allowing your default thinking to stay stuck in "I cannot charge that much" versus "Maybe it's possible I could charge the same as Kathleen does."

The truth is, you can choose to believe anything you want. You can decide to believe Santa exists. No one can stop you.

So, you can choose to believe that pricing is hard and you cannot charge to the industry formula.

Or you can get to work changing your money story and getting out of your own way so you can watch your profits increase.

How to Make More Money as a Farmer Florist

How does this all relate to making more money as a farmer florist? Well, here's the short version.

When it comes to learning how to make more money as a farmer florist, there are two important mindset shifts you gotta make:

  1. Shift out of the default 'farmer' thinking and into a 'floral designer' mindset
  2. Start appreciating the additional value you bring to the table because you know exactly what's gone into each bloom you grow

Here's one of the most powerful mindset shifts you can make in your business and one of my most favourite questions to ask farmer florists who are struggling with money...

Who do you get to become if you believed your flowers are more valuable than the ones available at the big wholesalers or the grocery store?

I dig into this and much more in this week's podcast episode – 2 Mindset Shifts Farmer Florists Must Make in Order to Increase Your Profits.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

How to make more money as a farmer florist today

One of my favourite shortcuts for believing your 'home-grown blooms' are more valuable than the fanciest flowers you can get at the wholesalers

How to step out of the farmer's mindset and into the premium, floral designer's mindset

Step-by-step examples to help you rewrite your 'making money' scarcity stories

Why you don't have to make the trade-off between creativity, passion and money

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

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10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business

10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business

Looking for the 10 things I did to grow my flower business? You're in the right place.

One of the most common questions I get asked is, "Kathleen how did you go from a newbie, fresh outta flower school designer to a 6-figure designer so fast?"

Well friends, if that's your question, you're in exactly the right place.

And I mean, let's be honest, even if you're already a six-figure florist, I really hope I'm able to drop a few knowledge goodies for you too.

I spent so long trying to piece together all the things and it took me years to figure out how to attract the right customers, feel confident with my pricing and finally run a business I actually liked.

My goal with this blog post is to pass along the exact things I did to grow my flower business and make it easier for you than it was for me. Cause ummm yeah, this industry is so secretive when it comes to getting customers and makin' money. But I'm here to bust through the silence and pass along as much wisdom and expertise as possible.

So, let's get into it, shall we?

Actually, Just Before We Begin...

Here's the thing: hindsight is 20/20.

I don't want you to think that I knew what I was doing – it's not like I had a list from another florist called "10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business". What I want to map out for you here is a very clear, step by step guide on what you need to do, having learned from the 1000s of mistakes I've made and blunders along the way.

Know that, yes, 100% I messed up. I made so many mistakes when I was trying to figure out how to grow my flower business. So know that I did not come out of the womb knowing these things and being able to pull together such a succinct list is because of the benefit of hindsight.

I just want you to skip over the 'I don't know WTF to do first' bit and jump to the 'making money + enjoying flowering' part waaaaayyyyy faster than I did.

For those of you who have been following my journey for a while now, you already know many of my failures – attempting to sell super cheap wedding packages, offering up table arrangements for $45, overstuffing designs every which way to Sunday and hesitating to even charge clients $15 for delivery.

On the other hand, if you're new here and you're thinking that Kathleen's business growth has been so easy, I'm happy to burst that bubble. Imagine the exact opposite of that...and that was what the first five years of my flowering journey looked like. #hotmess

Now, let's get into the list, shall we? If I could rewind the clock, start all over again, here's exactly what I would focus on to grow my flower business...

10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business

#1 – Branding

Let's start at the beginning (even if you've been in business a few years) when it comes to the 10 things I did to grow my flower business, branding is definitely at the top of that list.

Take the time to craft a premium brand. And no, I don't mean get a fancy designer to work on your logo and get business cards printed. I mean sit down and go through a very intentional, strategic planning process to land on a clear vibe (like the one I teach inside Flower Boss Bootcamp).

In the end, no one thing is going to make or break your brand but what I know now is that the collective power of all the pieces of the puzzle contributes to attracting better, more premium clients. So be intentional with every customer touch point, the packaging you use and the overall vibe of your website and Instagram feed.

And, yes, this is something to start sorting through on Day 1. Right after you land on your business name, lock in that URL and save your IG handle, I'd start mapping out your vibe and brand.

No, it doesn't need to be complicated or hard (or expensive). In fact, in my experience, you can get your brand sorted in an afternoon and then get to work on pulling together all the details as you build your business.

If you want to learn my exact approach, come join us inside Flower Boss Bootcamp. I break it down for you step by step and it's one of the best things you can do today to get your dream business sorted.

#2 – Define Your Offer

I used to believe that in order to grow a profitable flower business you had to cater to a broad array of customers. Kinda like you had to be all things to all people and have your clients dictate your designs.

I did that for three years. It was awful.

It was hard in so many ways and it's actually a super inefficient way to run a business. It's kinda like if you were to walk into a restaurant and the chef had to be ready to make any meal at any time. Imagine if the first customer who came in wanted a vegan lasagna, the second customer wanted chicken vindaloo and the third client wanted a triple-chocolate gluten-free donut tower.

Oi. That just feels hard.

But that's how so many of us are taught to run our flower businesses.

It's time to turn the whole thing on its head and put yourself in the driver's seat. Decide now who you want to cater to and who your ideal client is. Then spend time thinking about your design aesthetic and what you want to create.

#3 – Create Your Set Menu

By far, this is one of the best ideas I've ever landed on as a floral designer. The basic concept is that you get to sit down ahead of time and decide the formats you'll use, the ingredients you'll feature and the colour palettes you want to offer. Do the math to set up your prices and then get to work learning how to sell that work (again, not actually that hard).

The concept is exactly like that of a restaurant menu. And, in fact, it's one of the most helpful things you can do for your customers – too much choice, too many decisions always leads to overwhelm. Overwhelm and confusion leads to no sale.

Again, this is how so many florists run their businesses. We wait for the customer to tell us what to make. Take a really long time quoting it up and then get surprised when we're ghosted. Again.

It leads to disappointed customers. And disappointed florists.

So, do your future self a favour. Sitting down now and map out your core menu. Be super selfish and decide how abundant you want your designs to be, what kinds of ingredients you want to use and the formats you'll offer. Do the math.

And then, instead of scrambling to quote new designs or new work, pour your focus into learning about sales psychology and marketing tactics. (Fun fact: the problem is never the price. Your customers want more than just a cheap bunch of flowers...but you don't get to learn that until you move past the self-doubt and uncertainty around pricing.)

#4 – Focus On Your Website

One of the biggest changes to come from the pandemic is how customers are shopping for florists. no more looking for the local flower shop or physical retail space. More and more customers are confident shopping online – whether it's for flower delivery, signing up for a workshop or ordering wedding flowers.

These days no longer is having a physical shop the mark of a credible, well-established florist. Instead, the functionality, sophistication and ease of your website is the most important asset of a flower business. (Yes, it's way more important than that window display you wanna work on in your shop.)

In today's online shopping world, customers expect a great user experience, modern design and easy to navigate content. Plus, in today's "I can Google anything" world, they want to get answers to their questions quickly.

Having a website that aligns with your customer's needs makes a world of difference to your business growth and that's why it's #4 on my 10 things I did to grow my flower business list.

#5 – Sales Systems

Now, I know the word 'systems' makes you wanna barf. I get it. It's boring and unsexy. But even a set of email templates, a basic Google Doc you can copy + paste from will save you so much time.

But taking 20 minutes to map out your customer's path to purchase, the steps they go through from the minute they find out about you to the moment you deliver the flowers to the end recipient, the more you can put that on rinse and repeat and that's good for you, your customers and your bottom line.

Why? Well, two reasons (1) you'll save heaps of time, which is awesome. But (2) you'll also save heaps of energy and as you know, it takes a lot of energy to be a floral designer. So anything you can do to make your systems more 'rinse and repeat', the better off you'll be.

#6 – Share Your Knowledge with Your Customers

I know this sounds a little crazy, particularly in our industry where everyone wants to keep their knowledge to themselves, but all that expertise and know-how you have, use that in your marketing. Write blog posts sharing helpful tips + tricks for planning a wedding. Use your Instagram captions to educate your customers about what flowers are in season and how to get the best bang for their buck.

When I started to brave the waters of sharing more helpful content on our website and our Instagram feed, I saw a dramatic shift in our sales. The speed with which we were booking clients was so amazing! Even better, our clients started giving us more creative freedom – they trusted us more because we were so open with our expertise. It's so fun!

#7 – Instagram Hashtags + Helpful Content = More Wedding Enquiries

This combination is exactly how we landed on the preferred venue list of one of Australia's top wedding venues (with no local area contacts, no insider scoop and not all that much experience).

PRO TIP: Focus on hashtags specific to your ideal client and then create a content strategy that aligns with what matters most to your customers.

In reality, most florists are so focused on "out designing" their competition that they completely miss the opportunity that Instagram provides to us. This is where you can come in and scoop up the good customers.

And yes, even with the tise of Tiktok, Instagram is still one of the fastest ways to get found by your dream customers and get bookings at those big fancy venues.

#8 – Google Ads, Google Business Listing + Simple Online Catalogue

I wasted so much time, energy and money on sh*t that delivered $0 to our bottom line. But when it comes to increasing your order volumes and getting more customers, Google Ads is by far the best option (I'm sharing more on this in next week's blog post so stay tuned for that goodness).

Getting your Google Ads sorted, paired with the right online catalogue strategy and a basic Google Business listing and you'll start to see more online ordering coming in pretty quickly.

PRO TIP – you can have a Google Business Listing even if you don't have a physical retail space. When you set up your listing, there is a checkbox to tell Google "I don't serve clients at this location" so then you can work from home, maintain your privacy but still be listed in the places that matter most.

#9 – Build Your Flower Family

Being an entrepreneur is hard work. Having support is a must. And having the support of people who get the weird-ass flower world we operate in matters.

One of the best ways I've been able to connect with like-minded florists is to sign up for workshops. I've met some of my closest flower friends during these experiences and I know that coming together with a shared perspective, shared values and shared mission makes all the difference in the world.

Even if the other florists have travelled from far away and you don't see them in person very often, just having a network and community you can connect with, share your troubles with and ask lotsa questions, makes a world of difference for your long term growth.

#10 – Get Coaching

I landed in the world of coaching kinda late in my career. Honestly, I spent so long thinking "I should be able to do this on my own" that I know it held me back.

These days, I see such dramatic progress in my business because I find the experts who can help me and teach me. In truth, I've spent more than $100,000 on my own training and education and I have no inclination to ever stop.

But, investing in yourself is always a great investment – it's the only thing that keeps paying off year after year after year.

So, whether it's having a mentor, signing on with a business coach or joining us inside Flower Boss Bootcamp, you'll see bigger results so much faster with the help of a mentor or coach by your side.

Let's Go Deeper: How to Grow Your Flower Business Faster (FREE Resource)

In this week's podcast episode, I'm sharing one of my favourite shortcuts for creating bigger, better business results quickly. I know it all sounds a little too good to be true, but that's why I wanted to record this podcast episode.

In this episode, I share my favourite mindset hack for showing up when things aren't really going to plan (i.e. you're not making enough money). And I teach you how to get 'unstuck' when you feel like you're not making real, measurable progress in your business or you've reached a plateau in your growth.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

Why learning how to own your accomplishments matters and how it impacts your results

Why most of us consistently feel frustrated with our progress and how to break that habit

My super simple approach to learning how to own your accomplishments (even if you're convinced your goals are too big and too ambitious)

The one daily practice I've created in order to support myself on this roller coaster ride. It's super helpful even if you are making progress in your business and making money

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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How to Raise the Prices in Your Flower Business

How to Raise the Prices in Your Flower Business

Here's a question I get asked a lot: "Kathleen help!!! I'm not sure how to raise the prices in your flower business?!?!?"

Welcome to 2022, peoples. Petrol prices are rising. Staff costs are increasing. And wholesale flower prices keep going up. What's a florist to do?!?!?

If any of these questions have ever crossed your mind, you're not alone. You might be searching high and low for answers to questions and wondering about things like: What should I do about inflation? What do I need to know about raising fuel prices? Flower prices? Delivery prices? Labour prices?

You might be thinking, "Everything keeps going up. I don’t know how to counter that effectively."

You're not alone!

It's kinda like the last 24-36 months have put all of our self-doubt and fears under a magnifying glass. Maybe you're like so many florists, and last year was the year you finally wrapped your head around charging the right premium.

And now, in 2022, you're faced with rose prices almost twice what they were a little while ago. So, you're back to feeling riddled with doubt, second-guessing your approach and walking around on eggshells, afraid to raise your prices.

I'm here to help!!!

The Quickest Approach: How to Raise the Prices in Your Flower Business

Here's my simplest answer to the question, "How to raise the prices in your flower business"...don't be alarmed cause it's stupidly simple.

You. Just. Raise. Your. Prices.

Seriously.

You grab a pen and paper and you sit down and do the math. And then go into your business update your prices.

And you do that right now.

You don't need permission. You don't need a special form to make it happen. You don't need to wait until Monday or the first of the month or the beginning of the next financial year.

As the kids at Nike say, Just Do It.

Of course, it's way easier said than done, right?

For most of us, when we're told to just go rip the bandaid off, it brings up all kinds of uncertainty and self-doubt. Unpacking those stories is the real task at hand (welcome to being a human being with a human brain!).

So, here's my 3-step solution to making it work...

Step 1: Get Curious

When it comes to thinking about what's standing in your way, what's preventing you from simply going out and doubling your prices, you might feel as though there is some sort of invisible force holding you back.

That invisible force is your limiting beliefs.

We all have them.

It's that little voice in our head that comes up with dozens of seemingly valid reasons why we shouldn't just rip the bandaid off and raise our prices.

Maybe that little voice in your head is saying, "You'll lose all your customers" or "This won't last forever. Just ride it out."

Or maybe it's saying, "No one else is raising their prices. You shouldn't either."

Job #1 when it comes to taking action and learning how to raise the prices in your flower business: get curious about what little voice is offering up to you.

And do this from a space of compassion and curiosity – this is all about making space for fear and doubt. Continuing to beat yourself up and talk down to yourself ain't gonna help the situation. (Trust me, I've tried that approach!)

How do you do it? Easy, grab a pen + paper and start writing down all the stories you're telling yourself. Every single reason your brain is offering up.

All of them. Don't judge them. Don't beat yourself up for any of it. Just get curious.

Once you've filled a full piece of paper with all your thoughts, you'll begin to see that it is just that: a buncha thoughts. It's all a bunch of stories we're telling ourselves to stay safe.

Again, nothing has gone wrong here. You are a human being with a human brain and this is how the whole thing is programmed to operate.

Just the simple act of getting the words out of your head and onto paper is one of the powerful mindset management tools we can use. You start to regain your authority and power of your thinking just by seeing the words on paper.

And you start to look at the stories differently when you can actually "see" the words in front of you. It puts you and your prefrontal cortex back in the driver's seat. It's the first step in the process of learning how to raise your prices in your flower business.

Step 2: Flip the Script

One of the most fascinating features of your human brain is that it will continue to be on the lookout for evidence to support your own belief systems. Even if those belief systems aren't serving us, it's how your brain is programmed to operate.

For example, if you're telling yourself, "No one else is raising their prices therefore I can't either." Your brain is always on the lookout for proof that the story is true.

It's like a self-fulfilling prophecy and keeps you stuck in your under-earning cycle.

The beautiful thing is that the reverse is also true. You can intentionally build an entirely new belief system by finding evidence of a new story, a more empowering perspective.

This is what I call "Flip the Script".

Instead of finding examples of businesses that aren't raising their prices, be on the lookout for businesses that have.

Here's two of my most favourite examples from the past few months:

  1. Ikea – I bought this bookshelf 18 months ago for $199 AUD. Today, it retails for $269 AUD. That's a 35% price increase in just over a year.
  2. Petals Network – when I first started flowering, Sweet Thoughts was one of the cheapest flower arrangements we made. In 2015, the smallest size retailed for less than $40 AUD. Today, the smallest size is listed for $82 AUD. That's a 105% price increase.

Now it's your turn.

As you're navigating the day, go out of your way to find even more examples of businesses whose prices have increased.

Once you start to look for it, you'll start to find lots of examples (and no doubt, the petrol station is a great place to start)!

Step 3: Raise Your Prices

The best bit about raising your prices is that you actually don't need to wait until the beginning of the week, the beginning of the month or the beginning of the quarter.

You can go in right now and update your pricing.

No explanation is required.

Now, don't be surprised when your brain tells you it cannot be that easy. (Remember, nothing has gone wrong if you hear that little voice in your head saying "Oh it cannot be that easy" or "What will my customers think?")

The truth is, your most valuable customers won't be surprised by a price increase. And yes going in on a random Thursday and updating your prices really is as simple as updating your prices.

Back to Basics: Looking for my step by step guide to pricing your floral designs? Check out this helpful blog post Florist Pricing Worksheets

Let's Go Deeper: How to Raise Your Prices Like a Boss

When it comes to taking action and learning how to raise the prices in your flower business the #1 reason we avoid doing anything is based in fear.

Fear that all the customers will go away. Fear that you'll be too expensive. Fear that you'll never get another paying customer again.

No, it doesn't matter if you're a brand new floral designer with zero qualifications or if you're a seasoned veteran with a fancy shopfront. We all have these thoughts pop up.

Why? Cause you're a human being and you have a human brain. And here's the secret to being a Flower Boss: learning to overcome fear and reframe your thinking is how you take action and raise your prices.

And it's exactly what I'm digging into this in this week's podcast episode.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

Why most floral designers are afraid to raise their prices

How to overcome all the fear and take action

My step by step approach to increasing your prices

My exact approach to communicating your price increase to your most valued clients

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

 

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Flower Shop Operations

Flower Shop Operations – 4 Tips for Managing Your Cash Flow

Looking for guidance on navigating flower shop operations? You're in the right place. In this post, you'll find my four tips to help you manage your cash flow and maximise the profitability of your flower shop operations.

Don't own a flower shop? Don't stress. These four tips will help you with or without a retail space.

Are you brand new to floristry? That's OK too. No doubt, this post will pave the way and show you what matters most when it comes to setting up a flower shop and flower shop operations.

Whether you work from home, have a cute studio set-up or are navigating full-on hectic flower shop operations, having a plan or a basic framework to follow is super helpful.

Real Talk: Flower Shop Operations

The truth is, most florists get stressed AF when we talk about cash flow and managing flower shop operations.

Most humans don't wanna talk about money and most florists don't wanna look at the numbers. It's kinda like, you know you're not making enough money but you don't want to sit down and look at the numbers – it feels painful and it's like rubbing salt into a wound, right?

That's because, if you're anything like me, your brain is offering up stories about how bad it's going to be. As if sitting down and coming face to face with your finances means we'll finally need to admit "It's not working."

The truth is. You already know it's not working. Now it's time to do something about it.

The reason we put it off for so long is that we don't want to feel the shame, guilt and dread. You'll do anything you can to avoid the discomfort of sitting down and feeling nauseous, right?

Or maybe you're like so many of my Flower Boss Bootcamp students who like to stay in the story of "I'm not good at math" or "I'm not good with money."

If that's you, you're in exactly the right place.

The fact of the matter is when you make the decision to start a flower business, sorting out flower shop operations and understanding numbers is part of the game. It is your job to learn these things. That's part of what you signed up for. And the sooner you realise it's your responsibility to learn the numbers, the better off your business will be (I promise!).

I'm here to make sure it doesn't feel nearly as scary or overwhelming as it needs to be.

If you're not a numbers person, you're in the right place. If you're not good at math, you're in the right place. If you're here just to learn how to get good at managing your cash flow, you're in the right place.

Tip #1: Face the Facts

Here's the thing. The numbers don't mean anything.

Whether you're $20,000 in debt or have an extra $20,000 floating around, the numbers are just innocent characters, random numbers floating around in the stratosphere. It's our human brain that makes the numbers mean something.

And we all have these internal narratives that we tie to the numbers. We, the humans, are the ones that make the numbers mean something.

It's our internal narratives that stop us from facing the facts, from taking the time to sit down and taking charge of the situation. Making the decision to sit down and look at the numbers isn't going to change any of the facts – it's not going to make the situation any worse and, in fact, it can only get better, right?

And that's precisely what I want you to do. Embrace the discomfort. Feel the tight chest, woozy stomach, or the numbness in your shoulders and come face to face with the facts. Grab a pen + paper and simply write down the current state of the nation for your cash.

Quite literally. Don't overcomplicate things. Just taking the time to write out the current figures is one of the most empowering things you can do.

Don't put it off.

Do it now.

Literally.

This blog post will still be here when you get back and you can jump right into Tip #1.

Tip #2: Get your pricing sorted

The most common reason florists aren't able to cover their expenses is because their pricing isn't sorted.

That was totally me.

For 3 years I walked around talking myself out of raising my prices. I knew I was undercharging but I was so scared of the reaction of my customers if I raised my prices.

NEWS FLASH: All the horror stories I had running around in my brain...none of them came true. Literally. None. Of. Them.

So if you're anything like me and know you should raise your prices but keep finding dumb reasons not to do it, stop it. Stop lying to yourself and have a moment of truth. Embrace the discomfort and know that most of your customers aren't paying enough attention to even see there is a price increase (And for the 1% that do, it's OK. There are lots more customers out there who want your new, premium offer.)

(If you need help understanding the right pricing models to follow, check out this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/R5-fN3vCNJM)

Tip #3: Set up a separate bank account for your taxes

It's so easy to forget about our obligations to the tax office. We start to see the money coming in and get super excited.

But I've heard so many horror stories of florists who get slammed with $30,000 tax bills. Don't do that. In fact, do your future self a favour and start planning your cash flow to account for tax obligations. (If you're an Australian florist, throw your Superannuation into this pile too.)

Cause when you run a business, the tax office will always find out about it. Always.

If you're focused on subscriptions or daily flower deliveries, once you have the second account set up, go into your banking details and sort out an auto transfer. Transfer a percentage of your weekly revenue over to that second bank account and set it up so it's done weekly. (The percentage you set is going to vary so talk to your accountant, but a good place to start is 15-20%.)

If you're focused on events and weddings, every time a client pays an invoice, go in and transfer a percentage of that payment to your tax account. Then, when your accountant does your taxes and your tax bill come up for payment, you already have the money set aside (and possibly even more than you need).

And yes, this works if you run a corporation, a partnership or are a sole trader. And yes most banks offer up a fee-free or low free second account for little to no monthly fee.

Tip #4: Track your expenses for 30 days (or more)

There's an old adage that goes something like "What gets measured gets managed."

One of the things I wish I had done sooner was to pay attention to how much money was going out the door. I spent years just mindlessly paying bills, buying stuff I didn't really need and yeah, there were some weeks I just hoped we had enough cash in the bank to cover all the invoices.

I knew I had to get my pricing sorted but the second thing I did was start to really pay attention to where I was overspending at the wholesalers and when I was buying sh*t I didn't need. For example, I used to buy all the fancy vases and containers well before I even had a booking that I might use them for. I also had a bad habit of buying too many expensive things at the wholesalers and buying all the ribbons in all the colours.

In hindsight, I realised the power came from just paying attention. Instead of telling myself, it didn't matter, I told myself to behave like an employee in my own business and I had a responsibility to pay attention.

Once I start to take charge and began to track our expenses, I noticed I paid way more attention to what I was actually buying. I started to see where all the money was going and with a few tweaks here and there I saw a major change in the $$$ that stayed in our bank account.

Let's Go Deeper: What About Setting a Minimum to Help You Manage Your Flower Shop Operations?

Setting a minimum order value can really help increase the profitability of your flower shop operations. And I think it's safe to say, the decision to set a minimum is a pretty personal decision. Every business owner has their own priorities and logistics to navigate and there are lots of details and personal preferences to take on board.

No matter what, whether you set a minimum is 100% up to you. Just because your flower bestie has a set minimum doesn't automatically mean it's right for you too.

And, because you're the CEO, you get to decide what decision-making framework you want to follow and which math formula you want to use to determine what that minimum is.

Over the years, I've learned to look at the practicalities of setting a minimum in a few different ways, giving you the tools to help you set a minimum that works for you and your flower business.

When it comes to setting a minimum and managing your cash flow, I want you to go in with your eyes wide open and feel empowered to make the best decision you can for yourself and your business.

That's why I've recorded a podcast episode diving deep into setting minimum in your flower business and passing along three different frameworks you can follow to help you determine if a minimum (and what minimum) is right for you and your flower business

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

What a minimum is and why it can help you manage your cash flow

The strategy behind setting a minimum and a few different pros and cans to consider

Examples of minimums and how different florists use them in their business

3 different ways to calculate a minimum in your flower business

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

Enjoy the Show?

How to Price Wedding Flowers

How to Price Wedding Flowers – Example $1500 Wedding Flower Budget

Looking back now, one of the reasons I struggled so much with pricing my work was that I had no point of reference. I knew how to do the math and price to the formula but I had no reference point in terms of what specific budgets looked like for wedding flowers.

The secrecy of our industry, the fact that your closest flower friends will not share their approach with you, is one of the many reasons florists consistently undercharge and underearn.

In my experience, one of the biggest reasons florists struggle to charge the right price is because no one talks about it. So, that is the point of this little exercise here, peoples. To help fill the giant void of information and give you the tools you need to learn how to price wedding flowers with confidence.

How to Price Wedding Flowers – The Right Formula to Follow

One of the greatest blessings we’ve been handed as florists is that hundreds of thousands of florists have travelled before you, testing out the pricing formula for florists. Florists of all shapes + sizes have used this pricing model, which means you don't need to keep guessing. It truly is such a gift and makes pricing our designs so simple!

In case you’re not sure what the right formula is and you're wondering how to price wedding flowers, here is the industry standard formula for pricing wedding + events work:

Wholesale x 3.5-4 + 30-50%.

Yes, I suggest you markup all wholesale items (flowers, foliage + sundries) at the same percentages to keep it easy on yourself. And yes, delivery, set-up and pack down are over and above this equation. (They're calculated based on the specific event requirements and logistics).

To bring this equation to life, let's go through an example. Let’s say you're a floral designer who just loves an abundance of roses in your bridal bouquets (me too!). Maybe we'll keep it simple and go with a very traditional colour palette and design the entire bouquet with Vandellas. These days, they wholesale for around $2.20 per stem.

For me, based on my design aesthetic and the level of abundance I like my clients to have, I want to account for 34 stems in a bridal bouquet. Plus, let’s allow $10 (wholesale) for ribbons, tape, packaging, etc.

Following the industry-standard approach, the math works out to be $415.

[(34 x $2.20) + $10] x 3.5 + 40% = $415

Pricing Is Based on Equation. Not an Emotion.

Let's dig into an example budget and break down the specifics. If a client came to you with a $1500 budget, what could they expect to see?

With the continued rising cost of flowers, it’s fair to say $1500 doesn’t buy you what it used to, right? These days, it's the starting off point and is enough to cover a basic set of personals or a few items for a more intimate ceremony.

Here’s a few examples of how $1500 might break down for a wedding:

EXAMPLE 1

Bridal Bouquet $415 x 1
Bridesmaid Bouquet $250 x 3 = $750
Buttonhole $25 x 4 = $100 (Groom, 3 x Groomsmen)
Saturday Delivery + Drop Off (Local) = $200

EXAMPLE 2

Brial Bouquet $415 x 1
Buttonhole $25 x 3 = $75 (Groom, 2 x Father)
Front-facing floral arrangement to sit on bar or signing table = $750
Saturday Delivery + Drop Off (Local, 2 locations) = $250

Looking for a step by step tutorial to help you quote a design you've never made before? Check out this YouTube video.

You Set Your Prices. Your Customers Set Their Budget.

One of the best lessons I learned in navigating wedding enquiries is that your customers have no idea how much to allocate or budget for wedding flowers.

You know how you, as the business owner, have a hard time finding information? Now, imagine being one of your clients! It's nearly impossible.

I know it feels scary to be the florist that openly talks about budgets and wedding planning, but it is the most helpful thing you can do for your customers. Being the florist who gives your clients the tools and resources to make empowered decisions is a game changer – it sets you up for an incredible relationship because the foundation for your entire creative relationship is built on transparency and helpfulness. And yes, that relationship then gives you the space you're dreaming of to make beautiful floral art!

So, while all the other designers are making it hard for clients to find information on how to budget for wedding flowers and what $1500 (or $5,000, $15,000 or $150,000) will get them, be the brave one. The easiest way to separate yourself from the competition and stand out from the crowd is to be the florist who actually gives your clients helpful, practical information.

And I don’t mean having it hidden deep in some blog post from a hundred months ago. Or setting up an auto email to send a price list (no, it's actually not that helpful). I mean be brave AF and put together a few helpful resources your clients can find on your website and in your IG feed/profile.

As counterintuitive as it feels, your clients will love you because you're making it easy for them and will love you more because you're the most helpful.

Worried Your Competition Will Find Out About Your Prices?

Don’t be. If your competition is spending all their time focused on you, you’re winning. It means they’re not focused on your clients and that provides you with the perfect opportunity to come in and sweep them off their feet, right?

And if you’re really stuck on the idea that your competition will find out, think about how all the big companies operate. Remember, the people who run Samsung know exactly what price the iPhone is offered at. In every country in the world. Because it's right there, in our faces every day, on their website.

They've figured out how to make it work. So can you.

Struggling to feel confident in your pricing? Come join us inside Flower Boss Bootcamp. No more second-guessing, offering discounts or saying to whatever comes your way. Learn how to show up with more confidence and build a thriving flower business.

Let's Go Deeper: 3 Steps to Break the Habit of Undercharging + Underquoting

If you're anything like me and find yourself constantly underquoting and offering discounts, you're not alone. I stayed in that cycle for years in my business.

It was like the fear of making felt impossible to navigate. It felt like an impossible battle and I couldn't figure out how to break the cycle.

When it comes to sorting out how to price wedding flowers, I was constantly filled with doubt and uncertainty. But I eventually figured out a way to make it work, to shift my approach and step into the discomfort.

I don't want you to stay stuck as long as I did. On this week's podcast, I'm digging into pricing in more detail and giving you specific actions, a step by step approach to getting yourself out of the undercharging cycle. It's time to get your pricing sorted once and for all!

What you'll learn from this podcast episode:

What is causing the doubt and uncertainty and how to move through it

Why we, as creative entrepreneurs, struggle with our pricing so much (yes, it's normal!)

How to reframe your perspective and show up with more confidence

My exact approach to getting out of your own way and finally getting your pricing sorted!

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

Enjoy the Podcast?

Floral Design Pricing

Floral Design Pricing – It's Allowed to Be Easy

Trying to wrap your head around floral design pricing? I've gotcha covered.

If you're new here, welcome to the best secret corner of the interwebs! I struggled with floral design pricing for a really long time (and I'm even a formally qualified designer).

I don't think I've ever met a floral designer who hasn't struggled with their prices – I think all of us, at one time or another, have had to navigate a sense of doubt and uncertainty when it comes to being able to sort through pricing.

Looking back now, I can see now there are a few reasons I really struggled with floral design pricing in my business.

Here are four unexpected insights to make pricing your work easier than ever!

TIP #1 – Don't charge your worth.

I know, this flies in the face of the "know your worth and add tax" narrative that we often see in the creative entrepreneurship space but if you're anything like me and struggle with your self-esteem, it's time to learn that your self worth as a human has nothing to do with the value of the designs you create in your business.

As a human, your self worth is infinite. If you were to charge your worth, there wouldn't be enough 000s to make it work. Quite literally, everything you'd offer in your business would need to have a price tag on it with "Infinite $$s".

It's time to unwind all that BS we're fed as creatives, women and humans and learn that your self worth is 100% intact. You are a whole, complete and totally worthy human being.

When it comes to floral design pricing, the last time I checked, the industry-standard approach to pricing didn't have a fancy square root of "Your Self Worth" in it, does it?

(Need to brush up on the equation – jump over here and check out this post about Florist Pricing Worksheets.)

It's time to get your self worth out of the mix and just stick to the math. In fact, the math is so simple your 7-year old nephew can figure it out. That will free up so much time and energy, which you can pour into learning more about elevating your branding, marketing and sales strategies!

TIP #2 –  Your brain is lying to you.

Here's a thing we don't learn in school: your human brain is wired for negativity and driven by efficiency.

That little voice in your head that says "I cannot charge that much" and "My customers won't pay that much", they're not true stories. I know it might "feel true" but it's just a very well practised story your brain is offering up to keep you small.

Essentially these storylines are just a sneaky version of fear.

My friend, if this rings true to you, I'm here to tell you there is nothing wrong with you. You are not broken. You are a human being with a human brain and learning how your brain works is POWERFUL! (It's why it's a part of the curriculum inside my Flower Boss Bootcamp.)

The truth is, 99% of what flies through our heads in the run of a day is just a pile of sentences. Stories we tell ourselves that are on repeat almost 60,000 times a day.

But, because you are a human being and you have the ability to think about what you think about (so crazy!), you get to decide to tell yourself whatever story you want. You don't need to believe those stories that go through your head. So, if you're gonna tell yourself a story, you might as well tell yourself a story that you like, right?

TIP #3 –  Discounts, deals and low prices aren't required for floral design pricing.

Flowers are a luxury service. As in, premium. High end. Fancy.

And learning to sell a luxury service requires next-level luxury thinking.

As a floral designer offering a luxury service, trying to compete with the grab-and-go shops is a waste of time. (That strategy only works if you have the power to influence wholesale costs. Most of us don't have that kinda power, right?)

The real challenge is that we, as consumers, as humans navigating our own lives, are inundated with marketing messages for cheap products, discounts, and sales.

We use that as evidence to support the fact that being cheap is how you get customers and grow your portfolio. We're led to believe, as business owners, that's how we need to market our work.

In the end, trying to compete on price is always a race to the bottom. You are never ever going to win that race.

It's time to shift your focus and learn to play a game you can win, peoples!

TIP #4 – Play a better marketing game.

One of the best shifts I made in my business was to really believe the industry-standard approach to pricing is a gift.

Thousands of florists have come before you, testing out the limits of the pricing model and putting it to work for their business – this includes florists in small towns, florists in massive cities, florists who work from home, and florists who have cute studios.

You are a florist. That means you don't need to question the equation. Get all your excuses out of the way and get to doin' the math. Make it easier for yourself to make money and use all that time you spent spinning in circles learning how to level up your approach to marketing.

Instead of stressing about pricing or telling yourself pricing is hard, shift your focus. It's time to learn how to level up your marketing and approach it from a much more intentional, strategic point of view.

Make today the day you set your sights higher, embrace a bolder definition of branding and really embrace the fact that we are selling a premium, luxury service.

And yes, even if you're usually cost-effective blooms and low-cost foliages to offer a low-priced solution, it's still a LUXURY offering. It's handcrafted, personally designed and professionally presented.

At the end of the day, that's what your customer is actually paying for. But they don't know that if you don't tell them.

So make it your #1 priority to educate them, to break the silence and bust through the secrecy of our industry. It's time to celebrate the energy, effort and expertise that goes into making this flower magic happen.

Want a few ideas to get you going on how to level up your thinking, shift your approach? Check out this YouTube video: Brand Tips for Flower Businesses

Deep Dive: Floral Design Pricing Secrets to Success

I struggled with pricing for so long and I want to make sure you can shortcut your progress. And I know for so many of my clients – no matter what kind of design services we offer – we allow the fear of rejection to stand in the way of making real, measurable progress in our business.

It's kinda like, we know we should raise our prices but we can't seem to break the habit. We can come up with dozens of reasons why we shouldn't do and we're constantly talking ourselves out of it.

I know so many creatives struggle with this exact scenario and that is why, on this week's podcast, I've compiled my exact approach to navigating the fear of rejection, sharing 3 secrets to help you flip the script and teaching you how to be a business owner, a designer, and a human.

What you'll learn from this episode:

Being human and being a business owner means fear is a normal part of the experience

Why the secrecy of the floral design industry is standing in the way of you taking massive action and keeping you stuck in the cycle of struggling with floral design pricing

How to feel the fear and still take massive action in your design business

My 3 secrets to help you move forward and avoid letting fear of rejection drive your actions (or inaction)

 

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

Enjoy the Show?

How to Price Flowers for Valentine's Day

How to Price Flowers for Valentine's Day

Not sure how to price flowers for Valentine's Day? You're in the right place.

On our very first Valentine's Day, running our flower shop, all I had to go on was a list of last year's rose order from one of the regular wholesalers. I'm so grateful I at least had that much info, because it gave me a point of something to go on.

From there, I had to just figure it all out.

All. Of. It.

I had no idea what people liked to order or when they ordered or even how much they wanted to spend.

I felt so lost.

I mean I could sit here and paint y'all a picture of it all being sunshine and rainbows, but let's be honest. It was messy. Super duper scrappy, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, hopefully-never-to-be-repeated-again, sort of messy.

If I could wind back the clock, go back and have a little pep-talk with old me, I'd tell her to be intentional with how to price flowers for Valentine's Day.

In fact, here's exactly what I would do:

TIP 1: Price to the Equation

I was convinced there was no way I could charge that much. In Australia, our wholesale rose prices double around Valentine's Day. That really challenged me and all my limiting beliefs about money and pricing.

I was filled with so much doubt, so much hesitation when it came to raising my prices. I felt bad for charging those kinds of prices.

But then I started to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes. What happens at the growing side of things and what the rose farms needed to navigate and just how intense the pressure is for them.

At these peak trading periods, wholesalers and growers work around the clock, trying to tame Mother Nature and do everything in their power to deliver quality flowers on this one magical day of the year.

So much is out of their control and yet customers still demand they deliver. Of course, these days, navigating international logistics is at a whole new level of 'hard'.

Once I started to understand all the effort that went on behind the scenes, I really began to appreciate what this industry is being asked to do, how much pressure is on every single person all along the supply chain.

Me telling myself, "I couldn't charge that much", assuming my clients didn't want to pay a premium wasn't just hurting my business. It was hurting our staff. Our growers. The wholesalers. Every single person along the way.

It was also hurting our customers.

Once I started to realise it wasn't my job to judge whether or not I should price to the equation, I started to see how much more, what a better experience we could offer our clients.

Being able to offer best-in-class customer service, being able to hire another delivery person, and being able to navigate last-minute requests meant we were able to exceed our customer's expectations.

That was only possible after I finally sorted out my pricing.

It's time to let go of the judgement and the hesitation my friends.

It's time to decide the industry-standard approach to pricing works. It applies to florists of all shapes and sizes and is a proven model for making a profit.

In fact, it's one of the best gifts we've been given. It works. We don't need to spend hours upon hours doing all this fancy math.

And yes, it still applies on Valentine's Day too.

(If you need a refresher on pricing, check out this blog post: Florist Pricing Worksheets)

TIP 2: Your Customers Want to Spend Money

For me, one of the best lessons to learn about how to price bouquets for Valentine's Day was seeing how much humans love to spend money.

When I was younger, I always thought of Valentine's Day as a "Hallmark Holiday," something made up by a smart group of marketing people to make people buy more stuff (...actually, I still think that's true).

On a personal level, Valentine's Day isn't really my thing. Professionally though, if it makes customers happy, if it brings a smile to their face and gives them an ounce of joy, I'm here for it.

If it gets flowers in more customers' hands, sign me up! More humans need to experience the joy of flowers.

When it comes to spending money on Valentine's Day, I saw customer after customer after customer, hand over their cash, throw their credit cards at us and not ever hesitate when we would quote them $300 or $400.

Yes, there are new customers who are shocked at the prices but there's an equal number of customers who are excited to indulge, to spend over their budget and share their love.

If you struggle with confidence when it comes to pricing, decide to make Valentine's Day the time you challenge yourself, let go of your limiting beliefs around money and let go of the judgement you have on someone else's appetite or ability to pay a premium for beautiful blooms.

If your customers want to spend money, make it easy for them to spend money.

TIP 3: How to Price Flowers for Valentine's Day

When it comes to setting up your online catalogue and mapping out your offer for Valentine's Day, here is a basic framework to follow:

  1. Design 1: Bouquet of reds with a touch of pink or purple. Standard Size $147, Premium $195, Deluxe $254
  2. Design 2: Bouquet of pinks and burgundy tones. Standard Size $147, Premium $195, Deluxe $254
  3. Design 3: Vase arrangement of reds with a touch of pink or purple. Standard Size $187, Premium $243, Deluxe $316
  4. Design 4: Vase arrangement of pink and burgundy tones. Standard Size $187, Premium $243, Deluxe $316
  5. Design 5: Deluxe vase arrangement with small chocolates + bottle of prosecco $424

Now, if you're the type of designer who wants to use premium ingredients and has customers who spend more money, be ambitious with your pricing. Double what I've outlined above.

When it comes to how to price flowers for Valentine's Day, use this framework as your guide and go big.

One final note: yes wholesale prices are on the rise. It's not your job to carry the burden of supply chain issues. It's your job to level up your marketing and branding to align with the value you offer your clients.

Looking for more tips and free stuff? Be sure to check out our YouTube Channel. Click here to jump in.

Is owning a flower shop profitable?

Is Owning a Flower Shop Profitable?

So...you're wondering, Is owning a flower shop profitable?

The short answer: floristry is like every other business under the sun. It's really easy to NOT make money.

Just like in the food world, setting up a restaurant looks so glamorous and sexy. And then you realise you gotta do all the things, think about all the unsexy business things and learn how to get customers to come into your restaurant and pay you money.

The same goes for car dealerships. Coffee shops. Movie theatres. Fashion boutiques. Jewellery shops.

Like every other business on the planet, running a flower business requires a balance between creativity, design, and business know-how.

Of course, you probably know that already. That's why you're here, reading this sexy blog post, right? And you wanna get the inside scoop. You wanna learn how to go from Backyard Betty to Profitable Polly, yeah? Read on my friend!

Is owning a flower shop profitable?

Let's get to the heart of the matter. Is owning a flower shop profitable, Kathleen?

Yes.

And no.

(If you're wondering WTF kind of answer is that, let me explain...)

Running a flower business can be a highly profitable endeavour. Once you wrap your head around pricing, see the value in managing your costs, learn marketing, and conquer sales, you'll start to see a lot of money in your bank account.

But many florists I know have a dream of owning a beautiful flower shop and focus on the physical shop space as the heart of their operations. They rely on the shop space to drive marketing and sales for their flower business.

That's where things can go wrong.

I am like so many florists. I had the dream of running a beautiful flower business and thought that required having a physical shop space. That's why we bought the flower shop (quite literally because I wanted to be the one who owned the beautiful, super cute flower shop, which is what we transformed it into).

But a few years into running the shop, I realised the shop itself isn't what made our business profitable.

Fun fact: rent in our area is super-duper-duper expensive (like more expensive than in many big cities...no joke.)

Consumer behaviour has shifted so much in just a few years that I started to believe our shop was actually a community service, a not-for-profit endeavour. A gift to the all old ladies of our small town.

In fact, over five years pre-COVID, our walk-in traffic saw a steady decline, whereas online ordering steadily increased.

The real reason our flower business was so profitable is that we really understood how customers operate.

While other florists were fussing over window displays and focused on merchandising, we took a different path. We made the investment to set up a website and focused on online marketing.

That's why, when you ask me, "Is owning a flower shop profitable?", my answer is yes and no. It all comes down to context and understanding what question you're asking.

Is running a flower business profitable? Heck yes.

Is managing a flower shop and physical retail space a recipe for success? Nope.

Is owning a flower shop profitable? Yes. And no.

Don't get me wrong, our business was super profitable. But the shop itself became much more of an operational consideration rather than a driver of marketing and new orders.

It's why I will tell you, a retail space and shop front is much more about operations and logistics than it is about marketing, sales and making money.

Changing Consumer Behaviour

In today's world, more customers are ordering flowers online than ever before. Moreover, more customers are intentionally choosing to buy flowers online rather than visit a traditional brick and mortar space (check out this article from medium.com).

The past 24-months have seen an even more dramatic shift in consumer behaviour, with more customers buying flowers online than ever before.

So, if you decide to invest in a shop space, having a strong online presence and a profitable website is ridiculously important. I dare say mandatory. Because that's where your volume is going to come from to help you sustain the costs of the shop space.

Know Your Numbers

At the end of the day, you get to make the decisions that are best for you and your flower business. Go in with eyes wide open and get comfortable crunching some numbers.

Most important, map out a revenue plan and do your homework. Put some thought into your marketing priorities and figure out how many orders you need to consistently bring in to balance the cost of the rent.

And don't forget to account for staffing and other operational costs.

Many commercial leases will have mandatory trading hours. That means someone will need to be in the shop, ready to serve customers at whatever hours are set out in your lease. Insurance, electricity, internet, and water might also all be above and beyond the rental space.

Do your homework. Know your numbers and make a plan. A few hours of number crunching and talking to an accountant can save you weeks or months of heartache and frustration.

Oh, and, if you're trying to navigate the ins and outs of setting up your flower business website? Check out this blog post: Florist Website Mistakes – How to avoid the Big 5

How to Markup Staff

How to Markup Staff: A Step by Step Guide For Florists.

Topic #2,305 no one in the floral design industry talks about: How to markup staff in my flower business?

I've gotcha covered. And even better, I'm going to give you my super simple approach to making sure you're set up for success when it comes to quoting for set-up, pack down and delivery on your special event and wedding work.

What is the Right Mark-Up to Use?

Back in my past life of being a fancypants advertising exec, we used to spend hours talking about how to markup staff. It was literally how we made money.

There was a specific revenue to staff ratio we had to stick to. We weren't allowed to hire more staff until we hit a certain sales target and when we did hire new staff members we had to make sure our revenue stayed at a certain ratio.

When our revenue slumped, we had to cut down on staff. When we won new business pitches, we had to stick to a specific ratio for hiring.

Needless to say, I've lived and breathed that ratio for years. The math works. Advertising Agencies make their money based on this proven approach and, heck, if the ratio works for Ad Agencies, it's gotta be good enough for floristry, right?

Here's my super simple approach. Generally speaking, when it comes to how to markup staff in your flower business, I follow this formula

2.5-3 x freelancer hourly rate

So, if you're paying your freelancers $50 an hour, you're going to charge them out at $125 - $150 per hour.

And when you're pulling together your quotes for clients with on-site set-up, that means you're charging this amount for each person who is helping you and for every hour they're helping you.

How Do I Figure Out How Many People and How Many Hours?

Bad news bears...I've never figured out a shortcut to this one. But I do like my approach. It works for me.

The most accurate approach I've found to figure out how many people and how many hours is to sit down with a pen + paper and actually map out the day. Work through it step by step and write it all down.

Yes, if you're working at a venue you're familiar with, this is pretty straightforward. If you're working at a new venue, doing a walkthrough and talking to the venue coordinator is super important. You will want to get their rules around timing for set-up and pack-down (if they have any).

Very specifically, when it comes to figuring out how to markup staff in your flower business, here is my process in a bit more detail. Close your eyes and envision yourself on the day. Start to walk through the full experience from start to end.

Personally, I like to work backwards and start with the end in mind. So, for me, I start with the day after the event and the (dreaded) clean-up of the workspace, van and repacking candles, vases etc. I think about how I want that to go and how many people I want to help me.

I then work backwards from there. I think about what needs to happen to pack down the reception late the night of the wedding, work backwards through the reception set-up, the ceremony clean-up, the ceremony set-up, the bouquet delivery, packing the van that morning, etc. etc. etc.

It can take an hour or so to map this out, depending on how complex the project is, but I find it always gives me the best result.

Plus, the experience of working backwards really forces me to concentrate on what's happening – I find I rarely miss out on things when I approach it back to front. I know it sounds odd, but it really does work!

After I figure out how many hours of support staff I need and how many people to bring, I think do that quick bit of math.

Hourly Rate (2.5-3 x Freelance Rate) x Hours Needed x People Needed = Total Charge

And yes, if your eyes bulge and you think wowzers, that added up fast!!, you're doing it right.

HOT TIP: Instead of having one line item that says: Delivery, Set-up and Pack-down, divide that one line item into 3 or 4 separate line items. This prevents the sticker shock that happens when your clients are looking at one four, five or six-figure line item.

You'll Never Regret Over-Estimating the Hours Required

When it comes to doing wedding set-ups, I lived by the rule of having an extra pair of hands with us on the day.

Last-minute issues, production hick-ups and sudden rainstorms can throw a spanner in the works. And my goal was to be able to say 'Yeah, of course, we can help,' even if the situation had nothing to do with flowering.

Having another pair of hands to help you clean up or help the stylist lay name cards, tidy someone else's mess and help mum sort out some last-minute crises makes you indispensable. And that's what planners and venue coordinators remember the most.

Lots of florists can come in and make a room look spectacular.

But going above and beyond, being OK swiping up the floor, helping the staff reset tables and not having to stress about having someone duck out to move the van is what makes your team look like superheroes. And it's why venue managers and planners want to work with you again and again (and again).

It took me a long time to learn this.

For the first year of my business, I didn't even know I could hire freelancers or that having a pair of hands makes the work 8000 times better, let alone less stressful and easier on the body.

When I did start bringing on a team of support staff, I was always second-guessing my approach.

When I started doing large scale installations, tight turnaround and big jobs, the on-site set-up costs and pack down costs are usually more expensive than the flowering costs.

That's OK. It's totally normal. Usually, we're stuck with super tight deadlines, short set-up timeframes and limited access. That means more hands are required. More hands mean higher costs.

(If you're not sure how to quote for an event, also be sure to check out this blog post.)

How to Markup Staff and Not Freak Out Over Being Able to Charge That Much...

I used to freak out about these charges a lot...so much so that I would look at the total, immediately discount and eat into my own profitability...all before I presented the first quote to the client.

Don't do that. Learn from my mistakes.

Instead of assuming your client can't pay that much, reframe your perspective.

Remember this: it wasn't your idea to do an event at a venue with their specific set-up, pack-down and delivery requirements.

In many cases, when we talk about the requirements and timing for set-up and pack-down, it's new news to our clients. They don't learn about these rules until we get involved and tell them how things need to run on the day. And, often, they're super surprised when the labour costs more than the flowers.

At the end of the day, the decision to host an event at that location wasn't your decision. But you can still be super helpful.

Your mission is to educate and inform, give them the information they need to allow them to make the best decision for them. It's not your job to judge your client's ability to pay or worry about whether you can charge that much.

No ma'am.

Remember, your pricing is always based on an equation. Not an emotion.

Next time you need to quote for an event, use this formula for how to markup staff. It works.

Want more helpful tips? Be sure to follow me on Instagram @littlebirdbloom I'm showing up every week, passing along super helpful tips and teaching florists how to build better businesses.

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