Being a wedding and event florist will never be the same. And that means the event terms and conditions you agree to with your customers will never be the same either.
Now that we can all check the box around experiencing a global pandemic (was that actually on anyone’s list?), we are all changed humans.
As business owners and as clients.
As business owners, for many of us, our worst case scenario came true. But the same goes for our beautiful clients. There were no winners in the wedding and events industry in 2020.
It’s the understatement of the century to say our industry was devastated in 2020. Absolutely, 100% utterly demolished. Decimated.
And, while everyone is rushing back into a new “normal”, we wedding florists need to know what we’re stepping in to. Because from this experience, we know now that the worst case scenario is possible.
It is possible to have $200,000 of work on the calendar for the year and walk away with $25,000. Through no fault of your own.
However, the reality is we navigated the situation differently to other business owners. We put up a fight. We stood our ground. And the reason we could do that is because we had thought through our event terms and conditions beforehand.
And I’m so proud that we did.
But first things first – I am not a lawyer. So don't assume that my experience will apply to you as every situation is different and every country/state's laws are different. As you'll see, the best advice I can give you is to engage a contract lawyer in your area. They're not nearly as expensive as you think and are worth every penny.
That said, here's what 2020 taught me about event terms and conditions.
Standing your ground requires knowledge
As a business owner, no matter the size of your business or how long you’ve been trading for, you need to know your rights and obligations.
In addition, you need to know your entitlements as a business owner and have solid agreements in place with your customers in the form of a contract.
So many florists are scared to think about contracts and terms and conditions. But I’m one of the few who actually feels more empowered having a clear set of event terms and conditions in place.
Your contract is nothing to be scared of. It’s there to project your business. It’s there to protect your clients and to educate your customers on “if this then that”.
Event terms and conditions are one of the most helpful resources your business has. And your future self will be infinitely grateful if you sit down today to create a clear set of terms and conditions for your business.
Remember, these sample T+C's are only to show you the types of things to consider. Everyone's business is different and every country has its own laws that can differ from this example. So, find yourself a contract lawyer. They’re great people. They are there to help you. And they’re nowhere near as expensive as you think they are.
This goes beyond COVID-19
Setting aside the realities of a global pandemic, you need to think about what you’re going to do, and how you’re going to fulfill your agreement, in the event that something sudden and / or terrible happens to you or your family.
This is the reality of being a business owner – in a global pandemic or not. What is your Plan B for making sure you can fulfill your contract if you, as the head of your design business, is ‘Out of Order’?
I know none of us wants to think about getting sick or something tragic happening to a family member, but it is necessary. It is a reality of being human and being a business owner.
Shit happens. What are you contractually obligated to do, when it does happen? How are you going to handle that situation?
What happens if your clients decide to cancel their wedding for personal reasons? Or if the venue burns down or the client cannot deliver on their side of the agreement?
These are very real situations that do happen. It’s time to put your big girl pants on and make some very adult decisions.
Then, enlist the help of a contract lawyer and put these decisions into writing in the form of your event terms and conditions.
Event terms and conditions in 2021
Now that we know a global pandemic is possible, we need to step up and provide even more guidance and expertise to our clients.
Yes, sometimes brides can be a handful, even on a good day. However, now is the time to double down and be twice as helpful and share twice as much expertise.
Tell them what your corporate policy is for navigating COVID-19. Be on the front foot, be open and share your side of the experience with them.
Here are three things you need to consider going into 2021 as a wedding designer:
- More uncertainty on your client’s behalf requires more professionalism, more proactive help and more reassurance on your part.
- Having a contract is no longer a “nice-to-have”, it’s an absolute must if you want to run a legitimate business.
- Be more helpful than you’ve ever been before. Your clients need guidance and support. Be there for them. But don’t hesitate to also stand your ground.
I never thought I’d be here telling you that our event terms and conditions are one of the most favourite things we created in our business...but they are.
And I’m so grateful for the challenges we faced in 2020 so that I can be the one to tell you, getting your event terms and conditions sorted is 100% worth the time, energy and money.
Your future self with thank you. Tremendously.
Example Terms + Conditions
Get your grubby hands on our example terms and conditions in the Big Ass Folder of Free Shiz:
Flower Boss Bootcamp
Finally, if you need help with your business, check out my Flower Boss Bootcamp. I created this one-of-a-kind program specifically to help floral designers, just like you, master the business of flowers.
I'd love to see you there!
P.S. I've done a podcast on this topic which you may like. Find it on Spotify here or listen on the player below.