How To Price Out An Event For Florists

So, you’ve got your head wrapped around pricing out your designs. But you’re totally confused about how to calculate set-up, delivery and pack down?

Me too!

I used to be totally confused about how to go about quoting an event. Because our industry is so secretive, trying to figure out how other florists do these things is next to impossible.

That secrecy leads to total confusion, mixed messages and a huge amount of under-earning in our industry.

You know who wins with all this secrecy? No one. 

Our customers don’t learn how this whole flowering thing works. Our industry is limited in its growth potential. 

Your business is no better off. You, as the CEO, are left frustrated irritated and annoyed. On top of all of that, you’re not making any money. 

I’m on a mission to help florists get their pricing sorted. And that includes mapping out exactly how to price out an event for florists.

TWO SIMPLE STEPS: HOW TO PRICE OUT AN EVENT FOR FLORISTS

The most important thing to remember is that making the designs and delivering the designs are two things entirely.

I like to think about it like this: (1) this is the cost of the table arrangement (2) here is the premium for making it look perfect on the right day, at the right time, at the right venue.  

STEP 1 – PRICING YOUR DESIGNS

If you don’t know the industry-standard approach to pricing, be sure to jump in and read this blog post: Florist Pricing Worksheets. I go into detail on the right pricing formulas for florists.

STEP 2 – HOW TO QUOTE FOR DELIVERY, SET-UP + PACK DOWN

Don’t be alarmed. In many cases delivery, set-up and pack down are often more than the total of the designs themselves. 

Why? Because many times we are working with super short timeframes and that requires more hands. More hands always require more budget.

Here’s one of the best lessons I learned having done 500 weddings in five years: it’s not your responsibility to absorb the costs associated with your clients’ decisions. This is particularly true when it comes to navigating the venue’s requirements for set-up, delivery and pack down or navigating your clients’ requirements for a specific delivery timeline..

Working at one of Australia’s leading wedding venues required us to work by a very strict schedule: ceiling installations had to be set up and done between 7:30 am and 9 am (the venue opened for coffee and lunch during the day); reception table styling had to be done between 4 pm and 5:30 pm; pack down had to be done immediately following the reception that evening (oftentimes 11 pm).

When I first started doing weddings there, I assumed it was my job to absorb the costs of adhering to those strict timelines. My perspective shifted when I learned it’s my client who was deciding to get married at this beautiful venue. No me.

It was my client who didn’t know the venue had such strict rules when they booked in. It was my client who had no idea what needed to go into making the magic happen. 

It’s not up to you to absorb all those costs. It’s up to you to educate your client on the ins and outs and what is required in terms of the timing, the team and the logistics. And in most cases, our clients don’t about the requirements or details until you tell them about it.

Your job is to simply give your clients the information they need, give them guidance and allow them to make the best decision for themselves based on the information at hand.   

When it comes to figuring how to price an event for florists, I follow a pretty simple formula: hourly rate you charge your customer x how many people hours to the work done in the timeframe.

 

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

First things first, let’s talk about how much to charge per person per hour.

In Australia, we have a whole section of the government that manages hourly rates and minimum pay for staff. Florists fall under the General Retail Award. We are required to pay a minimum amount to casual staff, which varies depending on their qualifications and experience as well as the day and time we’re enlisting their help. Click here to check out the hourly rates

Even if you live overseas, I highly recommend you follow the same rates + train of thought. Adjust for local currencies, but yes, you can charge these kinds of prices. 

For the purposes of simplicity, let’s say we’re paying a casual staff member or freelancer $40 an hour for a Saturday set-up. The rate you’re going to charge this one staff member out at will be x 2.5-3 times the rate you’re paying them. So you’re charging your client, $100-$120 per person per hour.

Next, you’ll need to figure out how many people hours you’ll need to make the magic happen. This can feel sort of tedious, but I recommend taking the time to map it out properly, from start to finish, including:

  • Organising items
  • Packing the van
  • Driving to the venue
  • Unloading the van
  • Doing the set-up
  • Clean up at the venue
  • Touching base with the venue coordinator
  • Driving back to the studio
  • Clean up van
  • Clean up studio
  • Restock + tidy as needed

I also like to jump onto Google Maps and put the various destinations into the map planner. You can even adjust the timing to account for traffic or delays to get an accurate estimate of time.

Depending on the scope of the work and the travel time, your delivery and set-up charges can be many thousands of dollars. Don’t be alarmed. It means you’re doing it right! This is the premium required to pay staff well and do a phenomenal job for your clients.

CHARGING FOR STRIKE / PACK DOWN

When it comes to learning how to price out an event for florists, I learned the hard way that late-night bump-outs / strike / pack downs command a further premium – particularly when the venue has strict rules and timeframes. 

You can enlist the help of freelancers or specialist event companies to make this process super easy on yourself. But even if you decide to do this part of the process yourself, be sure to add a premium to the hourly rate you charge. An additional 30-50% can be added on to the per person hourly rates you’re charging for these late-night services. 

I also know some event companies charge a flat rate for this so even for a seemingly simple strike, they charge a minimum $500 or $1,000 fee. 

One last lesson learned about the pack down: add on a fee for disposal of the product. With almost every event we did, we would have a fan full of foliage and florals from the ceiling installation. It was more than I could put in our domestic compost bin.

We’d have sort through this product and take it to our local council green waste and recycling centre. The time and costs associated with this are part of the project. 

ONE MORE SUPER AWESOME SALES TIP

When I present the quote to my client, including set-up, delivery and pack down, I like to break those three costs out into 3-4 separate line items. So, instead of having one line item that says “Labour = $4500”, I will go into more detail and have a line item for each piece of the puzzle. 

This helps avoid the sticker shock your clients often feel when they see the costs associated with making the magic happen on the right day, at the right time, at the right venue. 

NEED HELP BUILDING YOUR FLOWER BUSINESS?

It’s time to learn the secrets of successful florists – sign up for my {Free} Ultimate Guide to Building a Thriving Flower Business. CLICK HERE to get immediate access.

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