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 Wedding Florist Consults

How to Wedding Florist Consults With Ease – 5 Questions to Ask Your Clients

Struggling to figure how to wedding florist consults? Here's my go-to approach to making it easier for you (and your prospective clients)!

In 2018, I must have held the record for most wedding consults done and the least number of bookings made.

When it came to figuring out finding answers on "how to wedding florist consults" I was so lost!

Seriously. It felt like a crazy hamster wheel where I would show up for the consult, ask the questions, tell them I'd send them the quote and then either get ghosted or finally hear back that they went with someone cheaper. It was happening to me every single week.

Overcoming that challenge taught me so much and, most importantly, it got me to question how I was consulting my client consults and finding new, more efficient ways to do things.

Since that time, I've really mastered the art of the wedding enquiry process and started to really see that the process of how to wedding florist consult itself isn't the end-all, be-all. Rather, it's just one step in the customer experience we're providing our clients. It's like that one meeting is simply one piece of a bigger sales process, an experience you're providing your clients.

Rule #1: There Is No One 'Right' Way To Do Consults

We all have different strengths and different personalities. Don't shy away from that and don't assume that someone else's template is going to fit you perfectly.

Instead, I want you to think about your wedding consultation process as something that is intrinsically yours, built on your strengths and structure in a way that makes it easy for you to navigate.

Make your wedding flower consult process your own and, remember, you can forever be refining it, changing it and adjusting it.

Below, I've mapped out my five favourite questions to ask clients during a consultation – feel free to use them, try them out for yourself. But also, don't feel you must stick to this formula. Make the questions your own. Play around with the specific words you use and the order you sort through the details with.

At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember when it comes to wedding consults is that this is about building a relationship. You want to show up with professionalism and focus on building trust, really getting to know your clients and understanding what makes them tick.

As crazy as it sounds, how you navigate your consultations can set you up for a huge amount of creative freedom. If you can get a sense from your clients about their vision for the day, their priorities, what they're worried about and really dig into their priorities, you'll get such a clear picture of where you can push the creative experience and where you need to stick to a specific box.

BONUS TIP: Not sure what to include on your wedding flower enquiry form? Check out this YouTube Video: 3 Questions Every Florist Should Include On Their Enquiry Form

How to Wedding Florist Consults: 5 Questions to Ask Your Clients

QUESTION 1: Paint me a vision for the day. How do you see the day unfolding?

I like to lead with this question for two reasons: yes, it's helpful to get them to explain how they see their day going. But just as important: get them talking, have them share their vision and dedicate a bit of time getting comfortable with one another at the beginning of the session.

This question is all about setting the tone for the consult and building rapport. Your clients are as nervous as you are. Use the first 5-10 minutes to settle in, generate excitement and build that personal connection.

QUESTION 2: What are you most excited about on your wedding day?

This one question is incredibly powerful because it shows you where their values are and what really matters to the two of them.

A word of warning: don't be surprised if they aren't quite sure or they each have sort of conflicting ideas of what matters.

Not having a clear answer to this question is super common and in fact, it presents you with the opportunity to become truly indispensable.

Be the one who helps them sort out their priorities and they will take your guidance and input on all the things (particularly when it comes to prioritising budgets, colour palettes and flowers to feature).

Don't be shy about sharing your point of view and bringing them back to the task at hand: prioritisation.

QUESTION 3: What is your budget?

Yes, talking about money can feel uncomfortable but this one question serves your clients as much as it serves you.

This is one area I really shied away from in the early years of my business. I didn't want to talk about money and I didn't want to feel the awkwardness. But I know, my hesitation to talk about budgets is one of the reasons I wasted so much time and got ghosted by so many clients.

Now, just like you, most humans hate talking about money. This is true for your clients as well.

Your clients are going to feel embarrassed to bring it up and might even be filled with a sense of shame because they are convinced they don't have enough money (this is true no matter how small or big their budget is).

HOT TIP: I like to include this question on their initial enquiry form to avoid that uber awkward first money conversation. It's much easier to repeat the information from their initial enquiry form than it is to have them be the first to throw their hat into the ring.

At the end of the day, 99% of our clients don't have enough money to afford their entire wish list (that's why it's called a wish list, right?).

That's OK. Remember, you are the expert. You're there to help. Make it your goal to pass along your guidance and expertise and give them the information they need for them to make the right decision for them.

QUESTION 4: What is stressing you out the most?

This question is there to really built trust and create a better bond between you and your clients.

I've found that most couples getting married don't feel like they have enough people advocating for them, cheering them on or giving them the support to make decisions from a place of empowerment. Instead, they're trying to make sure they're not hurting anyone's feelings or hoping mum doesn't blow a gasket when she hears how much that archway is.

Become your client's #1 fan and be their #1 cheer person. They'll love you for it!

In addition to building a better bond with your clients, this question is really helpful to give you a bit of a heads up as to what to watch for on the big day.

Weddings bring up all sorts of emotions for all of us and it's helpful for us to know what we're walking into on the big day, right?

For example, it's super helpful to know if the bride is super stressed about being the centre of attention or if one of the pair is dreading what their Aunt Judy is going to do on the dancefloor.

Shortcut your progress and get access to the full suite of templates + how to guides with my Wedding Enquiry Masterclass. This course is part of the Flower Boss Bootcamp study vault. Join today and fast track your enquiry process!

QUESTION 5: If you could ask me anything, what would it be?

Yep. Give them a few minutes to ask any questions they might have. And give them permission to ask anything (quite literally, tell them it's OK if they think it sounds silly).

Remember, your clients haven't done this before (or if they have, they did 10+ years ago).

Be patient and shower them in kindness. A the end of the day, I have found this approach really does help set the foundation for being able to create an even bigger, better 'wow' client experience on the day.

Go Deeper: Wedding Consults Like a BOSS

It's normal to feel super intimated and overwhelmed navigating wedding consults. Most of us spend a lot of time worrying about how to respond to questions like "how many weddings have you done before?" or "show me your portfolio?"

We stay stuck, paralysed by our own insecurities and are afraid we're going to get called out as a fraud, feeling like an imposter. This is a totally normal human response when we're doing new things.

The remedy: create a plan for success.

Yes. When it comes to how to wedding florist consults, there is a simple formula to follow.

And it doesn't need to be super-duper complicated.

In this week's podcast episode I'm sharing some of my favourite principles for sorting through your approach to conducting wedding consult and giving you the tools to show up like a Boss at your next consult.

What you'll learn from this episode:

Why most florists approach how to wedding florist consults backwards (and how to make sure you're not!)

My five-part wedding consult framework

The fastest way to win a client's trust and book better clients – even if you're new

My #1 tip for showing up with confidence at your next wedding flower consult

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript


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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

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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

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Blog Post – how to price out an event for florists

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?

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Florist Pricing Worksheet

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I struggled with pricing for years. I am a formally trained floral designer. I was taught the industry-standard approach to pricing floral arrangements on day 1. But I still second-guessed my approach.

I could not wrap my head around charging those kinds of prices. I was a new designer. I lived in a small country town. I didn’t have the same years of experience as my competition.

Today, I know I’m not alone in my struggle. 

If you’re anything like me, if you struggle with pricing floral arrangements, you’re in the right place. If you hear yourself say things like “Pricing is hard” and “I really struggle with pricing”, I want to let you in on a little secret.

Pricing is simple. It’s our inner critic that makes pricing feel hard.

One of the greatest gifts we’ve been handed as floral designers is that thousands of florists have come before us, they’ve put the industry-standard approach to pricing to the test.

The good news? It works.

The industry-standard approach to pricing works in all cases; if you’re a new designer or a veteran designer; it works if you have a cute little shop front or you work from your kitchen counter.

The industry-standard approach to pricing works if you have formal training and qualifications or if you are totally self-taught.

The industry-standard approach to pricing is an absolute gift. It’s what makes pricing so simple.

Where so many of us stumble is in feeling as though we command those kinds of prices.

You might be like so many florists, making the mistake of thinking, “I can’t charge that much”.

When we hear that voice in our head spit out these words, we’re then filled with doubt. We hesitate. We don’t show up with confidence in our sales conversations and we immediately start to undercut and discount our prices.

That was 100% me. Any time I’d sit down and do the math. I’d hear that voice say, “Kathleen, you cannot charge that much” and then I’d immediately lower the price. I was so scared to mention the right price to the customer. So I didn’t.

THE REAL CHALLENGE

How often have you heard someone utter these magic words: “Charge your worth”? That concept is exactly what got me into trouble pricing flower arrangements.

For me, the concept of “charge your worth” is a recipe for disaster.

I’ve struggled with low self-esteem for years. For me, the concept of “charge your worth” would literally translate into $0. It encouraged me to ignore the industry-standard approach to pricing flower arrangements and attach my self-worth to the value of the flowers.

Worst. Idea. Ever. 

Please learn from my experience. 

Don’t charge your worth. Charge the right price. 

It’s time to reframe your perspective and detach your worthiness from the industry-standard pricing model. 

You are 100% worthy just as you are. And there is nothing you can do to change that.

You don’t need more experience. You don’t need more followers. You don’t need a shop front to be able to command premium prices.

You just need to stop attaching your self-worth to the pricing model.

INDUSTRY-STANDARD PRICING MODELS

There are two different models to follow, depending on the type of work you’re doing.

  • Everyday Flowers = wholesale x 3 + 20%
  • Weddings + Events = wholesale x 3.5-4 + 30-50% 

Even for me, I sometimes find these particular formulas too complicated (I’m all for keeping our math as simple as possible). Here are my super simple formulas:

  • Everyday Flowers = wholesale x 4
  • Weddings + Events = wholesale x 5 (or 6) 

Delivery, set-up and pack down are then calculated over and above the design prices.

FLORIST PRICING WORKSHEET

The most important thing to know is that wherever you are on your flower business journey, the industry-standard approach to pricing DOES apply to you.

To make it easier to get your pricing sorted, I’ve created a florist pricing worksheet. There are two pages to this florist pricing worksheet:

PAGE 1 – Everyday Flowers

PAGE 2 – Weddings + Events 

Click here to download my florist pricing worksheet.

A FEW ADDITIONAL TIPS – FLORIST PRICING WORKSHEET
  1. Yes, I mark up hard goods/sundries the same. No need to overcomplicate this whole thing, peoples.
  2. Delivery, set-up + pack down are charged over and above your design prices. Yes, in many cases those charges add up to more than the design prices.  

GET EVEN MORE FREE STUFF #FORFLORISTS

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

What is a reasonable price for wedding flowers?

What is a Reasonable Price for Wedding Flowers?

I have so much empathy for couples planning a wedding. COVID or no COVID, there’s a lot to think through. With so many other expenses to cover, you'd often find them wanting to spend the least on flowers - wondering what the reasonable price for wedding flowers would be. 

When it comes to thinking about flowers + budgets at a wedding, there is so little information available. What little information is available is so confusing or utterly misleading.

Some of what is available to our clients lead them to believe they need $250,000 to create their dream wedding florals. Or, the opposite, they only need to spend $250 at the grocery store and can DIY everything.

But what about the giant opportunity between those two extremes? What about that space where 99% of floral designers make money? 

What about your typical couple who is spending anywhere from $10,000 - $80,000 on this once-in-a-lifetime event?

Something is out of alignment here. It’s time for us to show up differently and be the ones to educate our clients on what’s possible. To be proactive and be helpful.

What Is a Reasonable Price for Wedding Flowers?

Canstar.com.au published an article a few years ago, providing a summary of typical wedding expenses. In that summary, they said the average couple spent just under $3000 on flowers and decorations. That was based on an average spend of $36,000 for the wedding day.

Sounds reasonable. Why? It follows the commonly taught industry norm of allocating 10% of the total wedding flower budget to flowers.

However...in most cases, that 10% will only cover the essentials. Bouquets, boutonnieres, maybe a table arrangement or two.

These days, a lot of couples of looking for a feature ceremony experience or a "wow factor" for their reception. Those require an additional investment and likely won't be accessible if only 10% of the budget is reserved for flowers.

So, if your clients are the type to fall in love with something they saw on Pinterest or Instagram, their floral budget needs to be closer to 20-25% of their overall wedding budget.

Of course, every couple gets to define what their dream day budget is. Every couple as different priorities. 

So, the next time you’re looking for something to post to Instagram, answer your client’s biggest question:  What is a reasonable price for wedding flowers?

And give them a clear guide to follow – 10% to cover the essentials, 25% if they want flowers to be a focus of their event.

Be The Courageous Leader

One of the most frustrating parts of trying to plan a wedding is figuring out all the things. The list of to-dos is long. Real long. And most couples will spend hours and hours and hours sorting through the details for the big day.

But when they get to the part of the process where they’re looking to see what is a reasonable price for wedding flowers, they will likely come up empty-handed. They’ll be presented with those blog posts telling them how to save money on their wedding flowers. There is little to no information provided by actual florists, presenting budget and cost options.

The result? Our customers have no idea how much to budget for their wedding flowers and we floral designers are inundated with price shoppers. It’s a vicious cycle.

Let's Talk About Wedding Flowers Price Shoppers

When you Google, “Price Shopper”, this is what Google offers up:

A cost-conscious consumer or price shopper is a person who works diligently to learn how much things cost, and who also generally avoids buying expensive things. They engage in comparison shopping, which is the practice of comparing prices (to find the best deals) often in advance of actually shopping.

This definition got me thinking, I’ve never met a customer who isn’t “cost-conscious”.

I don’t mean that every client is after the lowest priced option, but every human does have their upper limit. They are cost-aware and in every instance, have a specific threshold for what they are willing to spend. And this is true in any situation, no matter what we’re selling.

This experience isn’t limited to weddings. It’s something we deal with on a daily basis. Because the price is one of the key attributes humans use to make decisions. That means that every single one of your customers is price-sensitive. They are “cost-conscious”. 

It’s time to just accept it as part of the deal.

Instead of labelling that one distinct, slightly irritating group of customers as “price shoppers”, what if we decided every human on the planet is a price shopper? 

What if we accept it as part of the normal human shopping experience? What if we decided ahead of time that every potential wedding client is going to reach out to 3+ florists for a quote.

Because that’s precisely what happens. Particularly when it comes to buying flowers.

We’re asking our clients to spend the most amount of money they’ll ever spend on flowers in their life. Like ever. And they’ve never done this before. 

In addition, everything in our industry is so secretive, totally hush-hush. Which is incredibly unhelpful for our clients. So, why do we expect them to know how much to budget for their flowers?

Unless we tell them, they can’t possibly know.

Make It Easier For Your Customers

I learned early on, one of the best ways we beat the competition was to approach things totally differently. Like, literally, do the exact opposite of what was seen as traditional in our industry.

So, when I see that no one in our industry talks about pricing and budgets, I decide it’s all I’m going to talk about.

I challenged myself to do the courageous thing. What if we took the leadership position and proactively and openly talked about pricing. 

The results were amazing. By simply approaching our marketing from a customer-first perspective, we started to win their trust early on in the relationship...like they fell in love with us before I even knew they existed.

Shift Your Perspective

We spent hours and hours and hours thinking about our clients. Thinking about what they struggle with and how we can be the most helpful humans on the planet.

When we started to look at wedding planning from our customer’s point of view, we came up with a set of super helpful tools to help our clients sort through their budget.

It worked wonders.

We started receiving enquiries that praised us for our transparency and helpfulness. Soon we were booking $7,000 + clients with little to no back and forth.

And we were rewarded because we made it easy for our customers to price shop from the luxury of their own sofa at whatever time suited them. 

Want to hear more about how we set up a system to effortlessly navigate price shoppers? Check out this week’s podcast episode (play on Spotify at the bottom of this post).

Want Help With Your Flower Business?

I teach floral designers how to take charge of their business inside my Flower Boss Bootcamp. We dig into all things marketing and money and learn the ins and outs of running an empowering flower business.

The moral of the story: Flowers are fun. But so is making money.

My Flower Boss Bootcamp is the only program available to floral designers focused entirely on the business of flowers.

Yes, we talk about navigating price shoppers and setting up simple sales systems to avoid you wasting heaps of time going back and forth with potential clients.

We talk about feeling confident with your pricing, learning to manage your costs, and growing your business.

This program will change the trajectory of your flower business. I promise.

Click here to learn more. 

 

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