The Business of Flowers

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  • The Going Bloom Team

Practical advice on pricing your floral designs and packages

What am I worth?

Practical advice on pricing your floral designs and packages


Too often, we see fellow florists undervaluing themselves by charging too little for their services. This not only affects their profit margin, but it also hurts the entire floral industry because it sets the bar for consumers. They see a low price and then they assume that all the other florists are overcharging. In reality, that “budget” florist is making very little profit or possibly even losing money trying to price their items to make their customers happy instead of pricing what their services are worth.

It’s not that these florists are intentionally trying to undercut their competition - at least I hope not! It is more likely that they’re pricing without factoring in all the other costs involved with building their arrangements.  

The price that we propose to our clients involves so much more than the flowers. Each customer relationship we build involves endless emails about everything from aesthetic to budget to the flowers, and then there is the proposal itself that we carefully consider and tailor to meet their needs... and that’s all before any money has been exchanged!

Designing for weddings, as another example, requires hours of work emailing, creating mood boards, ordering flowers, ordering vases, visiting the venue, determining the mechanics for an installation, calculating transportation costs, hiring employees, adjusting the quote when someone has a change of heart, and the list goes on.

If you’re doing all of this and your margin is giving you what you need, not burning you out, and you feel the weddings you're booking are the right fit for you - then you're probably at the right pricing structure. However, if you’re feeling like you’re not making money or not making ends meet, it might be time to consider changing up your pricing structure.

When you are charging what you’re worth, you’ll be happier, more motivated, and ultimately work less because you’ll make enough to balance out the hours. Think of it as if you were a bodybuilder. Would you rather lift more weight with less repetition or more repetition at a lower weight? It’s the same with your clients. You could take 20 weddings for a minimum of $4,000 each or 40+ weddings for a minimum of $1,800 (while spending double the time negotiating with your budget bride).

So then, when it’s all said and done, how should you be pricing everything to make sure you are coming out ahead without scaring off your potential clients?

Everybody’s a little different when it comes to deciding on your pricing formula.

The industry standard says you should be marking up your products by at least 3X with a 2.5X markup for hard goods. This will be higher in more populated areas like Seattle or LA. You’ll also want to add 25 to 40 percent on top of that markup to cover things like labor, the pre-booking correspondence, sourcing flowers, designing and sketching, visiting the venue, meetings – and all the other costs associated with your time. Time is MONEY! In your proposal you would call this cost your “design fee”. There are some florists that prefer to list out the details of this fee and break it down by the cost of each item. That will be a personal preference, but if you choose to do this technique, it will take more time and consideration when writing each proposal.

Don’t forget that you should be charging for the flowers you’re buying, not just the flowers you’re USING. If you order anemones, you know some of them won’t open. If you charge for what you sourced, you won’t end up losing money for spoilage.

Some other fees to consider adding to your repertoire (if you choose to break down your design fee) would be a transportation or mileage fee (for long distances), a striking fee, delivery fee (don’t get greedy here – just charge what it actually costs), rental fee, and the most important fee – LABOR. What are you worth? If someone were to hire you off the street, what would your hourly rate be? Estimate your time to complete the arrangements and multiply by that number.

Another approach, at least for weddings, is to start building packages for a set amount and stop asking clients about their budget. This way you can avoid all the negotiations. A client will either be ok with it or walk away. You will know that you’re getting what you’re worth and valuing yourself and your time appropriately. If you choose to do this, make sure you have at least three options – one should be the minimum you’re willing to accept, your middle pack should be perfectly priced for your ideal client and the highest option should be just close enough to the medium price point so that you can easily upsell to potential customers.

You don’t want to be the most inexpensive florist in your area; that is a disservice to yourself and to the floral community. Instead, value yourself. Treat yourself kindly, and know that you’re worth more than the bare minimum, because you are.


Developing a Brand for your Floral Business

Developing a Brand for your Floral Business

Let's be real, first impressions are one thing you never get back. There are so many cookie cutter florists out there with websites that look virtually identical. The only way a potential client can differentiate them is based on their price. As we all know, that's the last place we can afford to cut costs! If this sounds familiar, it's time to create, or reimagine, a brand for your business. 

Here are five ways to create an authentic brand that's true to you and your unique style of floral design:

1. Visual representation of your work

This is an easy one for anyone in the flower world. Simply set up an area in your shop, your home or in your backyard (weather permitting) where you can begin creating your design portfolio. You'll need great lighting, a place to set your arrangements (like a cute table or another flat surface), a back drop or white wall, OR a photo tent.

 

This is necessary to either edit the background out of the photo later, or create a visually appealing aesthetic that matches the "feeling" you're trying to convey with your images. Every time you create something that just feels like you - that represents who you are as a floral designer - set up a photoshoot and keep that image to show potential clients or share on your social media profiles.  

2. Design a stunning logo

A good logo conveys a thousand words. You want it to be representative of you. Consider the colors, the font and the shape. Do you want it to be a symbol or would you prefer it to be an emblem with your name on it?
There are a ton of resources for logos, the price will range from free to thousands of dollars. Consider using a site like Fiverr, Etsy or Upwork to hire a freelance artist or graphic designer. 

 

3. Start a Blog

Begin creating content in a blog. Some of the most inspirational floral designers I've ever met were discovered through their blog. Can't think of anything to write? Just slowly post that portfolio you created earlier with all of your gorgeous designs. 

4. Design a website

It is SO easy to get online nowadays. There's no excuse not to hop on the technology bandwagon and start creating an online presence. Connect your blog and start showcasing your work! A lot of my florist friends create standard arrangements that they always offer and allow their local customers to order those pieces for delivery. You'll be surprised at how easy it is if you use a site like WooCommerce or Squarespace. There are a ton of resources out there to help you figure out which platform will work best for you. Do your homework and choose the option that fits your budget and has an interface that you can understand. 

4. Marketing

Marketing is one of those all encompassing terms. Technically everything listed here could fall under marketing. However for our purposes, I'm talking about your colors, fonts, materials you use (direct mail/promos) and voice you use when you write, post content, and advertise. It's such a broad term, but it is SO important. 

 

5. Get social 

If you haven't yet, create social accounts on every platform. You don't need to start posting to everything right away, but you do want to make sure you get the name you want!
In fact, I don't recommend trying to master all of the social media accounts at once. Figure out the outlet that is most appealing to you and embrace it. Dive right in. Read everything you can find, attend free webinars (they're everywhere), and build a following. Once you feel comfortable and develop a routine, move on to the next social outlet. Keep doing that until you're juggling them all at once! Trust me, you'll end up loving it (or you can hire a virtual assistant to handle it all for you!). 

 

We all start somewhere, but to compete with the DIY market and the FTD cookie cutter floral industry, it is crucial that your business stand out, otherwise you'll lose that millennial sale! The new generation wants a story, they want things to be visually appealing and easy to navigate without being too cluttered.Follow the steps we've outlined here and your flower business will benefit! 

Inexpensive Tips to Appeal to your Customers

Inexpensive Tips to Appeal to your Customers

These days appearing professional is incredibly easy, even if you're just starting to branch out on your own. Follow this guide to give you the basics for creating professional appeal to captivate and lure your customers. 

Domain

Not to get too basic here, but your domain is going to be the best way to generate sales so it needs to be memorable. If your company has already been established, and the domain is taken - try adding "floral design" or "Florist" to the end. You'll also want to find a .com - it shouldn't matter, but it does. Customers will make a mental note if you use .net. Keep it short, get creative, but above all remain memorable. If you're just starting out, find a business name that fits your brand identity (more on that later), and check godaddy.com for domain availability and namecheckr.com for social media username availability. Once you find the perfect business name, buy it! 

 

 

 

Email Address


Your high-end customers will not trust you if you're emailing them from a yahoo account. A great resource is G Suite, it's basically google for business. Starting around $5 a month you can get an email address with your personal domain (employee@florist.com). An added bonus is that you can also use your account to create shared documents with your employees and coworkers - this is a HUGE time saver when you're planning for valentines day!

Social Media

You'll want to sign up for all the social media accounts you're going to use, and maybe even sites you don't think you're going to use. That way if a couple years down the line you decide to set up an account, your name hasn't been taken.https://www.instagram.com/goingbloom/

Website


This might sound intimidating, but it isn't! There are many hosts out in the interwebs that have templates you can use immediately. For floral and photography businesses I recommend Squarespace for it's visual appealing artistic themes, WordPress for it's customizability and my personal favorite Shopify for it's web hosting, apps and customer service. 

Business Cards

It's a little old fashioned, but I still think there is something classy about pulling out a business card when you're talking to potential clients about what you do. You never know who might need flowers in the future and they will remember you (or just never take the card out of their wallet). You can find business cards for almost FREE from Vistaprint or you can go really high-end and get a pack of sexy, modern cards from sites like Moo.com and RockDesign.

 

  

 

These five items are the basics for launching or redesigning your business. You'll instantly be more appealing and more professional to your customers and that will make it easier to get that sale! Good luck and happy selling!

  • Casey Wagner