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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.

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  • Casey Wagner
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