When should florists write recipes?
Do you figure out stem counts before a client is officially under contract?
Even with a streamlined booking process, it takes precious time and TLC to put together a wedding proposal–and I like to turn my proposals around quickly–so I don’t write recipes without a commitment from the client.
I always write recipes for my weddings…
Over the years I’ve established “starting prices” for the floral elements I make most frequently (i.e. bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, arbors, cocktail pieces, delivery & set-up, etc.).
My starting prices, or “minimums”, provide enough breathing room in the budget to create work I’m proud to deliver to my clients, without adding up each stem before we’ve actually established a working relationship (ie. a contract & deposit to secure the date), let alone finalized the design, color palette or specific floral choices.
Pricing a proposal takes far less time when minimums are established for each line item.
Whether you itemize an initial proposal for a client or simply offer a “lump sum total” when quoting a job, your established minimums will allow you to price as needed to turn a profit without having to write out recipes on every proposal before you get the job.
Here’s my process for booking without a recipe:
- I send an initial proposal to a client with a minimum spend requested,
- the clients commit to working with me (ie. a signed contract & deposit),
- within the next fews months/year, we modify our plans as needed (adjusting colors, table counts, floral varieties, etc.),
- and then, once final decisions are made, I’ll invest the time to create custom recipes for their event.
What if you’re pricing something you’ve never made before?
For example, what if you haven’t made an elevated centerpiece?
Well, sometimes you need to do some mathematics and imagining and spacial relations-work with your ruler and a loamy dish to determine a price on something you’ll be making for the first time…
But if you set some starting prices for your work, and you know that elevated centerpieces are at least 3x the price of a low centerpiece, you’ll automatically have a starting point to work from and instead of trying to make it for “less”, you can simply present the “starting price on elevated pieces”…even though you haven’t made it yet! (and then, you can offer alternatives to the elevated designs if their vision isn’t aligning with the desired budget.)
Click to watch, Can you price without a recipe?…
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P.S. The wedding I talk about in this video, well, I’m happy to report that it worked out GREAT!…she ended up being an ideal client after all.
Customers should get to “yes” easily.
It’s always easier to have a pricing conversation with a client if you’re being honest & transparent.
It can be as simple as clarifying: What are your customers willing to spend? and What can you provide at that price point?
Be confident in your pricing. Because if a client walks away after you’ve already offered your best price, then they’re just not your customer! They simply couldn’t afford you.
I used to be limited in my belief about how much I could charge…
Years ago, if someone said they had a $3,000 budget, I’d say, “OK, sure, I can make that work!” I mean, I should be able to make something beautiful for $3,000, right?!…well, that depends on what the client is requesting!
Once I get some preliminary details from a client, I can introduce a starting price based on the information I’ve collected.
The client’s requested vision may be “more than the minimum”–that’s the up-side of Pinterest….we can see immediately how elaborate and lush their dream/vision is, or get a sense of how clean, focused and simple their taste may be.
Are these flowers expensive? Yes, they are.
It’s not your job to try to replicate a $450 elevated centerpiece that your customer fell in love with (on Pinterest!) for the low, low price of $150. (I’d rather make a beautiful centerpiece for $150 that’s easy for your guests to see over, instead of feeling uneasy about the “smaller scale” of an elevated piece that was cobbled together for $300 less than the inspiration photo! That’s not your job.)
I want my customers to experience value when working with me.
Charge what you’re worth and then, BE WORTH IT.
Deliver what you promise…
If the inspiration photo is “more than you’ll provide at this price”, that must be clearly stated in all of your documents. “Your inspiration photo is $450, however, we’ll make a smaller, scaled down version for $275.”
Always deliver what you promise.
Your brand is what you deliver. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver.
Never forget the trust your clients put in you/your team.
Keep doing beautiful work, floralpreneurs!
With love from me to you,
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