I wrote my first floral education article as a guest blog post for FlirtyFleurs.com back in March 2011 with 15 Tips To Book More Weddings.
I continued to submit flower business articles and videos and the rest, as they say, is herstory.
I was inspired to share what I knew so I went out on a limb to ask a knowledgable floral expert, Alicia Schwede–who didn’t know me at all–if she’d be willing to let me talk to her audience and lucky for me, she said yes!
In fact, she continued to say yes to my submissions and floral designers can find dozens of guest blog posts, videos, checklists, and I even had features in a few of the Flirty Fleurs print magazines over the years. (Scroll down to see those original 15 Tips I shared!)
I’ve covered a lot of ground over at Flirty Fleurs!
From topics like mock-ups and minimums to tipping and “extra flowers” to pricing garlands and when to get paid; scroll down for a Flirty Fleurs Playlist!
As you know if you own a business: everybody has to start somewhere. And this is where I started my floral education journey.
15 Tips To Book Weddings More Quickly (via FlirtyFleurs circa 2011!)
- Be easy to reach via e-mail. E-mail is essential to coordinating with your clients.
- Schedule consultations with the lead wedding designer—someone who is skilled and versed in weddings, works well with customers and translates ideas into designs.
- Update your portfolios and website to reflect the best of your work and professional photos are always best. This means that wedding bouquet from 1995 has to go. Heck, maybe that bouquet from 2009 has to go, too! Keep it fresh.
- Keep up! Follow trends on blogs, websites, magazines, social media, etc. You have to know what’s happening in your industry. (Your clients do!)
- Decide which services you offer and which you don’t. Are you: a floral designer; an event designer; a florist who does weddings; a wedding designer who owns a flower shop; a lighting specialist? You don’t have to be all things to all weddings!
- Do what you do. Don’t worry about what the other guys are up to.
- Be upfront about your pricing. Find out what the clients’ budget is and either do your best to stick to it or suggest what you think is a reasonable budget for what they want. Years ago I was advised to never inquire about budget and to always “up-sell” to clients planning a wedding. After all it’s their wedding day—a day to “go for it”—it’s a chance to steer them towards more expensive options. Wrong. People can’t spent money they don’t have—period.
- If the pricing or style doesn’t work, then move on. It’s OK to decide that a client is not a good fit. It will make life easier in the long run.
- Don’t overbook. Taking on more than you can handle is never a good idea.
- Require a signed contract and a reasonable deposit of at least 20-30% of the total budget to book an event.
- Be concise in proposals about what is required to book a date, when final payment is due, etc.
- If you send out a proposal and don’t hear back within a reasonable timeframe you should follow up—once—with the client to see if there are any questions you can answer.
- Charge fairly, but you have to be compensated for your flower markup, design fee, delivery and set-up, travel, etc. If you are not charging enough, then why are you working so darn hard?
- Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. (Definitely don’t do that!)
- Listen to what your clients want. Then, make it happen.
9 years later, I still stand by these tips by the way!!
After sharing my “stuff” with floral designers for years on Alicia’s blog, I finally branched out and created my website, realflowerbusiness.com, where I could create my own corner of the world to create and share. I’ve been doing so since 2015 and I’m so thankful for the thousands of florists who’ve taken the time to watch my videos, join a course, or participate in one of my Live Q&A Tuesdays on Facebook!
But I still make guest appearances on Flirty Fleurs–look for me on the first Monday of the month–including this video: Should Florists Make Mock Ups? If you’ve ever been asked to make a mock up, click to watch!
Funny story: I first knew florists were watching my educational videos when I attended a Chapel Designer’s Workshop and someone said, “I’m your biggest fan!”
It hadn’t occurred to me how many florists were actually watching my videos or reading my articles so when someone recognized me and called herself a “fan”, I must admit I was surprised. And flattered. But first and foremost I was inspired to keep creating!
I thanked Alicia in a blog post a few years ago for sharing her stage with me (read that here) and most recently on her website (see my video below) and if you’ve missed any of my Flirty Fleurs Features you can catch them all in my YouTube Playlist here.
To see some of my videos throughout the years, check out the Flirty Fleurs Playlist below!
Thanks for taking the time to tune in, Floralpreneur®! Keep doing beautiful work!
With love from me to you,
Find a Playlist on YouTube with hours of videos here:
Remember: If you like my videos, please “like” them, comment and share ’em with your best flower friends. xo.
As a floral educator, it’s always an honor to be invited to speak with floral industry professionals.
My appearances with Yvonne on Mornings With Mayesh are a few of my favorite live Q&A’s and you’ll find all 3 of my guest appearances in this post!
I’ve had some great opportunities to appear as a guest on other people’s podcasts, blogs and web shows that are worth highlighting over the next few weeks PLUS I’ll be on 2 stages in March and April where you can connect with me live (see below).
Last week I was the featured guest on The Flower Podcast and then, Scott was a guest in my Facebook group (click here to check out our live chat).
Next up, I’ll be teaching live and in person in March in Minneapolis at Koehler & Dramm. Click here for details and to sign up today!
Then, I’ll be in Portland, Maine, April 4-5th teaching at The Floral Collaborative. Click here for details and contact Katey to sign up!
Now, onto the Mornings With Mayesh Mashup….
A few notes and questions covered in our most recent chat include:
- If a customer “must have it”, then they must be willing to pay for it.
- Industry standards have variation built into them. Once you know the standards you can customize your pricing model to work for your business.
- How much should you charge for your markup and design fee?
- Selling a wedding Pre-Pinterest vs. Post-Pinterest.
- Should you itemize a wedding quote?
Click to watch here:
Grab my free eBook: Everything I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Business HERE.
Click below to watch my April 2019 chat where we address:
- Should you set a minimum on weddings?
- Do you price anything different with a hand tied vs a vase arrangement?
- How to make sure you’re not undercharging your clients
- How to charge clients appropriately
- Do you mark up high-end flowers like peonies the same as you do a carnation to keep your margins? If you do, how do you use peonies and ranunculus in everyday arrangements? Sparingly?
- Should you charge a different markup on rentals, vases, and labor?
Find a full transcript and additional show notes on the Mayesh website here: https://blog.mayesh.com/mwm-alison-ellis-talks-pricing
And in my very first appearance in April 2018 we talked about:
- Writing prompt proposals.
- Why should florists have a minimum?
- Should florists do free mock-ups?
- Why I took my minimum off my website.
- What equipment do you need to start your floral business?
Thanks so much for taking the time to tune in and watch!
Feel free to shoot me a message any time if you have questions for me. I may answer the live in one of my Tuesday Q&A’s on Facebook.
Have you ever wanted to learn with me LIVE and in person?
I have 3 words for you: March In Minneapolis.
Want to meet me there, Floralpreneur®?
I’ll be speaking live and in person in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Koehler & Dramm Wedding Show and I would LOVE to see you there!
Dates are March 20-22 and I’ll be presenting at 5 different times that you can choose from!
I’m teaching 2 different seminars on Attracting Great Clients and Closing The Sale and Pricing Strategies For Profitability.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn with me live and in person THIS is the perfect time to join me!
Running a business and being a mom isn’t an easy balancing act.
In fact, sometimes the trick is accepting the imbalance and making it work anyway!
Entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart, and if you’re going to mom and business at the same time, things aren’t going to be easy. But nobody ever said it would be easy, did they? Because nobody told me that motherhood would be a cakewalk…and I certainly knew how much my business demanded of me before jumping into the full-time job title, “mom”.
But things that are truly worth it in life are rarely easy.
I’m committed to multiple passions. My business needs me…and my family needs me…and I need me, too.
Sometimes you have to give things up for “other things” that are important to you.
Sometimes you have to sacrifice in ways you wish you didn’t.
Sometimes you don’t know how strong you are until you try.
It’s a constant process to develop good work habits, find ways to focus, and be more present in an attempt to create balance.
Click to watch a replay of my live chat “Mom Talk” from Nov. 2018 including a cameo appearance by my kid:
Truth: My time became especially precious once I became a mom.
Streamlining my sales systems to save time and maximize my profitability were essential to surviving my transition from solo-preneur to mom-preneur.
Remember: It’s not always easy, but you can do it!
Moms are tough.
Move through the tough.
Rest when you need to.
Ask for (and accept) help.
Learn to appreciate what you’re doing well!
Save Time With These Resources…
Want to streamline your sales systems? Click here to learn about my Wedding Templates for Florists!