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!
How do you set attainable goals?
Years ago I started following Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map for setting goals for the upcoming year. What she teaches is that you set goals based on how you want to feel in your life; not just based on what you want to accomplish or do.
I learned that I could achieve so much more by focusing on my feelings instead of just my goals (or god forbid, new year’s resolutions!), which seemed more distant and long term than something I can act upon right now.
But my desired feelings are something I can act upon at any moment. I can choose to do something that satisfies one of my desired feelings just about any time I want to.
Here’s a list of my 2020 Desired Feelings…
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I started making plans and setting goals years ago based on how I want to feel. #desiremapping changed so much about my life and the way I make business decisions. ❤️ To be honest, my core desired feelings haven’t changed much since I first did my desire map? It’s pretty straight forward: I want to feel Healthy. Sounds easy enough, right? ? ? ? I want to be mindful, but I’m using Mindfull because I don’t only want to feel present, but also full of ideas as well as spirit. ? ?? Grounded is always my goal because feeling out of control or overly emotional doesn’t suit me. Rooted, firm, and solid is more my style. ??? Connected carries several meanings and it’s a reminder to not get too lost in my solo projects…also, a reminder to keep up my content and teachings for florists around the world. ☎️?❤️ And finally, Steady. That’s a new one this year. It also carries several meanings: consistent, loyal, reliable, trustworthy…ALL qualities I strive towards. ⭐️?? So now you know all about what’s driving me! What are your desired feelings for 2020? What goals are you reaching towards? Share ‘em with me in a comment or shoot me a message! ? I’m rooting for you. ❤️
So, like I said, I can achieve one of these desired feelings just about anytime I want to.
Want to feel healthy? Then, I can workout for 30 minutes or go eat a carrot.
Need to be more mindfull? Then I can meditate for 20 minutes.
Want to feel grounded? Hey, maybe the meditation already did the trick!
Not connected enough? I can make a phone call to a friend.
Need to be more steady? I could make a new schedule or update my calendar; I could also simply follow through on something I promised I’d do.
See, it’s really that easy to create small achievable goals that not only make me more successful as a business owner, but also make me feel happier and more fulfilled in my life.
I can choose to say no more easily because if it’s not aligned with my desired feelings, then it’s a no.
I can say yes more easily, too, because if I can get closer to one of my desired feeling, then the answer is yes.
If you want to learn more about Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map click here to follow my affiliate link and get some clarity on how you can apply this process in your own journey!
By identifying 5 key desired feelings and diving deeper into this work over the years, I’ve been able to establish rules and boundaries that allow me to create space to discover more of the things I truly love and value. I hope you’ll have a year ahead filled with more of what you love, too!
With love from me to you,