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Episode #21 - Charge what it costs NOT what you think people can afford

This blog is a transcript from our Facebook live recording on 14th November

If you've ever found yourself worrying that you're going to lose a booking because you think you may be charging a bit much for that bridal bouquet, or charging less than you should because you don't think people in your area would pay anything more than that for their wedding, then this is the podcast for you.

Maybe you're a Florist who is often undercut by cheaper florists or think that charging less is actually damaging to the wedding floristry industry, then you'll also find this an interesting topic!

Speaker 1:0:05

Well, hello there, my fellow Wedding Florist friend , and welcome to the Wedding Florist Social Podcast. This is the podcast for Wedding Florist to learn all about acing their online presence. I'm your host, Vicky Laughy , and as a wedding florist of over 10 years now and a certified by digital marketer, I want to help you get the right clients, get more followers, and never be stuck for content ideas again, click the link in my description to get your free wedding florist guide, social media content creation today. Oh , hello, my fellow florist. Have I got a good one for you today? It's all about , uh, charging you with and pricing correctly, but I don't think that that short description really , uh, fully describes it or does it justice. So please do listen to at the end because , um, I think you can definitely relate to this one. It all stemmed from , um, a post on a Facebook group recently. Um , this was a , a group called the Floristry Coach , uh, which is a , a great supportive florist group run by a fellow floral educator called V Bradford. So do check it out , uh, if you are on Facebook, which hopefully you all are. And , uh, a , a fellow florist posted on there, I shall not name names, but , um, they're posted on there with a very interesting , um, interesting subject. And the gist of it was to, to charge what it costs, people should charge what it costs, not, not what you think people can afford, basically. And this was this civil cost of opinions and, and emotions and essentially what, what , um, she was referring to. I mean, it it was based around , uh, funeral letters, but definitely the same thing thing applies to , uh, to us as wedding florist as as well , uh, just florist as a whole, because I think we really , um, we really suffer from this. Some of us do anyway. Um, we , we see people a lot seeing things like , um, I should only charge such and such an amount for, you know, something when , um, because people in my area would never pay this high amount for a ral bouquet or whatever it is. And she was trying to get people to, to sort of say , to charge what it costs and not kind of what you think people can afford. And, and , you know, we , we often do this, I think, and I've certainly caught myself do it in , in the past, you know, you sort of have this impression about what people can afford, what people will pay, and you're afraid to go above that at your own , um, expense. Really. There was comments, lots of comments on , on this post , um, comments from members , uh, saying things like , uh, bricks and mortar shops or businesses with , with , with high overheads and staff , et cetera , need to keep prices high. Uh , another one said , uh, that they went out of business because they were in a deprived area and they tried to price according to what people , um, what they , they thought people would pay. So she wasn't charging very much, and, you know, that didn't end well for her. And as I said, they were scared of not getting work , um, by charging what they should. Um , and when she admitted that she shouldn't be because , uh, she's , she's a qualified flor , has been doing it for a long time and , and does a great job. Now, I think this is just such an interesting topic. I think it's something that we all encounter at some point and something that we're , we're not all on the same page about either. Sadly, I have certainly been guilty in the past of saying things like , uh, oh, but they probably won't even go for that. Uh , so I'll just charge X amount of pounds or trying to do them the best deal I can so that I can get the book in. For example, you do feel like fear kick , don't you? Um , and I'll hold my hands up to that. I even remember it being really scary when I put my prices up a few years ago when I really sort of leveled my business and started charging what I should. Um , so I put prices up to, to realistic levels, not even to crazy levels. And I started sending out quotes with those new prices , um, and I was thinking, Oh my God, I bet they come back with a thanks, but no thanks kind of thing. But lo and behold, they booked <laugh> and, but not just that they , they were happy to book. Um , they were excited that they'd managed to book me and even grateful that I'd taken them on. Now, what a difference that was to what I was used to. Now, Bryon and markup can of course vary from area to area and from florist to florist, you know, depends on what country we're in and , and what area the , the country and, and things like that. And, you know, we all bring something different to the table, so we as , as well. So this is , uh, the main reason why I don't have a pricing guide on my website, because then, well, first of all, that just makes it all about price. But um, more , more importantly, the the , the customers then just looking at prices. All they're doing is comparing places that they're not comparing the florist, you know, and we all bring something different to the table. So my bridal bouquets are different from another florist, bridal bouquets. And I , I might put different things in there, or like to use more luxurious flowers, for example, or , um, you know, I work differently from, from you listening to this right now, you know, so , so we all bring something different to the table and we're all different people and things like that, so, so yeah, prices and markup and what have you can vary from florist to florist and area to area. But as a general rule, despite all that , I think we should all be charging at a similar level or, or at least a level that is appropriate for our, our country or our area. You know, I'm , I'm from the UK so , um, it's not like we're a huge country like the US where there might be differences from the east to the west coast or something like that. Um, I don't know any American florist listening do , do let me know , uh, if there is much of a price difference there. But I think we should be sort of , um, on par, I guess is the , is the right , uh, the right way to put it. Now , there were comments on this Facebook , uh, post saying things about not being able to charge more than X amount of pounds because people in their area would never pay that, or that because they worked from home, they don't charge as much as a brick and mortar florist because they don't have the overheads and the staff and the rent and all that sort of thing. I could go into so much detail about that, that sort of shocked me when I , when I heard that. But it , it , it , cuz it really shouldn't make any differences to where you work. But this way of thinking can actually be quite damaging in a number of ways, really. I'd say firstly, it can be damaging to your brand, you know, if you are seen as the , the cheapest, then you , you're limiting yourself. You're only ever gonna be able to attract cheap weddings , um, with people who don't really value your work. Um, you are also, it's , it's , it's , you know, it's also damaging to your business , uh, in terms of longevity. Uh , you know, you need to, you know , when you take a book in, you need to be in business in a year, year or two's time or whenever this wedding is that you've booked. I think particularly as wedding flott, you know, we have this responsibility to be in business at the time of that wedding. And I've seen florets before, also heard stories anyway about florist who haven't done that. You know, they haven't charged enough to ensure that their business can kind of weather the storm and ride the waves that inevitably come with business. And they've gone out of business and, and the , the , the couples that their book have kind of been left hanging, really. I had a consultation with a bride the other week actually. And , um, she was sort of in , in a very nice way. She , she did end up booking, by the way, this bride , um, in a very nice way. She was sort of saying she was , she was shocked at how much everything costs , you know, and I think a lot of couples are, cuz this is usually the first time that they've done this. Um , but she was saying she was shocked how much at how much everything costs. And , uh, it was her sister who had gotten married a few years ago and she said that she , I can't remember exactly what it was now, but she, she'd gotten various items like the bouquet and all sorts of other things, and she , she paid an insanely low amount. It was about 300 pounds, which is absolutely nothing that would probably buy you two bridal bookers from me. Um, but it was an insanely low amount for this, this list of items that she got. And I was just very blunt with it . Um, and I said to this bride of mine , Yeah, and I bet that florist isn't in business anymore, are they? And she said, Actually, no, no, they're not . You're right. Um , so, you know, in terms of the longevity of your business, you need to be charging enough to , to ride those waves as , as it work , you know , we have quiet times, we have difficult times, you know, there's all sorts of things and we have a responsibility to both ourselves and our couples to be in business in a year's time or two years whenever the wedding is. But in terms of the bigger picture, it can also be really damaging to the industry as well. I think there's this , uh, popular misconception that , uh, you know, when we , when somebody mentions the word wedding that we slap on a few zeroes, <laugh> , um, and this, there's this distrust of the industry almost, of , of the wedding industry and the , and the floral industry really, because they think, just because we've heard that w word that we, we just start slapping on extra zeros. And that's, as you know, not the case at all. There's , you know, we , we charge appropriately for weddings because there's so much work that goes into them. It's certainly not a case of just turning up at a shop one day and magically getting, you know, what you had on your Pinterest board. There's a lot of work that goes into it, and there's emails and there's consultations and there's the planning and designing and, and you put a lot more of yourself into it. And I think, so charging less sort of only serves to , um, reinforce that distrust. I think , uh, you know, if people are saying , um, some florist charging like a hundred pounds for one item and then other florist charging three or 400 pounds for an item, you know, there's , there's gonna be a confusion and distrust there, I think. So it's doing the industry a disservice when , when you charge less than you should in your head, you might be discharging cautiously or doing what you can to get the book in, but it can be very damaging to the industry as a whole. In fact, it only makes it more difficult for people to charge correctly when you are charging cautiously. Um, so yeah, it can be damaging in a number of ways. It can prevent you from getting bookings, in fact, because let's say a couple are planning a wedding in , they're faced with three or four different quotes and you know , the cheapest and they're going to wonder why aren't they, because there's that kind strange psychol psychological effect that makes them think there must be something wrong with this person. Why are they so cheap? Um, I often use a , a story of when I was , um, having my front garden landscaped , um, at home , uh, to demonstrate this. And we contacted three , um, three , three companies to , to give us a quote on this. And one company, well, they didn't even turn up actually. So , um, we didn't book them. Uh , and , and then there was two other quotes. One was really cheap and one was kind of, I wouldn't say hi , but it was uncomfortable. So that left of , in a position of choosing between these two people, the third one knocked themselves out of the race for that because they didn't even turn up when they said they would. But we actually ended up going with the higher quote because of a couple of reasons. First of all, we were sort of thinking, hang on, you know, what's wrong with this other person? Why, why are they so cheap? There's gotta be a reason why they're not charging much at all. And it, and it sort of made us distrust them. You know, we , we booked this person with the higher quote because we had trust in them and , and they clearly demonstrated that they were going to do a better job of it as well. When they were quoting, they were quite thorough. And , you know, when they came out to , to , to the , to our house and , and they looked around the , the front garden, or in America, you call it yard, I think. Uh , so they say they looked , uh, looked around and , and they were being very thorough and measuring and things like this. And , and the other guy just, just didn't do that at all. Uh , so we ended up booking the one who we were more confident in, and that happened to be the higher priced one, but simply based on price alone, there was a very strange sort of distrust of, well , hang on , what are we getting for this very low amount here? Probably not much. It's the same with white and flowers. And I just wanna to , um, sort of give a , a quote here from , uh, one of my , uh, people in the industry that I very much admire , um, who's Allison Ellis , uh, of , uh, follow her group as well. She runs a group called , uh, Real Flower Business by Alice Ellis . She's very good. And I was listening to one of her videos once, and , um, she came out with a quote and she said, In the race to be the cheapest, nobody wins <laugh> . And that has just always, always stuck with me. So thank you Allison for that. If you're listening to this today, it's always stuck with me and I wanted to repeat it because I think it should stick with you too . Um , and there is to be the cheapest, nobody wins. It's very, very true. So what makes us struggle with this so much? You know, why do, why does so many of us feel guilty for charging more or , or should I say charging what we should? Why do we feel scared or anxious when typing a number into a quote? You know, sometimes we feel even uncomfortable doing that, don't we? Uh , why do some of us actually even, you know, wholeheartedly believe that we have to work around what's best for the client, you know, in irrespective of our own needs as a business owner? I think it's a lot to do with how we've been conditioned growing up, to be honest. You know, we've heard stories growing up such as , um, that's too expensive. We can't afford that, or We should cut back on a, so we can afford B or maybe we've always spent on the shopping this week, or whatever it is . You've probably heard your parents saying that growing up. And this affects us as adults. It , it , it manifests itself in our adult lives in ways such as this when as a grown up , uh, business owners , um, you know, when we're typing up a quote for a client and we, before we've even shown the client or had any input from them, by the way, are already convincing ourselves that they'll never go for it or that they won't be able to afford it. And hands up, if you've ever by the way , uh, lowered a price at that stage to a level that you think is acceptable for the client. I know I have, I'm ashamed to say , um, it's something that I even struggle with now, although I don't act on , on , on those thoughts, but it's something that I struggle with now. I still get that feeling 12 years on and almost that I, you know, maybe, maybe I shouldn't charge that much because they might not go for it. And, you know, I hold my hands up to that and , and , um, I do, I certainly don't lower my prices, but , but I still have those thoughts because I know I'm , I'm worth it as they say on the L'Oreal outfits. But, you know, I think it's also to do with our own confidence as well. Sometimes as creative people, we are our own worst critic, I think. And , um, sometimes we , we never think we're good enough, do we? So to have enough confidence to say, Well, that's my price. If you want me, you'll book me. It can be a huge deal, can't it? I mean, the good news is that we , uh, we can attract the kind of client we want and location, need and matter. And this is kind of the , the whole basis of what I teach you guys is that we, we use our online presence to prequalify people and fill the people out who quite aren't right for us, maybe. Uh , and , and we use it to attract the ones who are right for us and , uh, to reach and or get in front of amazing clients who wouldn't have otherwise found us as well. I attract couples from all over the world because they're getting married in the area that I live and work in, and they've found me online. Uh , we're quite lucky to live in an area here where , um, we have some stunning venues. We have an abundance of stunning venues, and we also have a couple of major universities here. So , um, a lot of couples are , you know, they've met here, they met at university here, and they've gone into the world and done their own thing, but they wanna come back here and , and get married because that's where they met. So I attract people from all over the world because of that. I've had clients from , uh, Canada, from New Zealand, Australia , um, China, all sorts of places who , and it's because they've found me online. Um , sometimes they're from the other end of the country as as as well. And they wanna just come back to the area where their family are and they wanna get married here and , and they're gonna google , um, florist in the area or florist at that venue that they're getting married at. You know, with our website and social media, we get to attract the couples who are, who are right for us. And this is why I'm so adamant about every couple filling in my website inquiry form rather than just , uh, arranging a consultation off the back of a few WhatsApp messages. Don't get me started on WhatsApp messages, by the way, from clients , Um, because then , you know, then they get to see your, your brand and your style and , and what you're all about , uh, before you've even spent any time with them, really. And let's face it, as as small business owners, our time is , is very precious indeed. It it should come at a premium. Now, this is partly why I did like a free training on my own Facebook group recently. Um , if you're not a member yet, the link is in the podcast description. It's the , the worldwide wedding florist community over on Facebook. And I did a free three day training with , uh, people , uh, who are members recently. Um , because at this time of year when it kind of quietens down for me wedding wise , I like to get caught up on stuff like that. So I updated my own website to, you know, for , for a variety of reasons, but to remain current and update the SEO side of things and lot , lots of different things. You know, my style, it needs to be, needed to be sort of kept up to date and reflected and , and what have you. So I , I took the group members through that process as well so that they could benefit from it too. So if you're not already a member, hop on over and , and have a little look at that. Um, but I just wanted to sort of wind up by saying that you , to reassure you really , and remind you that we are in business to benefit us and to make a live in doing something that we love. We are not there to put the client's best interests at heart . And sure , it's, it's nice to, you know, great to have happy clients and everything, but we have to do this for us and remain in business and in remain in a business that we enjoy running. More importantly too, a happy client does not equal less money for you. I , I want you to <laugh> , I want you to say that again. I want you to repeat that. Maybe if you need to stand in front of the mirror and repeat it, Happy client does not equal less money for you. It's, that's , that's a huge , hugely important thing. It's , and it's a big misconception that people have that we need to charge less to be able to please the customer. And that is simply not the case. Uh , I am living proof of that, you know, my , my clients, no matter what they're paying, I book clients that are happy to just be with me, that they're happy that I've taken them on and they're looking forward to working with me. They are not happy because I've given them a great deal or , uh, you know, if I charge them less, they will not be any happier, happy client does not equal less money for you. So just to finish off, I would just wanna say price correctly, price was confidence and price for you. Thank you for listening and Flower on. Well , thanks so much for listening all the way to the end of Wedding Floris Social. Remember to hit subscribe so that you don't miss out on any future episodes. And if you want access to some free community and support, then head across to Facebook and look me up on the Worldwide Wedding Florist Community Group . I look forward to seeing you there .

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