Today we're excited to have Curate's Ryan O'Neil on the blog discussing a somewhat taboo topic in the industry: pricing!
If you're on any florist forum, you've seen the post. It's a gorgeous photo that some client has pulled from the underbelly of Pinterest along with a quick question,"How much would you charge for this?" If you've ever asked this question, there's a high chance that the answers to the post hurt your business more than it helped. It's time to stop asking, "How much would you charge for this?"
I get it. In our consults, we speak to florists every day who see arrangements and know exactly what they should cost. At the same time, occasionally they come up against a particular arrangement that's a bit outside of their wheelhouse, and they have a bride who wants her proposal NOW, creating the need to ask other florists, “how much would you charge for this?” Even though I understand it, here are two reasons why you should stop asking it:
1. Your pricing should be based upon the item
Any time that you are quoting an item, you are always basing it off of the fact that you should be making adequate profit off of the supplies and the labor going into it. More flowers = more money. More expensive flowers = more expensive item. You're going to want to "stem count" the item and determine how many of each type of stem you'll want to add.
In years past, it's been much more difficult to do these calculations since they had to be done manual. Luckily, technology has made this easier through tools like Curate.
2. Every florist has a different markup
It's pretty simple. Everybody is different. Our experience of talking to thousands of florists has led us to believe that there is no industry standard markup on floral work. It seems like the easy route is to find out what others are doing but the reality is that their profit margins and needs are likely so much different than what yours are.
On one particular post, I saw a florist ask for help pricing an arrangement, and someone from a completely different country gave the price they'd charge -- In their own currency without even mentioning it. The USD to AUD conversion rate is 1.25, so that poster was getting information that was over 25% incorrect in the simple currency value.
What one florist in South America would charge for an arrangement will not be profitable for a florist in the U.S. because the markups they use are going to be very different, as will the cost they're being charged by their wholesaler. To ask "What would you charge?" is to neglect a very foundational part of florist business practices which says you should do what is most profitable for your business.
Need help figuring out what your custom floral markup should be? Check out our markup calculator.
So how should you approach the situation?
There are some arrangements you see and can easily identify a price point for. Undoubtedly though, there will be a time when you come across an image from a Pinterest bride that has you stumped on what to charge. Rather than asking a florist friend what they would charge, ask them how they would go about calculating a price for the arrangement. Maybe they know that a extravagantly large floral arch over a mansion entryway will take three experienced helpers more than two hours to set up and you'll need to factor in that additional labor. They could simply tell you to charge $2,000 for the installation because you asked for pricing help. Instead, they can tell you what to factor in. And if you don't have experienced helpers, you'll know to factor in a little bit more on the labor side for an extra set of hands or extra hours spent on the arrangement to make the arrangement more profitable, rather than charging $2,000 and barely breaking even or, worse, losing money on the arrangement.
Similarly, if you're ever asked how you would price an arrangement, turn the conversation around to how you would calculate the price for the arrangement. What's the base price you're getting from your wholesaler? What's your floral markup? Your hardgood markup? Your labor markup? Are you building labor costs into the arrangement or tacking it on at the end of your proposal? There are many parts to consider when pricing an arrangement that you should break down when explaining how you came to your suggested price.
This is why Curate was created in the first place. Stem counting is an incredible headache, especially with more complex creations showing up on Pinterest. If you're wondering whether a software could help, we'd certainly love to do a personalized consultation to hear about your business and see if we can help. Let’s chat.