How I learned from my early pricing mistakes as a new paper floristOct 15, 2020
Small business owners the world over have struggled with the same issue: how to price goods and services—and here in the paper flower industry, we’re no different. My journey with figuring out pricing as a paper florist started before I even knew I wanted a career in paper flowers.
Some years ago I had surgery on my back and was easing back into my work as an event planner. One of my brides asked if I could make paper flowers for her decor. With my yes can-do attitude (that I know so many of you have, too!), I, of course, said yes. She wanted flowers made in purple and from music sheets since she and her husband were avid musicians. I scoured YouTube channels and books about making paper flowers, and this was before crepe paper flowers were very popular. It took some time, but eventually, I figured it out.
Because it was my first time making paper flowers, I took on the brunt of the cost of making them. Luckily, I was able to roll the cost of supplies and a little of my time into the wedding cost, but I didn’t make anything on the time I spent researching and most of the time spent making the flowers. I don’t regret this happening. You have to start somewhere, and this was my opportunity to try something new. I absorbed the cost, but quickly learned my lesson about pricing.
I know many of you with your own small paper floral business have similar stories, too. Like me, you might not have even known what you were getting yourself into! I certainly didn’t know that it would lead me into such a creative field filled with imaginative and resourceful people who think outside the box.
That creativity doesn’t always come with business know-how, though, and that’s okay. You can learn! The biggest advice I can offer to beginner paper florists is to understand your numbers. Know your supply and overhead costs. Don’t forget to add in your process time before you even start creating your paper flowers. This personal time should include the time you spend emailing back and forth with your client, as well as the research time finding the right papers, colors, and flowers that you will make for your client.
That said, you also have to be realistic about that cost. Are you a quick learner or a slow one? What is the industry average? If you can’t figure that out, look into similar goods like the fresh flower industry that are a bit larger than the world of paper flowers. You can join the various Facebook groups that help other florist entrepreneurs. This is an amazing FREE resource. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. People really do want to share and help you, but they can’t answer a question you don’t ask.
If you need more help with pricing—and all of us can benefit from some introspection on our prices, no matter how experienced we are—I welcome you to join us at the Paper X Talk happening this Saturday, October 17 at 9 am PST / 12 pm EST. Our lecture series is all about Pricing with Confidence. Besides me, our discussion will also include paper florist Jessie Chui, fresh florist Erin Shackelford, and flower grower Jesalyn Pettigrew. We’re all small business owners who will discuss our pricing strategies. The series on pricing will continue on November 14 and December 5.
Only 95 tickets are available for each lecture, so reserve your tickets now. Only $5 each for members of The Paper Florists Collective Member Directory or for Patrons of The Paper Florists Collective on Patreon. Non-members can buy tickets for $8 for each lecture. You won’t want to miss out on this incredible opportunity to improve your pricing and get your questions answered.
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