Frequently Asked Questions: Can a beginner charge high-end prices?

fresh flowers

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Of course you can…as long as you can get it. Pricing is always a very tricky dance. However, so is the product you offer from the very beginning of your business.

As you probably know by now, I started as a florist. When I first began, I made an instinctive choice to work with only the best and most expensive flowers available at the time.

In 1980, these were:

–Casablanca lilies (in great demand at the time)
–Rubrum lilies
–Peonies (pictured)
–Vanda orchids
–Imported roses from Holland.

Well, little did I know, this simple choice was my first step to being considered a high-end brand, and later to gain the reputation that still follows me around (one I no longer defend) of being very expensive. The lesson learned? If your choice is to choose the best quality available to you in your industry, while giving the best service possible, then yes, you are going to position yourself as a high-end brand and therefore you need to start the delicate dance of charging accordingly.

The difficulties you might encounter are the following:

1. Credibility. Your clients are going to ask, “Who do they think they are charging those prices? They have a lot of nerve. Solution: You need to have a very clear breakdown and explanation of your charges, expenses and profit to explain to your clients. Even then, good luck.

2. Experience. I cannot tell you the many costly mistakes I made at the beginning. I paid for these mistakes myself and did not bill the clients.
So yes, If you think your product has a high-end value, and if you have a client that is willing to pay, BRAVO. But, in my humble experience, one needs to work up to charging high-end prices after ironing out all the kinks in their business.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this subject. Do you think a beginner should charge high-end prices? What choices have you made to position youself as a high-end, respectable brand? And, what is the one suggestion you might have for us all?