Tomorrow I’ll return to this week’s topic on securing wedding clients, but today I’d like to respond to a few of the comments left on yesterday’s Dear Preston column.
One reader was annoyed that I so explicitly explained our mark-up system, commenting, “Ummm… and now all our brides know our costs…” Another reader disagreed with the mark-up percentages I listed, saying they would be way too high for her area.
First and foremost, I think one of the biggest mistakes we make in the bridal industry is trying to tell brides exactly how they should spend their money. There are so many wedding websites trying to tell brides what to do — no wonder our brides come to us completely confused about cost! As I tried to suggest yesterday, every bride is unique, and every bride’s budget is a very personal thing.
As for explaining our mark up to our brides, well, that’s another very personal thing. From my perspective, I need to make a living, and there’s no shame in making a profit. However, I do not offer this information up front. Instead, if a bride expresses discomfort with my rates, I won’t hesitate to break it down for her and explain why I charge what I do. You’d be surprised how many times I’m able to make a sale just by being open and honest with a client.
Now, how much you choose to charge your clients really comes down to how much you value yourself and your work. Don’t hide your value behind prices that are too low! If a client doesn’t accept that you have every right to make a profit, they are not the right client for you.
Dear Readers, would you ever share your profit margin with a client? In your area, how much of their budgets do brides spend on flowers?