Q&A :: Discussing Ethics in the Flower Business

Hi Flower Friends,
Today’s Q&A comes to us from Michigan. (you can read all the questions here)

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Hi There!

I am in a quandary that seems to always resurface and I would LOVE to hear what others have to say about the topic of event/floral design ethics and code of conduct. ((Can I remain anonymous so I can blast all over social media?!)) Specifically when it comes to those clients who will do anything to undercut vendors … For example; the client who asks you to check out a proposal from a competing florist and offer them a better price…I personally will not touch these as I prefer not to work with clients who work this way. Or a competing vendor who sneakily gets a shopper to check out your pricing…PLEASE STOP! I guess I just wonder what others do/think/feel about this type of behavior and if we as professionals could agree as a whole to educate our clients about the nature of our creative business and respect our intellectual and creative property.

Food for thought…

Signed, Anonymous in Michigan

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The Answers —

Well this just happened to me a few weeks back. Planner said we loved your proposal but we loved the other florist’s proposal even more …and we are hoping that you can match it. My answer was no. I told the event planner to reach out to the other florist and let them know they needed to  rework their design to meet the client’s budget. I’m glad the planner never sent the competing florist’s proposal because that would have just made things even worse. I believe in karma and I strongly believe that what goes around comes around.
Alex of Exquisite Designs, Illinois

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Please do build your business ethically and in your own creative way, there are plenty of seasoned professionals willing to mentor a newbie should you need guidance. It is also important to enlighten your clients (and competitors perhaps) about the nature of our work and that what we are creating is indeed creative intellectual property that should be respected as such.

Thanks so much for posing these fantastic and sometimes sensitive questions, looking forward to hearing what others have to say! And thanks always to Flirty Fleurs for being a brilliant facilitator of this invaluable forum!

Jennifer, Bloom, Michigan

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For me this has not been a problem for years, the under cutting and “stealing” work. This is my thought I am good, I am great at what I do and with that comes a price. I am not afraid to post my price on my website and also my minimum. I don’t want “cheap” clients I want, clients that want me period…..
Maybe in the beginning years I would cut my throat just to book a wedding. But after seeing my losses I just new I had to change my game plan. Hence I worked on branding myself and my company, working on being the best in my area and selling not only flowers but the whole package and that means you get me and my expert floral experience. I am not being snobby in fact far from it. I am busy enough and I don’t have time to wonder what my competition is up to. I know they are out there hustling too. Keep your nose to the grind stone and work at what you know is best and you don’t even have to think about the others undercutting. I only worry about myself and what I have to do to get to the next season. One thing that really helped me is I posted my minimum floral prices on my website. I was scared to do it but I know it really helps weed out the lower budgets.
Tracy, Park Place Design, Michigan

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I get a lot of clients who want a quote from me by email. Sometimes I will give ballpark figures of what brides will typically spend and that will get me the consultation, but I refuse to give firm quotes without meeting the clients in person. Part of what I am selling is me and my customer service, and I can’t show that by giving random prices via email. Only a few times have I had a bride tell or show me what other florists have quoted. At that point, I don’t mind going through the quotes with them to see where there would be differences so they understand where the cost differences are. With my experience, those aren’t the types of brides who want quality artwork but the cheapest deal to get ‘er done. I have no problem telling a bride that I cannot match the price since I know my service and work is of better quality.

Andie, Dandie Andie Floral Designs, Toronto

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Do you have a question you’d like us to ask in a future Q&A session? Email it to us – info@flirtyfleurs.com

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Comments

  1. Great topic – couldn’t agree more that flower shops need to work together as a community.

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