Calculating Labor Costs for Wedding Services

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When it comes to charging for weddings, make sure you have your labor costs calculated so that your business is profitable.

Full Article Below Source Rio Roses


When planning weddings, it’s crucial to think carefully about how much you pay for labor. In a recent issue of SAF’s Floral Management Magazine, Paul Goodman, a former accountant and expert in flower shop finances, laid out how to ensure we’re not losing money when planning weddings. He explained how standard labor formulas for our routine design work aren’t enough to cover wedding costs. We’ve summarized the key points from that excellent article here.

Initial Consultation and Planning

Weddings are unique in the floral world. To make a profit, we have to consider all the steps in a wedding, from the first meeting with a client to cleaning up after the event. It’s important to count every hour of work, not just the time spent making arrangements.

Charging for Non-Design Hours

Most flower shops usually charge for the time they spend making an everyday flower arrangement. But for a wedding, you need to charge for everything you do outside of the design process, including the time spent talking to clients.

The best way to ensure you’re charging enough is to create a “wedding hourly rate”: Take the amount you pay employees per hour, add 15% for taxes, and then double that amount. For example, if you pay $19 per hour, you might end up charging about $43.70 per hour to cover all your costs.

Detailed Breakdown of Design Charges

Different flower arrangements for weddings need different amounts of design time. When charging for wedding designs, your labor charges will vary based on the type of design you’re doing.

• Traditional arrangements: Use the usual method of charging for labor, which is approximately 20% of the selling price.
• Wedding-specific arrangements: Charge more. You might charge 35% of the selling price for bouquets, and for hand-wired and taped items, it could go up to 50%.

Delivery and Setup Costs

Delivering for a wedding isn’t just about driving. You must include the time to load the vehicle, drive, unload, and set up everything at the wedding venue. The SAF article advises charging a dollar for every mile driven plus charging your wedding labor hourly rate for the driver’s time. If you need a designer at the wedding to handle any issues, charge for those hours as well.

Transparent Client Proposals

It’s vital to be clear about costs with your clients. Instead of just raising prices on each floral piece, explain each part of the cost in the proposal. This way, clients can see all the work that goes into their wedding and understand why it costs what it does.

Financial Arrangements: Deposits and Payments

To avoid financial issues, ask for a deposit upfront and set up a payment plan to ensure the wedding is paid two weeks before the event. You can use a percentage of the proposal or a fixed fee for the upfront charge. This will keep your business safe if a customer is late on a payment or doesn’t pay.

Managing Refunds and Cost of Goods Sold

Your contract should clearly outline your refund policy. If you have to cancel some of the work, keep a minimum fee for the time you’ve already spent planning. Also, be smart about buying supplies: only get what you need for each wedding, and don’t mix these items with others.

When it comes to charging for weddings, make sure you have your labor costs calculated so that your business is profitable. Don’t be shy about charging enough for your work. It’s better to skip a few weddings that won’t pay well and wait for those that will. Your services are worth it!

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