Price rise

"Goodness" said one of my annual customers; last year you charged me £5 less, in fact I've paid the same price ever since I started using you; not sure how you can warrant such a hike in price". In my defence he's been ordering the exact same bouquet, every year, for 13 years. There aren't many businesses whose prices have stayed the same for over a decade.

It's not the first time I've been pulled up on prices recently and I'm sure it's not going to be the last, although I hope once people have read through this - it may be a long one - there will be a better understanding of why prices have risen, something neither I, nor any other business (not just florists) have had any control over. 

I had to work my way through the website to look at what I was charging for everything, from a single flower, to a bespoke funeral tribute. I don't mind admitting I was shocked I've even been able to cover the shops bills with the prices I had been charging. As a result, and if I want to still be here in 3 months time, I had to raise the prices my lovely customers will have to pay. I've tried my hardest to keep the raises as low as I possibly can, however, there are a few items that have jumped by almost 50%. For that I am sorry but as I have mentioned above I have absolutely no control over the costs involved. 

I've had to stop making hand tied bouquets in the gift boxes for £25 because of the increase in the amount I am having to pay for things. When I set the price for them I was able to sell Chrysant for 85p per stem (up to a max of £1.20 per stem at Christmas, Mothers Day and Valentines Day). I am currently paying more than that when I buy them. The wholesale price is higher than the retail price I used to charge. Such a great filler flower they could help make the smallest bouquet look like the customer had paid three times more than they had. Alstromeria is another great flower for filling, along with Gyp. The price of both of these flowers has risen astronomically and when it comes to the gyp (which was an amazing flower to help bouquets look nice-and-full) the stem/flower sizes hasn't increased at the same rate as the costs involved has; in fact the stems are a lot smaller than once they were. The photo of the piece of gyp below is to give you an idea of stem sizes; I paid 78p PLUS VAT (= 94p) for it; I used to sell a stem for 95p!! Lisianthus are another flower costing me almost 3 times more than I used to be able to sell them for. 

Daffodils; a flower which this time of year are in abundance are an absolutely ridiculous price. Where once I could sell 3 bunches for £1, I am now paying that for just one bunch! 

Why are they costing so much? Well now, that's a very good question. It goes along with "why is everything costing us so much?" Greed, sadly, pure greed by the owners/shareholders of the energy/fuel companies, and taxes imposed by governments too. They claim it's due to demand and the pandemic, which I am sure to some point has had an adverse effect on a lot of production lines but I also think a big chunk of that is an excuse. I know from speaking to builders/landscapers that anything relating to wood or concrete products the prices have gone crazy. It's a supply & demand issue, although I think once products have filtered back through and are again in abundance the prices won't fall because the costs of everything else is continually rising. 

Anyway, back to flower prices. Think about how high your own electric/gas bills have risen in the past few months; now imagine you're trying to keep acres, upon acres, of greenhouses at a certain temperature. Indoors, at home we can drop our thermostat by 1 or 2 degrees and pop a jumper, or fluffy onesie on to keep warm. Growers can't do that with flowers. They have to keep them at an even temperature. If your home bill has increased by 100% (yesterday I saw someone's electric bill had soared by 187% yet the increase was meant to be capped at 54%) so it has for the growers as well.  

Someone said to me not so long ago "I can buy a pack of 10 bulbs or seeds for £1 in the pound shop so don't understand why you're charging so much?" A valid point in a way, however, a grower has to guarantee every single flower they grow is the same size: stem, head, everything. Out of those 10 bulbs how many will actually flower? I think the percentage rate is around 70%.  How many of those will be identical in shape, length and size? Of the 7 which grew maybe 2 or 3, so now we're down to just 30% of the pack, yet the grower has to guarantee the markets 100% every-single-time. In order to do that they technically need to buy 4 packets of those same bulbs/seeds so whilst your cost is £1, theirs becomes £4. What if their uptake isn't that high? What if they get a pack of duff bulbs/seeds (we've all been there have we not, when you don't get a single flower grow no matter how carefully you tend to them?). So now, just to be on the safe side that grower really needs to buy another couple of packs of each; the cost to them is now £6. "Buy British then" is another thing I hear. Where possible I do, however, British growers can never guarantee us exactly the flowers we may need and when it comes to funerals/weddings we have to be able to get exactly what our customers require; for this we need to go abroad.

Then we have the increase in fuel costs; have you filled your car up recently? The growers have to get the flowers from their farms to the markets; their transport costs have practically doubled. These extra costs have to be passed on to the wholesalers purchasing those flowers. That wholesaler then has their own transport costs including the drivers of lorries to get from market to their premises, as well as drivers to then get the flowers from their unit to the shops they serve. Customs charges have to be included and we all know what a mess has been made of Brexit with regards to customs/immigration.

I'm also paying an increase on everything they are too. My electric bill has rocketed; my drivers fuel bill and running costs have rocketed. I have to allow for these increases when I am working out how much a bouquet, or tribute is going to cost. Unlike a plumber, electrician, mechanic or other skilled worker (and floristry is a skilled profession) I don't charge upwards of £50 per hour; in fact if I am able to earn £1.39 per hour I consider it a good month.  

I'm not sharing all this to have a moan; I'm sharing in the hope it will make some of you understand why our prices have risen and will stop you accusing me of ripping you off, or having a moan, because believe me, some days I work for nothing, yet still have my own bills to pay outside of the shop. From a personal financial point I could earn far more stacking shelves in a supermarket 30 hours per week, where I would also get to have time off and sick pay. I could lock the door and walk away without giving the shop a second thought, as could many many other small business owners right now (as have several of my other small business owning friends have done, for which I do not blame them) but the more of us who do that, the more limited the customer choice is, the higher the prices for everyone will rise. 

Don't even get me started on the many different ways businesses are taxed, the additional insurances we have to pay for, the rates we get charged and how ALL utility companies charge us much higher prices than they do a domestic property. 

In short, please do not compare us to the money grabbing corporations out there with shareholders to appease. We're everyday folk just like you, trying to pay our bills, lucky enough to be doing a job we love. Below are 2 posts I've copied this morning that 2 different small businesses (one florist, one not) have shared. They encapsulate and embody the sentiments I have tried to make above (I have added my own little comments to a few of the lines). 

"Small businesses we will stay strong
I will not apologize for my pricing (unlike the original poster I have apologised for my prices)
No small business should.
My pricing allows me to make a profit (not always though, sadly)
Which allows me to pay my bills (thank goodness for my credit card & overdraft)
Which also allows me to stay in business.
My pricing allows me to employ people.
Which allows them to pay their bills.
My pricing allows me to pay myself (a token amount) for the countless hours I work. I’m truly never “off the clock”.
My pricing keeps a roof over my head and food on my table.
I own a small business. One where the CEO knows your name and truly cares about you.
I am not that T supermarket (a billion pound company). I’m unable to provide things at the “lowest price”, order millions of units, and still stay in business.
I'm not the “cheapest”. I’m also not “the most expensive”.
My pricing is what it is to allow this small business to keep going which allows me to keep making a positive impact.
I will not apologize for my pricing because I shouldn't have to (again, I have and will continue to do so).
No small business should".


"The unfortunate truth of owning and running a business. (I don't consider myself unfortunate)
Running a business is really hard. What they don’t tell you is that it can cause severe stress and anxiety, and drains you mentally to the point of (deep) depression in even the most laid back people.
People will talk about you (oh my goodness yes, some of the things I've learned about myself over the years from the mouths of others!!) compare you to others, use you; they will view you as a service and not a person anymore.
People expect you to be available 24/7 and at the drop of a hat because “you work for yourself so you can make time” unfortunately this is not the case most of the time. (I've had customers expect me to reply to their whatsapp or fb message at 2am get annoyed with me for not doing so)
Friends and family (many customers) will expect discounts and people will value you and your hard work less than a big chain store.
You have to worry about if you forget to email/message someone back, are they going to think it was on purpose? Did you disappoint them? Will they hold that against you? Will they bad mouth or poorly review you? When in reality you just can’t get to everyone’s messages and emails as quickly as you’d like.
Starting up and running a successful business puts incredible strain on personal lives and relationships, many of which fail because there is just often no work life balance.
You need to be the director, the worker, the admin, the marketing team, the accountant, the cleaner..... All whilst being a parent, a husband or a wife, family support, friend... it’s one of the hardest things you will try and balance.
There’s a reason you don’t see many people succeed in small businesses after 5 years. If they are successful they are overwhelmed.
It takes a toll. It’s freaking exhausting. Especially the past couple of years when so much has been out of our control.
Here’s a small reminder that we are just normal people with hectic lives. Be kind, be patient, support small businesses…….and hopefully more of us will stick around!
I copied this from another small business owner
Have a good day and thank you all for supporting me"

And after all I have said and shared above, none of any of it really matters when you look at the grand scheme of everything going on in the world right now. Customers expect the world when paying for a metre square plot, I hope to not be moaned at because of it, yet out there, right now, not so very far away from our own little island, thousands of innocent people are being bombed out of their homes, losing their lives and living with horrors I sincerely hope we will never have to experience.


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