Not too long ago, I met with a potential client who insisted that she could provide all of the flowers I needed to create her dream wedding for free. A “friend of a friend” would give them to her and she wanted me to do the rest. My initial response was, “OK, that’s great, but I will still need to charge you my usual mark-up for the flowers.” She was less than understanding. Needless to say, we did not work together.
I have never quite understood clients who want to provide elements of their wedding themselves in order not to spend money. I understand that times are tough but these few clients forget that we are also in these times with them and we need to make a living as well.
Do not get me wrong, I respect that most everyone is on a budget. I also understand the DIY bride who thoroughly enjoys doing her own wedding. My confusion comes in when a client approaches a vendor without the clear understanding that we need to make a profit and the only way to do this is by selling them a service or a tangible item we can charge them for.
This happens in most businesses.
Florists might find that clients want to provide their own flowers or containers.
Professional invitation providers might have clients who want to do their own calligraphy.
Caterers might be asked to oversee servers brought onto the team by clients.
It goes on and on.
I’d like to send a gentle message to the clients reading this blog. We truly love your business and working for you, please keep coming to us, but do understand that we make our living working for you. The more you provide, the less ability we have to earn a living.
What is your opinion? How have you made less of a profit in your business as a result of a client providing too much?
Please also tell us what that “something” they provided was.