Pricing is one of the topics I get asked about the most. Its such a vast topic that I could write pages on it. I’m going to try and break it down for you. So that you all know how to price your work properly. I like to take the “realist” approach to pricing.
I 100% stand by the statement that everyone’s pricing will be different in every area. What someone can get away with charging in London, for example, they will not get away with charging here, in Southampton. It’s the same with every industry.
So lets break the pricing down for you….
If you are just starting out I recommend investing in yourself. Offer setups free of charge or for cost price. This will get your name out there and will also get you content for your social media platforms. Which ultimately will get you more jobs, as people only buy what they can see you do. I have typed up an example of a letter you can send to venues to offer your services to help you with this.
Once you have got your confidence up and are happy to start charging for displays start off at around £20 a meter. I always charge by the meter for my work, this is a personal preference as I find it easier to work out. £20 a meter is a reasonable starting price and people will 100% start booking with you. When you book clients make sure you explain that this is a starting offer and prices will increase over time. Just so they cant come back to you and say “you did it for this (xyz) cost last time”.
Gradually increase your prices until you are happy with what you are charging and the profit you are making. I currently charge £35 a meter for my standard garlands.
Things you should be charging extra for
There are many things that are added on extras for your displays. These should also incur an extra charge. Here’s an example of my extra prices:
Hire of artificial flowers- £20 - £30
Hire of dried floral piece- £20- £30
Hire of neon sign- £30
Hire of wooden sign- £10
Personalised acrylic sign- £20
Sailboards- £20 per board (Extra £10 for personalised vinyl writing on a board)
Foils- an extra £5 a meter
Chrome balloons in garlands- extra £5 a meter
Travel charges- This should always be including in your quote. I charge 0.45p per mile. For jobs that include props I charge this twice. So there and back. For garlands or number towers I just charge to mileage to the venue.
What I Charge For All My Displays
When quoting someone for a display make sure you say that every display is bespoke made to order. This protects you against a customer saying “you did it for my friend for this (xyz) price”. Here’s a list of what I charge for all my displays:
Easel display with balloons - £130
Plain Garlands- £35 a meter
Garland with foils or chrome balloons- £40 a meter
Single hoop - £175
Clothes rail - £100
Double Hoop - £300
Sail boards - £35 a meter + price per sail board hire charge.
Pipe and drape stand - £35 a meter
Balloon walls- for my balloon walls I work this out in garlands. If you watch the balloon wall tutorial you’ll see exactly what I mean when I say this. I work out the height in meters x by how many garlands I think it will be width wise. This is an extremely simple way to work out balloon walls. It will take time to get used to how many “garlands” it will be. But once you’ve got your head round it, it will make quoting balloon walls less stressful.
I know pricing is an extremely daunting subject, but don’t over think it. Everyone has different opinions on what you should be charging. But ultimately it comes down to what you are happy with making. Please do not let the comments “its just balloons” knock your confidence and make you reduce your prices. The customers who say things like this are NOT the customers you want. You want customers that value your work. We put in so much time and effort into balloon displays, so please charge your worth. At the beginning it will seem like you’re not making anything and you are constantly paying out to do displays for people to get content. But just remember you are investing in yourself! And I promise that it will all be worth it and you’ll get the work you have been working towards.
Word of mouth is your best advertisement so I recommend always doing a little bit extra at your displays. Customers will always remember this and will recommend you to everyone and will return to you time and time again.
I hope this document has helped you all out. If you have any questions please message me.