Selling Wedding Stationery - pricing packages2
A selection of samples from Handmade wedding stationery - mmm.design
Pricing anything handmade is always tricky - you don't want to charge too much for fear that you won't get the job and equally if you charge too little then it really isn't going to be a sustainable business. A handmade wedding stationery package is a luxury, the time and effort involved from the design process through to the making and packaging should all be factored into the price. Your customers know they are getting a very special service otherwise they would look to standard printed invitations, so be sure not to under price your unique services. In this post on selling handmade stationery, we'll look at the issues with pricing your package competitively and making a realistic profit.
Pricing Handmade Wedding Invitations and Stationery
When you are starting out it may be that you have created some wedding stationery designs for friends and family and they have paid you for the materials and a little extra for your time. If you are serious about starting a wedding stationery business, you need to ensure that the time spent working on a packages is properly figured in to your prices to ensure your business is sustainable.
The initial briefing with the customer This is where you will need to be able to lay out the pricing structure for the various packages you have available - this may also be listed on your website. Giving the bride and groom a clearly laid out set of options will help ensure you aren't left working for next to nothing when little details are added. Be aware of the time this process takes, how many phone calls, emails and meetings it takes, are you laying out for travel and cups of coffee as well as taking up your time. It's unlikely you'll want to charge for the initial consultation, but these costs need to be figured in to the overall cost of the packages you offer. Offering samples on your website at a small nominal cost is a great way of saving time on face to face meetings.
The complexity of the design Is there anything unique to their requirements which will require you to outlay money on new tools (specific die cuts perhaps) or software / digital images / new fonts that you need to purchase? Can these new tools be considered an investment in your business rather than a cost for the specific design. Be realistic about whether you will use these items again or if they are just a one off.
Offering a selection of packages Can you create three or four different basic packages for clients to choose from, a 'Gold' package for example including everything from the invitation through to the place names and even thank you cards, or these prices could reflect the complexity of the design. Estimate the time it takes for each package so you can price accordingly. Each package will incur different quantities of your time, a truly bespoke design will take much longer than if a bride and groom choose one of your more basic ready made designs from your wedding stationery portfolio and simply wish to change the colours.
Buying materials in bulk / wholesale Many wedding invitations will use the same basic white card. By buying these items in bulk you can save money and this can be reflected in the price of your packages. For example at Papermilldirect we have an exclusive club open to those Customers who spend over £100.00 per order with us on a regular basis. You want to ensure you are not left with large quantities of unusable embellishments or colours of card and it can be a good idea to estimate how many customers you can fit in per year to see if this is profitable. You may be able to sell on any card you don't use and make a profit - we often sell card to people who 're-package' it and make a good profit because we have good prices available for bulk orders.
Quantities Will the bride and groom be charged per invitation? As a designer maker of wedding stationery you have this benefit over going to printers where they may rewuire a specific number to be printed. Many people, especially those on their 2nd marriage or marrying later in life have smaller weddings, by offering a bespoke service in this way your prices may be much more competitive.
DIY Wedding Stationery packages You may be able to offer your services as a wedding stationery consultant. You have the ability to source unique materials from quality suppliers, and could create DIY wedding stationery packages that the bride and groom can make up themselves, saving their time searching for supplies and ideas and also saving them the cost of your time. Many people want to create their own stationery and this is a great option for those unsure of the thickness of card, how to get a good fold (you could supply invitations as pre folded blanks) and also many people need some ideas for designs. Offering unique services like this at reasonable prices will set you apart from your competitors and allow you to pick up new clients that may have considered your services too expensive.
Making savings / increasing profit margins If you have got the calculator out, figured in the cost of your materials and your time (whatever you feel is an acceptable hourly wage) to create each wedding invitation and you find they are just too expensive you need to look at where you can cut costs to boost your profit margins. Not just from buying in bulk as we have discussed above, but look at specific areas of your making and designing process which are adding on time or costs. It could be that wastage is your main issue, if so think about when is the most productive time for you to work - it may be that burning the candle at both ends is drastically reducing your profitability through errors caused by being tired. Are your designs overly complex? Think about ways to still maximise impact but reduce materials or the need for complex techniques. Don't compromise on quality materials, spend time researching and finding the best prices. Attending local wedding fayres as a visitor will give you a great idea of where to begin with pricing - next week we will be looking at the benefits of wedding fayres, how to find the best ones to attend and if they are worth the money for the stand and time you will have to spend preparing. Do you find it hard to price your wedding stationery packages? We'd love to hear from any designers on how they approch this tricky area of their business.