Florist Contracts: Why You Can't Afford To Get These Wrong - Webinar & Survey Recap

by Details Flowers ● 3 March ● Tips & Tricks, Partners

Did you get the chance to join our recent webinar with floral expert and friend of Details, Holly Chapple? We had a wonderful discussion about contract terms, why they're so important to a successful floral business, and how you might implement them with your own floral business!

screenshotWhy You Can't Afford To Get This Wrong!

Having a solid contract in order is the best way to protect your business, and often times new clauses are added after something unpleasant occurs. Getting your terms right before something goes wrong is your best defense against the unknown. That being said, there is a balance between properly covering the needs of your business and not intimidating your clients. It's up to you to decide what clauses need to be included, what your flexibility is, and how and when you'll enforce the terms.

In a recent survey we conducted within our community, we found that the top ten most used terms are as follows:

  • Substitutions: This clause outlines the way you will handle floral substitutions and sets the right expectation for the client.
  • Rental Items: Similarly, this clause should outline how you will handle rental items, and what your expectations are of the client who will be using them at their event.
  • Photography: This particular term came up in the webinar, but you should have a record of your designs so you can build up a portfolio, and it's very important that access and rights to the photography of your work is available to you!
  • Balance Due: Covers the amounts due and expected due dates.
  • Form of Payments: Outlines which forms of payment are accepted.
  • Payment Schedules: Outlines payment due dates.
  • Retainer & Fees: Reviews standard retainer charge to book and any standard fees.
  • Termination by Client: This term should set proper guidelines and expectations for your client should they choose to cancel a booked event. Include what's refundable, what's not, and how and how soon they should provide notice.
  • Artistic License: This clause covers your freedom of expression to design events with your own vision - make sure you have this one!
  • Labor & Delivery: Outlines cost of labor and any potential delivery of items.

Most of these clauses are related to collecting payments, or other standard sorts of boilerplate you need to even get your foot in the door.

What about terms that cover things like liability, unexpected happenings, and extenuating circumstances? Instances that might affect your ability to safely and comfortably deliver on an event?

We found that less than half of those surveyed are using Force Majeure clauses, which protect you from what is sometimes known as "an act of God"; situations that are so far outside of our control that nothing could've accounted for or predicted them. Having a clause like this is a kind of catch-all for worst-case scenarios. 

We also found that the following terms are not being used at all (!) or are being used by only a very small percentage of those surveyed:

  • Use of Electrical Circuitry: Covers any requirement for safe and sufficient power.
  • Children & Pets: Removes liability in the event that a child or pet ingests any florals that may result in illness.
  • Licensing & Insurance: Outlines that you are licensed to do business and insured, also should include  what your insurance covers.
  • Cake Florals: Corrine & Holly discussed this during the webinar, but it's important to have terms that protect you from liability if you're being asked to add flowers to a cake (or anything else that may be eaten)
  • Structures: Not all event florists construct and install structures, but if you do, you absolutely need a clause that protects you from liability and includes guidelines for how, where, and when the structure will be installed and removed.
  • Health & Safety: Set expectations for what a safe working environment is for you and your team. Especially with everything going on in the world, but this is also not just for COVID!
  • Venue Restrictions: Make sure you include terms that let your client know they need to pass along any venue rules to you and set the expectation that you will follow those rules regardless of what your client is asking you to do.

As discussed in the webinar, not all of these terms are suitable for every floral business; however, it's still important to consider everything you need and not just the basics to outline payment expectations and standard operating procedures. The terms you provide are your best defense against the unexpected, however unlikely. If you're a customer and you didn't get the chance to watch the webinar, reach out to our team and we'll be happy to provide access.

Click the button below for a free download of the most common 16 Contract Terms for Florists! These are the terms that come standard with a Details subscription.

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If you're not a customer, note that access to these business development webinars is an exclusive members-only benefit of being a part of our platform, and we'd like to welcome you to join us with a 7-day free trial of the software!


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