I have recently decided that I am going to charge a small fee for anyone that calls me and has planned their own party, but wants assistance in providing balloon design, decorating a cake table and help with setting up discount party supplies etc. To make a long story short, I have had so many people call me days before their event and want discount party supplies such as table decor, balloons, dress up clothes, and other things . Many times customers don’t know exactly want they want. So I spend a couple of hours to days coming up with design elements, color schemes, negotiating with vendors, to come up with pricing, just for the client to tell me that they have changed their mind or they can’t afford the proposal, even though I have quoted them exactly what they asked for. Has anyone had this problem, and do you have any advice for how to handle inquires like this? It is very frustrating.
This is just my personal opinion, but I would never go that far for a client without a contract or a verbal agreement, at least. There is no way I would be negotiating with vendors without it being in stone.
When a client requests a party date, and they chose discount party supplies, I obtain the deposit and provide the client an initial proposal. Once the proposal is approved, I send the final proposal along with the contract. This system has worked for me.
You get one free consultation of 60 mins. After that a contract must be in place for me to continue working. The only time that I have spent more than a few hours pulling something together is for my bride’s maid of honor that was planning her bridal shower. Since the bride was already paying me a large fee, I did an inspiration board for her for free. However, anything beyond that would turn into a contract.I probably wouldn’t charge a fee though. Think about it… as a client you want to make sure that your potential planner knows what they are doing, this is like a courtship and building a relationship. I would do an initial consultation and then charge for subsequent consultations (but again you really need to feel them out), some people just need more information to make a decision, others are looking for ideas.
Charging a lot for providing help with setting up discount party supplies for an event can be a double-edged sword. One needs to be very careful while doing it.