Posts tagged "florist-resources"

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Florist Checklist For Mother’s Day 2018

May 1st, 2018 Posted by Blog, design prepping, Floral Holiday Tips, Floral Supplys, Florist Marketing, Florist Operations, Florist Resources, Florist Websites, Mother's Day 0 thoughts on “Florist Checklist For Mother’s Day 2018”

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner, is your business ready for this busy floral holiday?

Having a decent plan in place to make the most revenue during Mother’s Day is fundamental in receiving every one of the rewards of this bustling blossoming occasion. In this blog, we will go over an agenda to help you during this Mother’s Day holiday.

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1. Promote Your Floral Business!

Begin by using your Floral Website and Social Media sites to start marketing your floral arrangements and your business.

Images & Products

    • Post high-quality photos of your work or any specials you are offering during Mother’s Day on your website or Social Media platforms.
    • Don’t forget to link your social media posts to your website!
    • Mother’s Day products should be prominently displayed and easily accessible throughout your website.

Hours & Policies

  • Clearly post your shop’s business hours on your website and social media.
  • Having clear policies and return/substitution policy will alleviate any headaches for you and your customers.

Promotions & Discounts

  • Increase traffic to your store by offering deals or discounts on pickups rather than deliveries.
  • List special Promotions. This is a great way to encourage customers to shop early before Mother’s Day week.
  • Don’t forget to update your product pricing to cover your costs.

Note: Promoting does not always have to mean discounts. Remind customers why they should order flowers through your business.

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2. Staffing, Scheduling and Duties, Oh My!

Making sure you have enough coverage can be overwhelming during the holiday rush. Not to worry, take a deep breath and follow these great tips!

Hiring

  • If hiring extra help, offer them a day to come in before Mother’s Day week to go over job responsibilities and training.
  • If hiring extra drivers, discuss with them if you require them to use their own vehicle.
  • If you can, keep a standby driver at the shop to handle new orders for delivery.

Employees

  • Have an employee meeting and discuss what is expected of them during Mother’s Day
  • Make sure to explain how important everyone shows up and does what is expected of them.
  • Encourage and Praise your employees and floral designers. Its always better to be positive than negative.

Scheduling & Duties

  • Have your Mother’s Day week schedule out two weeks in advance. That way there are no surprises to your staff and you have time to make adjustments.
  • Go over job descriptions with employees as its always nice to have a reminder of what everyone’s responsibilities are.
  • Assign sections for the delivery drivers in specific areas. Add finished flower arrangements to this area with the date of delivery that is bold and clear.

 

3. Don’t Forget your Flowers & Supplies

Making sure you have enough flowers and supplies to get through the holiday is important.

Supplies

  • Start looking around for supplies, containers, baskets and vases weeks before Mother’s Day.
  • Visit your local supplier. However, don’t forget to visit discount home stores and dollar stores. You can find some great unique items.
  • Don’t settle! Shop around for the best deals on supplies and florals.

Flowers

  • Start ordering your Mother’s Day flowers early to get the best value.
  • Don’t forget to shop around if you buy from multiple wholesalers.
  • If you are comfortable, get your flowers through a floral auction. A great opportunity to get some discounts when purchasing in large quantities.
  • Make sure to order flowering plants, orchids, and dish gardens. These are big sellers and require very little work.

Note: if you are new to the floral industry, Mother’s Day spans for a week, not a day. So order enough flowers!

prepping-flowers

4. Start Prepping & Showcasing your Flowers!

Stay ahead of the game with these prepping and showcasing tips during the busy holiday rush.

Prepping

  • Prep your flowers when they arrive.
  • Teach your front of store staff how to wire flowers to help cut down the time.
  • Cut any ribbon and make bows ahead of time
  • Green any vases, baskets or containers.
  • No wastefulness! With the abundant supplies and flowers in the shop, it is easy to get sidetracked and be super wasteful. Everything thrown on the floor that can be used should be. Wasting or throwing out even a good pin or wire is considered money out of your pocket. Please be sure to express this to your employees.

Showcasing

  • Gather up all your add-ons and gift items and display them prominently in the store.
  • Make sure you re-stock your impulse buys on your front counter to sell in addition to flower arrangements.
  • Make sure your flower shop and displays are clean and have an inviting atmosphere.
  • Remember if Employees have time to lean, they have time to clean!

Work Ahead

  • Work a day ahead. Fill any orders for next day the day before. Working a day or two ahead will allow you flexibility just in case there are any last minute orders.
  • Place pre-made orders in a cooler, well tagged with date of pick-up or delivery.
  • Mark any time sensitive orders and bring those to the front of your cooler.

Note: It helps to have a system that works best for you. However, working on orders per day can feel overwhelming, so staying ahead of the game is always best.

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5. Take Care of Yourself

It is important to take care of yourself during this busy Mother’s Day week.

  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.It’s best not to wear open toe shoes as this can be an insurance liability in some areas.
  • Make sure you eat! Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner are important—don’t skip meals!
  • Get enough sleep. No one is at their best with lack of sleep.
  • Take mandatory breaks.
  • Do not sweat the small stuff. Regardless of how hard you try, there may be a complaint here or there. Do not let this get you down. It’s the nature of the business. The world can’t survive without florists!
  • Try to enjoy Mother’s Day week by keeping a journal of all the funny things that happen or mishaps that take place to reflect on for next year.

Tip: Bring in extra shoes and store them in your cooler to remedy those aching feet. 

 

We would like to wish all florist a very successful Mother’s Day!

Florists, do you have any great Mother’s Days tips to share with our readers? Please post any of your Mother’s Day tips or feedback below.

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Floranext offers great florist software, florist POS, florist websites and florist wedding proposal software. Our florist technology products are built by florists, for florists. Let us know if you want a free demo or try our software for free here.

Canny Flower Shop Business Fusions That Work!

November 8th, 2017 Posted by Become A Floral Designer, Blog, Florist Ecommerce, Florist Profits, Florist Resources, Opening a Flower Shop, Uncategorized 7 thoughts on “Canny Flower Shop Business Fusions That Work!”

Image via Shutterstock

Floral entrepreneurs are increasing their profits with a fresh new spin on the classic flower shop!

Financial experts agree that incorporating other services into your business is a win-win combination. You can diversify your business assets and minimize your vulnerability to twists and turns in the market.

On the other hand, combining a flower shop with another kind of business can raise sales as both work to give exposure to the other. More and more flower business owners are tackling more than just flowers.

Image via Shutterstock

Florist & Coffee Shop

Talk about the ultimate place for relaxation, sipping a coffee surrounded by beautiful flowers. Savvy floral entrepreneurs are creating a buzz with flower/coffee shop locations with customers waiting for seats and lines out the door.

  • Create a beautiful atmosphere surrounded by flowers and filled with wonderful scents.
  • Outdoor seating and ample comfortable seating inside the store.
  • Offer delivery of all coffee shop goods with your floral arrangements.
  • Offer delicate tasty treats and quick sandwiches and snacks.
  • Offer free Wifi

This is ultimately an easy combination to accomplish if you  already own a brick and mortar flower shop with enough space to accommodate seated customers. You may even consider partnering up with another business that specializes in coffee.

Image via Shutterstock

Florist & Hair/Beauty Salons

The secret to this combination business is markup. Florists know that flower shop product markup is low in comparison to other businesses, but hair salons have high markup, meaning a hair salon’s services are almost all profit (minus commission and the usual expenses like rent/mortgage and utilities). What you pay for in a hair salon is mostly labor. In the floral business, labor is not as prominent nor is it reflected as much in sales.

  • Establish a hair salon that offers great service and incorporates your flower shop.
  • It’s helpful to understand how beauty salons work, there are state licenses needed for both shop owner and barbers/hairstylists.
  • Offer options for event/wedding patrons with package pricing for flowers and beauty needs.
  • Prom packages never looked so good.
  • Offer delivery options for flowers and beauty products, flowers and gift certificates, flowers and gift baskets, etc.

Although it takes more sweat equity to obtain licenses and to incorporate a flower shop beauty salon, the payback could be well worth the effort. There currently aren’t many of these in the world, however, the few there are have had continued success.

Image via Shutterstock

Florist & Bakery

Unlike coffee shops, bakeries offer in-house baked goods, bread, pastries, and cakes. Flowers and baked goods go hand in hand, and what a great gift. Birthday flowers + birthday cake = tremendous brownie points and a crowd pleaser. Sales can’t come easier than that.

Flower shops have been teaming up with bakeries for a while now, the combination flower shop/bakery may be easier to pull off in families or with close partnerships between florists and bakers. Regardless of who bears which responsibility, the combination is sure to impress.

  • Offer wedding packages for flowers and wedding cake.
  • Team up with a reception hall to offer floral and baked good services for all their events.
  • Offer delivery options for all bakery goods with flowers.
  • Be sure to check local state and town laws for handling food with flowers.

Image via Shutterstock

Florist & Home Decor

Florists, we know many of you already incorporate home decor items in your flower shop, and you’re wise to do so. Flower shop owners now are taking it a step further: instead of incorporating some gift and home decor items, they are essentially opening two businesses in one location with a larger inventory of all things home decor: furniture, textiles, candles and more.

The trick is to offer more for customers to browse.

  • Think location and space, and consider parking.
  • Search for home decor vendors that allow you to maximize profit.
  • Offer delivery for home decor items, and bundle decor packages with flowers.
  • Sell both flowers and home decor items on your eCommerce website.

Consider location and square footage—this flower shop combo may require capital investment to get off the ground, however once established, you will be the talk of the town.

 


Florists, do you run a flower business combination shop? Let us know how running two businesses brought you success in the comment section below. If you have any questions please post below as well!

 

We wanted to share one of our reader’s feedback with the beautiful images he sent us!

From Joe Sexton, barber at Barber Stop/Flowers by Guenthers:

“My wife and I have a barber shop in our flower shop. The barber brings 4,000 more people every year through the front door of the flower shop. Many have never been inside. Also, the flower shop helps increase the barber shop sales. Women are the first to know when their guy are unhappy with their haircuts. They pick up the barbers’ flier and contact info which drives their guys into the shop for a haircut. Many buy flowers after their cuts to take home. Seems to work well.

“I am the barber in our flower shop. I have a shop that fits inside an 8′ circle anywhere in the store (within a 10′ for a regular 110-volt power outlet). It’s hard to visualize if you’ve never seen one.

“I think this would be a great idea for many florists. It’s really done well for my wife and I at Flowers by Guenthers.”

Photos courtesy of Joe Sexton, Flowers by Guenthers/Barber Stop

 

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Floranext makes great florist software. Florist websites, floral POS, florist wedding/event proposal software, and florist technology. Let us know if you want a free demo or try our software for free here.

Stand Up to Internet Floral Order Gatherers

October 31st, 2017 Posted by Blog, Floral Order Gatherer, Florist Ecommerce, Florist Resources, Florist Websites, Florists' Thoughts 8 thoughts on “Stand Up to Internet Floral Order Gatherers”

Have you worked hard to provide quality blooms and care to all your customers, only to be forced to compete with a floral order gatherer?

It can be frustrating and discouraging for florists who invest serious sweat equity into running a flower business only to see an eCommerce company to move in and pass themselves off as local florists.

There are many different kinds of floral order gathers, from the larger, well-known wire services to ones that take over search engines. We will focus on the floral order gatherers who run search engine ads that knowingly deceive their consumers, and offer you ways to maximize your sales and eCommerce legibility without worrying over order gatherers’ paid ads to lure customers into shopping with them under false pretenses.

Image via Shutterstock

What are Floral Order Gatherers?

Order gatherers—in this case, floral order gatherers—are virtual businesses that have no intention of filling the order purchased by its customers. What order gatherers essentially do is harvest the customer’s information and payment details and then look for real local florists to fulfill the order.

Order gatherers can benefit themselves and the filling flower shop alike, right? Well, yes and no. Order gatherers only pass along a fraction of the customer’s payment, and the customer gets less of what they actually paid for.

Floral order gatherers know that they profit by sending orders to a real local florist, while you the actual florist pay for mortgage/rent, utilities, employees, and product.

Another concern is that some order gatherers are passing themselves off as local florists when in actuality they do not run a flower shop or design flowers. You likely have seen their paid ads on search engines.

Below is an order gatherer’s paid ad on Google. (We covered the name of the order gatherer as well as their website address.) If you look at this ad you can see how easily a customers could believe this is a genuine San Diego florist. There is no indication that this company has nothing to do with fulfilling their order.

Image provided by Google

A Step in the Right Direction: There have been several lawsuits filed by florists to stop these order gatherers from blatantly falsifying information on their ads regarding their location.

Image via Shutterstock

How to Beat Floral Order Gatherers

So what can you do to stand apart from floral order gathers that are taking over your area with paid ads on search engines? Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to stop them other than educating your consumers and marketing your floral business in a way in which it is not affected.

We understand that is easier said than done, however there are a few points working in your favor: floral order gatherers’ time is limited, there are more and more articles out to help consumers identify order gatherers, and consumers are wary of paying more for something only to get less.

Take these actions to brand yourself and increase your visibility as a legitimate local florist in your area, that will offer customers exactly what they paid for.

  1. Use a blog. If you have an option to add a blog to your floral website, do so and take an action on educating customers on what a real local florist offers versus a floral order gatherer. An article on your website on this topic will reach more people than visitors that just land on your web page. Besides discrediting order gatherers, this strategy will bolster consumer confidence in your floral eCommerce.
  2. Add content and write-ups. Add a gallery and write-ups of your flower business’s staff to your website to showcase you as a local florist.
  3. Consider your marketing. The advantage you have as a real local florist is that you do not have to spend a small fortune on ads that fundamentally deceive your customers you’re trying to attract. Market your flower business on social media consistently and be sure to ask satisfied customers to review your shop on Google and Yelp. The best way to do this is having links on your floral website to allow customers to easily click and review you.
  4. Use store promotions and offers. Floral order gathers offer many enticing promotions to entice customers to click and shop—refer to the search engine add above, offering 45% savings. We do not want you to give your flower arrangements away from free, however, consider running some enticing offers to get customers to click on your website. This is a great option for gaining new customers as well.
  5. Don’t forget about SEO. Your search engine optimization should be on point to compete with online businesses like order gatherers. Work with your floral website provider to make sure you are listing on the first page on search engines. Make sure your Google business page is set up and work on adding images and getting reviews. This all helpful in raising your site’s ranking on search engines.
  6. Try a Google ad. Thanks to the internet, marketing is so different today than it has been in the past. That isn’t to say that mailers don’t work, but placing a Google AdWords ad can be helpful in building your brand visibility. Start off with a lower budget, see how your conversions go, and build up from there.

Image via Shutterstock

Floral order gatherers do not play fair. There is no way to stop them completely, however, florists do have the upper hand as floral order gatherers need filling florists to make their business possible. Partner up with other real local florists and stand up to the floral order gatherers by educating your consumers. We are not saying that no florist should ever fill a floral order gatherer’s order, but it’s about time that florists get compensated appropriately for their services. Do not hesitate to ask for more money if you are filling a gatherer’s order. Florists, your expertise and resources are needed to keep floral order gatherers in business—remember that.

 

 

Florists, how have floral order gatherers impacted your flower business? Please share your feedback in the comment section below. If you have any questions please post below as well!

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Floranext makes great florist software. Florist websites, floral POS, florist wedding/event proposal software, and florist technology. Let us know if you want a free demo or try our software for free here.

Four Tips for Becoming a Floral Designer

October 18th, 2017 Posted by Become A Floral Designer, Blog, design prepping, Floral Design, Opening a Flower Shop, Search Engine Optimization, Uncategorized 4 thoughts on “Four Tips for Becoming a Floral Designer”

So you have a knack for arranging blooms. With a deep appreciation for flowers, floral design is a fun and exciting endeavor.

Many florists start their careers after years of daydreaming about venturing into the world of floral design. Florists are like miracle workers, bringing endless smiles and emotional well-being to recipients. It’s a no-brainer, if you love floral design, then become a florist!

Before starting your journey, there are a few things you should consider. Floral designing is an art, and however effortless a good florist makes their work appear, trust us when we say it is not. Even the hand-gathered whimsical bouquets that look like they were plucked from a garden are carefully constructed using the principles of floral design.

Floral design is about so much more than creatively arranging flowers. We want to be encouraging to newcomers to the floral world, but we also want to be helpful. Here are four tips to keep in mind as you work to become a professional floral designer.

Image from Shutterstock.com

1. Learn and Polish Your Floral Design Skills

It is always beneficial to study the art of floral design in a class setting, or learning directly from a mentor. There are so many facets to arranging blooms that it is impossible to be an expert right from the beginning. Besides floral design, you must be educated on prepping flowers and have a clear understanding of the basic principles of arranging flowers. Remember your floral arrangements are only as good as the care you take when prepping them—flowers are perishable and good prepping makes for long-lasting arrangements.

To learn more, consider:

  • Taking a floral class
  • Working with a mentor
  • Volunteering at a local flower shop
  • Getting comfortable with the sharp tools you will be using
  • Learning how to make ribbons and work with wire

Image from Shutterstock.com

2. Consider the Other Work Florists Do

By now you’re already aware that being a florist requires hard work. Besides prepping flowers, expect to lift heavy containers, spend long hours at work on your feet, and get few holidays off. Being a florist is rewarding, but there are a few other skills a good florist needs:

  • Time management is essential.
  • Good communication with your customers is a must.
  • Be flexible with your work schedule (you won’t be able to make other plans for floral holidays like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day).
  • Customer service skills—you will have some customers who are bereaved or going through turbulent times. The compassion and empathy you show them can make a world of difference.

Image from Shutterstock.com

3. Explore Your Floral Design Style

It’s important to develop a signature style. Although we discussed the basic principles of arranging flowers, expert florists have their own flair that distinguishes their arrangements from the next florist’s. Think about what your style lends itself to and work on crafting a unique style.

  • Be focused and pay attention to detail.
  • Be creative!
  • Perfect your skills, so you can make what you see in your mind’s eye a reality.
  • Appreciate different flowers and greens and understand how they are used.
  • Remember that you are an artist, the flowers and containers are your canvas.

Image from Shutterstock.com

4. Set Goals

So far we have discussed becoming a floral designer. However, you may already be working as a designer and have a higher goal, such as opening a flower shop, working from home on wedding and event florals, or find employment with a local flower shop. Whatever your floral design short-term or long-term goal is it is good to work towards that by networking through marketing and building relationships in your area.

  • If you are looking for floral design work at flower shop and consider yourself an expert, call around to local flower shops.
  • If you are a novice to floral design, look for employment as a helper and look for mentorship opportunities.

If your goal is to run your own floral business, think about how you’ll market your floral design business.

  • Consider your floral business name carefully
  • Purchase a domain name
  • Create business cards
  • Create a website so that you can start building your brand visibility on the internet
  • Start on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
  • Cultivate relationships with local business owners, funeral directors, bridal shops, restaurant owners, churches, etc.

 

Florists, do you have any advice for our readers aspiring to become floral designers? Please share your feedback, tips or any floral design-related questions in the comment section below.

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Floranext Logo

Floranext offers great florist software, florist POS, florist websites and florist wedding proposal software. Our florist technology products are built by florists, for florists. Let us know if you want a free demo or try our software for free here.

Simple-Floral-Marketing-Strategies.1

Simple Floral Marketing Strategies

September 13th, 2017 Posted by Blog, Florist Marketing, Florist Operations, Florist Profits, Florist Resources, florist technology, Search Engine Optimization, seo 0 thoughts on “Simple Floral Marketing Strategies”

Simple-Floral-Marketing-Strategies

 Marketing, as we all know, is essential for the survival of your floral business.

There are still many floral business owners who do not have a direct marketing strategy or feel bewildered by the word itself.  Marketing can be so many things and most business owners who thought not to be marketing their floral business, in fact, were. Bussines marketing is no longer just huge billboards, TV commercials or coupon direct mailers. It can be something as simple as posting an image of your flower arrangements or services on social media.

If you remember one thing from business marketing, marketing is getting customers to buy your products/services.  Marketing for your flower shop and online store does not have to be expensive or overwhelming.  We promise you that following the tips below will give you a clear understanding of how simple floral business marketing can be without breaking the bank.

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1. Floral Business Marketing Goals

In order to achieve master status in marketing, you must first understand why you are marketing for your floral business in the first place. The answer to this is simple-

  • Attract/Engage customers.
  • Create brand visibility (brand being your flower shop business – visibility is the flower shop everyone knows, remembers and recommends) 
  • Educate on products and services you offer.
  • Promote your products and services.

Tip: Although floral marketing can be inexpensive there are aspects that require free time on your part- good to set aside one day a month to go over your marketing strategy and what you will be promoting the following month. 

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2. Offer Free Marketing Gift With Purchase

Ever wonder why back in the day Chinese restaurants gave you a free calendar with purchase? This was a genius marketing tactic for its time. Customers would hang the calendar on their fridge and never look for another Chinese restaurant again. This is back when looking up a business was picking up a heavy phone book and searching for a business. The subliminal message here was brand recognition and visibility.

Recently a bakery on a busy Sunday morning offered a free T- shirt if you spent over $30.00. When looking around, many customers had a T-Shirt in hand.  I actually never thought I would wear it, but I do it’s cozy and soft. I find myself grabbing it all the time to run errands around town with a direct advertisement for the bakery.  This is marketing, and I love the idea of it.

Think of things you can offer to customers to make your flower shop brand visible and make sure it’s something that will be used often. Your business name, phone number, and website address- and your address too if it fits. We want everything to be very clear and visible on the product you offer free with purchase.

  • Pens
  • Calendars
  • Bags
  • Mousepads
  • Hats
  • T-Shirts
  • Jackets
  • Sweatshirts
  • Water Bottles

Tip: We recommend all employees at your floral business to wear clothes that state your flower shop name, phone number, and websites address as well. Marketing/Advirtesting should start in-house.

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3. Work With Local Bussiness

Partner up with local businesses in which you can work together to cross promote each other, once you find local businesses to work with you, you may backlink them on your website.  (adding local business website address to your website and vice versa)

Besides backlinking, work together on –  social media postings.

Businesses you can and should work with-

  • Bridal Salons
  • Entertainment/DJ Companys
  • Hair/ Make Up Salons
  • Nail Salons
  • Limo/Party Bus Companys
  • Venues
  • Dance Schools

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4. Floral Marketing On Social Media

The easiest way to market on social media communities is for you to pick one social media community you prefer and then duplicate the content on to the others. There are loads of platforms out there that make posting on social media a breeze by connecting all social media communities on to one platform. Check out  HootSuite

  • Think of your preferred #Hashtag. This hashtag will now be used for all your posting on your social media communities.
  • Set a schedule for posting. Choose a specific day each week, biweekly or monthly. (of course, we prefer weekly, however, that is not always possible so post within your time allowance) 
  • If you are only posting monthly, you still need to check your social media community daily. Be responsive, address comments that need to be addressed and thank new fans for liking/following your page. Nothing beats gratitude for brand visibility.
  • Create enticing eye-catching posts. Pay attention to the images selected, have a clear bold title and if possible link to your website.
  • Engage fans. On a weekly basis try to engage your fans with questions, thoughts or tips.
  • Allow for fans to post their images on your social media.
  • Offer promotions and contests. Fans love to participate in contests/questionnaires,  be it something as simple as one quiz question or asking their advice.
  • Allow fans to review you on Facebook.

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5. Make A Floral Video/Commercial

We are huge advocates of making a short floral video of your business. These can be posted across your social media communities and linked back to your website. Sites like slide.ly/promo make this very simple to do. Researchers confirm that videos help create longer lasting brand visibility with more conversions to sales.

  • Use relevant keywords when posting your video.
  • Link your floral video to your website
  • Post on Youtube and all your social media communities

Florist-yelp-google

6. Google Business And Yelp Is A Must

A whopping 91% of customers read reviews, it’s crucial to sign up for Google business and claim your business on Yelp. We hear it time and time again how customers are attracted to businesses with reviews and search engines make these business reviews very prominent. Every review counts in creating more trust with the readers.

  • Google Bussiness and Yelp allow for customer interactions by reading/ leaving a review and posting photos.
  • Customer love to read testimonials and reviews, the more the better. An average small business should have  40 customer reviews at a minimum.
  • Offer $5.00 off any order for a customer that gives you an on the spot review on Google business or Yelp. The advantages far out weigh the discount.
  • Post these reviews on your website.

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7. Write A Blog 

Blogging takes commitment and a good strategic plan. Writing a blog twice a year will not offer you that much recognition, commit to blogging at least once a month.  The benefits of blogging, are priceless, does wonders for your SEO and allows valuable content to share and link back to your website on social media communities.

  • Blog about what you do. Be specific to the floral business and use keywords.
  • If blogging is not for you – hire someone to write your floral blogs. Hiring a monthly blogger does not cost much compared to the impact it has on your SEO. For around $100-$150.00 a month you can start engaging customers with your blogs.
  • Write about things people genuinely want to read about. How To’s, Secrets Revealed, Tips & Tricks and anything Floral Wedding – these are all very popular just do not deviate from your profession, which in this case is the floral business.
  • Post your blog link with images and a title anywhere and every where you can. All you social media communities, send to friends via a text message and see if your local business partners will post on their social media communities and website.

 

Florists do you have any important marketing advice/tips that have been or are successful? Please share all your feedback, tips or any floral marketing related questions you would like addressed in the comment section below.

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Floranext Logo

Floranext makes great florist software. Florist websites, floral POS, florist wedding/event proposal software, and florist technology. Let us know if you want a free demo or try our software for free here.

buying-a-flower-shop-8-tips

Buying A Flower Shop – 8 Tips

August 23rd, 2017 Posted by Blog, Florist Operations, Florist Resources, Opening a Flower Shop 6 thoughts on “Buying A Flower Shop – 8 Tips”

buying-a-flower-shop

You have a creative passion and love for flowers, you dream of owning and operating a flower shop.

Your dream can be a reality! What other career choices can be as rewarding than being a flower shop owner and opening a flower shop?   How many times have we heard people say, “I wish I owned a flower shop.”

There are tons of nostalgic when it comes to being a flower shop owner. Using your creativity to sell everlasting emotions with flowers and surrounded by natures beauty on daily basis is priceless. Have you pondered taking the leap into the floral industry as a business owner? Go For It!

If you have come across a neighborhood flower shop that is for sale, even better! There are important key factors to look for when buying a flower shop.  Let’s review the benefits and 8 tips to consider when buying a flower shop.

Benefits Of Buying A Flower Shop

  • Less Up Front Costs
  • Easy Turn Around Time
  • Established Reputation
  • Continuous Cash Flow
  • Great SEO
  • Guidance from current owner
  • Trained Staff

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7. Whats Included In Purchase Price?

To run a flower shop, equipment, inventory and supplies are needed. Find out what is actually included in the purchase price. Look over the condition of equipment to see if it will need to be replaced sooner than later.

  • Coolers
  • Equipment
  • Inventory
  • Customer Data Base
  • Delivery Vehicle
  • Current POS & Website Software

Note: Does the purchase price include House Accounts (Accounts Receivable) take a look at these and see what is outstanding. 

 

florist-debt-buying-a-flower-shop

6. What Debt Are You Buying?

Take into consideration all the acquired debt when purchasing an existing shop. It is good to know what you will be responsible for once you take over ownership of flower shop.

  • Are suppliers owed money?
  • Are utilities up to date?
  • Are Government and State Taxes up to date?
  • Are there any liens on the business?

 

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5. Flower Shops With Wire Services

Some flower shops participate with wire services. If this is the case for the flower shop you are purchasing, establish whether or not the hardware of the wire service has been paid off.

  • Wire service hardware includes computer servers, printers, receipt printers and cash drawers.
  • Is the shop you are planning on purchasing in a contract with a wire service?
  • If you wish to continue to participate with said wire service, see whether you will resume payments on hardware or if the loan should be paid off before you take over.

Note: Not all existing flower shops for sale still owe balances on wire service hardware, if they do not, then you can just resume the monthly payments due if you wish to continue the wire service.

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4. Flower Shop Name & Domain Name

Will you have full rights to flower shop name and domain name? You must also take into consideration any domain names the existing Flower Shop has, domain names are the address for the flower shop’s website.

  • Regardless if you want to keep the existing flower shop name, it is always recommended to keep the domain name of the existing flower shop if it is placing higher on search engines.
  • Make sure that you read and go over any limited liabilities attached to the existing Flower Shop name when purchasing.
  • Make sure you have access to email accounts with the flower shop’s name, in particular, the one associated with Google Business account for the domain name.

 

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3. Credit Card Processing

There are many facets to credit processing and good to know and understand the basics. Will you continue with the same credit card processing merchant the existing flower shop is using?

  • If you are, then make sure to speak with the credit card merchant to change information.
  • You will also need to update your gateway if you are processing credit cards online. Be sure to update the bank information to receive timely deposits of sales.

Payment Gateway: A payment gateway is necessary to process sales online or brick and mortar. The gateway can store and encrypt customers credit card information.

Credit Card Merchant: A credit card merchant functions like a bank account who authorizes you, the merchant, to accept credit cards as payments. These accounts will work with a payment gateway.

Payment Processor: A financial institution that works behind the scenes. Connects to both the payment merchant and gateway passing the information back and forth.

Payment Aggregators: Allows you to accept credit payments without having to set up a merchant account. Payment aggregators have an internal gateway so no gateway setup is required with no extra costs for a gateway. The best-known payment aggregators are Stripe, Square and PayPal.

 

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2. Will you need to Hire Staff?

In some cases, most, if not all, the staff will stay when new owner acquires the flower shop.

  • There are times when the owner of the flower shop will also offer to stay for a specific time period to help out with training you, the new owner.
  • Are all current employees staying?
  • Will there be changes in scheduling?

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1. Be Hands On In The Floral Industry

It goes without saying that understanding the way the flower industry works is the key in pursuing a career as a floral business owner. Most business owners learn as they go, however, in the floral industry, floral designing, flower prep is important as all other business management tools. 

  • Even if you will have full-time floral designers, it is important that you understand floral design. Take a floral design class.
  • If owning a flower shop is your dream, think of working in a flower shop for some time to understand the business.
  • Have a flower shop owner mentor you, connect with other florists for help and guidance.

Florists, did you buy a flower shop? What is your experience?  What key advice would you give to our readers? Please share your feedback or questions below in the comment section.

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Floranext makes great florist software. Florist websites, floral POS, florist wedding/event proposal software, and florist technology. Let us know if you want a free demo or try our software for free here.

 

In-Lieu-Of-Flowers-Florist-Unite

In Lieu Of Flowers – Florist Unite

August 1st, 2017 Posted by Blog, events, Floral Design, Florist Operations, Florist Profits, Florist Resources, Opening a Flower Shop 22 thoughts on “In Lieu Of Flowers – Florist Unite”

Florist-Unite-In-Lea-Of-Flowers

In Lieu of Flowers is perhaps the most detrimental 4 words in floral business.

Conveying compassion and respect for one’s passing is traditionally defined by sending flowers. The utmost disappointment is that customers take “In Lieu Of Flowers” literally, we understand it does say “In Lieu Of Flowers”, however,  that in no way means the family does not want flowers at the viewing/funeral service.

As floral professionals you understand how somber a viewing/ funeral service would be without flowers. The added beauty of sympathy flower arrangements is there to offer comfort to the visitors and also pay tribute to the deceased.  The terminology of “In Lieu Of Flowers” has caused an uproar in the floral community as it should, this is awfully mistaken too many times by customers.

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The Future of In Lieu Of Flowers:

What is a floral business owner to do with the phrase “In Lieu Of Flowers?” We do not pretend to have all the answers, however, maybe it’s time once and for all the floral industry boycott this phrase altogether.

Although many florists have expressed their frustrations with local funeral homes, the “In Lieu Of Flowers” phrase offers a direct message not to send flowers and undermines the floral business. This is absolutely unacceptable, besides that, the true meaning of giving flowers is lost here. Regardless if someone wants to convey sympathy with flowers or not, there is no reason for the subliminal message!

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Educate Customers:

Take steps to post a blog on your floral website explaining to customers what “In Lieu Of Flowers” really means.  Have a small write up on the sympathy section on your website as well.

florist-funeral-flowers-sympathy

Write A Letter To Your Local Funeral Homes: 

This may or may not work, however, all it takes is one funeral home director to  understand the importance of re-wording “In Lieu Of Flowers” and make a difference. Changing wording to “Send flowers and donations here,”  “Memorial contributions can be sent here, ” completely changes the playing field.

There are so many different phrases that can be used to convey a less discriminatory message. What the floral community is asking for is not to make people send flowers for funeral services, but to leave tradition alone and allow people to make their own heartfelt decision.

florist-sympathy-funeral-flowers

Why Flowers Are Important At Funeral Services:

There truly is no other sentiment you can send for a memorial service be it, charity donations or even money itself that can express as many emotions as flowers do.

Since the beginning of time flowers have been displayed for the deceased as a symbol of condolences, sympathy, and love. Thousands of years ago, they were used for their wonderful fragrances and soft beauty. In this time of mourning when words are forgotten the flowers offer comfort to its surroundings. Flowers also represent one’s life’s cycle, from one’s birth to one’s passing.

Taking the flowers out of memorial service will make the ambiance look dim and murky. The flowers are there to create an environment which is more comforting for people when mourning.

We could go on and on why flowers are so important at memorial services, the simple reason is flowers are natures miracles, and florists are natures miracle workers. Nothing in this world expresses the same sentiment as flowers do when given as an expression of sympathy. Let’s encourage people to respect tradition an appreciate flowers.

florist-funeral-flowers

What is wrong with doing both?

Back in the day, some may remember, it was acceptable to give a monetary donation and flowers, a mass card, food and flowers for someone’s funeral service. No matter how you looked at it flowers worked  hand in hand with any other expression of sympathy.

Why are things different now? Do people have less money? Why not donate to desired charity and send flowers together?

In certain circumstances, if you cannot beat them then intrigue them! Perhaps the future of the floral business is to partner up with charities.  Sympathy flowers can be sent to the memorial service and florists can also donate to the respected charity on the customer’s behalf.

Although this may sound far fetched, there are ways to accomplish this by directly participating with well-known cause affected charities.


Florists we want to see your most creative Sympathy Funeral Arrangements, there is a true art to designing sympathy florals and we want to post in our upcoming September blog post.  Please include business owner name, flower shop name, location and sympathy floral designer name. Email to info@floranext.com

Florists, Has “In Lieu Flowers” hurt or has had very little effect on your floral business?  Please share your feedback in the comment section below. If you have any questions please post below as well!

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Floranext Logo

Floranext makes great florist software. Florist websites, floral POS, florist wedding/event proposal software, and florist technology. Let us know if you want a free demo or try our software for free here.

 

florist-marketing-google-my-business

Florist Marketing – Getting Started With Google My Business

July 26th, 2017 Posted by Blog, Florist Marketing, Florist Operations, Florist Profits, Florist Resources, florist technology, Florist Websites, Opening a Flower Shop, Search Engine Optimization, seo 5 thoughts on “Florist Marketing – Getting Started With Google My Business”

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Google My Business is one of the best ways to promote and create optimal visibility for your floral business or any business for that matter.

 Google My Business which was formally called Google Places is the ultimate platform for listing your flower shop on google search, maps, and Google + seamlessly all in one place.

Google My Business allows you to unite with your customers by essentially increasing your business presence on Google making you more credible and visible. In this blog, let’s talk about how to get started with Google My Business and how significant Google My Business is in making your business flourish (no pun intended).

 

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Image via Google

How To Sign Up For Google My Business:

If you are just starting your floral business, regardless if you have a Floral Website or not, make sure to sign up for Google My Business. Of course, if you own a flower shop you should have a floral website this will increase your brand visibility and will help search engines rank you higher.  

  • Click  Start Now in the upper right-hand corner of Google My Business
  • Enter your floral business address.
  • If you do offer walk in traffic into your shop make sure you select °Yes below where it states – I deliver goods and service to my customers at their location-important information ° Yes. If you offer customer walk in service at your flower shop leave this at ° No and click continue.
  • If you select °No for – I deliver goods and service to my customers at their location- You will see important information on the next page, similar businesses in the same area pop up on the next page, if any of these are in your location, select them. If none of these businesses are at your location, select None of these matches -Keep information I entered.  
  • If you selected °Yes you will see an information request on the services you offer. Enter where you deliver these services and within how many miles. If you do not select the box below where you serve customers at your location, your address will be hidden, however, your city and state will still show.
  • Google My Business will then ask you to verify the information on the following page. Take a look and make sure your address is correct. Let’s emphasize to make sure your store location is correct. Google My Business is very user-friendly, however, changing errors can be cumbersome, so take the time now to verify all information is accurate.  Agree to terms of service and click to continue.
  • Last Page, Google My Business will ask you how you would like the verification code, chances are it will be by mail, very few get phone calls. Wait approximately 1-2 weeks for a verification code and then verify your business by logging into Google My Business. Voila, it’s that easy! 

 

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How To Add Photos To Google My Business:

Did you know that the more images you add to Google My Business, the better your ranking is in Google Local Search? Make sure to add as many images as you can to your Google My Business account. With that said, there are many different categories of photos,  it is good to make sure they correspond correctly.

Profile Image – This will allow customers to recognize you and by you, we mean your business. The profile image will be displayed next to your business name on Google + and must be different from your Logo image.

Logo-When adding your logo image be sure that it is square, these look the best on Google.

Cover Image – This is the grand feature photo and should correspond to the services you offer.

Additional Images – Add as many photos as you like here, the more the merrier. These are viewed by customers who are looking at your listing. It is good to include your own designs of everyday arrangements, wedding and store front image if possible.

Tip: Try and pick a photo or logo that helps you stand out to make your listing more alluring for a click. 

To add your photos simply go to Google My Business sign in.

  • Click Photos from the menu and select the photo category you would like to showcase.
  • You can now upload your photo from your computer.

Tip: Best format for images are JPG or PNG – be sure quality is good, we do not want customers looking at fuzzy, dark images.

 

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image via google and hello you designs

Why Is Google My Business Important?

There are so many reasons why all business owners should and MUST be on Google My Business, especially if your business is location specific.  The biggest reason of all is the valuable impact it has in increasing your SEO ( search engine optimization).

Amazing Search Visibility– Landing on your location on Google is one of the best ways to increase your SEO (search engine optimization). Go ahead and type in any of these keywords on Google Search Page, City State Florist, Flower Shop and Zip Code/Postal Code.  Notice who comes firsts under the Map, these results are Local Search Results, courtesy of Google My Business, You cannot pay for these results.

Maps Your Floral Business Location – This, of course, allows the customer to come to you, believe it or not, they do. Besides that, it is also another vital piece of information for increasing your flower shop business SEO.

Allows For Customer Interaction: Google My Business allows for customers to interact with your business by leaving reviews and uploading their own photos. Every review counts, every photo upload counts!  How does it count? By increasing your SEO, remember you want to list between 1 to 3 on Google Local Search, which will help increase your clicks and sales.

 

Florists, how has Google My Business helped your floral business in the past years? Please share your feedback in the comment section below. If you have any questions please post below as well!

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Floranext Logo

Floranext makes great florist software. Florist websites, floral POS, florist wedding/event proposal software, and florist technology. Let us know if you want a free demo or try our software for free here.

Top 10 Florist Tips & Tricks

July 21st, 2017 Posted by Blog, design prepping, Floral Design, Florist Operations, Florist Resources, Opening a Flower Shop 7 thoughts on “Top 10 Florist Tips & Tricks”

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 These essential tips and tricks will make your daily floral design operations run smoothly and produce long lasting results.

Many floral design experts may already be using some if not all of these tips and tricks, For those new to the floristry industry take a look at these Top 10 fundamental tips to guide you in your flower shop business success.

10. Flowers Take A Deep Dive

 Submerge the whole flower/flowers into water, water enters through all parts of the flower which results in longer lasting floral arrangements.

9. Crowning Glory

This is a flower shop must have and easily one of the best-kept secrets in floral arranging. Crowning Glory is a spray wax that keeps your floral arrangements hydrated results are long lasting blooms for weeks. 

8. Alum

Keep hydrangeas from wilting with alum powder, this is not an old wives tale. Alum powder works in keeping hydrangeas gorgeous and wilt free. You can find Alum in your grocery spice aisle.  After the hydrangea stem is cut, place them directly into the Alum powder and continue with your floral arrangement.

7. Open Closed Flower Buds

To open up closed flower buds, dip them in warm water and then cold. This is a great tip for instantly showing casing an open bud arrangement.

6. Put Your Orchid Plants On Ice

 Instead of watering your orchid plants, try using an ice cube. The slow melting of the ice cube gives your orchid plant slow steady hydration and will keep it from drowning. This is also a good way to measure the amount of water to give your orchid plant, one ice cube a week is all that is needed. If it’s a larger orchid plant, it is OK to use 2 or 3 ice cubes a week.

5. Cut Flower Stems Underwater

For flowers of a more delicate nature (Peonies, and Dahlias) cut stem under water and always on an angle. This helps in their ability to absorb water thus increasing their longevity. A good tip is most all your flower stems can be cut underwater if you do not have access to a sink, just fill a large container next to work area. Remember to make sure container is cleaned.

4. Make A Grid

Many florists have whats called a mental grid by placing flowers in a vase or container and making a grid by overlapping stems and turning the container with flowers placed on angles on the outward portion of the vessel.  Essentially what this does is a create a holder for your flowers, making them look unified and balanced.  A mental grid for flower arrangements may not work for all floral designers, so in that case, you can make a tape grid. Just lay the tape horizontal and vertical and Voila you now have a flower holder to keep your blooms looking amazing.  This works especially well for short vases and low containers.

3. Keep Your Foliage Clear Of Water

When vase arranging, be sure to remove all foliage on your blooms and never any foliage below the water line. We know most florists know this, however, this is still a great tip. Just one little piece of foliage below the waterline can be detrimental to your floral arrangement causing to wilt and tuned.

2. Remove Lily Stamens

What are Stamens? Stamens are heavily pollinated and in the center of the lily. As soon as you’re lily opens, be sure to remove the pollen Remove stamens gently and try not to allow it to touch the lily. Removing the Stamens allows for long lasting lilies.

1.Floral Design Experiment

Paying homage to the ever so popular organic style of floral arranging today, we encourage you to forget the color wheel and experiment with different textures, herbs, beautiful foliage and blooms to create your own design style niche.

Good To Know

Do not dilute Crowning Glory with water. Diluting Crowning Glory with water has no benefit on your floral arrangements

We know, it’s very rare that a flower shop is keeping their flowers next to fruit, however, it is still important to mention that the gases omitted by fruit are not friendly to flowers. Remember to inform your patrons to avoid keeping their blooms next to fruit.

 

Florists do you have an essential Florist Tip & Trick that is helpful to you?  Please share your feedback in the comment section below. If you have any questions please post below as well!

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Floranext Logo

Floranext makes great florist software. Florist websites, floral POS, florist wedding/event proposal software, and florist technology. Let us know if you want a free demo or try our software for free here.

flower-crown-101-design

Floral Design 101 – Flower Crowns

July 12th, 2017 Posted by Blog, design prepping, Floral Design, Florist Resources, Flower Trends 6 thoughts on “Floral Design 101 – Flower Crowns”

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Flower crowns are the biggest trend right now and at this point, it’s safe to say they are not going away!

Although flower crowns are hugely sought after for weddings and special events now, they are actually a floral trend of the past starting in Ancient Greece where they were worn to pay tribute to gods and then much later to represent peace, love and harmony.

We welcome the flower crown today which represents celebration, some say fertility, besides that there is no doubt about it, everyone just looks so attractive in a flower crown.

Most florists know how to make a flower crown, but for those who are new to the floral industry, this blog will show you the easiest way to make a basic flower crown.

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Supplies:

You will need Wire, Wire Cutters or Floral Scissors, Stem Wrap Tape and Crowning Glory.

Floral Wire – You will need 22-inch gauge and 26-inch gauge wire. If you only have 26-inch gauge wire just be sure to double up to make the wire stronger when making the crown form.

Floral Stem Wrap – This is the same tape used for corsages and boutonnieres self-sealing wrap which sticks to itself and flower stems.

Wire Cutters/Floral Scissors –  What ever your preference is, you may feel it is easier and faster to work with both of these.

Crowning Glory – Slows the deterioration and browning of flowers, greens and plants.

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Floral Greens:

There are so many variations of greens you may use in a floral crown. If making a dainty floral crown you may opt for smaller leaf greens. We encourage you to try many variations of greens in your flower crowns.

Eucalyptus  – is a great leaf choice,  There are multiple variations of Eucalyptus that can be used to achieve that so sot after bohemian flower crown look.

Tip: Do not limit yourself,  experiment with different floral green variations when making your floral crown and try mixing greens together it looks amazing.

Florist-Flower-Crown

Flower/Filler Stems:

Pick your desired flower stems, think of what you want to accomplish with the flower crown. For a cluster on one side use, the main flower stem called the “statement flower” these can be big dahlias or garden roses, these look best with smaller surrounding flowers.

For the bohemian flower crown, that is ever so popular with smaller flowers, loads of greens, berries and filler flowers work to accomplish the look and feel.

Filler flowers should be selected as a compliment to the floral greens and flowers, use little touches here and there which provides lots of whimsy to the flower crown.

Be sure to select different variations of flowers if using spray roses, select buds and open roses, to create movement within the flower crown.

  • Ranunculus
  • Lisianthus
  • Juliet Garden Rose
  • Spray Roses
  • Wax Flower
  • Hypericum Berries
  • Baby’s Breath, and so many more – click here to see the full list of flowers

Tip: When you have the basics down on making a flower crown, there really are no rules when selecting flowers, greens and filler. Use a little of this, or no greens, or more filler, it’s up to your imagination and creation.  Just be sure the flower crown still consists of the basic principles of flower design,  Balance, Harmony, Proportion, Movement & Unity.

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How To Make An Easy Flower Crown:

We promise its way easier then it looks.

  1. Cut your foliage to about 4- 6 inches and set aside, no need to pre-wire your foliage ahead of time.
  2. Cut your berries now if you like or you may cut as you go later.
  3. Cut your statement flower and flowers picking the heads that you need, remember to mix it up and use various sizes of the same flower.
  4. Trim flowers to about 1/2 inch to an 1″ underneath the head of the flower.
  5. Cut your 26-inch gauge wire into a piece that is about 5 inches long.
  6. In the largest part of the flower calyx (calyx is also known as sepals and it the part of the flower that holds the reproductive organs) go ahead and run the wire horizontally in the largest part of the calyx right below the flower head. Bring the wire ends together and use your stem wrap to cover the wire completely.
  7. Go ahead and do this to all your floral stems.
  8. If using filler flowers such as wax or other filler flowers there is no need to wire.
  9. Making the flower crown form.  Take two pieces of 22-inch gauge wire make sure to use the floral stem wrap to secure the wire one end to another end to complete one horizontal line.
  10. Feel free to wrap the wire around your head at this time and figure out a starting point slightly in front of the ear, behind or even right in the front.
  11. We find it easier to work with the crown open, so you can maneuver as needed later
  12. Take your small pieces of greens starting one by one and lay on the wire using stem wrap to secure the greens on the wire at the end of the stem.  As you go, be sure to overlap the greens to hide the floral stem wrap and pull on the floral stem wrap stretching around the wire.
  13. Add about 2-3 green cut stems and then a little bit of your filler flower of choice, use your floral stem wrap to secure the filler flower.
  14. Make sure that your stems are facing in the right direction outward of the crown.
  15. Add your flowers and berries the same way you added your greens and filler, be sure to look at the crown to make sure that it looks balanced.
  16.  Keep in mind most crowns have flower clusters which do not go fully around the crown, decide the look you are going for.
  17. Be sure to treat the flower crown with Crowning Glory, spray directly on flower crown which will slow down the wilting.
  18. Flower crowns can be made two days ahead of time and stored in a cooler in a sealed container much like a courage or boutonniere.

Tip: Be sure to always use 100% Crowning Glory do not dilute with water, adding water does not allow Crowning Glory to work to its full benefit and has little affect in prolonging the life of your flowers. 

Florist We Would Love To Share Your Flower Crown Masterpiece!

Submit your Flower Crown images and be featured in August blog with credit to you and your flower shop!  For all Flower Crown image submissions email here info@Floranext.com be sure to add your name, shop name and designer of flower crown.

Florists do you have a Flower Crown tip? Please share your feedback in the comment section below. If you have any questions please post below as well!

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Floranext Logo

Floranext makes great florist software. Florist websites, floral POS, florist wedding/event proposal software, and florist technology. Let us know if you want a free demo or try our software for free here.