Posts tagged "florist wire services"

Opening a Flower Shop – What I Wish I Knew!

June 19th, 2018 Posted by Admin Florist Marketing, Florist Point of Sale, Florist POS, Florist Profits, Florist Resources, florist technology, Florist Websites, Opening a Flower Shop 63 thoughts on “Opening a Flower Shop – What I Wish I Knew!”

Opening a flower shop, like any new business, requires lots of hard work, love, and dedication. And some good information.

 

Open-A-Flower-Shop-What-I-Wish-I-Knew

 

What do you wish you knew when you decided to open a flower shop? Here are some things we have learned. Let us know your tips also!

Florist Marketing

  • Online reputation is critical – Stay on top of Yelp, Google Places, and other review websites. Customers are turning to online outlets to express their praise/frustration – stay in control.
  • Low cost/No cost marketing – is often the best – community activity gets free marketing.  
  • Email marketing – send out coupons and discounts at least every month. Make sure your florist website supports this.

Florist Wire Services

  • Avoid Wire Service Lock-In – Don’t get stuck with long-term commitments for florist POS and florist websites. Flexibility is key for any small business.
  • Wire Services Ads – your money is going to fund ads running against your business in your local area.
  • Statements – Review your statements with an accountant or bookkeeper to see if you’re actually making money.
  • Codified Products / Containers – Know your options.  Sometimes the minimum purchase of these expensive containers far outweighs the earning potential.  Many florists team up to split a box or you can choose to not buy the codified container and instead purchase something similar from your trusted vendor.  In that case, you can still fill wire-in orders that allow for a keepsake substitution without breaking the bank.

Florist Credit Card Processing

  • Big Costs – Credit card processing is an unexciting but critical part of your business. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by choosing the right merchant account. Compare processors.
  • Statements – Compare your statements to be sure you’re getting a good deal.
  • Contracts – Contracts can be okay, but avoid early termination fees and similar lock-ins.

Feel free to contact Floranext for input on florist credit card processing.

Florist Software

  • Floral POS pays for itself – Good floral software increases productivity and has built-in marketing – you will save on time, labor and get more orders.
  • Independent solutions – think independent for your floral software, florist POS, and florist proposal software – you will get lower prices and more flexibility.
  • Florist websites – Make sure your florist website looks unique – it’s a critical part of your brand.

 
Starting a Florist? Get our FREE florist eBook

 

Flower Shop Operations

  • Delivery Confirmations – are practically expected by customers these days as a part of basic customer service.
  • Check your work – Have a checker on all designs that leave the store.
  • Handling complaints – create an action plan for your staff so everyone feels empowered to help that occasional sour customer with a smile and grace.

Holidays (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day)

  • Record keeping – it’s essential to predict future years – keep notes on sales, prices, weather.
  • Planning – Make a game plan weeks before any holiday for staffing, buying, and marketing.
  • Be aware of your competition – See what the wire services and other florists in your area are offering and offer up something unique and/or comparable.

Flower Care

  • Keep buckets clean – change water and recut any flowers that haven’t sold within 3 days of arriving.

Florist Staffing

  • Do not overstaff – use part-timers for flexibility.
  • Staff smart – Experienced designers will require a higher wage than a General Shop worker.  Schedule designers enough hours to fill orders and create some designs for the display case then let the general help take it from there.  

Working with Vendors

  • Share information – don’t be afraid to ask other florists who they get their supplies from.
  • Check invoices – to be sure you are paying a reasonable price for your supplies and check each delivery to be sure you have received everything you paid for.  Mistakes happen!
  • Know what you are paying – and what you need to charge with your markup.  Be sure your staff knows this too!
  • Communication – with vendors is key. Let them know when you receive an unsatisfactory product or when they deliver in a timely manner.  These relationships will help you stand out against other shops.

Florist Community

  • Florist Advice – Lean on other florists for advice with free Facebook florist communities. Some are invite-only, so be in touch with other florists to find the most popular communities.

Want more info on getting started in the flower business?

Check out our articles on increasing florist profits and our florist survey on opening a flower shop

 

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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!

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Opening A Flower Shop – Florist Tips

April 19th, 2017 Posted by Idalina Bertone Blog, Florist Ecommerce, Florist Operations, Florist Profits, Florist Resources, florist technology, Florist Websites, Mother's Day, Opening a Flower Shop, Survey, Valentine's Day 8 thoughts on “Opening A Flower Shop – Florist Tips”

Opening-a-flower-shop-florist-tips

 Opening a flower shop is a great career opportunity. You get to be creative and work with flowers all day, right?

Well, yes. However, there are so many other facets when it comes to opening a flower shop business. The floral industry does require much more than just designing flowers. Remember, you are selling, designing, delivering, marketing and much more!

We asked florist’s all around the world to share their most crucial advice/tips on opening a flower business. If you are thinking or just starting a floral business this will help you get answers to some of your questions.

 

Question1-florist advice

Which is most important when opening a flower shop?

  1. Location (111%)
  2. Creativity (55%)
  3. Revenue (52%)
  4. I just like flowers (7%)
  5. All of the above (63%)
  6. Other (30%)

 With an overwhelming 111%, Florists have stated that location is key when opening a flower shop. So remember Location, Location, Location.

Additional Florist Expert Advice: 

  • “Is there a need in your community for “Your” idea of a flower shop?” – Wild By Nature
  • “Knowledge of business in general. KNOWING how to design already!” – Victorias Floral Design 
  • “Driven work ethic.” – Tilted Tulip Florist
  • “Social media, marketing and internet presence” – anonymous
  • “A working knowledge of flower care and preparation methods and reliable suppliers.” –  The Enchanted Florist

 Question2-florist-advice

What would you say surprised you when you opened your flower shop?

Long hours was the #1 answer by most florist’s for this question, however, there were many great responses that we believe are important to keep in mind when opening a floral business.

Additional Florist Expert Advice: 

  • “How much yelp reviews really grew my business. After the first year, people calling the shop always mentioned: “I found you on Yelp”. I had more business from that then the local community that soon followed.” – Ace of Vase
  • “All the prep work” – anonymous
  • “The overwhelming bookkeeping if you are no prepared or don’t have enough financial experience.” – Flower Bomb
  • “That many of the people who buy flowers know a lot of things about them.” – anonymous
  • “How much you worry about it all and never get a true break from it. Even when on holiday, you don’t ever stop! ” – Beco Flowers
  • “It’s hard work.” –  anonymous
  • “How quickly the local people embraced us.” – Maureen’s Designs
  • “How much of a percent wire service take for orders.” –  anonymous
  • “How complicated the process was from start to finish- all the different ways something could go wrong from the weather to the shipping issues, flower care, and handling, order taking, design and delivery.” – The Flower Bar
  • “How much fun it is!” – anonymous
  • “The physical aspect – from collecting and packing flowers at the market to the lifting, cleaning and moving of heavy buckets.”  – Petals

 

question3-florist-advice

 How much money do you say is needed to start your own brick and mortar flower business?

  1. $1,000 to $5,000 (10%)
  2. $5,001 – $10,000 (22%)
  3. $10,001 – $15,000 (60%)
  4. Other (102%)

Other was the #1 answer for this question with the winning budget amount $25,000.

Additional Florist Expert Advice: 

  • “Depends on style location. Could be as little as $300. or as much as $250,000.” – Kelly Mayo
  • “$40,000 ” – anonymous
  • “Up to $50,000. You need refrigeration, insurance, vehicles. You also need to buy flowers and supplies c o d for at least 6 months before people trust you. Salaries and advertising are big unexpected hits in the first 6 months.” – Gloria’s Florist
  • “I began with 15k. I would have been wiser to double that.”  – anonymous
  • “The worst thing is to be undercapitalized” – anonymous
  • “Purchase a shop already in operation if possible, would be what I recommend. “-  anonymous

 question4-florist-advice

 If you could open your flower shop today, what is the one thing you would do differently?

Do not join a wire service was the #1 answer if florists could do one thing differently. Trailing behind and almost taking over the number one sport was “Choose a better location,” with having an eCommerce website in third.

Additional Florist Expert Advice: 

  • “The decor and the location to be more accessible.”-  anonymous
  • “Design myself and eliminate payroll” – anonymous
  • “Not take wire orders, EVER.” – anonymous
  • “Web strategy and online marketing”  – Menifee Florist
  • “I would go to flower school first and then open my flower shop.” – anonymous
  • “I would have done more advertising to let people know I was there. Put decals on my van sooner. ” –  Mugfords Flower Shoppe
  • “Coolers flush to the floor and better processing area.” – The University Florist
  • “MORE WEB EXPOSURE.” – anonymous
  • “Change business name” – anonymous

 

question5-florist-advice

 What is the best part of opening a flower shop?

  1. Customer Interaction (50%)
  2. Money, Money, Money (3%)
  3. Being Creative (45%)
  4. Being Your Own Boss (62%)
  5. Flowers Galore (9%)
  6. Other (22%)

Florists have chosen Being Your Own Boss as the best part of opening a flower shop. Though percentages were very close, coming in at 2nd place is Customer Interaction.

Additional Florist Expert Advice: 

  • “Creating something bigger than myself.” – Studio Vincca
  • “Being my own boss and being able to bring my children to work with me.” – anonymous
  • “Satisfying a deep desire to own my own business, and put my big business and academic knowledge to work.” – anonymous
  • “Bringing smiles to people’s faces thru my creativity.” – anonymous
  • “Being able to go to a job you love every single day of your life! ” – anonymous
  • “Rewarding to know you could do it, pleasing customers with your products.” – anonymous

 

question6-florist-advice

What would be your most valuable tip to someone who wants to open a flower shop?

Working in a flower shop was the most valuable tip given to someone who wants to open a flower shop. This gives new prospects the understanding and functionality of how a flower shop is operated.

Additional Florist Expert Advice: 

  • “Go for it! You must always try! Do not cut yourself short with the funds when borrowing $$.” – anonymous
  • “You have to be passionate about flowers and ready for hard working for many hours to open a flower shop!!!”-  anonymous
  • “Service from the heart.” – Yousef
  • “Control labor and cost of goods sold.”-  anonymous
  • “Keep your focus on quality and customer service.” – anonymous
  • “Forget the idea there is no money to be made anymore and stay way from wire services.”-  anonymous
  • “Be creative, make a difference.” – Floral Factory

 

Question7-Florist-Advice

What is the worst part of owning a flower shop?

  1. Customer Interaction (4%)
  2. Long Hours (64%)
  3. Demanding Work Load (49%)
  4. Having To Be Creative All The Time (2%)
  5. Nothing (13%)
  6. Other (54%)

Long hours took the top with florists on the worst part of owning a flower shop. The long hours and the demanding workload is something each florist will experience when opening and running a flower shop.

Additional Florist Expert Advice: 

  • “All of it. Long hours, Staff, Customers, Physical Demand.” – Musgrove Florist
  • “Having to make all the decisions and be the boss.” – anonymous
  • “You pretty much need to eat, drink & sleep it unless you have a well paid very skilled staff.” – Flower Bomb

 

question8-florist advice

Would you recommend someone join a floral wire service when opening a flower shop? Tell us yes or no and why.

Overwhelmingly the #1 answer to this question was no, there was a tremendous response to this question with many great florist advice.

  • “No! They undersell the florist and steal their business.” – anonymous
  • “You don’t have to belong to a wire service at first. Many shops are moving to a direct call system where they call other shops and offer reciprocating discounts for the shop to shop orders. A wire service is helpful when you have the high volume out of town orders or if you have inexperienced employees.” – Beco Flowers
  • “No. But I’m trying to get away from them. You have to buy their software/equipment and it is over priced. In the end you really only get around 70% of the order amount. Once you take out your costs & labor there’s not much profit there.” – Tilted Tulip Florist
  • “Depends on the area- But I say no in this day and age.” – anonymous
  • “Nope, No longer can make money with them.” – anonymous
  • “Maybe for the first year to get your name out, but negotiate the terms. Otherwise no” – anonymous
  • “Yes and No. They steal your hard earn income but it is more difficult to get orders and new clients without them. They have completely cornered the floral market.” – Amazing Occasion
  • “Maybe but be selective and shop around.” – anonymous

 

Question9-florist-advice

According to design, what makes the most revenue?

  1. Everyday Arrangements (40%)
  2. Parties & Events (17%)
  3. Sympathy (84%)
  4. Weddings (35%)
  5. Other (16%)

Sympathy is the biggest revenue generator for florists with everyday arrangements coming in second.

 

question10-florist-advice

What are the standard flowers, filler, and greens you order on a weekly basis for your flower shop?

  • “Baby breath, wax flowers and leather leaf.” – anonymous
  • “Roses! Carnations, Mums, Alstromeria Lilies & Pomps/Daisies because they last… I like when people tell me and others how long their flowers lasted. Filler flowers – Baby’s Breath for sure and one or two others. Then some feature flowers for interest…Stock, Iris, Tulips etc. depending on the season.” – anonymous
  • “Salal, Leather Leaf, Ruscus, Pitt, Tree Fern, Bear Grass, Aspidistra. – 1/4 box poms, 100 carns, 10 mini green hydrangeas, 10 select hydrangea, 20 alstroemeria, seasonal filler box, 200 red roses, 250 mixed color roses, and a dutch seasonal novelty box”  – Musgrove Florist
  • “White, blue and green hydrangea, green anastia mums, green trick, gerbera daisies, roses lilies, lisianthus, pincushion protea, stock, and snaps. Alstroemeria every other week. Greens are variegated Aspidistra, salal tips, and variegated Pitt.” –  Wild by Nature
  • ” We stay away from the typical standards (carnations/mums) and buy the more unique blooms. Weekly purchases include mini cymbidium sprays (so many ways to use them!), hydrangeas and seasonal flowers such as tulips in spring, sunflowers in late summer, etc.” – anonymous

 

question11-florist-advice

What popular florist holiday makes your business the most revenue?

  1. Valentine’s Day (66%)
  2. Easter (0%)
  3. Mother’s Day (86%)
  4. Memorial Day (1%)
  5. Halloween (0%)
  6. Thanksgiving (1%)
  7. Christmas (20%)
  8. None (4%)
  9. Other (14%)

Step back Valentine’s Day, With a whopping 86% Mother’s Day won the top spot with the most revenue made for a flower shop.

 

question12-florist-advice

What are the must have florist tools when opening a flower shop?

A knife was #1 tool recommended as a must have when opening a flower shop, with Secateurs taking 2nd place. For those of you who are not familiar with Secateurs, they are pruning clippers. Good scissors were also very close to 2nd place.

“Floral tape, wet foam, containers, knives, wrap paper, cellophane, deferent wires gauge, scissors, ribbon, bows, moist and shine spray”  – anonymous

“FloraNext! A cooler is also an important investment.” – Petals Flower Company

“Knife, wire nips, pruning shears…great accounting system, telephone, the internet….and the list goes on!!!” – anonymous

“A cooler, buckets, cutting tools, containers.” – anonymous

“Computer, phones, functional front of store, good size fridge” – Carls Flower Company

“A good POS system and Website.” – anonymous

“Knives, Scissors. Clippers” – anonymous


Florist’s we are very appreciative of your participation in our surveys. We had an overwhelming response to “tips on opening a flower shop survey”. We plan to continue surveys as your expert tips and advice is so helpful to our readers and for new and upcoming florists who are considering or opening a flower shop.

Please share any feedback you may have on Opening A Flower Shop in our comment section below.

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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.

 

 

Floral-Wire-Service

What Are Flower Wire Services?

September 7th, 2016 Posted by Idalina Bertone Florist Profits, Florist Resources, Opening a Flower Shop 7 thoughts on “What Are Flower Wire Services?”

What Are Floral Wire Services

What are flower wire services, how do they work?

In order to answer this question, we would like to explain the history of how they became into existence and get into a brief detail on how they work.

Flower Wire Service was created in 1910 (genius for its time) – a group of 15 United States Florists set out to create the Florist Telegraph Delivery Service.

Participating members exchanged business via Telegraph messages, hence the name Wire Service.

In addition, Florist Telegraph Delivery Service, better known as FTD, other companies saw an opportunity and jumped on this ever so popular bandwagon.

Floral Wire Services had their origins in the days of the Telegraph

Floral Wire Services had their origins in the days of the Telegraph

Flower Wire Service, How It  Works

Customers can purchase from a Broker (Wire Service Provider) on various wire service companies websites or by calling them. Once an order is placed it will be sent to a local flower shop in the area of which the recipient resides to be filled and delivered.

Lilac Bouquet

Flower Wire In

The Broker (Flower Wire Service Provider) will keep the customers (Shipping/Service Fees & Taxes) and send the filling florist a total amount in which to fill the order.

Here is a general breakdown on how flower wire in payments work.

(Some flower shops request a delivery fee rather than take it off the top – if you are a flower wire service member please request additional for delivery)

  • Mixed Vase Arrangement (Wire Service Provider Website)  $49.99
  • Shipping/Service Fees & Taxes $30.00 (for same day delivery at 9:40 am on a Wednesday – less $7.00 for next day delivery)
  • Total charged to the customer $79.99
  • Total issued to the filling florist $49.99 
  • Total paid to local florist at the end of the month $49.99 x 80% (this is a generalized percentage rate take note some wire service companies pay less) = $39.99 

Florist you do not pay tax on flower wire ins!

Flower Wire Outs

If you are the sending florist and are sending to a flower shop, you will receive 20% and keep the customers delivery fee and tax (Some florist extend half of the delivery fee to the filling florist), this is ultimately your choice.

Florists you do pay tax on flower wire outs!

Typical Fees Charged by Wire Services

  • Membership Fees
  • Advertising Fees
  • Floral Product Fees

If you owe for hardware (computer, printer, cash drawer, receipt printer) expect this to also be included in your bill, generally hardware takes years to pay off.

Note:  All membership fees and other fees will come off product filled payments owed to you. The filling florist with most wire service providers will receive a check or bill at the end of the month. Expect a bill if your filling products did not cover all of your fees.

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Should you join a Flower Wire Service ?

  • You have the choice – No longer in the flower industry is joining a flower wire service mandatory.
  • The telegraph has come and gone and we now have the internet which allows customers to find florists all over the world.

That being said – joining a flower wire service is personal decision for your flower business. Reviewing your monthly statement is key -if you are making a monthly profit then we say go for it – unfortunately many shops do not and end up breaking even if they’re lucky.

Important Tips – with most flower wire service providers, please be sure to confirm filled order delivery’s before the allotted time – cancel orders you can not fill in a timely manner, you will get charged for any delays with the wire in order processing regulations.

 

Florist please give your advice to our readers on your experiences with flower wire service.

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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.

Floranext Florist POS To Support Flower Shop Network

April 17th, 2013 Posted by Admin Blog, Florist Point of Sale, Florist POS, florist technology, florist-software, Flower Shop Network, FSN, Opening a Flower Shop 3 thoughts on “Floranext Florist POS To Support Flower Shop Network”

Floranext POS customers can send and receive florist orders through Flower Shop Network.

Floranext is excited to announce a partnership with Flower Shop Network. We are happy to be able to offer another great tool to independent florists.

Floranext florist Point of Sale customers can now send and receive florist to florist orders through Flower Shop Network.

Floranext POS customers can access  FSN’s thousands of member florists across the US and Canada.

FSN’s Florist to Florist Orders

  • No monthly fees.
  • Pay only when you send.
  • Receiving florist gets 80%, not 70% or 73% like wire services.
  • Receiving florist gets paid weekly for orders filled.
  • Send orders electronically at $3.99 per order.

How Floranext POS Works with FSN

Sending Orders – Send orders right in Floranext POS- no double entry, saving time and margin of error.

Receiving Orders – The Floranext florist POS automatically pulls FSN florist to florist orders. You get notified about an order by FSN by email and text message – you can then go to your Floranext POS orders list and either Accept or Reject the incoming order.

Floranext and Flower Shop Network – Try Free

Want to try out Floranext’s florist Point of Sale with FSN integration? Contact us for a free demo or free trial.

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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!

How Teleflora(TM) Stole $13.6 Million From Florists Overnight

December 2nd, 2010 Posted by Admin Blog, Florist Ecommerce, Florist Marketing, Florist Profits, Florist Resources, Florists for Change 15 thoughts on “How Teleflora(TM) Stole $13.6 Million From Florists Overnight”
Telaflora-Stole-From-Florists

image via pixabay.com

Teleflora™ just updated its product catalog.

Great you think? Fantastic new seasonal photos for my florist website, great new products for my customers? Well think again.

Teleflora™ updated its product catalog and is now charging its member $399 each plus $14.99 per month for ongoing updates — total $580 next year for new cost.

In addition, florists need to buy new containers, adding additional cost! If we assume conservatively that florists stock half of the 11 new containers, that they need to buy them by the dozen, and that the vases cost $3 above a plain vanilla container — that’s an additional $180 in container cost per florist over the next year, bringing the grand total to $760 Teleflora will charge the average member florist!

So let’s do some quick math.  Teleflora’s™ website says they have 18,000 florists. If the average florist pays $760 next year — that’s $13.6 million they will make next year alone from rolling out a product catalog!

That’s $13.6 million dollars Teleflora™ will earn for work that cost them maybe $100,000! In retail terms, that’s a 13,600% markup on the company’s $100k investment — this is an insult to retail florists who have built Teleflora™’s business.

In what other industry is it possible for providers to mark up their products more than 13,000%? This is Wikipedia’s description of a monopoly — sound familiar?

In economics, a monopoly exists when a specific individual or an enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it. Monopolies are thus characterised by a lack of economic competition for the good or service that they provide and a lack of viable substitute goods. The verb “monopolise” refers to the process by which a firm gains persistently greater market share than what is expected under perfect competition.

In other words, this is yet another updated, refreshed version of Monopoly™: The Flower Shop Edition. And where is that $13.6 million going? Advertising Teleflora’s brand, not yours.

Retail florists can take back control from the wire services. Call your Teleflora™ rep and tell him what you think about their monopoly behavior. And start thinking about independent ways to market your business without the wire services.