Posts tagged "floristsforchange"

Prep for Autumn: Don’t Let Big Box Stores Take Your Flower Shop’s Fall Sales

September 3rd, 2014 Posted by Jessica Blog, Florist Marketing, Florist Resources, Florists for Change, Opening a Flower Shop 3 thoughts on “Prep for Autumn: Don’t Let Big Box Stores Take Your Flower Shop’s Fall Sales”

The other busy season is almost upon florists again yet many may not even know it. We’re not talking about the Christmas through Mother’s Day rush that keeps us busy in the spring – this is autumn! Here are some tips on how to market your flower shop for fall!

Flower Shop Marketing - Fall

Are you showing off your Fall florals on the home page of your website?

The season that sends many potential customers rushing to big box stores, hardware stores, and even greenhouses when they should be rushing to your flower shop. This is an important three-month decorating season that florists have much to offer to. Below are some tips to make sure you’re taking advantage of the autumn sales that should be yours. Be sure to read them over and leave us some tips of your own in the comment section.

Flower Shops Can Offer More

Many people think of florists as a spot for gifts, special occasions, and indoor arrangements, but flower shops can offer so much more. Florists offer unique inventory that your customers won’t find and a generic home improvement shop. Your customers need to understand that your shop offers hand-crafted specialty items that will stand out from the cookie-cutter décor that many settle for.

Wreaths, table top gardens, entry pieces, and centerpieces are just a few of the opportunities that florists have to show off their craft and give your customers stunning new looks to experiment with. Don’t be afraid to emphasize that your small, local-owned flower shop is the place for your customers to shop. Shopping locally or shopping small is very popular at the moment (Small Business Saturday is just around the corner!).

Flower Shop Marketing - Fall

What to stock for your flower shop

Fall occupies a special place in many people’s hearts, so be sure to stock something special and seasonal for them! In addition to all of the materials needed for the items above, don’t be afraid to compete for outdoor space! Must stock fall products include hay bales, corn stalks, scarecrows, pumpkins and mini pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn, fall door wreaths etc. There’s no reason to lose out to franchised hardware store for sales your shop could easily make.

Show your store off

Let potential customers know that your flower shop should be their one stop shop for fall decorating before they even pull into the parking lot. An eye-catching outdoor display in front of your flower shop will show people that you have exciting fall décor to offer. A fall window will give you a chance to show off your technical skills and draw in passersby.

Of course, now days your digital storefront has nearly as much impact as your actual storefront. On your website, be sure to show off your fall product category with new banners, products, or even backgrounds. If you’re already active on social media, now is a good time to begin teasing your customers with shots of new inventory as well as new fall designs.

Another way to go about this is to show off the fall items you have in stock each week or 2 on your blog, website, or favorite social media platforms. Your customers will appreciate the inside look at your business with these “What’s Fresh this Week” style posts. Shops that have been diligent in collecting customer emails will have an extra step up with the ability to send out email marketing and maybe even a coupon to promote decorating services and fall products.

Is your flower shop making the most of the Fall season?

Given all the advantages of shopping with a florist for fall décor, it’s surprising how many flower shops are missing out. Following the steps above will help ensure your business is capturing as much fall business as possible over the three month season. How does your shop rank? Let us know what creative ideas you’ve put in place to keep customers coming back to you as their one-stop-fall-shop.


 

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Florists for Change – Letter to Vendors

October 4th, 2011 Posted by Admin Florist Resources, Florists for Change 2 thoughts on “Florists for Change – Letter to Vendors”

Florists for Change’s Atlanta meeting will focus heavily on inviting vendors to present their solutions. Floranext will present our florist POS and florist website solution.

Here is the invitation letter from the FFC team to vendors.

Florists For Change - Invitation to Floranext

Image via google.com

We are in Atlanta and covering the Florists for Change event. Here was the agenda for the day!

Dear Floral Industry Service Provider:
As you likely know, Florists for Change (“FFC”) is a new organization whose principal purpose is to improve the industry for the traditional retail florist (“TRF”). We, the four founding trustees of FFC, will seek strategic relationships with a variety of floral industry service providers and suppliers (“FIS”) whom FFC may elect to designate Associate Members, based upon a set of requirements and uniformly applied selection criteria established solely by we trustees and authorized officers of FFC. Associate Membership in FFC will confer certain responsibilities, obligations, and benefits to the FIS, as established and modified from time to time by FFC.

Should your company wish to apply for Associate Membership in FFC in the future, and should you wish to engage the florist attendees of the upcoming FFC meeting in Atlanta on October 03, 2011, we encourage you to respond to this letter immediately, clearly stating the reasons your company should be designated an Associate Member of FFC, explaining how its involvement will be of benefit to FFC, providing a detailed outline of your presentation, in which you explain how you will meet and adhere to the responsibilities and obligations of Associate Membership described below. Your presentation will be of 10 minutes maximum duration, followed by 5-minutes maximum for questions from the floor.

We trustees will carefully review your response and outline to determine whether it would be appropriate for you to make such a presentation at this meeting. A limited number of FIS guests will be invited to speak, and those will have demonstrated their clear intent of supporting and advancing the goals of FFC.

Responsibilities and Obligations of Associate Membership
An Associate Member (“AM”) of FFC must publicly state in writing its endorsement and support of FFC with an explicit pledge to assist FFC in achieving its Mission:
Florists for Change is dedicated to improving the economics of the retail florist by encouraging industry advertising, providing exceptional consumer value, and promoting equitable trading among florists.

This endorsement must also explicitly support FFC’s Code of Ethics. On a practical level, this means that an AM must pledge the following:
1. To not knowingly conduct or support business entities who conduct deceptive (consumer) advertising in the floral industry for the purpose of order aggregation.
a. In this context, a deceptive advertiser is one which purposefully misrepresents itself as a local florist in given market when in fact it is not, or which purposefully utilizes the name of one or more established local florists to willfully confuse and thereby deceive consumers in believing that it is the entity misrepresented, when in fact it is not.

2. To conduct its business operations through the prism of the “Golden Rule”, focusing on high ethical standards of fair trading, providing the highest possible value for its customers, and promoting an unconditional, unequivocal, unlimited, no-hassle 100% satisfaction guarantee to its customers, any of whom might be TRFs, other AMs, or end-consumers.

3. For so long as an FIS is an AM of FFC, it must contribute to FFC an agreed-upon percentage of sales of its goods and services to FFC members for the specific purpose of funding a multi-year, pervasive, non-brand specific “Buy Local Flowers” advertising campaign. Said campaign(s) will be developed and managed solely by FFC with the intention of use in the North American market. AMs must account for said sales and periodically present the same to FFC, and agree to periodic audits of said accounting upon 30-days prior written demand by FFC.

Benefits of Associate Membership
By virtue of your Associate Membership in FFC, you overtly demonstrate to the floral community:
1. your concern for the welfare of floral consumers, the industry, and traditional retail florists, and your recognition that we are all operate symbiotically in this business,

2. your agreement that positive changes for improvements in this industry are overdue, most particularly, general category advertising compelling consumers to buy flowers from local florists,

3. your confirmation that your business is profoundly and refreshingly different than from the deceptive advertisers that hurt consumers and TRFs.

FFC will publicly endorse products and services of AMs to its general membership and potential members as a benefit of general membership, and will individually feature its AMs in printed and electronic communications with general members of FFC.

For a nominal charge, FFC will provide a list of AMs on a page on the FFC website, and each AM will be represented by a business-card sized link to the AM’s website, and FFC will provide AMs qualified periodic lists of FFC general members who have opted to receive marketing materials from FFC and its AMs. Said charges will be directly applied to the FFC advertising fund.

By helping FFC, you help your own business. Together, we truly can bring the goals of FFC to fruition. We urge you to get on board for the good of our great industry. If not now, when? If not you, who? After all, we ARE Florists for Change!

Thank you for your kind consideration.

Sincerely,

Betsy Hall – Hall’s Flower Shop and Garden Center, Stone Mountain GA
Keith Hill – Beaverton Florists, Beaverton, OR
Dirk Lorenz – Fremont Flowers, Fremont, CA
Mike Fiannaca – Sparks Florist, Reno and Sparks, NV

Flower-Shop-Profitable

Two Steps To Make Your Flower Shop More Profitable

September 22nd, 2011 Posted by Admin Blog, Florist Profits 4 thoughts on “Two Steps To Make Your Flower Shop More Profitable”

Flower-Shop-Profitable

Could two small changes really make your flower shop more profitable? We wanted to highlight a great article from the Florists Review by Ken Royer about two critical, but easy-to-implement changes that will make your flower shop more profitable. The full text is below but here are the highlights.

1. Lower Your Prices

2. Sell Un-Arranged Flowers – it will enable you to sell lower priced flowers profitably

At Floranext we have seen this in action. We have florists that have done over 1,000 web orders in six months, while others other florists that have done just a handful. These florists follow a simple formula: sell affordable flowers, barely arranged. And promote them like hell. This approach has translated to a hugely profitable online, walk-in, and phone business.

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“POSITIONING YOUR BUSINESS FOR FUTURE SUCCESS”

Two actions you must take if you want to regain lost sales of cut flowers and increase sales.
by Kenneth R. Royer, AAF

After conducting many seminars for florist groups and consulting with many individual florists, it has become my view that what florists want to sell and what consumers want to buy are at odds with one another.

It begins with shop owners who enter the retail flower business with unrealistic and sometimes romanticized views of the business. Many get into the business because they have artistic inclinations and believe they can express them in flower arranging. Those beliefs are often supported by design schools and industry media that concentrate primarily on floral arrangements. Those influences guide many florists to position their businesses to focus primarily on unique, individually created floral arrangements, which appeal mostly to upscale customers. In doing so, those florists position themselves as less affordable and, thus, less appealing to middle-income customers.

A missed opportunity
Because of their focus on arrangements, many florists have shown little interest in selling unarranged flowers. For the majority of consumers, however, floral design takes a backseat to the flowers themselves, and they will willingly make their social expressions with unarranged flowers.

The emergence of ProFlowers’ e-commerce business model is evidence of that. ProFlowers displays flowers in vases on its Web site, but the company actually sells unarranged flowers in a box, often accompanied by a vase, and ships them overnight by FedEx. There is no semblance of a professional florist’s touch. The company does, however, provide attractive, good-quality unarranged flowers. Its growth since its launch in 1998 has been astonishing. The evidence is undeniable, proving that a large number of customers are satisfied with unarranged flowers.

Repositioning on arrangements
I believe there are two measures that need to be taken to stop the decline in florists’ arrangement sales. The first is to create lower price points. The second is to improve access and simplify purchasing.

1. LOWERING PRICE POINTS
More florists need to target middle-income consumers who have been switching to flower vendors offering more affordable prices. The comfortable $20 to $40 price points of those middle-income consumers may not support the unique, individually created arrangements many florists offer. And, in all likelihood, those types of arrangements are not what those consumers are looking for. After all, that group is not accustomed to custom-designed clothing, custom-made automobiles or even custom greeting cards. In today’s world, there is very little that most people can afford that is custom made.

Florists do not need to reduce prices on their artful, top-of-the-line arrangements. They can continue to make those types of arrangements, but they also need to provide arrangements at price points between $20 and $40. And they must find ways to do it profitably.

One solution is reducing cost of goods sold. Following are two suggestions for doing that.

• Arrangement content In order to provide lower price points profitably, florists must reduce arrangement costs. They need to focus their purchasing on what is profitable rather than on flowers that are personally appealing or new or exotic. For example, high-markup flowers might be carnations or spray mums (pompons), which often are priced at four or five times their cost. ‘Stargazer’ lilies or Anthuriums, on the other hand, are examples of low-markup flowers, which are often priced at only two or three times their cost.

It is important, of course, to include new, interesting flowers in arrangements, but the ratio of those low-markup “prestige” flowers to the high-markup “basic” flowers needs to be managed. The goal is to simultaneously achieve the “right look” and profitability. Neither needs to be sacrificed for the other, but it is important that a high percentage of the most profitable flowers be included in every arrangement.

• Wholesale purchasing To obtain wholesale flowers at lower prices, many retail florists need to be more creative in their buying. There is an oversupply of flowers in the world at this time, but most retail florists do not benefit from it because they work out of their wholesalers’ refrigerators, buying only what they need for a single day or even for a single order. Wholesalers will not provide retailers with the best prices if they purchase that way.

It is important to understand that there are no set prices in wholesale flower businesses. What you pay will be determined by your salesperson, who is rewarded for making profitable sales. They will not offer lower prices if they know that those lower prices will not result in increases in quantities purchased. The fact is that, because of overall declining sales volumes and high service expectations, wholesalers’ margins have increased from 20 percent years ago to the current 40 percent to 50 percent.

Florists can get lower prices, however. Here’s how. First, always ask the price. Secondly, purchase a disproportionate amount of one kind of flower. It should be as much as a half box or a full box, even if that seems like more than can be used in the following four or five days. The challenge, of course, will be to put that “buy of the week” to use before the end of the week, or it will be wasted.

Here are three ways to do that:

1. Use as much as possible of the special buy in all “recipe” arrangements.
2. Use the special buy in every custom arrangement as much as is practical.
3. Offer a weekly special of the special buy in small unarranged bunches. Each bunch should
• contain a minimum of three or four of the special-buy flowers.
• be priced at less than $4.
• be offered every week, hopefully with a different flower each week and at the same price
every week.

• be promoted creatively.

Unfortunately, if a large percentage of a florist’s sales are incoming wire orders for custom arrangements, the strategy outlined above is not as useful. Today, profitability almost demands that incoming wire orders be limited to 15 percent of total sales.

2. SELLING UNARRANGED FLOWERS
The other substantial change in positioning on arrangements is for florists to adjust their thinking about small sales. Dunya Tanitimtch florists have long understood that, in order to survive, they must sell unarranged flowers in addition to arrangements. They create large, accessible displays containing a hundred or more of each kind—and sometimes each color—of flower. Customers select individual flowers from those mass displays.

Many Dutch florists do not have back-room refrigerators, where flowers are stored out of sight of customers. In contrast, most American florists, unfortunately, have a high percentage of their flowers in a workroom refrigerator, where they are hidden from potential buyers.

In my early years, I, too, was guilty of discouraging customers who came into the store for a few fresh flowers. In many cases, they were people with European accents who were not interested in the arrangements in our display refrigerator. Instead, they preferred to see what was in our back-room refrigerator. We regarded that as a disturbance and an annoyance at that time instead of a source of substantial additional sales.

• Repositioning yourself Later, my attitude toward unarranged flower sales changed drastically, largely due to some experiments on weekend specials conducted decades ago by Dr. Peter Pfahl, of The Pennsylvania State University, in State College, Pa. The experiments proved it is possible to sell loose flowers at special cash-and-carry prices without detracting from sales of flowers at regular prices.

Soon after the results were published, we started selling weekend specials. We were amazed at the large numbers of people we attracted with small 1-inch ads in the newspaper and how our store traffic and sales growth in all categories accelerated.

Something was happening to our image. Consumers began to perceive us as an affordable florist and one that was willing to sell flowers without arranging them and that was happy to make small sales. We repositioned ourselves in consumers’ minds. Over the years, we have worked to maintain that positioning.

• Pricing Before seeing the light, we, like other florists at that time, marked up flower prices to include the cost of arrangement and delivery. Those who did not want the flowers arranged or delivered paid for it anyway because it was part of the markup. It is a policy that is very damaging to florists.

After much observation of bucket shops and street vendors that provide no service at all, I believe a 2.5-times markup on flowers is adequate. In other words, a flower purchased at wholesale for 20 cents should be sold for 50 cents.

It is damaging to the image of florists when consumers see Alstroemerias priced at 70 cents a stem in a grocery store floral department and at $1.50 or more in a flower shop. It reinforces the belief that florists are expensive, which is very detrimental in today’s marketplace.

growth is essential
To survive in the future, I believe florists will need to have at least $320,000 in sales (the average sales volume of florists with payrolls in 2007, reported by the U.S. Census Bureau). The fixed costs of running a store at a desirable location can hardly be covered with less than that amount of sales. Florists will also need to generate more local sales and reduce the number of incoming wire orders, on which they make little or no profit.

The florist of the future needs to be perceived as affordable, knowledgeable, creative and dependable, and the flower shop of the future must be a place where consumers can buy flowers easily, in every possible form and at reasonable prices.

Florists will have to place more emphasis on the flowers themselves, and they’ll have to produce arrangements more efficiently, so they can be priced more affordably.

For more information on this subject, access Mr. Royer’s book, Retailing Flowers Profitably, at www.usretailflowers.com. Click on “About Us,” and then click on the book icon.

To comment on this article, send an e-mail to ken.royer@royers.com or editors@floristsreview.com.

Kenneth R. Royer, AAF, is a lifetime florist who expanded the business started by his mother in 1937 into what is now, arguably, the largest traditional florist business in the United States—U.S. Retail Flowers, Inc.—which is operated today by his three sons.

Throughout his career, Mr. Royer has served the industry in numerous ways—holding positions with the Society of American Florists (SAF), the American Floral Marketing Council (AFMC) and the American Floral Endowment (AFE); conducting seminars; writing articles; and authoring a book, Retailing Flowers Profitably.

Mr. Royer also is the recipient of many awards, including SAF’s Golden Bouquet Award (now named the Paul Ecke Jr. Award) and lifetime achievement awards from FTD and Teleflora.

Florists for Change Meeting in Las Vegas – LiveBlogging the Event

August 16th, 2011 Posted by Admin Blog 0 thoughts on “Florists for Change Meeting in Las Vegas – LiveBlogging the Event”
Las-Vegas -Florist-For-Change

Las Vegas – Setting of the Florists for Change meeting

The Florists for Change Facebook group, created less than a month ago, already has over 900 “likes” from florists across the US. The stated mission is to devise innovative ways to help support local florists and reconsider the traditional paradigm for sending/receiving orders.

Over the next few days we will be live-blogging the Florists for Change event, straight from Las Vegas.

At Floranext, we are optimists – we believe that change in the industry is possible. We think that social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In) are the tools we need to turn a fragmented floral industry into one with a cohesive voice.

We think that florists have relied for too long on other companies to do marketing on their behalf. We need to put tools and technologies back in the hands of the brick and mortar florists — to enable them to market themselves as individual businesses and as an industry.

Viva la Revolucion!