Posts tagged "marketing"

Flower Workshops: More Engagement, and More Marketing

August 7th, 2019 Posted by Josh D Blog, Floral Instagram, Florist Ecommerce, Florist Marketing, Florist Operations, Florist Profits, Florist Resources 1 thought on “Flower Workshops: More Engagement, and More Marketing”

As a present-day florist, you need to diversify the services you offer to stay above your competition.

We all know that simply selling flowers doesn’t cut it in the floral industry and economy of today. That’s why florists offer delivery, holiday decorating, weddings and event florals, and many other products and services to help business thrive. Organizing workshops is one technique we’d like to spotlight today that helps draw in potential customers and serves as a way to give back to the community.

A floral workshop is a space you can personally engage with your customers. You can do many kinds of workshops, from general flower arranging, caring for various houseplants, to arranging for different occasions and flowers.

Preparing the space and materials for the workshops can be hard work, but another part of the preparation that many florists forget is getting the word out about your workshops. What use are your workshops if only a few people attend it? The good news is thanks to the proliferation of social media, spreading the word about something has never been easier.

Florist Marketing Materials

First off, you should have marketing materials ready at your disposal. To be able to reach as much audience as you can, you should reach out to as many media outlets as possible and have appropriate materials for each medium. One important marketing material is the poster, one that you can physically print out to be posted in your immediate vicinity like your shop, community boards, and other places in your area that allows you to post such materials. 

You also need to have a virtual copy of that poster for a variety of purposes online, mainly for your newsletters (if you have one) and your social media networks. For newsletters, you can just reuse that same poster and maybe add more information, as well as an invite link to online registration if available.

Image via Shutterstock

Social Media Marketing

In social media, you’ll have to put in a bit more effort. To effectively let your marketing material catch attention, your poster must be designed so that it contains all the pertinent information in one go. You will need to take advantage of the thumbnail sizes of each social media platform so that when people scroll through your post on their timeline, they don’t need to click on the image to see the information they need and you can avoid cropping out important details. Here are some thumbnail sizes of some social media sites:

Facebook: Facebook automatically generates a thumbnail for images with a maximum aspect ratio of 2:3 (vertical). A good poster to post in Facebook would then have the same aspect ratio , or a shorter aspect ratio (up to 1:1 or a square) to avoid having any part of your poster cropped out. If you opt for a landscape poster, take note that Facebook will simply scale down your image to 500 px wide, retaining the aspect ratio. Make sure the details are still clear once viewed.

Twitter: Like Facebook, Twitter also generates thumbnails for images. Tweets with single images display their photos to an aspect ratio of 2:1 (landscape), so horizontal posters work best there. Posters that are 1024 px wide and 512 px tall are good enough for Twitter.

Instagram: Once renowned for square photos, Instagram has since then supported non-square photos, but this aspect ratio is still the popular choice among users, thus it’s the safest go-to aspect ratio for the site. For horizontal posters, you can go up to an aspect ratio of 16:9, while portrait photos go up to 4:5 before anything gets cropped out. Letting any dimension reach 1080 px is good enough for Instagram (for example, 1080 x 1080 square photo).

Facebook, Instagram Stories and Snapchat (and all similar platforms): Stories are all portrait pictures, and generally have an aspect ratio of 16:9. However, you don’t have to focus on this; posting the same image that you did to the main platform will work.

Image via Shutterstock

Be Excited About Your Event!

After the visual materials, you need to show enthusiasm about your own event, and let that positive energy spread. Facebook, especially, helps you do so with Events, which works like a normal Page, but for specific events with a date and time. Putting up posts works like normal, so you can pretty much easily pick it up the first time.

Keep the customers excited by slowly giving a sneak peek at the materials, venue, and things to learn. Dropping tidbits of your preparations let them be part of the event way before it even started, and it might even spark interest for those who weren’t interested beforehand. Engage with the people who comment on those posts by replying, always reminding them to attend the event and let them you are excited they’re coming. To encourage people to interact with your posts, incentivize engagements by giving discount coupons or something similar.

You also have to manage the frequency of the posts. Posting too much can intimidate customers or give them a blind spot for the event, while posting too little can allow them to forget about the event entirely. Posting once per day until the day of the event should be your goal.

Workshops can be tiring to execute, but at the end of the day, if done well they will contribute positively to your business and help your business grow.

 

Florists, what are some ways you promote or market your workshops? Please share your comments 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.

The Perfect DIY Floral Photo Studio: Right at Your Shop

July 31st, 2019 Posted by Josh D Blog, Floral Design, Floral Supplies, Florist Ecommerce, Florist Marketing, Florist Operations, Florist Resources, florist technology, photos, Stunning Photo Galleries 0 thoughts on “The Perfect DIY Floral Photo Studio: Right at Your Shop”

Flowers speak a visual language in the natural world, communicating with colors and shapes.

Flowers also have meanings and connotations that we have devised for them. As a florist, you can take advantage of this beauty because people nowadays have become especially receptive to visual content. Given the rise of platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, making use of this high time for visual content is a no-brainer.

How do you take advantage of this, you ask? By creating visual content like pictures and videos! To do so, you can set up your space to be perfect for photo shoots. Today we will be discussing how to make the perfect DIY flower photo studio right at your shop, with little cost!

Image via Shutterstock

A DIY Photo Studio’s Physical Look

First and foremost, the most important thing we need for our DIY photo studio is the space. There should be some dedicated space around your shop for a photo studio. Consider the following:

Natural Lighting

In photography, nothing beats natural lighting in terms of its cost and effectiveness. Preferably, your photo studio should be near a large window, where you can have natural light from outside most part of the day. If natural lighting is hard to come by, then don’t fret, because artificial lighting will save the day (see below). But again, nothing can still beat natural lighting, so do your best to find a good space for this.

Space

This shouldn’t be that big an issue for florists; the largest single arrangement you may need to take a picture of is a wedding or funeral piece. However, your photo studio should still be spacious not just for the products but for your camera set-up. Give enough distance between your products and your camera, and for your artificial lighting rig.

Furniture

For the most part, you will only need a table (preferably circular) or a bouquet stand when you take pictures. A folding table is useful since it can be folded and tucked away when you need your space back. Keeping a chair around is a no-brainer, too.

Backdrops

If you happen to have a white wall in the space, then you probably don’t need any other backdrop—that’s more than enough for basic photography. If you want to get more creative with your flower shots, you can hand paint materials like a wooden board or canvas to make textured backdrops. With a bit of ingenuity, you should get fairly decent backdrops with that method.

Image via Shutterstock

After choosing your space, we will deal with lighting and how to manipulate it. As said before, natural light is by far the cheapest and cost-effective light source that you can have. With natural light, you can get by with only a white cloth or cardboard as light diffusers. However, if it cannot be helped, you can use artificial lighting.

Artificial light’s main advantage is your full control over them, but as a part-time flower photographer, this may not mean much to you. In photography, there are two types of artificial lighting: continuous and flash. Continuous (or constant) light sources are similar to natural light, and should be the most relevant type of artificial light for you. Flash light sources can be used in very niche situations, so you might not need to get one right away.

Even though artificial lighting sounds like it’s going to break the bank, with some creativity an ordinary desk lamp can go a long way for your flower photography. Any similar, or larger lamps can work for your set-up, too.

After deciding your lighting set-up, you should also get light modifiers in cases where your current set-up produces bad results. Some basic light modifiers are umbrellas, softboxes, and reflectors. In fact, in tight budgets, you could get by with just an umbrella and DIYing your softbox by covering a standing lamp with a white cotton or silk cloth. For reflectors, any material white and flat enough should work.

Studio Set-up

Now that we have our space, we need to set it up as a photo studio. As a quick rule of thumb, you should make sure to put your flowers or products near the light source to get as much even light as possible. Keeping this in mind, a good position to start with is having the table placed perpendicular to your light source, letting the light face the side of the product. Opposite the window and past the table is your reflector, to help distribute light evenly into the product. Put up your backdrop behind the table and your camera set-up in front. This should be  your basic set-up for most cases.

Of course, you can freely change this set-up for specific scenes that you might to play with. Don’t hesitate to add more objects as you see fit, as much as your studio allows.

Image via Shutterstock

A DIY Flower Photographer’s Tools

As a florist-turned-DIY flower photographer, you might be thinking that you need to splurge hard for your tools, especially with the camera. However, for all intents and purposes that will be covered by your studio, smartphone cameras are actually decent enough.

With today’s camera technologies, smartphones can deliver DSLR-level images with little to no fuss. Of course, dedicated cameras will still be superior over these devices, but for someone like us, newbie photographers who may not know much about photography, a good eye for images is all we need with our smartphones to make it work. Not only is it cheap, it is also convenient.

If you really want to get into the dedicated camera route, and you are confident about learning photography tricks with it, we recommend getting cameras that allow manual settings for exposure and aperture—most cameras on the market should allow at least this much.

Aside from your camera, one crucial tool that you will need is the tripod. No matter what camera you use, stability is important in taking that perfect shot. You should get the appropriate tripod that you will need for your set-up, there’s no avoiding this.

Lastly, to finish off your photo studio, you will need your knowledge as a florist to make everything work. As a florist, you have a keen eye as to which flowers look best and how well these flowers will look. You should let your creative florist heart lead each photo shoot to make sure that you capture the flowers’ beauty in its entirety, and be able to enrapture potential customers.

As a budding flower photographer, you don’t need to start out with the professional tools to be able to put out quality content. With a little bit of creativity and ingenuity, you can get by with a small budget and deliver beautiful pictures that give the flowers justice in their images.

 

Florists, how are you taking photos of your arrangements now? Any plans to change your setup? Share your thoughts and ideas 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.

SEO Should Start With Google My Business

July 17th, 2019 Posted by Josh D Blog, floral system, floral systems, Florist Ecommerce, Florist Marketing, Florist Operations, Florist Websites, Search Engine Optimization, seo 0 thoughts on “SEO Should Start With Google My Business”

Today’s consumers rely heavily on the internet for everything, and shopping for flowers is no exception. That’s why your online presence must be strong!

Search engine optimization should focus on customers in your direct vicinity. Local SEO is important, perhaps even more so than general SEO, because your direct source of reliable income will be the customers nearest to you. so optimizing your online presence that will prioritize them should be the first step for your business SEO.

So, search engine optimization, as its name suggests, allows your business website to be easily seen at the top of search results, thus increasing your online visibility. The best way to go about your first steps of SEO is through Google My Business.

Florist Tools For SEO

For starters, Google My Business is a free tool that Google provides that helps business owners manage their online presence across Google’s services, particularly Search and Maps. It helps you organize information about your business, and complements your website if you have one. Optimizing your Google My Business listing is important since 90% of organic searches are from Google itself. GMB also seamlessly connects Local Search and Maps, saving you the effort of optimizing for two of the most useful Google services for businesses. But most of all, what makes it really attractive as an SEO tool is the arsenal of tools it has to manage your online presence effectively.

How to Start with Google My Business

So, to start with Google My Business, you’ll need a Google account. It’s best to make a separate account for your business, or use the one you want to be associated with your business. Proceed to google.com/business and click on the “Start Now” button at the upper right corner. From there on, fill up the basic information about your business.

Google also lets you set up the service area so that they can set it up for Local Search and Maps. There are five ways to verify your listing, so you can choose which way is easiest or most convenient for you. Putting up your store’s operating hours helps people know when you’re also available.

Image via Shutterstock

Google My Business Profile

After dealing with the basics, we should go over to the rest of your business’s listing. Go through your business profile and fill up as much information as you can, because anyone can “suggest an edit” to your listing for missing information, so getting accurate information the first time is crucial.

Upload as many images and as high-quality as possible; according to Google, businesses with photos see 35% more clicks to their website and 42% higher requests for driving directions in Maps. These images should showcase as much of your business as possible so that people can easily spot your business when they go past it. 

After your listing goes live, people going through it can also leave reviews about your business. In this case, you should try to be as responsive to all reviews as possible, whether the review is positive or negative. This way, people will see that you care about how satisfied your customers were after availing your services.

Thank customers for leaving positive reviews, encourage them to come back and maybe even drop an offer for a new service. For negative reviews, aim to resolve the issue, and get back to them if you have done something to fix it. Each response is a mark of sincerity for your dedication to customer satisfaction.

Continue to update Google My Business

Google My Business also lets you publish posts, which you can use for announcing events, offers, new products, and more. It can be useful to get new information related to your business out to prospective customers. What makes it such a great feature is that these posts appear alongside your listing in the Google search results page, so you can put out announcements that might entice customers. It’s a terribly underrated and underused feature of Google My Business that you should check out.

Further Optimizations

As with business, improvements for GMB will always be available at any point down the road. Luckily, it also offers tools that help you know which parts of your listing might need optimizing. GMB Insights is a nifty tool that shows how people have interacted with your listing. 

The Insights panel in the Google My Business dashboard tell you (1) how many views your listing had, (2) how and where people find your listings, (3) what people do with your listings, and many more. You can work around with the information you get there to know which parts of your listing might need improvements. You might need to update information around your listing, work on places where your listing is falling off, and make good use of the ways that people interact with your listing the most.

You can also add some sort of FAQs right at your listings. Called Q&A, this section lets people ask questions about your business that you can answer. The questions stay in your listing, so you should endeavor to answer common questions that you think most people will ask. People can also drop their own questions, so you should also check it from time to time.

Of course, do not forget about updating the information in your listing whenever it changes. Keeping your listing updated is ever so crucial in this fast-paced world, and missing a beat will also let you miss a lot of potential customers.

Image via Shutterstock

Keeping up with the trends of the business world can be daunting. It wasn’t until 10 years ago or so when the world became ever so dependent on the Internet for a lot of things. Businesses who wanted to be in the forefront of this era took advantage of this traffic, and Google has given businesses with the Google My Business tool to help ease the difficulty of keeping up with things like search engine optimization.

Not only does it help in your first steps in local SEO, it’s relatively easy to set up and greatly enhances your online presence, especially in Google’s most used services Search and Maps.

 

Florists, how has Google My Business helped increase your business’s visibility? Please share your comments, thoughts, and suggestions 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.

Is the Decline of Facebook Affecting Your Floral Business?

July 10th, 2019 Posted by Josh D Floral Instagram, Florist Ecommerce, Florist Marketing, Florist Resources, florist technology, Florist Websites 0 thoughts on “Is the Decline of Facebook Affecting Your Floral Business?”

Social media has had an overwhelming impact on human interaction since its inception, particularly in business.

Social media has changed how people obtain information, and vastly increased the volume of content that we consume. Facebook remains the most-used social media platform, but recently its title is being threatened by another social media platform focusing on images and videos, Instagram.

Origins of Facebook

Inspired by unviersity face books which contain students’ photos and basic information, Facebook began at Harvard University in 2003 as FaceMash. It creator, Mark Zuckerburg went on to open “TheFacebook” to other Harvard students in 2004.

As time passed, membership expanded to other universities, high schools, then to private companies, until it finally opened to everyone in 2006. Since then, it has slowly accumulated users, reaching a staggering 2.3 billion active user count by December 2018. As a company, Facebook, Inc. has also acquired other services, including the photo and video-sharing social networking service, Instagram, which also boasts a user count of 1 billion as of May 2019.

As two different social networking services, Facebook and Instagram compete against each other for the same audience, despite being owned by the same company. With similar features but a radically different overall focus, both services are popular all over the globe and Facebook takes the lead for most number of active users.

Image via Shutterstock

Facebook’s Decline

Over the past two years in the United States, Facebook has lost 15 million users, per a study from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

The decrease is most obvious among users aged 12-34, or teenagers and young adults. In the same age bracket and time period, Instagram showed growth, increasing from 64% to 66%. Snapchat, although outclassed by Instagram, sees the same trend across the United States and the United Kingdom.

From this data we can infer that tweens and young adults are turning to Instagram and Snapchat for their visual content, and eMarketer says the same. This does not pose a huge threat to Facebook, because they still rule the realm of social networking services. However, it will be a concern that they are losing out among younger age groups. As Facebook owns Instagram, that should soften the blow. But what does that mean for your business?

How Does This Affect Florists?

In the grand scale of things, it only slightly affects the floral industry. Facebook will remain relevant as a platform for promoting businesses for the foreseeable future, given its expansive set of tools for promotions and its largest user base compared to other services.

However, the motivation to focus on visual content becomes higher, especially for businesses whose main audience are young people, because this age group communicates most using visual content. The floral industry can greatly benefit from this traffic, as flowers speak in the same visual language. By focusing more on visuals, your floral businesses can reach your audience more easily.

Visual content is not limited to pictures, it also includes videos. Sped-up or “time lapse” videos are trending across social networks, which is a trend you can join in on with just your smartphone. You may also consider a montage of arranging the flowers for events, like weddings or parties.

Image via Shutterstock

Facebook may still be the king of social media, but in light of current trends, it’s high time for industries reliant on or benefitting from visual content to expand to other platforms.

 

Florists, have you seen a decline in engagement on Facebook? Are you using Instagram to market your floral business? Share your comments, thoughts, and ideas 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.

Google My Business Local Guides: What Florists Should Know

June 12th, 2019 Posted by Josh D Blog, Florist Marketing, Florist Operations, Florist Resources, florist technology, Florist Websites, Search Engine Optimization, seo 0 thoughts on “Google My Business Local Guides: What Florists Should Know”

Google My Business Local Guides

Customers search online about the things they want to buy, even if it’s a simple local purchase.

 

Google is not only helpful for consumers, but it’s also good for businesses. As long as you can use that to your advantage by strengthening your business’s online presence, your floral e-commerce website can succeed. 

Florist Quick Guide to Google My Business

Google My Business is Google’s one-stop shop for all things online for your business. It is an online platform that contains tools where you can manage how your business will look like in Google and Google Search.

Google My Business (GMB) improves your local SEO by:

* Giving you the options to add your business and the relevant details to Search and Maps

* Viewing and replying to customer reviews

* Adding photos

What are Google My Business local Guides?

Google My Business’s Local guides allow people to contribute to the following:

*Adding information to Maps

*Adding photos

*Updating information on businesses they are familiar with or local to them

*Adding new places to the platform.

The program differentiates individuals into tiers, depending on how much they have contributed to Maps. The goal for them is to keep Maps updated and help other people be fully informed about the businesses and places around them. 

Aside from adding data, Local Guides can also add reviews to business listings. However, they are considered to be more reliable users, thus their reviews appear more frequently and on top of the reviews list. 

Google My Business Local Guides-help

Image via Shutterstock

How Can I Improve My Local Pages?

Customers who come across your business, those who make a purchase or require service can be a Local Guide. It can be hard to tell Local Guides apart from normal customers. Local Guides reviews are trusted more by people just with the sheer fact that their reviews are given priority when displaying reviews on your listing.

You cannot just pick out Local Guides from your customers and give them the best service you can. The key here is to treat all your customers the same and give the best service as much as you can to everyone. 

Encourage customers to leave reviews for your business listing in Google Maps.

When receiving Positive Reviews:

*Reply to reviews in your listing

*Make sure to thank the reviewer

*Offer them to return 

*Try out a new service that you might have started on your business.

 

When receiving Negative Reviews:

*Be polite and courteous

*State the status of the concern or issue the review was having problems with.

*Apologize for the issue or concern

*Offer to replace or fix the issue

 

Doing this will give people the impression that you are very mindful of the concerns that your business has and responsive to your customer base.

 

Google My Business Guides

Image via Shutterstock

The tools that GMB provides are beneficial in boosting your online presence, and most especially in the local setting. Taking advantage of these tools is thus invaluable in helping out your business grow.

Florists, have you been using Google my Business: Local Guides? Please share your thoughts and comments 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.

 

pet-friendly-plants-flowers

Florist Guide to Pet-Friendly Flowers and Plants

May 1st, 2019 Posted by Josh D Blog, Floral Design, Florist Marketing, Florist Operations, Florist Profits, Florist Resources, Florists for Change, Flower Fun, flower lists 4 thoughts on “Florist Guide to Pet-Friendly Flowers and Plants”

pet-friendly-flowers-plants

Did you know May is National Pet Month in the United States?

May is officially here! A month of Spring Flowers, Mother’s Day and a month to cherish our four-legged furry friends!

As florists, you may have been asked the question time and time again, what flowers or plants are safe around animals?

Every pet owner knows their furry friend will chew on anything it can get into, and at some point it will gravitate towards plants and flowers. As beautiful as plants and flowers are, some can be particularly dangerous to our furry companions. Pets are members of the family, so the last thing we want is for them to get sick from flowers or plants that are toxic to them.

Of course, as florists, you don’t want customers who have pets to stay entirely away from all flower arrangements and plants, but it is good to be aware of what plants and flowers are toxic.

We hope this Florist Guide to Pet-Friendly Flowers and Plants are useful for your floral business and your customers!

cat-sunflowers-laying

Image via Shutterstock

Top Toxic Flowers and Plants

Aloe Vera
Amaryllis
Azalea
Baby’s Breath (toxic to dogs, safe for cats)
Begonia
Birds of Paradise
Carnation
Chrysanthemum
Daffodils
Dieffenbachia
Eucalyptus
Iris
Ivy
Mother in Law’s Tongue/Snake Plant
Narcissus
Oleander
Poinsettia
Tulips
Wisteria

dog-roses-safe

Image via Shutterstock

Top Pet-Friendly Flowers and Plants

Aster
Alstroemeria
Daisies
Fern Varieties
*Lilies (safe for dogs, toxic to cats)
Marigolds
Orchids
Pansies
Petunia
Roses
Snapdragons
Sunflowers
Spider Plant this
Violets
Zinnia

pets-friendly-florist

Image via Shutterstock

Signs and Symptoms of Flower and Plant Toxicity

If you suspect that a pet has ingested a toxic plant or flowers, please contact your vet right away. Here are some signs:

  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Nausea

For a full and complete listing of toxic and non-toxic plants, we recommend the ASPCA website for more information.

When customers are ordering flowers or a plant for a pet-friendly household, just take a few extra minutes to check the list! This will help strengthen the relationship between you and the customer and provides confidence to keep them coming back.

Florists, do you get asked a lot what is pet-friendly? What do you offer your customers when asked this question? Please share your thoughts and comments 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.

mothers-day-flowers-supplies

Florist Checklist for Mother’s Day 2019

April 9th, 2019 Posted by Andrew Blog, design prepping, Floral Design, Floral Holiday Tips, Floral Supplies, floral systems, Mother's Day 1 thought on “Florist Checklist for Mother’s Day 2019”

florist-checklist-for-mothers-day

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

Having a plan in place to make the most revenue during Mother’s Day is critical to earning the rewards of this bustling, blossoming occasion. Read on for an agenda to help you plan and organize your shop for the upcoming Mother’s Day holiday.

Website-mother's-day-social-media

1. Promote Your Floral Business!

Begin by using your floral website and social media profiles to start marketing your floral arrangements and your business. It’s not too late!

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! You want to make it as easy as possible for customers to make a purchase—this also means that advertising your social media heavily on your website can actually lead customers away from making a purchase.
    • 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 on delivery, returns, and substitutions will alleviate any headaches for you and your customers and help head off negative customer experiences.

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 offering discounts. Remind customers why they should order flowers through your business.

staffing-mothers-day

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 tips!

Hiring

  • If hiring extra help, have them come in on a day before Mother’s Day week to go over their responsibilities and training.
  • If hiring extra drivers, discuss with them whether 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 scheduled out two weeks in advance. That way there are no surprises to your staff and you have time to make adjustments and improvise as needed.
  • Go over job descriptions with employees—it’s always useful to remind everyone what their 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 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! Breaks are important but it doesn’t take much energy to tidy up.

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 premade orders in a cooler tagged with date of pickup 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.

florist-relaxing

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. Avoid open-toed 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 florists 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.

google-my-business-feature

How and Why Florists Should Use Google My Business

March 27th, 2019 Posted by Josh D Blog, floral system, floral systems, Florist Ecommerce, Florist Marketing, Florist Operations, Florist Profits, Florist Resources, florist technology, Florist Websites, florist-software, mobile website, Search Engine Optimization, seo 1 thought on “How and Why Florists Should Use Google My Business”

google-my-business-for-florists

Using Google My Business is one of the best ways to improve your floral business website’s visibility.

 

Google My Business (formerly called Google Places) is the number one platform for listing your flower shop on Google searches, and Google Maps! Google My Business allows you to improve your business’s credibility and visibility, by showing you are verified on one of the most trusted platforms on the Internet.

 

google-my-business-florists

 

Signing Up for Google for Business

If you are just starting your floral business, whether or not you have a floral website set up or not, start your application here.

Click Manage Now and enter your Business Name.

 

Next, you will be asked if you want to add a location that customers can visit, such as a store or an office.

If Yes – Enter Store Address. This will be displayed on Google Search and Google Maps

If No (you do NOT have a physical location that customers can visit you at), just click No.

 

Regardless of your answer, you will next be prompted to add areas that your business may service. Say Yes to this, and be sure to use the search bar provided to type in ALL applicable Delivery Areas for your Business.

 

Next, you will need to choose a business category. Just start typing and you will see many suggestions pop up that could be applicable. You can only add one at this screen, however, it is easy to add more after you have completed signing up.

 

Once you choose your category, you will be asked which contact details you’d like to show to customers. If you already have a website, go ahead and enter your Website Domain URL in the provided space. If you have a phone number for your business, go ahead and enter that as well.  If you don’t have a website yet, simply select “I don’t need a Website” (you definitely need one, but not for the purposes of signing up here). You can add in a website later at any time by using the Info Section.

 

Once you have completed the application process, you will likely be prompted to Verify your new listing. This is almost always done by sending a Verification Code by Post to your Business’s mailing address. Once you receive the Code in the Post, you can then enter that code onto your Google Business Verification page, to confirm the verification. This can take between a week, or sometimes two weeks for the code to arrive via post, so it is important to begin this process with Google My Business ASAP.

You’re done! You now have a Verified Listing on Google Business, that will show up for customers who are searching for your type of business in your local search area!

Now that we are signed in and verified on Google Business, let’s take a look at the various sections of the GMB Dashboard that will require our attention.

 

The Home Page

This will be your Main Hub for your Google Business dashboard. Here you can do a little bit of everything, such as: quickly see how your Business is displayed on Search and Maps, respond to reviews directly, answer questions, manage customer submitted photos, and create posts to share with your customers who view your business on Google Search.

Google Business is constantly adding new features, and many businesses, small and large, fail to take advantage of them! The next section is going to examine some of the important features you can access on your Google Business Dashboard.

 

posts-gmb

POSTS

Business Owners can now create Posts that show directly with your Business Listing when customers view it on Search or Maps. These posts can be used to advertise special Products (including a URL to directly buy from your site), or to notify your customers about Events coming up, or special offers you may have (such as coupons or discounts). There are lots of possibilities with this new function. Keep in mind, a post made here will only last for 7 days maximum, and can only be 1500 characters MAX. So it is important to be concise, and to have good timing with your posts! Consider this, if you have a promotion that coincides with a major holiday, such as this upcoming Mother’s Day!

 

google-maps-google-my-business

INFO

This is one of the most important pages for your Business Listing. Everything that is in the main column, under the Business Name, should be filled out ASAP. This includes: Business Name, Categories, Business Location, Service Areas, Hours and Special Hours, Phone Number, Website URL, Payment Methods Accepted, Short Description, Opening Date, and Photos.

As a Business Owner, it’s in your best interest to make sure all of this is filled out. All of this information can be shown with your Google Listing.

I’d like to quickly highlight a few newer functions from this page that are not utilized as much we think they should be:

Service Areas: Previously Google prompted Businesses to choose a Radius on their map to indicate how wide their service area could be. Now GMB seems to prompt you to choose from Delivery Areas such as Cities and Zip Codes. It is advantageous to type in as many as are applicable to your business. Be honest, of course. But don’t short sell your business’s reach by only including your primary area.

Opening Date: This one is applicable to up and coming businesses, that are still getting their ducks in a row. Our advice to you, start this as soon as you are able! Your Local SEO Ranking can be influenced by how much people engage with your Google Listing. If you start building this momentum before your business is even open, you may find that people in your area become aware of your business and ask you questions before it is even open!

 

google-insights

INSIGHTS

From this page you can quickly get a view into how people engage with your Business Listing on Google Search, and also Google Maps. When people see your listing from Search or Maps, do they call you directly? Do they click on your Website button? Do they ask for directions? Having this information can be helpful while you are getting to know your customers, and learning how people find your business.

 

google-verified-reviews

 

REVIEWS

It is important to engage with the people that offer you reviews. Make sure to respond to both positive as well as negative reviews. Believe it or not, people take notice when they see that a business owner has responded personally to a negative review. Don’t just leave them there to rot, take the time to write a personal response, to show that you care about the quality of your business, and its reputation!

Thank customers for their positive reviews, and encourage them to come back!

google-messaging

MESSAGING

Customers can now send messages to your Business directly from the Search page. This is a legitimate way to directly communicate with potential customers! You may find that people reach out to you directly through this Messaging function, make sure to pay attention to your Homepage, to see when you get new messages directly from customers searching online.

 

google-my-business-photos

PHOTOS

Upload your Photos! This is extremely important. Businesses that don’t have many, or ANY photos will find that they have a harder time ranking highly in the Local Search Results. You should have the following photos that you upload yourself:

Logo – Your Business Logo

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

Product – Upload photos of your arrangements that you yourself have created for customers. You can also upload photos of the products as seen in your store.

 

graphic-designers-for-florists

Image via Shutterstock

Why is Google My Business Important?

There are so many reasons why all business owners absolutely must be on Google My Business, especially if your business is location specific. The biggest reason of all is the impact it has in increasing your search engine ranking, but below are some further reasons.

Improved Search Visibility: Try any of these keywords in a Google search: city, state, florist, flower shop, 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 to place in these results, but having a Google My Business profile will enable you to.

Maps Your Floral Business Location: This allows the customer to find and navigate to your brick-and-mortar store and website more easily.

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, and every photo upload counts! How does it count? By improving your SEO, remember you want to list in the top 3 records on Google Local Search.

 

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 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.

Add a Twist of Floral to Your Cocktail: Flower-Infused Drinks

March 20th, 2019 Posted by Josh D Blog, Florist Operations, Florist Resources, Florists' Thoughts, Flower Fun, Flower History, Flower Trends, photos 0 thoughts on “Add a Twist of Floral to Your Cocktail: Flower-Infused Drinks”

flower-infused-drinks

Flower-infused drinks have been around for centuries, but they’re enjoying new popularity today!

Over the last couple years you may have seen flower-infused drinks popping up more frequently at bars and restaurants, and on television, social media and more. Flowers like rose, lavender, hibiscus, and daisy are leaving their mark on the shelves, but is this beneficial for florists?

With Spring just now arriving, why not learn how to floral infuse not only food but beverages as well!

Flower-Drink-Cellphone-1

 

Floral Drinks—Is it Possible?

Infusing floral notes into any beverage can be a simple process depending on the method you choose. Not only can you infuse flowers into drinks, but florals can use them as garnishes or rim dressing on glasses.

Oils that give flowers, herbs, and spices their aroma, flavor, and other beneficial properties, are soluble in alcoholic spirits, which makes them the perfect mix-ins for a cocktail that is functional and gives you that artistic feeling!

Elderflower-lime-drink

 

Flowers With Flavor

So what edible flowers give the best flavor, and which edible flowers pair with what? Think of it as an experiment! There are some tried-and-true floral infusers that work well, and a some that don’t pair well. You just have to try and taste. You may prefer some floral infusers over others.

(Make sure when selecting flowers that you choose flowers that have not had any chemicals or pesticides used, or were growing in a pet “potty” area!)

For a list of edible flowers and what parts won’t make you sick, please click here!

elder-flower-raspberry

 

How to Make a Floral Simple Syrup

Simple syrups are the best way to sweeten a drink. Use the basic 2-to-1 ratio of sugar to water, heated to a brief boil in order to dissolve the sugar. You can add any edible dried flower, herb or spice into the simmering syrup to extract flavor and aroma your cocktail.

An example of a floral simple syrup:

Violet Simple Syrup

  • 2 Cups of Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Water
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Violets

Dissolve sugar in water over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a simmer.

Place flowers in a nonreactive bowl (glass, enamel, or stainless steel).

Pour hot syrup over top and let stand for at least 30 minutes.

Strain mixture and discard flowers.

Simple syrups can be stored in the fridge for 1 or 2 months. If it begins to crystallize, simply heat it again until smooth.

Floral-Tea

 

Out With the Water, In With Tea

Some drink recipes call for a water mixer. For water, mixer tries substituting the recipe with a tea-infused flower, herb or spice of your choosing and that best fits the drink you are making.

Want to stock up for a warm day—amaze your friends, family, co-workers and more by freezing some of your floral-infused drink in an ice cube tray.

Pansy-Drink

 

Flower It Up!

Many of you have seen the sugar or salt-based garnish on the rim of a cocktail glass at restaurants and parties. This garnish is called a “rimmer” and it provides a sweet or savory garnish to enhance the taste of the cocktail.

Add a bit of crumbled or powdered edible flowers, herbs and spices that work well with your cocktail to your glass to give your drink even more artistic appeal and additional flavor

An example of a floral rimmer:

Frozen Hibiscus Margaritas 

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Zest and juice of 3 limes
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • ½ cup tequila

Place hibiscus flowers and vanilla bean in a saucepan with the cup of water and bring to a boil. After water is boiling, remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes.

Strain mixture to remove hibiscus flowers and vanilla bean. Add mixture back to pan and add sugar.

Simmer for about 5 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add lime zest, lime juice, orange juice, and tequila. Chill the mixture until it has cooled completely.

Once the mixture is cool, pour over ice in a rimmed margarita glass (or freeze and eat as a sorbet)!

Use zest of lime, hibiscus flowers, and salt to rim the glass.

florist-involved-florist-drinks

 

How Can Florists Tap Into This?

So can florists really tap into this trend? It all depends on your source of flowers. Reach out to your wholesaler or flower market to see what flowers have not had chemicals or pesticides sprayed on them. These flowers can be used or sold for infusing with beverages, food, and decorating.

Also, remember the 2019 unexpected trend of dried flowers we discussed last month? Well, this is another way to incorporate edible dried flowers in your business.

So why not tap into this additional revenue source? If the resources are there, this could be a great tactic is working with local restaurants, bakeries, bars, and more to offer edible flowers whether it be drinks or food. This is a great marketing tactic and gives those businesses a source to come to your business to purchase flowers and increasing your business sales.

 

Florists, are you working with local companies in regards to edible flowers or seeing a trend in edible flowers? If so, share your comments 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.

Valentine’s Day 2019 Survey Results!

February 26th, 2019 Posted by Andrew Blog, Floral Holiday Tips, Florist Ecommerce, Florist Marketing, Florist Operations, Florist Profits, Florist Websites, infographic, Survey, Valentine's Day 2 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day 2019 Survey Results!”

The 2019 Florist Valentine’s Day Survey Results Are In!

2019 Florist Survey Results for VDAY - complete(1) (1)

A big thank you to everyone who participated in our annual Valentine’s Day survey. Once again we received a strong response from our readers and members.

Results were based on the 347 retail surveyed by Floranext between February 15th through February 17th.

 

Were 2019 Valentine’s Day Sales Better Than Last Year?

  • Lower – 20.8%
  • Same – 17.9%
  • Higher – 61.3%

 

Were Valentine’s Day In-Store Retail sales greater than last year?

  • Yes – $65%
  • No – 35%

 

Aside From Red Roses, What Were Your Top-Selling Products This Valentine’s Day?

  • Arranged Flowers – 71.4%
  • Hand-Tied Bouquets – 11.4%
  • Other Roses – 16.6%
  • Other – 0.6%

 

What Did you Charge For  Dozen Long Stem Roses Arranged

  • $88.00 (average total from participants)

 

Did You Sell Short Stemmed Roses?

  • Yes – 42.2%
  • No – 57.8%

 

How Many Extra Temporary Drivers Did You Hire This Valentine’s Season?

  • 0 – 9.7%
  • 1 – 14.3%
  • 2 – 25.1%
  • 3 – 21.1%
  • 4 or more – 29.7%

 

How Many Extra Temporary Shop Staff Did You Hire This Valentine’s Season?

  • 0 – 16.7%
  • 1 – 23%
  • 2 – 25.3%
  • 3 – 14.9%
  • 4 or more – 20.1%

 

Did You Use/Rent Delivery Vehicles / Trucks This Valentine’s Holiday?

  • 0 – 61.3%
  • 1 – 6.1%
  • 2 – 16%
  • 3 – 5.5%
  • 4 or more – 11%

When Did Your Floral Business Start Receiving Valentine’s Day Orders?

  • First Half Of January – 6.9%
  • Second Half Of January – 32.6%
  • First Week Of February – 45.7%
  • Valentine’s Day Week – 14.9%

 

What, If Anything, Would You Do Differently Next Valentine’s Day?

List of a few randomly selected comments:

  • “More budget friendly walk-in options.”
  • “Have more staff and grab & go items ready.”
  • “Order less colored roses. Make even more premade arrangements.”
  • “Pre-make more arrangements.”
  • “Get more drivers to deliver early.”
  •  “Keep marketing as much as possible, locally & with technology.”
  • “Order less being that it will be a Friday next year.”
  • “Hire an Additional Designer.”
  • “Not panic that you did not receive very many pre-orders. This year I wrote it down when the guys started to order.”

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Florists, was this Valentine’s season successful and resulted in more sales? What would you consider to implement that next year? Do you have any feedback on your 2019 Valentine’s Day sales season? Your fellow florists would love to hear about it—please feel free to share 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.