Posts tagged "open a flower shop"

Opening a Flower Shop – What I Wish I Knew!

June 19th, 2018 Posted by Florist Marketing, Florist Point of Sale, Florist POS, Florist Profits, Florist Resources, florist technology, Florist Websites, Opening a Flower Shop 62 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.

 

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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.

 
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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!

Four Tips for Becoming a Floral Designer

October 18th, 2017 Posted by Become A Floral Designer, Blog, design prepping, Floral Design, Opening a Flower Shop, Search Engine Optimization, Uncategorized 9 thoughts on “Four Tips for Becoming a Floral Designer”

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

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

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

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

Image from Shutterstock.com

1. Learn and Polish Your Floral Design Skills

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

To learn more, consider:

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

Image from Shutterstock.com

2. Consider the Other Work Florists Do

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

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

Image from Shutterstock.com

3. Explore Your Floral Design Style

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

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

Image from Shutterstock.com

4. Set Goals

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Floranext 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.

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Florists’ Thoughts: Three Generations of Flowers

September 27th, 2017 Posted by Blog, Florists for Change, Florists' Thoughts, Flower History, Opening a Flower Shop, weddings 7 thoughts on “Florists’ Thoughts: Three Generations of Flowers”
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Family-owned floral businesses rarely survive the transition from the first generation to the second. As a matter of fact, in this day and age, they are becoming more and more obsolete.

Many studies have shown that there is a high impact on family-owned and run businesses on our economy. In the floral industry, there was a time when this was the norm: a local flower shop stayed in the family, resulting in a local staple, while the whole family was able to live comfortably from running the family-owned flower shop. There was never a question of whether their children would continue the business after their parents’ retirement.

On our quest to find a third-generation family-owned flower shop, we came across Lighthouse Flower Shop in Mesa, Arizona. We thought it would be illuminating to have a brief Q&A with Lisa Miller, the third-generation owner of Lighthouse Flower Shop. This extraordinary accomplishment of running a successful flower business for 58 years definitely beats the statistical odds. We hope you find this interview encouraging, informative, and a piece of floral business history.

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Lisa, Age 5

 

What year did your grandmother Hope Griffin open the flower shop, and do you know why she decided to open a flower shop?

Her first flower shop was in Presque Isle, Maine, and Grandma Hope saw that people getting married at the local church needed wedding flowers, so she decided to open a flower shop.

Tell us how the name Lighthouse Flower Shop came to be.

It was originally called Griffin’s Flowers in Maine and the first few years here in Arizona, but when my mother Ruth took over she renamed it Lighthouse Flowers as a tribute to Northern Maine.

 

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Lisa’s mom, Ruth

 

When did your mother take over the Flower Shop and why?

My mother Ruth—my Grandma Hope’s daughter-in-law—took over the flower shop in 1974. My mom took over because she didn’t have anything else lined up, and she did have a knack for the floral business.

What is the earliest memory you have at Lighthouse Flower Shop?

Besides being there every day after school and on weekends, I remember making Mother’s Day corsages when I was in elementary school. Once for show and tell I even taught the class how to make corsages. Not bad for a little girl, wiring flowers together!

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Lisa and Linda

As we see in the picture above, you have a sister (Linda Tomblin). Did she ever participate in the flower shop business?

She doesn’t have a creative bone in her body, but she went on to become a kindergarten teacher.

When did you take over the family business?

Four years ago, when my mother decided to retire.

Do you still see her around the shop often?

Yes, every day. She actually just ran a delivery for me with my daughter.

What would you say has made your floral business so successful for 58 years?

We are still the original family who owned the shop, and we have customers who are multi-generational. Also, we can have competitive prices because we own our building.

Did your grandmother, mother, or yourself use a wire service? Do you still?

My grandmother no, but Mom used to have Redbook and Carrick—I remember the flip book with the 5×7 pictures we kept on the counter.

We tried a major wire service for about a month. All their arrangements were short and tiny and we got too many complaints.

What would you say was the single most influential factor in the success of your flower shop?

Customer service, honesty with our customers, and high-quality product. I only take on orders I can handle, that I know will represent my brand—even if it means turning business away sometimes.

What are some of the biggest hurdles you’ve encountered while building the family-owned floral business, and how did you overcome them?

Learning to work with social media, SEO, and getting into advertising for the first time. My grandmother and mother did not believe in advertising, so their business all came from word-of-mouth. It was a simpler time to start a business, and there was a smaller variety of flowers and colors to sell in general.

Running a family-owned business can have its pros and cons. What would you say are some of the pros and cons?

Pro: I can set my own hours and have creative control over all projects I choose to take on.

Con: Long hours, and it’s hard to find experienced part-time help around the holidays.

By your measures (or from what you can remember) what year would you say you sold the most flowers?

When I started branding/marketing this created an explosion. This year has been our best year ever. Last week was actually one of my most profitable weeks, it was like a little Mother’s Day week.

What is one change to the floral industry that you didn’t see coming? Is there anything that you did predict?

Pinterest is by far the biggest change. Everyone comes in with the same picture—they don’t allow me to be creative, and everyone asks for burgundy dahlias.

I did predict that people would spend less on events like weddings. A lot of couples are spending less on wedding flowers, but I have noticed that everyday arrangements sales have doubled in price over the last two years.

Do you have kids? Are they going to continue the legacy of Lighthouse Flower Shop? 

I have two children, Zoe 17 and Logan 20. At this point in time, they do not want to continue the business.

Does that make you sad?

It does, and I love this business. Nobody else in the family wants the shop. It’s been here for so long, but I’m holding out hope for a fourth generation.

 

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Lisa’s grandmother, Hope

 

What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started running the flower shop?

My shop is much more profitable when we do fewer weddings. Last October I did 40 weddings, but they were smaller, and I’ve had to turn down other work to keep up with weddings.

What tip would you give someone that wants to be successful with weddings?

Be brave and charge for your work, and charge up front.

What would be the one piece of advice you would give someone who is opening a flower shop? 

Be prepared to compete with large grocers and wire service websites, and taking the time to educate customers about the difference between these sites and stores and a real brick-and-mortar shop. Your quality will always speak volumes for your brand, never skimp on quality.

 

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Lisa’s Wedding, 1995

If you could do anything besides own and operate a flower shop, what would it be?

I would love to be an auto mechanic because I love cars. I also tried to get into the army, but they told me I was too small, so the flower business it was 🙂

 

We all want to know what your grandma’s, mom’s, and your favorite flowers are.

My grandmother loved amaryllis and bearded iris. My mom doesn’t have a favorite. I really like hyacinths and red heart garden roses.

 

In closing, there are many young new florists. What advice would you give them?

It takes so much hard work to be a good florist and a lot of patience. Everyone who wants to own a flower shop should apprentice at a flower shop. You must keep your flower shop updated on the outside—every year I update my flower shop to keep it feeling fresh.

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One thing we learned in interviewing Lisa is that you can’t start a flower business with the intent to keep it for your family, your goal should be to run a successful business for yourself, and if your family follows your example, that’s icing on the cake. As technology encroaches deeper into our lives, it’s important to remember how Lisa ended our interview: “Robots will never be able to arrange flowers.” We couldn’t agree more.


Florists, are you a second- or third-generation flower shop owner? Please share your feedback below in the comment section.

 

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

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Buying A Flower Shop – 8 Tips

August 23rd, 2017 Posted by Blog, Florist Operations, Florist Resources, Opening a Flower Shop 7 thoughts on “Buying A Flower Shop – 8 Tips”

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

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

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

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

Benefits Of Buying A Flower Shop

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

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7. Whats Included In Purchase Price?

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

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

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

 

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6. What Debt Are You Buying?

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

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

 

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5. Flower Shops With Wire Services

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

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

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

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4. Flower Shop Name & Domain Name

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

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

 

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3. Credit Card Processing

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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2. Will you need to Hire Staff?

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

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

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1. Be Hands On In The Floral Industry

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

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

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

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

 

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In Lieu Of Flowers – Florist Unite

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

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

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

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

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The Future of In Lieu Of Flowers:

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

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

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Educate Customers:

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

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Write A Letter To Your Local Funeral Homes: 

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

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

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Why Flowers Are Important At Funeral Services:

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

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

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

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

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What is wrong with doing both?

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

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

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

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


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

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

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Floranext Logo

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

 

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Florist Marketing – Getting Started With Google My Business

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

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

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

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

 

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Image via Google

How To Sign Up For Google My Business:

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

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

 

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How To Add Photos To Google My Business:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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image via google and hello you designs

Why Is Google My Business Important?

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Top 10 Florist Tips & Tricks

July 21st, 2017 Posted by Blog, design prepping, Floral Design, Florist Operations, Florist Resources, Opening a Flower Shop 8 thoughts on “Top 10 Florist Tips & Tricks”

top-florist-tips-tricks

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

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

10. Flowers Take A Deep Dive

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

9. Crowning Glory

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

8. Alum

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

7. Open Closed Flower Buds

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

6. Put Your Orchid Plants On Ice

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

5. Cut Flower Stems Underwater

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

4. Make A Grid

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

3. Keep Your Foliage Clear Of Water

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

2. Remove Lily Stamens

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

1.Floral Design Experiment

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

Good To Know

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

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

 

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

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Floranext Logo

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

flower-crown-101-design

Floral Design 101 – Flower Crowns

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

Florist-crown-101-design

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

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

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

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

Florist-tools-supplies-florist-crown

Supplies:

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

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

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

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

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

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Floral Greens:

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

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

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

Florist-Flower-Crown

Flower/Filler Stems:

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

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

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

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

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

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

florist-creating-floral-crown

How To Make An Easy Flower Crown:

We promise its way easier then it looks.

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

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

Florist We Would Love To Share Your Flower Crown Masterpiece!

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

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

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Floranext Logo

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

summer-florist-sales

5 Easy Ways To Drive Up Summer Flower Sales!

June 21st, 2017 Posted by Blog, Florist Marketing, Florist Operations, Florist Profits, Florist Resources, Opening a Flower Shop 6 thoughts on “5 Easy Ways To Drive Up Summer Flower Sales!”

5-easy-summer-florist-sales

Tackling fresh, new and innovated techniques for your flower shop could actually keep flowers sales stable and increase revenue during the summer months.

For some florists, the summer months can be dreadfully slow with decreased flower sales. Accepting the fact that customers just won’t buy flowers during these months is a big mistake!

The floral industry does have many peaks and perks, all seasons offer many advantages to build your flower business and gather new potentially long term buying customers. In this blog, let’s  discuss 5 easy ways to keep your flower sales sizzling hot all summer long.

 

florist-sales-coupons-promotions

#5 The Power Of  Deals, Coupons & Promo’s

Everyone loves a deal, besides that did you know that there is an actual psychology that comes into play when offering coupons and promos. Big brand companies understand this too well. They have made it a practice of mixing up coupons and promos to boost their retail sales.

Flower shop owners – deals, coupons, and promos apply to you too! Customers love flowers do not underestimate the power of a Deal. Make sure that during your slower months you offer the following:

Markdowns: Applies to both in-store and online. Try reducing prices on a specific category in your floral store like roses, hand-tied or even gifts, if you carry them.

Save A Bundle: This offer may seem as if it doesn’t apply to the floral business, however it indeed does. Offer savings on buy one get half off, this could apply to flowers with additional purchase at a discounted price.

Free Offers: Wow, this one is counterproductive, we are trying to increase sales here. Well, “Free Offers” actually resinate with customers more than any other deal (of course no surprise there). So how about offering an item free with purchase.

Flowerage Sale: Flowerage sale is held only in store,  generally items are placed outside if possible at a steep discount. These flower sales are done mostly during high traffic days such as weekends.

Did You Know: Most appealing to customers is items that are marked 50% off. The reason for this is it requires very little math and customers feel like that are getting a much better deal. 

 

summer-florist-succulents

#4 Offer Outdoor Florals/Decor

The important thing to remember here is that selling something in which you may not normally sell is perfectly OK and also a very smart business tactic.

Big brand stores do it all the time, they sell what is in demand. You may not have many loose flower sales but you can increase profits by displaying some creative outdoor planters during the summer months.

High-End Porch/Patio Floral Planters: These are so appealing, especially if displayed outside where each passersby can see them. Try incorporating succulents and plants in your floral design, this is an attractive way to allure customers to your flower shop and make purchases.

Sell Hanging Outdoor Planters: If you have not seen these yet, then you are in for a treat. Customers love these and these can be marked up at a great price. Go ahead add some plants and display them outside if possible.

Outdoor Decor: Outdoor decor can be citronella candles, lanterns, outdoor pillows and much more. This is a great way to maximize your sales.

 

florist-summer-classes

#3 Try A Workshop/Floral Party

Florists, I’m sure you have heard of floral workshops and floral parties. Although a little marketing is required, they truly do increase floral profits substantially and is a great way to increase brand visibility.

Host A Floral Party: For adults and kids alike these parties can bring in anywhere from $45.00 to $120.00 per person.  Great way for kids to enjoy their birthday or a way for bridesmaids to get together, the possibilities are endless with floral parties.

Floral Workshop: Unlike floral parties where your attendees are more casual, a floral workshop is more structured as you are teaching floral arranging. Classes can range from beginner to master and can be purchased for the whole season.

 

florist-cost-cuts

#2 Cut Costs

We get it  #2 is not bringing in sales to your flower business, however, just as important as bringing in sales is practicing good seasonal habits on ways to cut costs.

Consider Summer Hours: We are certainly big advocates of having a business schedule and sticking to it, however, there are exceptions. Opening your shop does cost money so consider opening an hour later or closing an hour earlier with shorter weekend hours if you are slow in the summer months. This will also save you on payroll. 

Order What You Need: During slower months you may be able to get way with just ordering what is necessary and purchasing specialty items as needed. Try also cutting your flower order in half. If your floral supplier is close there are things that can be purchased quickly when needed.

Don’t Be Wasteful: We have mentioned this so many times, and we understand no-one is intently wasteful. Please consider that all items in your flower shop cost money, wasting paper, picks, and pins add up, please be mindful of this and make sure your employees are too.

Review Your Bills: Take a look at all your bills including utility. See how you can cut costs, a perfect example is a flower shop owner who was paying for cable tv yet had no tv in his shop. Cutting that off his bill saved him over $80.00 per month. There is also no shame in asking certain service providers for what deals and offers they have to save you money.

 

florist-resources-outreach

#1 Reach Out To Potential Clients

Slower months in the flower shop allow you to have extra time to market your flower business. Reaching out to potential clients for recommendations and clients who will book standings orders is a great way to bring in added revenue to your floral business.

Funeral Homes: If you have not done so already you should reach out to the Funeral Home directors in your area or slightly outside your area, to see if they will be willing to recommend your floral services and post a link to your website on their website.

Local Businesses/Churches:  Doctor’s offices, churches, restaurants, hair salons and many more businesses in your local area have the potential to order flowers from you on a weekly basis. Talk to them about delivering weekly to their businesses at a great price. Standing orders are a great way to keep money always flowing into your flower shop.

Wedding Venues: Go to wedding venues and discuss working with them on their referrals. Make sure to have your professional pamphlet on the wedding services your provide.

Tip: Create a folder which includes a pamphlet of your floral business and the best practice is to meet with them in person. Make sure to have different folders with specific content for each client.

 

Florists do you have a tip for driving up summer sales? Please share your feedback in the comment section below. If you have any questions please post below as well!

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Floranext Logo

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

How-To-Run-A-Successful-Retail-Flower-Shop-blog

How To Run A Successful Retail Flower Shop

June 8th, 2017 Posted by Blog, Florist Operations, Florist Profits, Florist Resources, Opening a Flower Shop 5 thoughts on “How To Run A Successful Retail Flower Shop”

How-To-Run-A-Successful-Retail-Flower-Shop

Owning and operating a floral retail business requires many different strategies.

There are some basic principles that do apply to all retail businesses, however, in the floral industry, there are some retail factors that will take precedence.

In this blog, we will discuss retail business basics that apply to the floral industry. Whether you are just selling floral arrangements or carry of variety of items in your flower shop these tips will help in establishing floral retail business rituals to maximize your sales.

florist-retail-employee

Employee Training:

When it comes to hiring employees training, this is a Must Do! Employees are representing you, the face of your floral business brand.

Do not assume they know how to do everything, train them how to answer the phones, greet customers, and any other job-related requirements you have, even if it’s as basic as cleaning a workstation.

Often we hear from flower shop owners  “Well my employee won’t or can’t do that, it’s too confusing for him/her.”  Unfortunately in order to represent your floral business and if it is a job requirement, then your employees must learn and be trained in all, regardless if it’s comfortable to then or not.

Make sure your employees are always:

  • Courteous to customers
  • Look presentable
  • Punctual
  • Well educated and knowledgeable of their work duties

 

florist-retail

Know Your Competition:

Savvy floral business owners take the time to understand their competitors. Regardless if you are in a highly competitive location or small town, competition is still competition.

Know your competitors,

  • How are their floral designs?
  • What are they offering that your flower shop is not?
  • How is their flower shop look and feel?
  • What makes your flower shop different?

Knowing your competition is a way of maximizing your brand and standing out from the crowd.  It also helps keep you up to date with industry trends.

 

Know Your Retail Math:

When you own a brick and mortar flower shop, every inch of your floral business is potential for extra income. Knowing what to carry in a floral shop can seem pretty easy, however, there are floral business owners who are now providing other retail items such as candles, home decor, skin care, toys and much more.

Offering a variety of retail products is a way to entice visitors to your store. Understanding your retail math is the only way to maintain profits in your floral business.

Pay special attention to:

  • COGS (Cost of goods sold): which is – Beginning Inventory + Purchases =Ending Inventory.
  • Markup: a candle markup is easily done, however, a floral arrangement may be a slightly more difficult. Be sure to include in your mark up for any pins, pics, card message paper, and anything you use in designing the arrangement.
  • GMROI (Gross Margin Return On Investment): calculate what is worth having for sale in your flower shop versus what is not. How large is your investment in this product line?  Is this product a “need” or a “want” in your community?

Note: I know how many times we mentioned this, however, florists please STOP GIVING YOUR MERCHANDISE AWAY FOR FREE. No-one is getting anything free in any other retail businesses. florists, we do love and appreciate that you are so kind hearted and giving. Adding extra floral stems here and there and not accounting for ribbon or other miscellaneous items are not good for your overall retail success. Giving a little here and there adds up fast. 

 

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Know Your Merchandising:

Whether you carry a vast array of merchandise in your flower shop or just flowers and plants there is a technique to merchandising to the 5 senses.  Floral business retails shops do have an upper hand when it comes to the 5 senses, with such beautiful flowers and plants. That being said there is still a bit of psychology to play on to have your products resonate with visitors.

When merchandising your floral business make sure you are appealing to these 5 senses:

1.Sight

  • Hard to believe however  85% of consumers say the color is what urges them to shop. A good tip is to limit your color scheme so it’s not overwhelming to your shoppers.
  • The research concludes that shoppers prefer open floor space that allows for easy movement and good visibility of all products. If you have a smaller shop this can still be easily achieved by decluttering.
  • Beautiful displays really do work in gravitating customers. Think about every detail of the display not just the products for sale but also furniture that is displaying the products these are all considered to be visually impactful.

Did you know: That subconsciously both females and males respond very well to the colors blue and green.

2.Smell

Appealing to the sense of smell comes fairly easy for flower shop owners who is merchandising for the sense of smell.

  • Flower shops offer an array of appealing scents that are invigorating to shoppers.
  • Make sure to keep your flower shop clean, this will appeal to both sight and smell.

Did you know: Of all scents, women prefer the smell of flowers over any other scent when shopping while men enjoy a more spicy scent. 

3.Sound

The sound in retail has been heavily researched and many retail chains have studied the impact of various music brands and how it impacts customers when shopping.

  • Different retail stores will offer different kinds of music to maximize their sales.
  • Book Stores for instances plays soft music to create a sense of slower time and alter one’s perception of how long they are at their store. While trendy young clothing stores for pre-teens and teens opt for more louder, energetic music which works better for their customers in hyping then to purchase.
  • Florists sound is also important in your retail space and helps in creating atmosphere and eliminates sounds that may be negative to shoppers such as employee or other shoppers conversations.

Tip: There are tunes that are specific to your brand, flower shop owners consider offering songs that are specific to flowers, we know this sounds typical but works.

4.Touch

  • It is human nature to just want to touch things, create an environment that allows customers to engage with the products you have for sale.
  • When a customer touches or holds an item it gives them a more personal connection with the product for sale.
  • Keeping your products at eye level encourages touching and sales.
  • Touching is not only for products that you are selling, if you offer seating for customers, be sure that it is comfortable, this gives customers a sense of well-being.

5.Taste

Most floral businesses do not sell food, you may be thinking how do you engage the taste sense. Regardless if you sell treats at your floral shop, taste is a sense that can still be engaged by having small offerings to your visitors.

  • Consider offering a cup of coffee.
  • Allow for taste testing of your gourmet treats for sale.
  • Think of displaying free hard candy on your counter.

 

These are some easy ways to understand and get started with your floral retail merchandising. Florists, let’s hear your feedback! Do you have any important retail advice/tips that have been or are successful? Please share all your feedback, tips or any floral business retail related questions you would like addressed 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.