Posts tagged "wire services"

It’s Not Personal…It’s the Flower Business!

August 15th, 2018 Posted by Idalina Bertone Become A Floral Designer, Florist Operations, Florist Profits 6 thoughts on “It’s Not Personal…It’s the Flower Business!”

The floral business is fast evolving, leave behind your preconceptions about the way it’s run.

Floristry is competitive, and it’s important to have a firm business plan and policies for your customers, employees, and shop alike. How do you establish policies that will stick if you are new to the floral business? The solution is simple: get comfortable with the phrase “It’s not personal, its business.”

We promise you that making some simple changes in your flower business will not in any way hurt your profits—to the contrary, you can expect to profit more. To be constantly evolving your business means to treat it as such, and not cross wires with your personal life. Here’s how.

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Friendships and the Floral Business

It’s no wonder many florists really like their customers and vice versa, it’s common sense that the customers who gravitate to your business will be the ones that are friendliest to you.

So what is all the fuss about friendship in business? Well, the fact that florists are so giving by nature, some shops may misconstrue their relationships with customers and start giving them freebies. It can be helpful to give a customer a reason to do business with you in the future, but be careful of overdoing it.

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Employee Policies

The most relaxed job I ever had was my job in a flower shop. The environment was so laid-back and there were few rules for conduct as long as I showed up and did my work. We needed structure, and your floral business will benefit from having firm employee policies and guidelines.

That starts with putting policy in writing. First, explicate a policy to keep waste under control. Supplies cost money—that tiny wire on the floor, bits of ribbon, scraps of tissue paper—all employees should have respect for your supplies.

It’s worth noting that some communities have many flower shops, and some florists hire part-time floral designers that may also work for a competitor a few miles away or the next town over. If this is not a concern to you, then no problem—but if it does, take this into account as you write your waste policy.

Next, every employee should be taught how to upsell and offer add-ons to a customer with their order. This is an easy way to win some extra sales.

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Event Contract Terms

If you design for many weddings or events, then you absolutely must have terms signed by the customer. Remember even though this may be a customer you think of as a friend, it’s a business relationship and no one can blame you for keeping yourself covered.

All terms must be clear—all delivery stops on contract, deposit requirements, cancellation requirements and substitution policy. This will protect you and save you money in the long run. There is nothing worse than having a customer contradict you when you have nothing to back up what you know to be true. Put it all down in black and white.

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Customer Assumptions

We all know what works in our flower shop and for our customers, so why try something new and different? Maybe a new floral design style isn’t your style, but it’s trending. Maybe it won’t work for you, but maybe it will!

You must keep evolving and trying new things in the floral industry. If certain flower stems in your area are too costly to keep all the time, maybe offer them once a month and charge more so that you make a profit.

Never assume your customers won’t like or buy something. You may be right, but if you’re wrong you will be losing out on gaining new prospective customers and profits.

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High Maintenance, Low Profit

We often hear how some customers and services can deplete profits. Now is the time to make a change and reevaluate.

First, let’s consider customers who are low profit and super high maintenance. Sometimes it’s okay to gently say “no” to the customer. Working on quality service is always best if you feel quality will be subpar or customer is just impossible to please by all means just say no (in a nicer way of course). This is your reputation on the line and remember everyone today is a critic with easy access to review you online which can really be determined to your business.

Think of every customer as a critic and do your very best to achieve a great review for every order—regardless if they review you or not. Also, keep in mind that customers who are unhappy with your service are the first ones to offer their review. If you feel you can’t accommodate an event during a busy week, then simply say no. If you feel the customer is just too hard, just say no.

Last, if you are with a wire service, double check that you are making a genuine profit. Not a few hundred dollars a year, that won’t cut it when you account for mortgage/rent, utilities, etc. Wire service companies are not your partners, they are in it for their own profits. It may sound cynical, but as a business owner, you should be too!


Florists, what are some important rules you feel should be included above? Please share your feedback any 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.

Opening a Flower Shop – What I Wish I Knew!

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

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

 

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

 

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

Florist Marketing

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

Florist Wire Services

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

Florist Credit Card Processing

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

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

Florist Software

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

 
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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!