How to Increase Florist Sales

How to Increase Florist Sales

A few weeks ago I put a call out on Instagram, asking y'all to send through your questions and 'if we were to sit down and have coffee, this is what I'd want to ask you' questions.

Here's one of my favourites: Kathleen, if you could only do one, which is better: paid Instagram placements, Facebook ads or Google Ads?

Great question.

Different Ad Strategies for Different Offers

One thing I didn't really appreciate early on in my business is that different audiences go through dramatically different sales processes.

For example, a couple getting married at a big hotel will go through an entirely different research process compared to someone looking to getting flowers delivered to the local hospital. I totally didn't even pay attention to this in the first few years of my flower business.

I kinda thought that all things were equal and I just needed to get more followers to get more customers.

I spent years in that thought process until I finally sat down one day and asked myself, "If I was getting married at XYZ Venue, what would I do to find a florist?"

I did the same thing for flower deliveries: "If I was a son living out of town and wanted to send flowers to mum to wish her a speedy recovery at the local hospital, what would I do to find a florist?"

Putting yourself in your customer's shoes is one of the most powerful exercises you can do – and it's one thing we never really spend much time on (I was too focused on my own insecurities and worried about being called out as a fraud that it never even occurred to me to shift my perspective and put myself in my customer's shoes.)

At the end of the day, the marketing priorities in your flower business and understanding how to get more florist sales depends entirely on your niche.

Narrow down your niche and get clear on your ideal customer and you'll start to gain much more clarity in terms of where to focus your time, energy and money to grow your business and get more sales.

How to Increase Florist Sales: Daily Flower Deliveries

Even if you have a flower shop and are able to attract a steady stream of walk-in customers, I've found that the volume game is won online.

More and more customers are getting comfortable ordering flowers online and this is one of the greatest opportunities we have when it comes to figuring how to increase florist sales.

In fact, no longer is having a physical retail shop a 'must have' for a successful flower business. So many florists these days are launching their businesses from home, investing the time and energy in growing the volume and then a few years in, making plans to open retail shop space.

The truth is, profitable flower deliveries is all about playing the volume game. And being online is the name of the flower game in 2022.

And, when it comes to being online, your website and, more specifically, your online catalogue offering, is super important. I used to believe that more choice was better. But having tested out a few different strategies in a few different cities around the world, it's clear to see that's not the case.

In fact, having a core offering of 12 products is my go-to recommendation. It gives you just the right number of options to cover a range of prices, including a mix of hand-tied bouquets and designs in a vase as well as offers a mix of colour palettes. (It really is a great mix and just like Goldielocks said "It's just right".)

Once you have your online catalogue set up and sorted through a seamless checkout experience, now it's time to focus on getting that order volume through the door.

We spent years testing out different options – offering up free arrangements to local businesses in the hopes that exposure would turn into paying customers; paying for expensive print ads, boosting posts on Instagram, setting up Facebook Ads and sorting through Google Ads.

For us, Google Ads was where the magic happens. In fact, these days, I wouldn't even spend a penny on any other form of advertising when it comes to increasing florist sales for daily flower deliveries.

The targeting available on Google, the volume available, and being able to set up conversions, makes Google Ads one of the single best options for florists. And no, doubt some huge percentage of potential customers immediately jump to Google when they want flowers delivered.

So, if you're wondering: Kathleen, if you could only do one, which is better: paid Instagram placements, Facebook ads or Google Ads? My answer is obvious: Google Ads. No doubt about it.

4 Google Ads Tips for Florists

Be warned, the Google Ads interface is super complicated. But that's why we've just hit publish on a brand new, step by step training inside our Flower Boss Bootcamp Study Vault. We've mapped out the exact ads to start with, how to get your conversions set up and the exact steps to follow to get your first campaign off the ground.

If you've already started playing around with Google Ads and you're not seeing much progress, here are four pro tips to help you refine your approach:

  1. Make sure your delivery area is included in the search terms. By default, Google is going to offer up your ad to anything who types in "flower delivery". But, if you only deliver to Cambridge and a customer is looking for delivery to Chicago, there's no point in paying for that, right?
  2. Negative Keywords. This is one of those quick shortcuts to getting better results on your ads. Inside the Google Ads interface, you can start to flag 'negative keywords'. That is, words that people might include in their search phrase that are a definite no and mismatch for your business. It's a good practice to go in every week or every other week and refine that negative keyword set because it will give Google a better guide on who a good customer is a who isn't worth any $$$$
  3. Set Up Conversions. A conversion is a fancy bit of code that give Google the signal that someone who clicked on your ad eventually purchased. That bit of code is super helpful for Google because then it will show your ads to other people who have similar search behaviours as the people actually purchasing your work. I find the easiest way to make it happen is to find someone on Fivrr.com – they can get the whole thing set up for in a matter of days and probably less than $100. So worth it!!
  4. Play the long game. Google Ads is not an overnight solution. It takes 2-3 weeks for Google to start to figure out who your ideal customers are and, even then, you need to be willing to invest the time and energy to continually refine and optimise your ads and campaigns. But it is by far the fastest way to get that order volume up. Over a matter of weeks, you'll start to see a difference and, if your online catalogue is set up correctly, you'll start to see the order rollin' in more consistently!

Let's Go Deeper: Get More Flowers Order Faster

Being stuck with a cooler full of flowers feels awful. Knowing you're a good designer with a great product to sell your customers, while just not having enough customers or getting enough order volume is so disheartening.

Don't fret! We're here to help.

In this week's podcast episode, I'm digging into more nuts and bolts and specific tactics to help you grow your flower business.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

How to set a sales target in your flower business

The right strategy to follow when you're setting up your online catalogue and focused on in creasing order volume

The easiest way to get customers to spend more money so you can increase your revenue and profitability

That fastest way to increase your order volume and where to focus your time and money to get more orders in the door

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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Profitable Flower Business

Profitable Flower Business: 10 Steps to Setting Up Your Flower Shop

Looking for a step by step guide on how to set up a profitable flower business? Here's my 10-step guide to getting your flower shop set up and running.

Hitting Reset to Create a Profitable Flower Business

I'm not gonna lie, I've been thinking a lot about the idea of going back and having the ultimate 'do over'. The idea of being able to take all of my experience and expertise and go back to Day 1 of Little Bird Bloom. It's so fun to think about and I thought it might be helpful for you too.

Feel free to use this post as a guide, a roadmap and a blueprint for setting up a profitable flower business. And no doubt, it will be helpful if you're brand new. But it might also inspire those of you who are a few years (or decades) into slinging flowers for a living.

In this blog post, I'm going to map out my 10-step plan for setting up a flower shop from the very very beginning.

One caveat before I get into the details: I'm not going to talk about any of the accounting, legal or insurance details because that is 100% dependent on your state and country requirements.

Enlist the help of a professional to help you walk through all the details and don't be shy about Googling all your questions to familiarise yourself with business structures and terminology. (I found this bit really helpful cause it takes some of the intimidation and "I don't know anything" out of the equation.)

Profitable Flower Business: Basic Business Plan

Now, y'all know I'm all for keeping things simple.

It's so easy for us to get overwhelmed and inundated with details – but as helpful as some business plans are, I also find they miss the mark in their purpose. It's easy to get wrapped up in the details and miss the big picture.

Now, I ain't no mathematician but I do find a little bit of math in the early stages of business planning is super duper helpful to paint the picture of where we're going. It's my #1 way of setting the goalposts and bringing focus to our efforts.

If I'm honest, when we first started Little Bird Bloom, I wish I had done more math. I wish I had done this one equation to help me understand the scale and scope of what I was trying to create.

Also, this exercise is particularly helpful if your goal is to earn a full-time better-than-average income from this work.

Here's my super simple approach to basic business planning for florists:

  1. What do you want your after-tax personal income to be?
  2. Multiply that by five to get your business' revenue goal.

Yes. It can be that straightforward to map out a plan forward.

So, for example, let's say you want to bring home $100,000 in after-tax income. That means your business' revenue goal needs to be $500,000. If you want your after-tax personal income to be $50,000, then your business' revenue goal is $250,000.

From there, we can take that revenue goal, divide it by an average order value and that gives us a sense of how many orders we need to generate in a year to reach our sales target.

So, if we take that $250,000 and assume our average order will be $150. We need to generate 1667 orders a year or 139 orders per month (or 32 orders per week).

(Please remember, this isn't formal financial advice. This is just a simple bit of math to help us paint the scope of our task ahead. Talk to a financial planner or accountant for expert info specific to your needs.)

The thing about this one bit of math that I find so helpful is that it shows us how big we need to be thinking.

When we first set up Little Bird Bloom, I was excited when we got a handful of orders per week. But this one bit of math shows me just how small I was thinking. Showing up with the goal of creating 32 orders per week creates a totally different energy as compared to my "I'll just be grateful for my 2-3 orders per week" and trying to convince yourself day after day after day to be grateful for what you've got.

How to Set Up a Profitable Flower Business: 10 Steps to Success

OK, so with that bit of math under our belt, we can start to map out an action plan, go through 10 steps to getting those orders, getting customers and making it happen. In order, here's exactly what I would focus on first:

  1. Name Your Business – check out URLs, explore Instagram handles and do your research to see if your preferred name is available. Then, go in and claim all the social media handles, buy your domain name etc.
  2. Google Business Listing – as soon as you have your name sorted, go in and set up your listing on Google Maps. It takes a few weeks to have your listing verified by Google so jump on this one early (and yes, you can have a listing without a physical shop front).
  3. Define Your Vibe + Get Your Branding Sorted – if you're part of my Flower Boss Bootcamp, you know how powerful your brand is in attracting high-value clients. Your brand board sets the foundation for your visual identity, packaging, and overall vibe for your business so I like to start on this early in the process because it makes the rest of the decisions really simple.
  4. Visit Your Wholesalers Regularly – no doubt, they're not really going to pay much attention to you but I find getting in the habit of going every week is really helpful. It gets you more comfortable with the experience, gives you the opportunity to see what's in season and gets you in the routine of the commute there and back. The more often you go, the less intimidating the whole experience will feel.
  5. Set Up Your Website + Online Catalogue – inside Flower Boss Bootcamp we give you the exact framework to follow, SEO guidelines and talk you through the product strategy for your catalogue. (Yep!! It's all there waiting for you to join us). Or, you can follow this blog post as a place to start if you're looking for tips on getting your online catalogue sorted.
  6. Photograph Your Designs + Capture Content for Social Media – this is going to take you a long time in the beginning. Trying to figure out lighting, photo editing and all the things is another set of skills to master, but I promise you, it does get easier (and more enjoyable) the more you do it!! Give yourself lots of time and room to figure it out.
  7. Push Your Website Live + Set up Google Ads – Google Ads is how you're going to get the volume you need to reach that revenue goal. Along with the right online catalogue offering it's the best way to increase your order volume.
  8. Set up Instagram Shopping – most website platforms make this bit really simple but don't be shy about using YouTube to learn how to do this (that's how I've learned everything I know about building websites). I've learned so much from random strangers on YouTube when it comes to website stuff.
  9. Research Relevant Hashtags for Instagram – the magic with Instagram is that it's not your followers who are going to be your first customers. It's people who find you through relevant hashtags. And, because you've got your online catalogue set up on Instagram Shopping, you'll increase your conversion rates because you're making it really easy for your customers to buy from you.
  10. Post to Social Media Regularly – Make it your goal to stories 5-6 days per week and post to your Instagram feed 3-4 times per week. Be sure to include your hashtags in your posts as this is how you're going to get found by the right customers at the right time.

Need help getting started with your website? Check out this tutorial on YouTube: Getting Started with WordPress https://youtu.be/n_NuZsjJoHA

Another Note about Setting Up a Profitable Flower Business

I used to believe you had to have a physical shopfront to run a legitimate flower business. Turns out that's not true at all (particularly these days, given the last two years of changing customer behaviour).

If having a retail space is on your wish list, that's awesome! If it's not, that's awesome too.

Either way, I'd still suggest you go through these 10 steps before you get too far into the logistics of getting a short front sorted. (That's what I wish I had done so y'all can learn from my mistakes.)

These days, your online presence is how you're going to get the volume you need to reach your revenue goal and getting that sorted before your pour your heart into a shot fit out is really really helpful.

I know there is a lot to think through and that's why, on this week's podcast episode, I'm going through all of this in more detail, talking through the exact steps I'd follow if I could back to the beginning and start a profitable flower business from $0.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode, You'll Learn:

What to prioritise when it comes to setting up a profitable flower business

The biggest mistakes we made early on in our business and what I would do if I could hit 'reset' to start over in 2022

My exact approach to setting up a profitable flower shop – starting from $0

The right order to navigate these 10 steps and how to make it easier to take action

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

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How to Run a Successful Flower Shop

How to Run a Successful Flower Shop – My #1 Secret for Making it Work

I've been spending some time looking back at the early days of my flowering career. As much as it makes me want to cringe and I'm embarrassed by a lot of what I was doing, I've found it really helpful to reflect on all the mistakes I've made and see just how far I've come – particularly when it comes to learning how to run a successful flower shop.

I am on a mission to share as many of my epic failures and lessons learned as possible, with the goal to help you move forward and progress faster. It's like we all get to learn from the mistakes I made and then you'll be 10 steps ahead. Isn't that fun?

When it comes to learning how to run a successful flower shop, the list of mistakes we made is long. There are so many things I wish I had known and so many 'a ha' moments to share.

Even now, in 2022, florists are operating on a lot of misinformation about how to make a flower shop work and I want to help simplify this process. I want to fill the void of information and make it easier for you to get real results (and make more money).

At the end of the day, there is a lot to think about when it comes to how to run a successful flower shop. There are all the logistics around operations, insurance and retail leases. Then all the technology, POS and systems. Plus staffing and shop fit-outs.

And that's all BEFORE you even have a customer calling or coming into the shop to even get into the flowering and fulfilment.

I've put together this blog post to help cut through the overwhelm and help you get focused on what matters most. Because your time is precious. Your energy is limited and I don't want you to waste money on sh*t that doesn't work.

My #1 Secret for Making it Work: How to Run a Successful Flower Shop

I wish someone had told me, way back when I became my own boss, that I get to decide what success looks like to me.

I spend five years chasing someone else's definition of success and it was awful. It's like mindlessly climbing Mount Everest and then getting to the top, only to wonder "WTF is this? This isn't what I wanted?"

So let me save you from all that toil and trouble and lay it out for you as simply as possible: when you make the decision to start a business, you are signing up for being the person in charge. The head honcho. The person who holds that sign says 'The buck stops here.'

Most of the time, it's a scary place to be. It's new and unfamiliar and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get it perfect.

But being a business owner and flower boss is also one of the most empowering experiences a human can have. (I share more of this on Instagram, so be sure to follow along.)

I believe being a business owner really teaches us, as human beings, how to truly LIVE into the fullness of the human experience. To feel all the feelings and work through so many of our fear-based, scarcity-driven limiting beliefs.

So, if you're at a loss on what to do in your business and what direction to go, one of the most helpful exercises you can do for yourself and your business is to get clear on what success means to you. And be super literal and specific in your definition.

If you look up the definition of 'successful' on the interwebs, you get this: accomplishing a desired aim or result.

So, with that definition in mind, what is YOUR desired aim or result? Remember, you get to decide for yourself what you want success to mean and you don't need to pay attention to what anyone else is telling you "you should do".

Maybe you're like so many many of the florists inside my Flower Boss Bootcamp who want to have a beautiful shop front with a collection of giftware, home decor and a cute little flowering space.

Or maybe you're navigating a totally different path and only want to do 4 weddings a year, all with big fat 6-figure budgets.

Or maybe you're somewhere in between.

At the end of the day, you get to decide. You are the CEO, the woman in charge and this is your business. You get to define the outcome for yourself. (And no, you don't need to 'work your way up' or 'start small'.)

Being In Charge is Awkward

Yep. There you go. I said it.

Being a leader, being a CEO, being a Flower Boss doesn't come naturally to most of us.

We're very comfortable having someone else tell us what to do. When we're kids, our parents are in charge. Then we go to school and have teachers, principals, professors leading the way. And then we get our first job and, as an employee, we are still following someone else's lead.

Then, we make the decision to start a business and we bring all of that 'not in charge experience into our own work and inevitably 'outsource' the "being in charge" authority to others.

This is particularly true when we're wondering how to run a successful flower shop. We really like to tell ourselves there is a "right" way and a "wrong" way.

So, on our hunt for answers (and when we lack confidence), we might give our customers or clients the power to tell us what to create. Or we might have team members and staff who push us around. (I've experienced both.)

Here's the thing though: it's not your fault. You are not broken. You are a human being running a business and for most of us, no one sat us down and told us how intense this experience feels. No one has told us that when you own the business you get to decide what is done, how things are done and where the business is going.

It's OK that it feels new and awkward. It's OK to feel overwhelmed and confused. There is a lot to sort through.

You can do this. You can do hard things, right?

Go Deeper: My Flower Boss Success Formula

At the end of the day, your success is 100% up to you. No one else is going to come along and do the work for you.

You don't need to wait for permission. You don't need more qualifications and you definitely don't need more Instagram followers.

But you do need to decide you want this and you will make it happen. And then get to work.

Friend, it's time to double down on YOU. To recognise how capable and smart you are. This flower dream of yours was planted in your heart for a reason. I feel it in my bones.

It's time to step up and share your love of flowers with the world.

And no, you don't need to figure it all out on your own. In this week's podcast episode, I'm sharing My Flower Boss Success Formula.

Yes. Quite literally, I'm giving you the formula for showing up with more confidence, more clarity and giving you the inside scoop on how to embrace the discomfort of being the boss of your business.

What you'll learn from this episode:

The real reason we play small, stay small and talk ourselves out of massive action

The #1 secret to being intentional, mastering your mindset and showing up with more confidence

My 4-part framework for feeling successful (even if you're new and just getting started)

The value of hitting 'reset' on your business and coming back to basics

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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Mothers Day Florist Business Tips

Mothers Day Florist Business Tips: 3 Ideas to Smash Your Goals

As a creative entrepreneur, I love the high-pressure periods of Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day + Christmas. I think it’s these periods that separate out the ‘good designers’ from the ‘great florists’ and the successful entrepreneurs from the starving artists.

When I first fell in love with flowers and toiled with the idea of starting a flower business, I had no idea how much expertise was required to navigate all the logistics and manage production. I was so swept up in all the beauty, the design mechanics, colour theory and trying to learn as much as I could about seasonality.

In our industry, no one really talks about the behind-the-scenes, the ins and outs of trying to sling that many flowers and manage a hectic trading period like Mother’s Day while still having your sanity stay somewhat intact at the end of it. So, finding Mother's Day Florist business tips can be like looking for a needle in a haystack, right?

When it comes to Mother's Day florist business tips, I like to think of it as a well-choreographed performance: it looks so effortless from the outside, but behind the scenes is a heap of plans, checklists and schedules.

Mother's Day Florist Business Tips: Get Your Website + Online Catalogue Sorted NOW

I liked to use the period leading up to Mother’s Day as a window to go in and make sure our online catalogue is up to date. If I'd been putting off a price increase or had an idea for a new product, I always used Mother’s Day as my deadline for new additions and updates. Anything I wanted to change, I'd make it my goal to get the updates sorted in the weeks before the big day.

Yes, of course, we’d make changes the other 51 weeks of the year but I liked to use Mother’s Day as an annual reminder to go in and evaluate our online catalogue more strategically and really make sure what we’re offering was still in line with our design aesthetic, flower availability, rising wholesale prices and evolving colour preferences.

So, tip #1 for florists looking to conquer Mother's Day 2022: put some time in your calendar this week to work through any updates you've been putting off. And yes, go in and raise those prices if it's been too long!!

Not sure what to offer in your online catalogue, here's my go-to approach.

Tip #2: Price Anchoring – Understanding Sales Psychology 

I learned about the idea of price anchoring when I was doing my MBA. It’s something I keep coming back to time and time again and Mother's Day is the perfect opportunity to put it to work for your flower business.

Now, I'm not gonna lie, when I first learned about it, I was kinda sceptical. I didn’t really think this big business idea would work for our little flower businesses but I'm glad to report, it totally does!

The simplest way to explain the concept of Price Anchoring is as follows: What’s the easiest way to sell a $1000 watch? Put a $10,000 watch next to it.

In the case of the watches, the goal isn't to actually sell the $10,000 watch. Instead, it's there to make the $1,000 more appealing and sell more $1,000 watches.

In the case of floral design, we can do exactly the same thing. We can use a premium-priced design, placed next to our average priced design and more people will be more inclined to pay even more. Thus, increasing our average order value. Yeah baby!

The first time I tried this idea out was for Valentine’s Day 2016 (yes, that seems like forever ago now). We intentionally created a bouquet of 3 dozen Cherry Brandy roses and slapped a juicy price on it. I had no intention of it actually selling that bouquet, but instead using it as an anchor for price comparison – its premium price tag was there to simply make everything else feel cheaper. It worked so good!

That one 3-dozen rose bouquet made the 2-dozen roses look way more appealing and our average sales increased. From that moment forward, I have used this strategy in a variety of areas of my business. I love experimenting with it and playing around.

These days, with more and more customers ordering online, we can take this exact strategy and put it to work on our websites – and it's even easier because you only have to photograph it, add in your fancy description and throw it up on your catalogue. It's like a one-time effort that keeps paying off (as opposed to in the shop when you need to keep designing it with fresh product).

Throwing a $450 or $600 product into the mix makes a really easy point of reference for your customers to then compare and come to the conclusion, ‘Oh yeah, I guess $150 for that bouquet is cheap’. Versus just having the $150 bouquet there and then they default to the $65 option.

So, on your list of updates to make on your website, make sure you add a new product that has a juicy price point – something that is 3-4 times higher than your average order value. (And remember, when someone orders that product, go in and make an even bigger one!)

Want a step by step guide to setting up a more effective florist website? Come join us inside Flower Boss Bootcamp and get all the tools + templates you need to fast track your growth (including my exact approach to setting up your website). Click here to join us today.

Tip #3: Review Your Google My Business Listing Today

When it comes to getting yourself sorted for Mother's Day, don't overlook some of the most basic marketing tactics we have available to us. Your Google Business listing is one of the most powerful (and free!) opportunities we have to get on our customer's radar.

And, when it comes to Mother's Day florist business tips, if you’re one of the many florists traditionally not open on Sundays, but you are trading on Mother’s Day Sunday, go in and make sure your hours are up to date for the big day.

Go in now, add in the specific hours you'll be open (i.e. answering the phone) and capitalise on some of those last-minute deliveries.

Plus, if it’s been a while since you’ve checked over your listing details, information and photos, take a few minutes to make sure it’s accurate and up to date.

Hot Tip: upload a few new photos to show the Google algorithm your business is active. This will help increase the organic reach of your listing and keep you current in the search world

More Free Stuff: How to Smash Your Revenue Goals for Mother's Day 2022

At the end of the day, there is a lot to focus on, particularly in the lead up to crazy times like Mother's Day.

If you want more support, a little clarity on what really matters and where to spend your time and energy to make the most of Mother's Day 2022, be sure to listen to this week's podcast episode. I'm sharing five tips to help you grow your revenue and make more money for Mothers' Day 2022. I'm also passing along more super practical Mother's Day Florist business tips.

I still think back to my very first Mother's Day and laugh awkwardly about all the things I assumed mattered, all the mistakes I made and what I'd do differently. I want to help you avoid the same mistakes I made and ensure your Mother's Day is a little less stressful than my first few years!

What you'll learn from this episode:

3 sales tactics to help you increase your average order value

Helpful strategies to follow to navigate the uncertainty and last-minute-ness of Mother's Day

My #1 tip for sorting through deliveries and logistics

My favourite tactics to implement to help you skyrocket your sales

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

 

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Florist Website Templates

Florist Website Templates – Avoid These 5 Mistakes

Confused by all the florist website templates? You're not alone.

In today's world of DIY website solutions like Shopify, WIX and Squarespace it's easy to get overwhelmed.

Particularly when you're just starting out and trying to do it all yourself.

No doubt, you've even asked yourself, is it worth it? Kathleen, do I really need a website? Is it that important?

YES!!!!!!

Your website is your single most important marketing and sales tool. In today's online shopping world, your website is more important than having a shop front or studio space.

But yes, sorting through all the options and trying to figure out florist website templates has a steep learning curve.

And I'll be the first to admit my journey to building a profitable flower business hasn't been easy. I didn't come out of the whom knowing all the things and I definitely didn't understand the world of websites.

I am a totally self-taught web person. I've learned everything I know from trial and error (and lots of random strangers who are great at teaching stuff on YouTube).

Florist Website Templates – Avoid These 5 Mistakes

Mistake #1: Picking a Portfolio or Photography Template

It's so tempting to pick one of those pretty, high impact websites, isn't it? This is exactly what I did on my first website. But then I got partway through the set-up and realised I was missing out on so much additional functionality.

What template should you look for? A restaurant template. The flower business + food business share so many similarities and using a restaurant, cafe or bakery template gives you access to so many shortcuts to make setting up your website heaps faster.

Mistake #2: Getting Sucked in By the Pretty Default Photos and Colours

The beauty of using a website template is that it shows you what the end product could look like. Except most of the images, content and colours supplied in the default templates still need to be updated by you.

I know exactly what it's like to feel uber frustrated when you find a pretty template and then try to go through the process of updating it with your own images...after what feels like hours of searching and editing you feel totally heartbroken and frustrated, hating all the images you have.

My favourite shortcut? Use stock photos to get you started. Then once you've got the first iteration up and running, invest in a brand photoshoot to really take your images to the next level.

When it comes to free stock photos, check out unsplash.com and pexel.com. But it's also worth checking out the paid version of canva.com. Alternatively, my go-to place for premium stock photos is creativemarket.com

Mistake #3: Overthinking the Words

At the end of the day, most of the words on your website are going to be dictated by the whole world of SEO.

This is particularly true for key headlines. So, instead of having 'Romantic, Hand-Crafted Flowers' as your H1 heading. You'll want to use something super functional like, 'Chicago Florist' – and then use your graphics, typefaces, and images to communicate the 'romantic, handcrafted' vibe.

Mistake #4: Too Many Image Galleries

I wish I had known this one from the beginning, but the whole project of creating big image galleries is a thing of the past.

Yes, your images can be a great way to get found on search but I found those big image galleries were a bit of a waste of time. It took me forever to format, upload, label and write in the descriptions. And my design aesthetic kept evolving so I find I always need to go back and remove old photos. All in all, it was all just too much fuss for me.

What did I do instead? I found linking in my Instagram feed was a better and easier solution. Set it up so your homepage, main service pages and your about page all have a snapshot of your latest 5-6 images from your Instagram feed. That way you can have a super simple page layout, but because the page brings in your IG content, it's constantly kept up to date and the images feel fresh. Yes, yes and more yes!

Mistake #5: Set It and Forget It

After you've searched through all the florist website templates, there is a big push at the beginning to get the first iteration of your website done and yeah, we all go through big overhauls any time we update our brand and level up our mindset.

But I also make it a regular habit to go in and make updates. And I do this almost every single week.

I'm constantly making tweaks and changes to my website. I truly believe there is no 'done' when it comes to our website and content.

For example, if you're offering daily deliveries and know you need to update your prices. Do it today. Right now. Don't delay!

Want more good stuff? Check out this blog post: How to Conquer the Google Game

Want more tips to help you sort through your website?

Getting your website is an epic task. There are 8,000 details to think through and the learning curve with the tech can feel like a lot. It's OK, we're here to help.

In my experience, getting your website sorted is an even bigger undertaking than fitting out a flower shop. But I promise the reward is 100% worth it!!! Your website can be your single most important sales and marketing resource and, for us, it's been one of the best investments we've made in our business.

Be sure to check out this podcast episode: How to Attract Bigger Budget Clients in Your Flower Business

Enjoy the Podcast?

Online Flower Business Tips

Online Flower Business Tips – 5 Steps to Success

Looking for online flower business tips? You're in the right place. If we've learned anything from 2020 + 2021, it's that if you want to have a successful flower business, being online is a must.

No longer is having a cute little brick and mortar shop the secret to success. In order to get customers and grow your flower business, we gotta level up our online marketing skills.

Even though we had a physical flower shop, we conquered the online game early on in our business. It's one of the reasons our business was so profitable.

So, I thought it might be useful for y'all if I put together five lessons, five online flower business tips to help you cut through all the confusion and see what matters most when it comes to growing your business.

Know this: the whole world of online flower business tips can be overwhelming.

There is a lot to learn. The learning curse is steep.

Setting up a successful online flower business requires a lot of Googling, trying stuff, stepping outside your comfort zone and embracing technology. But it's worth it. I promise!

The Most Important of All Online Flower Business Tips: The Same Pricing Models Apply

One of the biggest mistakes to avoid is not pricing correctly. It's really tempting to think all your customers want is cheap flowers and low-priced options but they really don't. (After all, that's what we as consumers are bombarded with every day, right?)

Now, just because you're not forking out for high street rents doesn't mean you don't need to follow the same pricing model.

I'll encourage you to keep things super simple and just decide that you too can follow the same pricing model as those who have a fancy shop.

As a business owner, you've got enough to think about and enough new things to learn that keeping pricing simple is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

Once you accept that pricing can be simple, then you can shift your energy to learning all the other things – the things that will help you get customers and grow your business. Things like, figuring how to set up a new website, sorting through your online catalogue and conquering SEO is complicated enough.

You don't need to compound that by second-guessing your approach to pricing.

The fact of the matter is, even if you did have a physical retail shop, in order to get the volume you need to run a profitable flower business, the majority of your customers are going to be ordering from out of town anyway.

So they aren't even going to set foot in your shop anyway. You working from your garage makes no difference to them.

Just decide today, right now, that the industry-standard approach to pricing applies to you too.

Tip #2: Your Website is Your Most Valuable Asset

This is true whether you have a shop or not. In today's world, more customers are shopping for florists online, which means your website is your single most important asset to your business.

Having a full functioning online ordering system is a must. Having a mobile-friendly, responsive website is also mandatory. Being able to go in and update your prices, adjust the content, announce closures and sort through your images is also important.

When it comes to learning online flower business tips, a Facebook page or Instagram profile is not the same as a fully functioning website. Yes, they can be helpful (see Tip 5 below) but in today's digital age, you gotta get your business online and fully transactional.

The truth is, humans are lazy. Your customers are lazy. They want to be able to place their order in as little as three clicks. If they need to send in a form or place an enquiry and wait for you to respond, they're just gonna pass and move on to your competition.

Tip #3: Set Your Sights Higher

When it comes to getting your website sorted, it's the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone and set your sights higher.

The first impression you make with your customer matters. A lot. How user-friendly your website is, how easy it is to navigate (on desktop, mobile and tablet), the overall vibe and level of professionalism all contribute to gaining trust with your next customer.

That trust is what instils your customers to finally buy, to put in their credit card info or send through that enquiry form. If your website isn't top-notch if it doesn't feel professional and high quality, you're going to miss out on a lot of money.

Now, that's not to say you need to spend 10s, or 100s of thousands of dollars on it. But having beautiful photos, easy-to-read typefaces and a great layout matters.

Better yet, set up your website for the business you want to have in the future. Don't limit yourself to what your business looks like today.

Tip #4: Win the Google Game

I know it's easy to get swept up in the Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, Pinterest world. But when it comes to getting customers, attracting clients and getting found online, Google matters.

Set up your Google My Business listing, sort through the details of SEO and, if you're doing daily flower deliveries, get yourself set up on Google Ads.(Be sure to check out this recent blog post to learn a few insider secrets for Google Ads.)

It's not enough to have a website, but getting found, being accessible and getting on your customer's radar is just as important. Google makes that possible.

Tip #5: Use Social Media to Bring Your Customers Behind the Scenes

Love or hate it, social media is here to stay. And if you run a business, having a social media presence is a standard of entry.

Better yet, social media is a great way to build more trust and provide guidance and expertise to your future customers. It's a way to show your customers you're alive + ready to help them.

Use Facebook to build relationships with your local community. Use Instagram posts to showcase your work and provide expert advice.

Post to Instagram Stories to showcase what's in season, show your customers you're open for business, share what's new in-store and bring them behind the scenes.

Want more helpful tips? Check out this super helpful YouTube video we put together a few months ago: Easy Instagram Story Ideas for Flower Business Owners.

Want more tips to help you conquer digital marketing for florists?

Learning to navigate all things Google, sorting out your website and coming to terms with the fact that being a floral designer + business owner requires us to learn a lot is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to making more money in your flower business.

What no one tells you about being a human being and running a business is that your success comes down to your mindset, learning how to overcome limiting beliefs, navigating imposter syndrome and continuing to show up even when things get hard.

I stayed stuck for so long in my business because I was waiting for things outside of me to change. I signed up for all the workshops, did my formal certification and have invested a huge amount of money in learning the craft of floral design. I wish someone had told me sooner that learning the art of being a creative entrepreneur, learning how to step into the role of CEO and embracing the discomfort of personal growth...those are the real secrets to building a thriving business.

At the end of the day, no one really cares whether we're formally trained, have all the credentials in the world or if we can claim "expert status". Our customers just want to know we can help them solve a problem. But every florist I know has struggled with imposter syndrome at one time or another.

If that's you, you're in exactly the right place. Be sure to check out this recent podcast episode:

Enjoy the Podcast?

How to Buy a Flower Business

How to Buy a Flower Business: 3 Things to Know.

So, you're thinking about buying a flower business. But you're not really sure how to buy a flower business or what the benefits of buying a flower business are? I've gotcha covered.

I want to share three things I wish I knew before we bought our flower shop.

What are you actually buying, when you buy a flower business?

Like for reals, what do you actually "get'? Well, most apparent, you get the supplies and materials from that business – things like the sink, a cool room, buckets, and all the flowering things (technically referred to as the assets of the business). Maybe there's a delivery van, some uniforms, a social media following, a phone number and a website.

The specifics vary from flower business to flower business but the shop fit-out and physical assets are just the beginning of what you're buying. So much of what you're actually buying isn't visible to the human eye.

The real value of a flower business sits in its systems, processes, and relationships. This is referred to as Goodwill. And it often has a juicy value associated with it, possibly something like $40,000, $80,000 or $200,000.

In essence, the whole point of Goodwill is that you should, no matter your level of expertise or experience, be able to open the door (literally or figuratively) and be able to turn over the same volume the previous owner turned over – all without the previous owner being there.

Goodwill moves with the business and isn't something that stays with the previous owner. So, if you buy a flower shop and the handover date is on a Friday. You, the new owner, should be able to generate the same revenue and profit as the previous owner in a similar trading window.

Yes, this whole Goodwill thing is pretty nebulous and it's super easy for people who are selling a business to pay lip service and say "Yeah, yeah yeah. It's all there."

This is where I want to step in and share three things I wish I had known before I jumped into buying a flower business.

I Wish I Had Known Better: How to Buy a Flower Business

When we bought the flower shop, I wish I had known way more about what to ask the previous owner.

In the end, we took on the shop with a handful of text messages and one email. Thank goodness for the handful of staff we inherited, who knew enough to keep us on track for the first while, while we figured out how the shiz this whole flowering + business situation was supposed to go.

When it comes to thinking about how to buy a flower business, here's three things I wish I had known before I jumped into the deep end.

#1 Documented Operations + Systems

The more systems and processes that have been documented, the better. And no, you don't want an old dot-matrix printer document. You want the most recent, up to date systems (including COVID operations plan).

The goal is for you to have access to a complete 'How To Guide' to running the business exactly as the previous owner ran things. Yes, you're going to make changes and improvements but this is your place to start and a safety net when things get hectic.

#2 Marketing + Sales Processes

At the end of the day, one of the most important things you're buying is the systems that come with consistent orders and enquiries. If these are based on a best guess or relationships with the seller, that's a giant red flag.

The biggest benefit to buying an existing flower business is that you don't have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to marketing + sales. This includes social media plans, website guides, advertising programs and sales scripts.

If this isn't clearly mapped out, proceed with caution. (If you're looking for quick tips and more marketing ideas, be sure to follow me on Instagram @littlebirdbloom. I'm showing up every week, passing along super helpful tips and teaching florists how to build better businesses.)

#3 Wholesale + Customer Relationships.

One of the most unexpected wins from buying the flower business was the established relationships with wholesalers. This saved my bacon on more than one occasion and makes your job 8000 times easier.

At the end of the day, your flower business success is directly linked to your wholesaler relationships and having these squared away is invaluable. Better yet, have the previous owner do a formal introduction and handover to set you up for a seamless transition.

The same goes for high-value clients and regular customers. Prepare a script for you and the previous owner, align your stories and celebrate the transition so you can continue to build great relationships with these customers.

Enlist Help to Navigate the Process

I am so grateful I threw myself in the deep end and bought the shop...but I also know there are heaps of questions that come up through the process.

Do lots of research. You won't regret it. (Still, to this day, I jump online and look to see what shops are for sale. It's so fun to see what's listed and explore the possibilities.)

When it comes to all the ins and outs, the who, what where, why and how to buy a flower business, definitely enlist the help of a financial planner or accountant. You'll probably also need a lawyer to help you review the contracts and logistics.

And, be sure to know your financial risks and the ins and outs of your obligations.

Go in with eyes wide open and do your best to not get sucked into the pretty shop layouts, cool decor and fancy design stuff. At the end of the day, it's all the unsexy things that are going to help you build a profitable, thriving flower business.

Know too, particularly in today's world, you don't need a physical retail space to be successful.

More and more designers are building successful, hugely profitable flower businesses without a physical retail shop space. (PS – if you need help getting shiz sorted out online, check out this blog post: 4 Google Adwords Tips for Florists)

If owning a physical retail shop is your dream, go for it. If not, that's awesome too. You do you, boo.

Marketing Tips for Florists

Marketing Tips for Florists: How to Get Found Online

So you've spent all your time and energy getting your website sorted. But now you're left scratching your head, wondering why the orders and enquiries aren't piling in? Now you're wondering, WTF do I need to do to get found online?

I've gotcha covered. Check out these three super helpful marketing tips for florists.

Marketing is a 'Thing'

Before I started my flower business, I spent 15 years working in fancy corporate marketing jobs. In fact, I've been studying marketing for over +20 years. I did my undergraduate degree in marketing and even have my masters. #overachiever

To say I LOVE marketing is an understatement. I'm totally, utterly obsessed with deconstructing and dissecting how the big multinationals market their business, how they attract the right customers, at the right time, with the right message.

Even more than that, I love taking those same business and marketing principles and teaching florists the right and wrong way to market their business and make money.

When it comes to marketing tips for florists, one of the most important lessons I learned was that we gots to approach our marketing from a totally different perspective.

Where other businesses need to grow their following, increase engagement and prioritise exposure, we floral designers get to approach marketing from a totally sideways perspective.

Why?

Because our customers shop differently. Our customers behave differently.

Let's pause for a moment...If you think about your dream client, the person who is going to place the next online order or send through the next event enquiry. Close your eyes and imagine you are that person. Put yourself in their shoes.

Quite literally. Close your eyes and think about how they would approach it. When they're looking for a floral designer, what do they do? Get super-specific.

When they jump online, where is the first place they go? If they're on Google, what do they type into the search bar?

If they're on Instagram, what do they type into that search bar? If they're somewhere else, what do they do? Envision the process in all its itty bitty fantastic detail.

The most important part of this planning process is to get super duper specific:

  1. Get specific in the platforms that your ideal clients use
  2. Get specific in the words/phrases/hashtags your clients use

Putting yourself in your client's shoes, envisioning the experience from their perspective is the single most powerful thing you can do. Seriously.

Stop Following the Crowd

Our industry teaches you that you need to do a heap of styled shoots, get exposure and worry about being featured on some famous blog. Then, and only then, will you be able to attract the kinds of clients you're dreaming of, yeah?

Wrong. I'm happy to tell you, there is an easier way. But it requires you to stop following the flower crowd.

Winning at floristry, building a thriving flower business requires you to learn a new approach to marketing.

Of course, you could go to business school, get all the degrees and geek out on all things marketing. Or you could shortcut your success and spend your energy focused on three super simple marketing tips for florists:

  1. Be in the right place
  2. At the right time
  3. With the right message

The Golden Rule of Marketing

If I had to distil down the single most important lesson from all my years as a fancypants marketing exec and spending thousands of dollars on all the degrees and qualifications, it would be this:

Get out of your own head and put yourself in your customer's shoes.

When it comes to getting found online, this really is the secret to success. It's not rocket science. It's not about being the best designer and it's definitely not about being famous or popular.

It's about being your most empathetic, helpful self. Using your imagination and really getting in touch with what matters most to your customers.

If you find yourself constantly second-guessing, over-thinking and over-complicating things (like we all have a tendency to do, being smart AF humans), hit pause for a hot second.

Go out into the real world and find 1-2 real-life humans who embody your dream client (or at least a kinda close proximity to a version of your dream customer).

Have a conversation with them. Buy them a coffee. Or a cocktail. And ask them to explain to you their research process – where would they go if they needed a florist? Get super specific and write it all down. Verbatim. Better yet, ask them if you can record the conversation and then get it transcribed.

Flashback to my corporate days, working with the likes of Dominos Pizza, Expedia and HSBC, we used to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on focus groups. You can do the same thing. Just on the super cheap.

It's time to take a page out of the successful big business multinationals. Learn from their process and do the same thing in your flower business. It's time to stop overcomplicating things, overthinking things and get back to basics.

You will be so surprised at how simple this can be. And even after just one conversation, you'll start to see how differently you can think about this whole marketing thing – you will start to be able to answer that burning question: How do I get found online?

Marketing Tips for Florists

At the end of the day, the right marketing mix is going to depend entirely on what services you're offering in your flower business.

Customers looking for a flower delivery behave differently to those looking for a wedding stylist. Someone looking for table arrangements for a christening behaves differently than someone looking for a casket cover.

Putting yourself in your customer's shoes truly is the secret to figuring out the right approach.

If you need it, here's a quick list of marketing priorities for floral design businesses:

Daily Flower Deliveries

Wedding Flowers (without a Planner)

  • Instagram Hashtags
  • Google My Business Listing
  • Search engine Optimisation

Floral Subscriptions

  • Local media + influencer partnerships
  • Instagram / Facebook paid ads
  • Word of mouth

Remember, every flower business has its own subtleties, its own nuances to consider. But use this list as the foundation for your marketing plan. Build on it and call out your own BS when you start to overcomplicate things (yes, we all do it).

Start tracking your data and test out new ideas. And if you ever feel like you're off track, make a plan to sit down with another real-life human being. Ask them to explain their process again and then recalibrate your approach.

No matter what, just keep going.

You got this, peoples. Let's go!

And don't forget, if you want to get my A-Z blueprint to marketing your flower business, join us inside Flower Boss Bootcamp. This is THE program to help you grow your business, get customers and make more money.

You get my exact approach, my step by step system to make it work. Click here to learn more.

How Can I Increase Sales as a Florist Blog post

How Can I Increase Sales as a Florist – 3 Steps to Success

OK, you’ve got your social media sorted (kinda). You’ve even contemplated embracing the discomfort of Instagram Reels. You’ve been through the process of getting a website sorted and your Google My Business listing is done.

You feel like you’re checking all the boxes but you’re struggling to get enough orders and enquiries. Every day you hear yourself ask, “How can I increase sales as a florist?”

My friend, you’re in exactly the right place. I wanna let you in on the secrets of successful florists and give you super specific, actionable advice to help you make it work.

While all the other florists wanna keep their secrets a secret, hidden from the world, I’m on a mission to ensure every florist knows how to build a profitable flower business. 

THE SECRET TO FLOWER BUSINESS SUCCESS

The single most important lesson to learn about marketing + sales as a floral designer is this: you have to follow a different strategy.

Selling flowers requires a different approach to marketing + sales. I know everyone else is teaching you how to increase engagement and grow your following but I’m here to tell you that’s a total waste of energy. 

If you go out and talk to any marketing person, they’re going to tell you the go after more “exposure”. That approach works in 99% of other industries. Volkswagen needs to keep reminding you they offer great cars. They need to encourage you to go through the effort of upgrading your vehicle and spend a bit more money.

Prada wants you following them so they can seduce you with their lifestyle and convince you to drop $5K on a bag. The girl selling cute handmade candles needs to keep sharing and showcasing her designs to try to convince you buying a candle is a good idea. 

The local cafe wants you to follow them on Instagram to keep you buying your daily coffee from them – 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year.

But when it comes to understanding ‘how can I increase sales as a florist’, the most important lesson to learn is you gotta follow a different strategy to what is traditionally spouted out by your favourite influencer and marketing coach.

There are four things that make floral design sales different to any other industry:

  1. Your service area is limited – you don’t do weddings in every corner of the planet and you can’t do flower deliveries beyond a specific footprint.
  2. Your customer could be based anywhere – the person paying for the flowers might be based halfway around the world
  3. Your customers already know flowers are the right solution – flowers have been part of the human experience for 5000 years. They already know they want flowers at the wedding, funeral or birthday party. They know flowers are perfect for sympathy, get-well-soon and celebration. 
  4. Your customer has a specific need – the majority of customers buy flowers to fulfil a very specific brief (date, location, occasion, budget are all constraints we need to account for)

This is why the traditional approach to marketing + sales doesn’t work for floral designers. It’s why, when you’re focused on growing your following, it doesn’t translate into more revenue for your business. This is why playing the popularity game or going after exposure isn’t required.

It’s also why I will tell you not to worry about wasting energy on Instagram Reels or worrying about doing another styled shoot. It’s why I will tell you, you gotta learn about Search Engine Optimisation and playing a smarter Google game. (Check out this super helpful YouTube video if you want some insider tips.)

HOW CAN I INCREASE SALES AS A FLORIST – 3 STEPS TO SUCCESS

When it comes to understanding how can I increase sales as a florist, here are my 3 steps to success:

STEP 1 – Follow the right strategy

What is the right strategy? Be where your customer is. 

Job 1: Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and map out their shopping experience. Quite literally, close your eyes and envision your customer. Where do they go first when they’re looking for a florist?

Once you do this one exercise, you’ll understand why worrying about the Instagram algorithm or chasing exposure isn’t important. That’s not how your customer shops for a florist.

STEP 2 – Make it easy for your customer to buy from you

As much as the relay networks, wire services and wedding planning networks might irritate you, they have figured out what matters most to customers. It’s time to take a page out of their book and realise they are doing a few things right.  

So many florists miss the mark because they make online shopping or planning a wedding really freakin’ hard. We overcomplicate the enquiry process, make it hard for customers to understand what their money will get them and never explain how the heck this whole floral design thing works.

My friends, it’s time to blaze a new trail. It’s time to break the tradition and make it really easy for your customers to find the information they’re looking for. The more helpful you are, the most your customers will spend with you. The easier you make it for your customer to say ‘yes’ to what it is you’re offering, the more orders you’ll get.

Essentially, in order to get more customers and make more money, you just need to do the exact opposite of what you traditionally see in this industry: be open with your expertise and guidance; give your clients the answers to the most common questions; and make it really really easy for your customers to buy what you have to offer.

Write that super helpful blog post outlining wedding flowers budgets. Create a section on your online catalogue that explains how to order. Make it clear to your customers what their money will get them. Give them lots of opportunities to spend even more money. They’ll love it!

STEP 3 – Be relentlessly repetitive

One of the biggest lessons I learned early on in my flower business is that every day is a new day filled with new customers. Every day there are new couples planning new weddings. Every day there is a new set of birthdays and babies and get-well-soon gifts to be sent. 

This requires you, as the head of marketing + sales, to step up your game and be willing to repeat yourself. A lot.

In many cases, it means we create a set of shortcuts. You don’t need to keep coming up with new content ideas or new better-than-the-rest photos. You could literally post the same thing on Instagram stories every 24 hours. You can repurpose and repeat your posts every 7-14 days. 

This is also why tactics like Google Adwords, Google My Business and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and are so important for floral designers. (If you’re totally confused by SEO, check out this blog post SEO For Florists: The #1 Thing You Need to Know.)

The truth is, it doesn’t matter what happened yesterday in your flower business. You might have received 15 new enquiries and 5 online orders or you might still be waiting for your next enquiry and your next online order. Today is a new day filled with a new set of customers. 

Being able to consistently show up despite the current results (or lack thereof) is how you make it work. This is why so many florists call it quits. They give up too early because they’re focused on the wrong things and following the wrong sales strategy.  

Learning the right marketing strategy, learning to show up every day despite what happened yesterday, learning to believe in our own potential and learning to feel a new level of determination is how you build a thriving flower business. This is what separates a Flower Boss from the rest of the crowd.

NEED HELP GETTING MORE SALES IN YOUR FLOWER BUSINESS?

It’s time to learn the secrets of successful florists – sign up for my {Free} Ultimate Guide to Building a Thriving Flower Business. CLICK HERE to get immediate access.

5 things I did to grow my flower business

5 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business

In November 2017, I had a total meltdown. It was early on a rainy Monday morning and I had had enough. I wish I could turn back the clock and do things so differently. I wish I had this list of 5 things I did to grow my flower business

On that Monday morning, I had just wrapped up an epic 5-wedding weekend and I was going through the motions of setting up a beautiful funeral service.

I will never forget that moment because what was happening around me was so beautiful, so perfect. 

We had the honour of creating a custom funeral design using flowers from the family’s garden. He was an avid gardener and I had free reign. This was every florist’s dream and was such an incredibly special moment.

I was so overcome by the emotion of this experience, touched by this opportunity and the beauty of the situation. And absolutely rocked to the core by the weekend I had just wrapped up.

I was standing in the centre of the garden thinking, “Kathleen this is what you want to be doing. This is the magic of floral design.” Simultaneously I was feeling so deflated by the weekend that has just passed.

The truth is, I had taken on too much. I was saying yes to every client that came my way and I felt pulled in 15 directions. 

I knew I couldn’t go on like that for much longer. I was exhausted. I didn’t like most of the work I was creating. I barely knew my clients. I couldn’t remember one bride from the next.

It was too much. I told myself, “Enough is enough, Kathleen. You’ve been chasing someone else’s version of success for too long. It’s time to step up.”

And step up I did. From that moment forward, I knew I needed to change how I approached my business. I needed to get clear on my vision and take action.  In other words, I needed to become a Flower Boss.

5 THINGS I DID TO GROW MY FLOWER BUSINESS

If you’re feeling frustrated in your flower business, you’re not alone. I’ve been there. And I’ve seen it happen to so many of my peers.

We find ourselves following the crowd, doing what we think we’re supposed to do to build up our flower business and then one day you wake up and wonder, “How the heck did I get here?” 

It’s so easy to see why we’re called to work with flowers. Our passion and drive get us going. But before long, we realise we’re travelling a path that isn’t what we actually want. You’re exhausted, deflated and wondering if you have what it takes to figure this out.

Looking back now, I realise I didn’t have the full picture. So much of what is talked about in our industry is the beauty, the design, the flowers. 

But the business of flowers, how to make money as a florist, that is kept under lock and key. I know now, that was what was missing for me. 

I had to learn how to build a business for longevity rather than riding the high from week to week, pushing myself beyond exhaustion and crossing my fingers it would all work out.

Of course, if I could wind back the clock and have a do-over, there are so many things I would do differently. 

Here are the 5 things I did to grow my flower business, to go from a totally burned out exhausted floral designer to the CEO and Flower Boss of a thriving business.

#1 – GOT CLEAR ON MY VERSION OF SUCCESS

I stopped trying to live up to someone else’s vision. I took time to reflect and asked myself, “If I could wave a magic wand, what does my dream flower business look like?”

Then, I slowly untangled myself from everything that wasn’t on that list.

It wasn’t an immediate shift. It took a while. But within a matter of months, I finally saw the light. I stopped saying yes to weddings that didn’t fit a specific set of criteria. I sorted out my ingredients selection and stopped allowing my customers to drive the designs we created.

#2 – SORTED OUT OUR PRICING

I had never sat down and actually done the math to figure out how much I should be charging for a bridal bouquet or how much those hospital arrangements should be priced at.

I had been running in reactive mode for so long and I knew I was undercharging and over-stuffing.

I took the time to properly price out every stem in our shop, to create a price list for the kind of wedding work I wanted to be making and we did the math on what we should be charging for deliveries.

The beauty with this is, although it was tedious at the time, you only have to go through that process once to see you’re missing out on a lot of money. Those numbers stick with you for a long time and make it easy to step up your game.  

#3 – LEARNED HOW TO SELL LIKE A BOSS

I used to believe all my customers cared about was the price. I thought being cheap was how you got clients and built a portfolio.

Once we got our pricing sorted, I realised why I wasn’t making money. I embraced the discomfort of raising our prices, which then forced me to learn how to become better at sales.

It turns out, yes, customers do have a budget in mind, but getting the lowest price isn’t their biggest concern. 

What do they care about? Value. Quality of service. The reassurance you’re going to do what you say you’re going to do and show up when you say you’re going to show up.

Learning how to sell anything to anyone is a must for every floral designer. It’s what changed the game for me and allowed me to book wedding clients without doing formal consultations and easily navigate sales conversions with our customers. 

#4 – DOUBLED-DOWN ON DIGITAL MARKETING

Yes, we had a fancy shop front. Yes, it was beautiful and an amazing space to connect with our local community.

But it’s also a money pit. If 2020 has taught florists one thing is that’s having a shopfront isn’t a guarantee for making money.

More people are connecting with businesses online and that means your digital marketing presence is more important than ever.

We invested a huge amount of time learning about Google Ads, search engine optimization, Instagram hashtags and making it easy for our customers to buy from us online.

We even learned how to sell wedding flowers online and how to get found by our dream clients on Instagram, without stressing about the algorithm or chasing after followers.

#5 – FOCUSED ON CREATING SCALABLE SYSTEMS + HIRING THE RIGHT PEOPLE

At one point in my business, I assumed growing my team meant having more qualified florists around. Once we started to document our processes and map out our systems, I realised how much more important it is to hire for fit than to hire based on experience.

Having the right people around you, with the right training programs and clear expectations makes a world of difference.

I stopped caring about people’s work experience or qualifications and started connecting with potential staff members based on their alignment with our values and support of our vision.

We then got to work documenting as much as we could in our business – how to do the market unpack, how to process flowers, our go-to recipes for a $60 shop bouquet, an example phone script, our suggested formats for event table arrangements and how to navigate wedding enquiries.

We spent a year pulling all this together and mapping out our own expectations so everyone on our team knew what was in my head. Yes, it took a while but it was worth it. It made everyone’s job so much easier. 

WANT MORE? I GO EVEN DEEPER ON THIS WEEK’S PODCAST EPISODE

If you like these 5 things I did to grow my flower business, you'll love this week's podcast episode.  I’m sharing more helpful guidance on building a successful flower business and teaching you how to create a thriving flower business. Listen to the episode using the Spotify player below. 

STOP WONDERING WHAT ALL THE SUCCESSFUL FLORISTS KNOW THAT YOU DON’T.

You can do this. I know you can. Stop second-guessing your abilities and limping along from week to week.

You don't need to keep giving away your work or stretching yourself too thin.  You are a good enough designer. You can make this work. You just need a blueprint to make it happen.

My Flower Boss Bootcamp teaches you exactly how to do that.

It’s time to put yourself back in the driver’s seat, get back in control of your business and unlock your potential. Sign up for my Flower Boss Bootcamp and get my blueprint for creating a successful flower business. 

You can do this. I can help.

LISTEN TO THIS WEEK'S PODCAST EPISODE

Go beyond the 5 things I did to grow my flower business and learn even more helpful, practical advice to create a better flower business. Listen using the Spotify player below or click here to jump over to Apple Podcast.

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