What Qualifications Do You Need to Become A Florist

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become A Florist

It's a fair question these days...what qualifications do you need to become a florist? Every time you turn around, it feels like new florists are popping up all over the place and no, doubt, if you're here, you're looking for a super simple, clear answer.

So, let's cut right to the chase. The truth is, floristry is an unregulated industry. That means there is no overarching board or flower police who are going to ask to see your credentials.

Unlike lawyer-ing, doctor-ing or accounting, you don't need any formal training or qualifications to be able to call yourself a "Florist".

So what? Well quite practically, no one is going to drop into your studio or shop and say, "Hey, show me your paperwork."

Having said that though, if you're looking for a job and want to be employed as a florist, it's super common for established flower businesses to prefer to hire formally trained, qualified florists. But that's certainly not true for all business owners so definitely ask around and do your research. (Some businesses might even offer on the job training or an apprenticeship.)

On the other hand, if you're looking to set up a flower business and want to be self-employed, you don't need to be formally trained. From my perspective though, I do think it's really important that if you are going to call yourself a professional florist and hang a sign out front (literally or online), you commit to upholding a standard – kinda like an agreed-to code of quality, professionalism and expertise.

What Qualifications Does a Florist Need?

I get asked this question all the time. But, instead of thinking about certifications, credentials and qualifications, I like to think of this slightly differently: What skills does a professional florist need?

It's a great question to dig into because yes, there are some obvious areas to cover – design, flower care, and mechanics. And, yes, quite practically those three areas are where most formal floristry training programs focus on.

For the record, I am a formally trained, certified florist. And yeah, I am so grateful I did my formal qualifications because I got to learn first-hand from florists who have been in the industry for decades. It was an awesome experience. Every one of my teachers was such a wealth of information and knowledge, really open with their experience and willing to answer all my questions.

To this day, I carry their lessons with me. (FYI, if you live in Australia, and you're exploring formal certification, I do recommend talking to the team at Pearsons Flower School. They have a calendar filled with a variety of short courses as well as offering formal certification. Plus, their staff is super helpful and willing to help guide you in the right direction.)

I do wish though that someone had told me that pursuing formal qualifications, learning about mechanics, flower care and design is just the beginning of the education journey. It's the place to begin. It's not the 'end all be all' of floristry and flowering business-ing.

Most formal floristry training programs are set up specifically to focus on the craft of traditional floristry and "increase your career prospects" (that's definitely the way the system is set up in Australia).

It's awesome if you want to get training to cover the true foundation and fundamentals but where I went wrong was thinking that getting my formal qualifications was enough.

Looking back now, I remember on the first day of my formal training, our teacher sat us down and said 'This is not a business class.' I don't think the gravity of that really sunk in until a few years later when I realised how valuable my fancy pants marketing background was to our business success.

After I finished my formal training, I quickly realised I needed to keep going and that my learning was only just beginning. To this day, I love going to workshops and learning from other designers. It's one of my favourite ways to push myself creatively and hone my craft.

Make The Commitment To Keep Learning Even After Your Formal Qualifications

One of the things no one tells you when you're starting a flower business is that the learning curve is really steep.

There's the time, energy and money we spend learning about mechanics, design and flower care but it's a whole other thing to then learn the right sales strategies, marketing priorities, mindset shifts, money management, and team building. Plus, customer service, tech stuff, and tax requirements all become part of the job when you make the decision to start a business.

It's a lot.

So, it's like formal qualifications are chapter one and as soon as you finish that chapter, 11 more chapters mysteriously appear and you didn't even know they existed until now.

That's precisely why we created Flower Boss Bootcamp so you can get my A-Z blueprint for building a succesful flower business. We've laid it all out for you step by step and offer heaps of support to make it easier than ever to turn your passion into profit! Click here to learn more.

PRO TIP: All That Time & Energy You're Investing Learning About Flower Care, Share It With Your Customers (You'll Make More Money That Way)

Early on in my flowering career, I made the mistake of thinking being a good designer was what mattered the most.

It took me years to learn how much value our customers place on the full experience – from the minute you answer the phone to the minute you deliver the flowers. Even putting careful thought into what you post on Instagram and the overall usability of your website impacts your customer's view of your work and positively impacts your bottom line.

Sharing helpful tips about flower care and giving your clients guidance on how to extend the shelf life of their flowers, in many cases, is just as important as delivering quality work. It's all part of the value of the service we offer our customers.

So, regardless of whether you're formally trained or totally self-taught, when it comes to getting customers and growing your business, one of the easiest ways to separate your floristry offering from the competition (particularly others focused on lower priced point offers) is to double down on sharing your expertise and knowledge.

All the invisible things about our work, make 'em visible. For example, talking about flower availability and seasonality is an easy way to quickly gain trust with your customers. So is talking about what's involved in making a design happen, the process of bringing in flowers, and all the steps it takes for a simple bouquet to be created.

With all the time and energy we spend learning about flower care, seasonal availability and the logistics of floral supply, it's of value to share that information with your customers too.

When it comes to answering that question "what qualifications do you need to become a florist? and learning how to grow a flower business, I've found that being helpful, and sharing that guidance and expertise is one of the fastest ways to grow your business and make more money. It's so awesome!

Let's Go Deeper: What Qualifications Do You Need to Become A Florist in 2022

If you want to dig into this topic even further (and learn more helpful tips), be sure to check out this week's podcast episode. I'm diving into way more details about the ins and outs of formal qualifications, certifications and credentials and sharing my 'I wish I had known' insights to help you build a thriving flower business.

I pass along the exact approach I followed to get good at design and give you helpful tips to help you fast track the floral design learning curve. I talk about my experience having gone to formal floral training here in Australia and I share my #1 strategy to help you learn floristry skills faster.

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

My five guiding principles when it comes to investing in personal development, learning the basics and levelling up my design skills

Innovative and modern avenues to explore to help you figure out what qualifications do you need to become a florist in 2022

Deep dive into deciding whether formal training is really right for you and your floristry ambitions

My perspective on the best bits of flower school and pursuing formal education as a florist

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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Flower Shop Operations

Flower Shop Operations – 4 Tips for Managing Your Cash Flow

Looking for guidance on navigating flower shop operations? You're in the right place. In this post, you'll find my four tips to help you manage your cash flow and maximise the profitability of your flower shop operations.

Don't own a flower shop? Don't stress. These four tips will help you with or without a retail space.

Are you brand new to floristry? That's OK too. No doubt, this post will pave the way and show you what matters most when it comes to setting up a flower shop and flower shop operations.

Whether you work from home, have a cute studio set-up or are navigating full-on hectic flower shop operations, having a plan or a basic framework to follow is super helpful.

Real Talk: Flower Shop Operations

The truth is, most florists get stressed AF when we talk about cash flow and managing flower shop operations.

Most humans don't wanna talk about money and most florists don't wanna look at the numbers. It's kinda like, you know you're not making enough money but you don't want to sit down and look at the numbers – it feels painful and it's like rubbing salt into a wound, right?

That's because, if you're anything like me, your brain is offering up stories about how bad it's going to be. As if sitting down and coming face to face with your finances means we'll finally need to admit "It's not working."

The truth is. You already know it's not working. Now it's time to do something about it.

The reason we put it off for so long is that we don't want to feel the shame, guilt and dread. You'll do anything you can to avoid the discomfort of sitting down and feeling nauseous, right?

Or maybe you're like so many of my Flower Boss Bootcamp students who like to stay in the story of "I'm not good at math" or "I'm not good with money."

If that's you, you're in exactly the right place.

The fact of the matter is when you make the decision to start a flower business, sorting out flower shop operations and understanding numbers is part of the game. It is your job to learn these things. That's part of what you signed up for. And the sooner you realise it's your responsibility to learn the numbers, the better off your business will be (I promise!).

I'm here to make sure it doesn't feel nearly as scary or overwhelming as it needs to be.

If you're not a numbers person, you're in the right place. If you're not good at math, you're in the right place. If you're here just to learn how to get good at managing your cash flow, you're in the right place.

Tip #1: Face the Facts

Here's the thing. The numbers don't mean anything.

Whether you're $20,000 in debt or have an extra $20,000 floating around, the numbers are just innocent characters, random numbers floating around in the stratosphere. It's our human brain that makes the numbers mean something.

And we all have these internal narratives that we tie to the numbers. We, the humans, are the ones that make the numbers mean something.

It's our internal narratives that stop us from facing the facts, from taking the time to sit down and taking charge of the situation. Making the decision to sit down and look at the numbers isn't going to change any of the facts – it's not going to make the situation any worse and, in fact, it can only get better, right?

And that's precisely what I want you to do. Embrace the discomfort. Feel the tight chest, woozy stomach, or the numbness in your shoulders and come face to face with the facts. Grab a pen + paper and simply write down the current state of the nation for your cash.

Quite literally. Don't overcomplicate things. Just taking the time to write out the current figures is one of the most empowering things you can do.

Don't put it off.

Do it now.

Literally.

This blog post will still be here when you get back and you can jump right into Tip #1.

Tip #2: Get your pricing sorted

The most common reason florists aren't able to cover their expenses is because their pricing isn't sorted.

That was totally me.

For 3 years I walked around talking myself out of raising my prices. I knew I was undercharging but I was so scared of the reaction of my customers if I raised my prices.

NEWS FLASH: All the horror stories I had running around in my brain...none of them came true. Literally. None. Of. Them.

So if you're anything like me and know you should raise your prices but keep finding dumb reasons not to do it, stop it. Stop lying to yourself and have a moment of truth. Embrace the discomfort and know that most of your customers aren't paying enough attention to even see there is a price increase (And for the 1% that do, it's OK. There are lots more customers out there who want your new, premium offer.)

(If you need help understanding the right pricing models to follow, check out this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/R5-fN3vCNJM)

Tip #3: Set up a separate bank account for your taxes

It's so easy to forget about our obligations to the tax office. We start to see the money coming in and get super excited.

But I've heard so many horror stories of florists who get slammed with $30,000 tax bills. Don't do that. In fact, do your future self a favour and start planning your cash flow to account for tax obligations. (If you're an Australian florist, throw your Superannuation into this pile too.)

Cause when you run a business, the tax office will always find out about it. Always.

If you're focused on subscriptions or daily flower deliveries, once you have the second account set up, go into your banking details and sort out an auto transfer. Transfer a percentage of your weekly revenue over to that second bank account and set it up so it's done weekly. (The percentage you set is going to vary so talk to your accountant, but a good place to start is 15-20%.)

If you're focused on events and weddings, every time a client pays an invoice, go in and transfer a percentage of that payment to your tax account. Then, when your accountant does your taxes and your tax bill come up for payment, you already have the money set aside (and possibly even more than you need).

And yes, this works if you run a corporation, a partnership or are a sole trader. And yes most banks offer up a fee-free or low free second account for little to no monthly fee.

Tip #4: Track your expenses for 30 days (or more)

There's an old adage that goes something like "What gets measured gets managed."

One of the things I wish I had done sooner was to pay attention to how much money was going out the door. I spent years just mindlessly paying bills, buying stuff I didn't really need and yeah, there were some weeks I just hoped we had enough cash in the bank to cover all the invoices.

I knew I had to get my pricing sorted but the second thing I did was start to really pay attention to where I was overspending at the wholesalers and when I was buying sh*t I didn't need. For example, I used to buy all the fancy vases and containers well before I even had a booking that I might use them for. I also had a bad habit of buying too many expensive things at the wholesalers and buying all the ribbons in all the colours.

In hindsight, I realised the power came from just paying attention. Instead of telling myself, it didn't matter, I told myself to behave like an employee in my own business and I had a responsibility to pay attention.

Once I start to take charge and began to track our expenses, I noticed I paid way more attention to what I was actually buying. I started to see where all the money was going and with a few tweaks here and there I saw a major change in the $$$ that stayed in our bank account.

Let's Go Deeper: What About Setting a Minimum to Help You Manage Your Flower Shop Operations?

Setting a minimum order value can really help increase the profitability of your flower shop operations. And I think it's safe to say, the decision to set a minimum is a pretty personal decision. Every business owner has their own priorities and logistics to navigate and there are lots of details and personal preferences to take on board.

No matter what, whether you set a minimum is 100% up to you. Just because your flower bestie has a set minimum doesn't automatically mean it's right for you too.

And, because you're the CEO, you get to decide what decision-making framework you want to follow and which math formula you want to use to determine what that minimum is.

Over the years, I've learned to look at the practicalities of setting a minimum in a few different ways, giving you the tools to help you set a minimum that works for you and your flower business.

When it comes to setting a minimum and managing your cash flow, I want you to go in with your eyes wide open and feel empowered to make the best decision you can for yourself and your business.

That's why I've recorded a podcast episode diving deep into setting minimum in your flower business and passing along three different frameworks you can follow to help you determine if a minimum (and what minimum) is right for you and your flower business

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

What a minimum is and why it can help you manage your cash flow

The strategy behind setting a minimum and a few different pros and cans to consider

Examples of minimums and how different florists use them in their business

3 different ways to calculate a minimum in your flower business

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

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How to Wedding Florist Consults

How to Wedding Florist Consults With Ease – 5 Questions to Ask Your Clients

Struggling to figure how to wedding florist consults? Here's my go-to approach to making it easier for you (and your prospective clients)!

In 2018, I must have held the record for most wedding consults done and the least number of bookings made.

When it came to figuring out finding answers on "how to wedding florist consults" I was so lost!

Seriously. It felt like a crazy hamster wheel where I would show up for the consult, ask the questions, tell them I'd send them the quote and then either get ghosted or finally hear back that they went with someone cheaper. It was happening to me every single week.

Overcoming that challenge taught me so much and, most importantly, it got me to question how I was consulting my client consults and finding new, more efficient ways to do things.

Since that time, I've really mastered the art of the wedding enquiry process and started to really see that the process of how to wedding florist consult itself isn't the end-all, be-all. Rather, it's just one step in the customer experience we're providing our clients. It's like that one meeting is simply one piece of a bigger sales process, an experience you're providing your clients.

Rule #1: There Is No One 'Right' Way To Do Consults

We all have different strengths and different personalities. Don't shy away from that and don't assume that someone else's template is going to fit you perfectly.

Instead, I want you to think about your wedding consultation process as something that is intrinsically yours, built on your strengths and structure in a way that makes it easy for you to navigate.

Make your wedding flower consult process your own and, remember, you can forever be refining it, changing it and adjusting it.

Below, I've mapped out my five favourite questions to ask clients during a consultation – feel free to use them, try them out for yourself. But also, don't feel you must stick to this formula. Make the questions your own. Play around with the specific words you use and the order you sort through the details with.

At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember when it comes to wedding consults is that this is about building a relationship. You want to show up with professionalism and focus on building trust, really getting to know your clients and understanding what makes them tick.

As crazy as it sounds, how you navigate your consultations can set you up for a huge amount of creative freedom. If you can get a sense from your clients about their vision for the day, their priorities, what they're worried about and really dig into their priorities, you'll get such a clear picture of where you can push the creative experience and where you need to stick to a specific box.

BONUS TIP: Not sure what to include on your wedding flower enquiry form? Check out this YouTube Video: 3 Questions Every Florist Should Include On Their Enquiry Form

How to Wedding Florist Consults: 5 Questions to Ask Your Clients

QUESTION 1: Paint me a vision for the day. How do you see the day unfolding?

I like to lead with this question for two reasons: yes, it's helpful to get them to explain how they see their day going. But just as important: get them talking, have them share their vision and dedicate a bit of time getting comfortable with one another at the beginning of the session.

This question is all about setting the tone for the consult and building rapport. Your clients are as nervous as you are. Use the first 5-10 minutes to settle in, generate excitement and build that personal connection.

QUESTION 2: What are you most excited about on your wedding day?

This one question is incredibly powerful because it shows you where their values are and what really matters to the two of them.

A word of warning: don't be surprised if they aren't quite sure or they each have sort of conflicting ideas of what matters.

Not having a clear answer to this question is super common and in fact, it presents you with the opportunity to become truly indispensable.

Be the one who helps them sort out their priorities and they will take your guidance and input on all the things (particularly when it comes to prioritising budgets, colour palettes and flowers to feature).

Don't be shy about sharing your point of view and bringing them back to the task at hand: prioritisation.

QUESTION 3: What is your budget?

Yes, talking about money can feel uncomfortable but this one question serves your clients as much as it serves you.

This is one area I really shied away from in the early years of my business. I didn't want to talk about money and I didn't want to feel the awkwardness. But I know, my hesitation to talk about budgets is one of the reasons I wasted so much time and got ghosted by so many clients.

Now, just like you, most humans hate talking about money. This is true for your clients as well.

Your clients are going to feel embarrassed to bring it up and might even be filled with a sense of shame because they are convinced they don't have enough money (this is true no matter how small or big their budget is).

HOT TIP: I like to include this question on their initial enquiry form to avoid that uber awkward first money conversation. It's much easier to repeat the information from their initial enquiry form than it is to have them be the first to throw their hat into the ring.

At the end of the day, 99% of our clients don't have enough money to afford their entire wish list (that's why it's called a wish list, right?).

That's OK. Remember, you are the expert. You're there to help. Make it your goal to pass along your guidance and expertise and give them the information they need for them to make the right decision for them.

QUESTION 4: What is stressing you out the most?

This question is there to really built trust and create a better bond between you and your clients.

I've found that most couples getting married don't feel like they have enough people advocating for them, cheering them on or giving them the support to make decisions from a place of empowerment. Instead, they're trying to make sure they're not hurting anyone's feelings or hoping mum doesn't blow a gasket when she hears how much that archway is.

Become your client's #1 fan and be their #1 cheer person. They'll love you for it!

In addition to building a better bond with your clients, this question is really helpful to give you a bit of a heads up as to what to watch for on the big day.

Weddings bring up all sorts of emotions for all of us and it's helpful for us to know what we're walking into on the big day, right?

For example, it's super helpful to know if the bride is super stressed about being the centre of attention or if one of the pair is dreading what their Aunt Judy is going to do on the dancefloor.

Shortcut your progress and get access to the full suite of templates + how to guides with my Wedding Enquiry Masterclass. This course is part of the Flower Boss Bootcamp study vault. Join today and fast track your enquiry process!

QUESTION 5: If you could ask me anything, what would it be?

Yep. Give them a few minutes to ask any questions they might have. And give them permission to ask anything (quite literally, tell them it's OK if they think it sounds silly).

Remember, your clients haven't done this before (or if they have, they did 10+ years ago).

Be patient and shower them in kindness. A the end of the day, I have found this approach really does help set the foundation for being able to create an even bigger, better 'wow' client experience on the day.

Go Deeper: Wedding Consults Like a BOSS

It's normal to feel super intimated and overwhelmed navigating wedding consults. Most of us spend a lot of time worrying about how to respond to questions like "how many weddings have you done before?" or "show me your portfolio?"

We stay stuck, paralysed by our own insecurities and are afraid we're going to get called out as a fraud, feeling like an imposter. This is a totally normal human response when we're doing new things.

The remedy: create a plan for success.

Yes. When it comes to how to wedding florist consults, there is a simple formula to follow.

And it doesn't need to be super-duper complicated.

In this week's podcast episode I'm sharing some of my favourite principles for sorting through your approach to conducting wedding consult and giving you the tools to show up like a Boss at your next consult.

What you'll learn from this episode:

Why most florists approach how to wedding florist consults backwards (and how to make sure you're not!)

My five-part wedding consult framework

The fastest way to win a client's trust and book better clients – even if you're new

My #1 tip for showing up with confidence at your next wedding flower consult

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript


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Flower Shop Operations

Flower Shop Operations – 3 Tips for Increasing Profitability This Week

Let's talk flower shop operations and profitability!!! It's one of my favourite topics!

Here's the thing. Running a flower business is hard work. And, like every other business on the planet, it's really easy to not make money.

It took me a few years to really settle in and find my grove for all things flower shop operations and now it's one of my most favourite areas of floristry to teach about. It's unsexy AF, but it really does make the difference between riding the struggle bus and setting yourself up to run a thriving business.

There are three big things we did in our flower shop operations that really changed the game for us, and instead of you feeling like you need to create all your own systems + processes from scratch, staring at the blank page and just feeling so overwhelmed by the idea of having to create more processes, I wanted to distil it down into three easy actions and simple ideas to get you real results faster.

In economics, there is a guiding principle that states: 80% of the output is driven by 20% of the actions. This is called Pareto's Principle.

It definitely applies to flower shop operations and it's one of the lessons I come back to time and time again, believing that 80% of your business can be run if you get 20% of your systems sorted.

It's just a matter of making sure you know which systems are more important than others (cause y'all don't have time to do it all, right?).

Very specifically, when it comes to flower shop operations and how to use systems to increase your profitability, here are the three places I'd focus on first:

  1. Staffing
  2. Wholesale Orders
  3. Maximising Product Usage

(If you're struggling with the basics, and want to get your pricing sorted, be sure to check out these two resources (1) Flower Pricing Worksheets and (2) How to Price Flower Bouquets – YouTube Video)

Flower Shop Operations Tip 1: Smart Staffing Solutions

One of the biggest challenges (and opportunities) of living in a small town is that you don't have access to the same talent pool as in the big city. In hindsight, I now see this as such an incredible blessing because it forced us to look at our staffing totally differently.

We had to get creative with who we hired and how we staffed our flower business. We didn't have access to dozens of highly trained, experienced florists and that required that we look at our structure differently.

As we were sorting through our staffing challenges, I realised that not all tasks in a flower shop are created equal. For example, writing out card messages, processing new flowers from the market and sweeping the floor don't require special training or qualifications.

Yes, you need to train staff on your expectations and how things need to be done but with the right attitude and hiring for cultural fit, many of our day to day flower shop operation tasks can be passed along to a capable, inexperienced lovely human.

I vividly remember pausing one day, taking a little time to look at what each one of our team members was doing and seeing how disjointed it was. We had our most talented designers doing things that others could do and we had team members who were awesome at customer service stuck behind the workbench all day, not engaging with customers at all.

It all came to a head one Mother's Day (this is like when all the holes are put under the microscope). I remember sitting down and thinking, "I have to plan this differently." So we decided to shift our perspective and divide the tasks into 'front of house' and 'back of house'.

Rather than have a designer handle an order from the phone call, to ingredients selection, design and on to packaging and delivery, we broke the whole process down into smaller steps. This gave us the opportunity to get the best people on the job doing customer service and taking orders and have your best designers, designing. Then, you can set up a system for wrapping, packaging, writing cards and organising deliveries.

It's kinda like in a restaurant. The process of making a meal is broken down into stages and you have a mix of staff members, support resources, and chefs navigating a specific series of steps to make it easy for the whole team to follow. The person who takes the order from the customer isn't the same person who makes the meal and probably not the same person who cleans the kitchen.

In short, we flipped the traditional model to flower shop staffing on its side and came at it from a totally different perspective. This allowed us to hire a range of staff, fill the gaps where they needed to be filled, level up our training processes and maximise our profit.

It meant we were no longer doubling up on expensive staff at all hours of the day and we could hire more junior employees, train them up and deliver a great experience to our customers.

Tip 2: Better Wholesale Ordering Processes

When you run a flower shop it's easy to spend a lot of money on product that just ends up in the bin. It's like a long, roundabout way of taking cash out of the ATM throwing it in the trash.

Yes, we all get sucked in by the new, beautiful flowers showing up at the market each week and get tempted to buy a little bit too much of that or too much of this.

It's like the impact is x100 when you run a flower shop because you're bringing in new flowers every day and/or every other day (or at least once per week). $100 overspending with each wholesale order adds up really quickly when you're buying at this frequency.

When it comes to sorting out better wholesale ordering, I started out by creating a system for tracking product wastage (i.e. a piece of paper where we wrote down what was going in the bin).

At the end of each week, I could tally it up and see just how much wastage we were creative (and how much money was going in the trash). That one exercise compelled me to come up with a better process for ordering flowers.

What I ended up doing was, rather than staring at a blank page and coming up with a brand new wholesale order each week, I looked at what we ordered the previous week, cut down on the order depending on how much wastage we had and plan more strategically.

(I even took it so far as to write out my order and then go back and shave off 20% of the flowers, just to see how little flowers we needed to navigate the week. It's a remarkably eye-opening exercise that has a dramatic impact on your bank account.)

The results were amazing and as I did this, over the course of just a few weeks, I started to see that there really was a 'standard order' I could place with our wholesalers and then add in a few delights here and there.

This one system had a knock-on effect for so many areas of our business because it also made pricing was so much easier (no need to keep supplying new price lists to staff with all the new flowers we were getting in every week) and the designs that were going out of our shop were so much more consistent. It was a total win-win!

Tip 3: Maximising Product Usage

One of the super simple systems we put in place to help increase profitability for our flower shop operations was to create an 'orphan bucket'. As we were unpacking the cool room and cleaning up each night we'd gather the stray stems, the random one snapdragon here, the two last roses here and pull them together into a bucket.

We'd place that bucket on the workbench and whoever was starting orders first would work through that orphan bucket, using up loose stems as they worked through the pile of flower orders.

This one process really helped us maximise product usage but it also turned it into a game for all our designers. Yes, there was something to celebrate when we finished up the orphan bucket but what was even more fun was the challenge of being able to still create something lovely with 1 snapdragon and two miss-matched gerberas.

It pushes your design skills but also helps increase your profitability.

Another Awesome Shortcut: Create Floral Design Formulas

One of the best shortcuts we created in our business was to come up with "a formula" for our floral design.

Yes. You read that right.

I spent so much time spinning my wheels, second-guessing all the things and staring at the blank page (or empty workbench) thinking I had to create brand new designs from scratch every time out. I wasted so much time but it also meant we didn't have a consistent 'look' to our designs.

That experience is double stressful when you have customers standing there waiting for their order, the pressure seems like x100. Time just slows down to a molasses pace and you feel like every pair of eyes is just staring at you, right?

And then even as you're designing, trying to stick to your costings, we're all tempted to over-stuff, add in more ingredients and just keep adding in more stems because we want it to meet our expectations.

The idea of creating a flower formula is one of the easiest ways to cut through the overwhelm and make it easier to a create a consistent look. It's like being able to bridge the gap between your vision + design aesthetic and the final recipe or wholesale order you place.

I go through the process of creating flower formulas on this week's podcast episode, giving you my step by step, a how-to guide for you to take this concept and implement it in your business.

I'd love for you to take this concept, put it to work and make it your own peoples!

What you'll learn from this episode:

What a floral design formula is and the exact process to creating one for your designs

My #1 tip for scaling your design work and making it easier to train new staff

How to stop over-stuffing and set up a system to make it easier to manage profitability (with every order!)

Real-world floral design formulas and frameworks you can use in your business

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript


Enjoy the Show?

How to Handle Customer Complaints in Floristry

How to Handle Customer Complaints in Floristry – 5 Steps to Success

I'm not gonna lie, I used to crumble into pieces and fall into a hot mess any time a customer rang up with a complaint.

When it comes to learning how to handle customer complaints in floristry, I used to just walk around on pins and needles hoping I'd never have to deal with it.

There are so many things I wish I had known. And that is particularly true when it comes to how to handle customer complaints in floristry. But alas, it's yet another topic that no one shares about, right?

And if you're anything like me, you'll assume everyone else's business is absolutely perfect and there must be something wrong with you.

If that's your thinking, I'm here to tell you that's not accurate at all.

Customer complaints are a normal part of running a business. Every company on the planet deals with complaints.

Floristry is no different, peoples!

In fact, I would dare say the number of complaints we receive should be higher than average because we are (1) often dealing with hugely emotional situations and (2) our customers have no idea how the heck this whole flowering thing works.

So, instead of telling yourself that if you get a customer complaint you're doing it wrong, I want you to go out there and aim for a 5% complaint rate.

Literally, I want you to show up with courage and be brave enough to ask your clients for feedback. I want you to get your client's feedback and get their input.

In fact, instead of shying away and hoping you never receive a complaint, I want you to take the exact opposite approach.

The next customer complaint your receive, give yourself a gold star. You're doing it right!

Now, don't get me wrong. I want you to over-deliver, go above and beyond and make sure you're meeting (even exceeding) your customer's expectations. I don't want you to drive your business into the ground by cutting corners, skipping out on professionalism and just not caring. No ma'am.

But the point is, I want to avoid you falling into the all-too-familiar shame spiral.

Even better, when it comes to how to handle customer complaints in floristry, here is an overview of my approach.

{If you missed it, you can also check out this blog post: Five Tips to Help You Navigate Your Next Customer Complaint.}

How to Handle Customer Complaints in Floristry – 5 Steps to Success

STEP 1: Plan Ahead

Literally, sit down now and decide how you want to handle customer complaints and disappointed clients. What are your Standard Operating Procedures and corporate policy for navigating a customer complaint? What are the rules and guidelines you want to put into place.

STEP 2: Write A Script + Create Templates

Sometimes the phone will ring and it will be a customer who wants to 'talk to the manager'. Having a few talking points or a quick script to follow puts you back in the driver's seat and makes the conversation run smoother. Also, create a template response for DMs, emails and even reviews left on Google.

STEP 3: Reflect

99% of the time a customer complaint arises because (1) there hasn't been enough communication or (2) it's a failure in the process. Yes, you read that right. A customer complaint has nothing to do with your self worth or ability to weave magic with flowers. It's almost always a systems thing (which is why I will tell you to celebrate your client's feedback).

STEP 4: Make Improvements

Here's a shift in perspective that's helped me tremendously: a customer complaint can help you make more money and increase your bottom line. Yes. It is a little mind-blowing, isn't it?

But think about it, knowing most complaints stem from something as functional as better communication, a smoother process or a clearer system, when you get client feedback that something isn't working, it's the perfect opportunity to level up your systems, process and communication so you can continually make things better.

STEP 5: It's Ok to Feel Uncomfortable

At the end of the day, your brain is going to interpret a customer complaint as a form of rejection. Rejection makes your primitive brain freak out. It thinks you're getting booted out of the tribe, voted off the island and quite possibly you're gonna be left out in the cold. To die.

I know it sounds dramatic but that's why you feel the intense, physical reaction in your body. That, my friend, is a totally normal, completely human response. Nothing has gone wrong here. In fact, I want you to care, I want you to take complaints personally (it's a sign you actually care about the humans, yeah?).

But know that the discomfort of feeling rejection is part of the process. So when the phone rings or you get an email from a client, embrace the discomfort...and then jump right back to Step #1.

At the end of the day, dealing with customer complaints is part of the gig. It's part of the process when it comes to growing your business. As your business grows, as you reach more people and your flowers touch more humans, it's OK if someone is disappointed.

Remember, it doesn't mean anything about you, your business or your design ability. Your self worth is fully and totally intact, even if five customers call in the same day lodging the same complaints.

You can get to work and flip the script: use your next customer complaint as a sign that you're growing and expanding. Cause you are!

It's time to put your big girl pants on, go out there and get to work crafting your customer complaint's policy. Decide now what you want your customer complaints policy to be and then put it into action.

Want to learn how to show with more confidence and authority in your flower business?

Navigating customer complaints is one area of floristry that I know most of us struggle. But having a plan, a clear process for making it work, you start to really see what's possible in your business. And really doing the work to detach my self-worth and unwind my people-pleasing tendencies has skyrocketed my business growth.

Of course, no one talks about that stuff in our industry, do they? Everyone wants to keep showing up, swooning over the pretty flowers and bragging about how busy they are...meanwhile you and I wondering WTF we're missing, right?

I walked around for years believing I was broken, that there was something wrong with me. I thought I was the only one.

Turns out that's not true. Turns out, a lot of us struggle with confidence in our business. If that's you, you're not alone. And I'm here to help! Jump in and catch up on this recent podcast episode.

Enjoy the Podcast?

How to Markup Staff

How to Markup Staff: A Step by Step Guide For Florists.

Topic #2,305 no one in the floral design industry talks about: How to markup staff in my flower business?

I've gotcha covered. And even better, I'm going to give you my super simple approach to making sure you're set up for success when it comes to quoting for set-up, pack down and delivery on your special event and wedding work.

What is the Right Mark-Up to Use?

Back in my past life of being a fancypants advertising exec, we used to spend hours talking about how to markup staff. It was literally how we made money.

There was a specific revenue to staff ratio we had to stick to. We weren't allowed to hire more staff until we hit a certain sales target and when we did hire new staff members we had to make sure our revenue stayed at a certain ratio.

When our revenue slumped, we had to cut down on staff. When we won new business pitches, we had to stick to a specific ratio for hiring.

Needless to say, I've lived and breathed that ratio for years. The math works. Advertising Agencies make their money based on this proven approach and, heck, if the ratio works for Ad Agencies, it's gotta be good enough for floristry, right?

Here's my super simple approach. Generally speaking, when it comes to how to markup staff in your flower business, I follow this formula

2.5-3 x freelancer hourly rate

So, if you're paying your freelancers $50 an hour, you're going to charge them out at $125 - $150 per hour.

And when you're pulling together your quotes for clients with on-site set-up, that means you're charging this amount for each person who is helping you and for every hour they're helping you.

How Do I Figure Out How Many People and How Many Hours?

Bad news bears...I've never figured out a shortcut to this one. But I do like my approach. It works for me.

The most accurate approach I've found to figure out how many people and how many hours is to sit down with a pen + paper and actually map out the day. Work through it step by step and write it all down.

Yes, if you're working at a venue you're familiar with, this is pretty straightforward. If you're working at a new venue, doing a walkthrough and talking to the venue coordinator is super important. You will want to get their rules around timing for set-up and pack-down (if they have any).

Very specifically, when it comes to figuring out how to markup staff in your flower business, here is my process in a bit more detail. Close your eyes and envision yourself on the day. Start to walk through the full experience from start to end.

Personally, I like to work backwards and start with the end in mind. So, for me, I start with the day after the event and the (dreaded) clean-up of the workspace, van and repacking candles, vases etc. I think about how I want that to go and how many people I want to help me.

I then work backwards from there. I think about what needs to happen to pack down the reception late the night of the wedding, work backwards through the reception set-up, the ceremony clean-up, the ceremony set-up, the bouquet delivery, packing the van that morning, etc. etc. etc.

It can take an hour or so to map this out, depending on how complex the project is, but I find it always gives me the best result.

Plus, the experience of working backwards really forces me to concentrate on what's happening – I find I rarely miss out on things when I approach it back to front. I know it sounds odd, but it really does work!

After I figure out how many hours of support staff I need and how many people to bring, I think do that quick bit of math.

Hourly Rate (2.5-3 x Freelance Rate) x Hours Needed x People Needed = Total Charge

And yes, if your eyes bulge and you think wowzers, that added up fast!!, you're doing it right.

HOT TIP: Instead of having one line item that says: Delivery, Set-up and Pack-down, divide that one line item into 3 or 4 separate line items. This prevents the sticker shock that happens when your clients are looking at one four, five or six-figure line item.

You'll Never Regret Over-Estimating the Hours Required

When it comes to doing wedding set-ups, I lived by the rule of having an extra pair of hands with us on the day.

Last-minute issues, production hick-ups and sudden rainstorms can throw a spanner in the works. And my goal was to be able to say 'Yeah, of course, we can help,' even if the situation had nothing to do with flowering.

Having another pair of hands to help you clean up or help the stylist lay name cards, tidy someone else's mess and help mum sort out some last-minute crises makes you indispensable. And that's what planners and venue coordinators remember the most.

Lots of florists can come in and make a room look spectacular.

But going above and beyond, being OK swiping up the floor, helping the staff reset tables and not having to stress about having someone duck out to move the van is what makes your team look like superheroes. And it's why venue managers and planners want to work with you again and again (and again).

It took me a long time to learn this.

For the first year of my business, I didn't even know I could hire freelancers or that having a pair of hands makes the work 8000 times better, let alone less stressful and easier on the body.

When I did start bringing on a team of support staff, I was always second-guessing my approach.

When I started doing large scale installations, tight turnaround and big jobs, the on-site set-up costs and pack down costs are usually more expensive than the flowering costs.

That's OK. It's totally normal. Usually, we're stuck with super tight deadlines, short set-up timeframes and limited access. That means more hands are required. More hands mean higher costs.

(If you're not sure how to quote for an event, also be sure to check out this blog post.)

How to Markup Staff and Not Freak Out Over Being Able to Charge That Much...

I used to freak out about these charges a lot...so much so that I would look at the total, immediately discount and eat into my own profitability...all before I presented the first quote to the client.

Don't do that. Learn from my mistakes.

Instead of assuming your client can't pay that much, reframe your perspective.

Remember this: it wasn't your idea to do an event at a venue with their specific set-up, pack-down and delivery requirements.

In many cases, when we talk about the requirements and timing for set-up and pack-down, it's new news to our clients. They don't learn about these rules until we get involved and tell them how things need to run on the day. And, often, they're super surprised when the labour costs more than the flowers.

At the end of the day, the decision to host an event at that location wasn't your decision. But you can still be super helpful.

Your mission is to educate and inform, give them the information they need to allow them to make the best decision for them. It's not your job to judge your client's ability to pay or worry about whether you can charge that much.

No ma'am.

Remember, your pricing is always based on an equation. Not an emotion.

Next time you need to quote for an event, use this formula for how to markup staff. It works.

Want more helpful tips? 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.

Florist Pricing Formulas

Florist Pricing Formulas

I've never met a florist who hasn't struggled with pricing.

Seriously. It's part of the journey from Backyard Betty to Profitable Polly.

I work with florists from every corner of the globe and every one of them, at one time or another, has struggled with feeling confident in their pricing.

For me, I struggled with pricing for the first three years. One day I finally hit rock bottom and realised I couldn't keep going the way I was going.

I didn't have enough money in my bank account to warrant the work I was doing.

I had to make it work.

I didn't have a Plan B. I didn't have a separate household income to support me. I didn't have time to get another job.

If I could turn back time to that old version of me, it would have been so helpful if someone had told me on day one of my business...

Kathleen pricing is actually super-duper straightforward. The math is easy. What's making it feel so hard is all the self-doubt and meaning you're adding to the math.

If some magic unicorn had walked up to me and whispered those words, I probably would have tilted my head and been like, "WTF are you even talking about?"

It certainly would have encouraged me to pause for a second and ask more questions (yes, about my approach to pricing but also, Why is there a magic unicorn here and does anyone else see this thing?!?!?)

I'm embarrassed to admit this but I was taught the florist pricing formulas before I even started my business. Early on in class we talked a lot about pricing and did a lot of math.

But what we didn't talk about was feeling so full of doubt, fearing rejection and what it's like to lack confidence in your prices.

I allowed all of that to lead the way in my business and it's what stood in the way of me making it work.

Stories We Tell Ourselves

You know that little voice in your head that says:

😬 I can't charge that much.
😬 I don't want to be too expensive.
😬 My customers won't pay that much.
😬 This area is too competitive to charge those prices.

Or...maybe your flower friends price have told you they only charge 3 x markup and so you feel obligated to fall in line.

Quite possibly you've got a little push back from your local flower peeps telling you anything higher than that isn't marketing compatible or competitive?

Welcome to the world of being a professional floral designer and business owner my friends. It's time to put your big girl pants on and step away from the crowd.

Do you want to be Backyard Betty or a Profitable Polly?

What no one tells you about running your own business is that it's going to bring up all of our fears, doubts and worries.

For florists, a lot of that starts with pricing.

We fear rejection.
We fear failure.
We fear standing out from the crowd.

All of that fear is normal. 100% totally completely normal.

You are not broken. There is nothing wrong with you.

But the mindset shifts away from Backyard Betty to Profitable Polly is how you go from exhausted, struggling designer to thriving business owner and creative entrepreneur.

For many of us, our pricing woes are compounded by the fact that our industry is super secretive. No one openly talks about pricing and trying to find specifics on florist pricing formulas online is nearly impossible.

The result: we allow fear to lead the way and set pricing based on emotion, not an equation.

Florist Pricing Formulas

Yes, there are a set of commonly taught formulas for pricing. They go like this:

DAILY DELIVERIES / SUBSCRIPTIONS
Wholesale x 3 + 20%

WEDDINGS / EVENTS
Wholesale x 3.5-4.5 + 30-50%

Deliveries, set-up and pack down are charged over and above this.

And yes, your wholesale line item includes your flowers, foliage and sundries (hard goods). And yes, as wholesale prices increase, so do your prices. It's the perfect market economy and you don't need to carry the burden for increasing costs of labour, transportation, fuel, or fertiliser.

These florist pricing formulas have worked for decades. Through all sorts of economic situations.

This year is no different.

NOTE: I find the above florist pricing formulas necessarily complicated and take too much time to sort through. Here are my super simple formulas:

Everyday Flowers = wholesale x 4
Weddings + Events = wholesale x 5 (or 6)

If you're struggling with your pricing, it's time to dig deep and get curious about the stories you're telling yourself.

How to Price with Confidence in Your Flower Business

Getting your pricing sorted is the foundation for your success – it's how you grow your business, build a team, upgrade your workspace, buy a new delivery vehicle.

Setting your pricing with profit in mind is a must if you want to build a sustainable, successful flower business.

But I also know it can feel like a giant leap into the unknown to sit down and do the work to raise your prices.

How do you go from struggling designer to thriving flower boss? Here are three powerful coaching questions to consider:

  1. What are you afraid of? If you raise your prices and send your next customer an updated quote, what is the worst-case scenario? Write it down. Articulate it and be really specific. You'll feel a shift right away in your approach with this one exercise.
  2. What is the downside in believing it is possible? Right now, your actions are being driven by the belief that you cannot charge those prices. Flip the scenario on its head and rewrite the story in a way that serves you. Get curious, what would happen if today was the last day you struggled with your pricing?
  3. If you let go of all the fear, doubt and hesitation, how would you show up differently? Who would you get to become if you stepped into your authority and knew you could not fail?

Remember, at the end of the day, pricing itself is super simple. The math is so easy your seven-year-old nephew could do it. (Grab my florist pricing formula worksheet here.)

It's what we make the prices mean that stands in the way of our success.

NOTE: If you're struggling to quote an event or full wedding set-up check out this super helpful blog post: https://littlebirdbloom.com.au/how-to-price-out-an-event-for-florists/

Pricing With Confidence: There Is An Easier Way

If you want to dig into this more, get support and blow your own dang mind with what's possible in your flower business, grab a spot inside my Flower Boss Bootcamp.

We talk pricing, marketing, sales and all the things you need to know to build a thriving flower business.

My Flower Boss Bootcamp is the ultimate business program for florists, teaching you the exact process to follow so you can effortlessly attract more customers and make more money.

FBB is the program #ForFlorists, to help you earn a living doing what you love and grow your business. That's because you'll be learning my proprietary blueprint for creating a successful flower business, getting more customers while doing work you love and making money.

Join us inside the program today and, together, we'll change the trajectory of your flower business.

Let's go!!

Setting a sales target in your flower business

Setting Sales Targets in Your Flower Business

As 2021 comes to a close, I know so many of us are turning to 2022. Setting goals. Making resolutions. Dreaming of creating bigger, better flower businesses.

Setting sales targets in your flower business is part of this – and I know many of you are gonna roll your eyes and tell me numbers aren't your thing.

And here's the thing, most financial planners, biz wiz people are gonna overcomplicate this and make business planning an epically overwhelming and hard exercise...which is awesome for them because it validates their existence...but not so awesome for you, right?

You're after business tips that are easy? Super simple? Straightforward? No fluff?

You're in the right place, my friend!

When it comes to setting sales targets in your flower business, I like to follow a super simple approach.

(Heads up: I am not a financial advisor, accountant or lawyer. Go out there and seek personalised custom advice...but also know this formula is HELPFUL to get you started!)

 

Keeping Things Simple

Most floral designers go about building their business backwards – we say yes to whatever comes our way in the hopes that (a) "one day" we'll be able to create the work we want to create and (b) everything will just magically fall into line and we'll start making more money.

That's how I used to approach my business.

Until I realised that approach is a little bit like wanting to go on a holiday but then booking a hotel for Melbourne in May, hiring a car in Sweden in September and paying for discounted airfare to New York in November.

For most of us, when we plan a trip, the first question we ask is: where are we going? That's precisely the same question you need to ask in your business.

Setting a sales target in your flower business is like identifying a North Star. It brings everything into focus and requires you to set your sights higher, level up and take massive action.

This one exercise is when you finally start to see that a handful of $60 bouquets isn't going to cut it. Or those $500 wedding enquiries aren't enough.

If you don't know where you're going, any path will get you there.
– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Setting a sales target in your flower business shows you how small you've been thinking and shows you where you're allowing fear to hold you back.

And my super simple approach to setting a sales target shows you just how big you get to dream, brings up all the fear and doubt and requires you to embrace the discomfort of growth (which is the real secret to creating your dream flower business).

 

 

How To: Setting Sales Targets in Your Flower Business

Are you ready? It's time to grab that calculator my friend.

Take your personal income goal (i.e. how much you, as a human, want to bring home to live your life) and multiply that number by 5.

personal income x 5 = annual revenue target

Now, it's not a perfect solution but it does give you guidance on how big you need to be thinking.

For most of us (myself included), we tend to think way too small. But to create a profitable flower business and make more money, one of the biggest lessons to learn is to set your sights higher.

Quite literally.

And, this one little bit of math does just that – when I do this with my students, it usually brings up those waves of nausea, fear, hesitation, uncertainty (um, yeah...you know all the negative emotions that we want to avoid?).

But that is part of the magic of this formula. It shows you just how small you've been thinking.

 

Your Actions Need to Match Your Ambitions

Building a profitable business, setting sales targets in your flower business, requires you to step up. To embrace the discomfort and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

But, because you're human, that is going to bring up all sorts of emotions. For most of us, we use that negative emotion as a reason to stop.

  • You feel afraid, so you stop taking action
  • You don't feel confident, so you talk yourself out of putting yourself out there
  • You feel a tiny, itty bitty sense of resistance and you immediately assume something has gone wrong. You should stop.

What I wished someone had told me years ago is that this experience, that negative emotion, is normal. Particularly when you own a business.

It is part of the human experience. Nothing has gone wrong. You are not broken.

You are a human being with a human brain. And your human brain is programmed to keep you safe. It wants you to stay in the cave, which often means keep playing small, staying small and not putting ourselves in harm's way. Ever.

Except, the experience of business, the day to day reality of building a business requires you to do the opposite.

Creating bigger, better results in your business requires you to take bigger, better action. And that means embracing the discomfort of trying new things.

That's why I love this super simple approach to setting sales targets in your flower business – it brings up all the fear, doubt, and uncertainty.

Your job is to then work through, overcome, the fear, doubt and uncertainty and take action despite feeling afraid.

And yes, setting sales targets in your flower business is as easy as 1-2-3:

Step 1: identify your personal income goal
Step 2: multiply it by 5 to get your business' annual revenue goal
Step 3: level up your mindset to make it happen, so your actions match your ambitions

 

Making it Work

This one exercise, identifying a sales target, has helped so many of my Flower Boss Bootcamp graduates fast track their progress. It's such a simple bit of math but creates massive results.

It makes your goal concrete, measurable and gives you guidance on how big to dream. It's so awesome the immediate mindset shifts that can be created from this one little bit of math!

It's why we've created this super simple calculator – play around with the numbers and experiment with different goals. Then you can get to work baby!

this is how much money does a florist make

How Much Money Does a Florist Make

My life changed when I heard a seemingly successful florist tell me, "Kathleen, you don't go into floristry to make money."

I couldn't believe this famous florist was uttering these words to me.

I was speechless.

Here was another florist who, from the outside, checked all the boxes of "successful florist" while telling me she was struggling to make ends meet. Meanwhile, I had made millions of dollars in my flower business (and wasn't famous at all).

Up until that moment, I thought every florist experienced the financial success I had.

Turns out, I am the exception.

Turns out, when we tell ourselves money is hard, we make the process of making money...hard (real hard!).

Inside my Flower Boss Bootcamp, I share my exact approach to making money and teach you how to approach pricing with ease.

Very specifically, I teach you how to think about making money. When you ask me the question, "How much money does a florist make?" My response is quite different to other florists.

We all relate to money differently.

When you believe money is out of your control, you'll stay stuck in inaction, waiting for the stars to align. (Yes, this is how most humans learn to think about money.)

When you're a floral designer, on a mission to build a business, learning how to reframe your money stories and shift your thinking is how you learn to pay yourself a living wage.

You can decide to continue to stay stuck and tell yourself, you don't go into floristry to make money.

Or you can decide that creating the flower business of your dreams, making more money and serving your clients at your highest level is the real goal.

Shifting your mindset, getting curious about your money stories and opening yourself up to the possibilities of being creative and making money is a must for any creative entrepreneur (including floral designers).

It's also what makes pricing so easy and attracting better clients effortless. And it's actually how you attract better clients, increase your profitability and grow your business.

Reframe your money stories

At the end of the day, money has no more inherent value than a Kleenex. But we all grow up in environments and are conditioned to believe certain stories about money.

We are told money doesn't grow on trees. We believe making money is hard. We hear influencers tell us we should just be grateful for what we have.

And in most cases, we're unaware we carry these blind spots in our potential.

At the end of the day, the amount of money you're making (or not making) is up to you. 100%.

Money doesn't fall from the sky. Money doesn't just land in your lap.

You make money through your actions.

You are 100% capable of making more money in your flower business.

To do that though, you have to take full responsibility for the results you're creating right now.

The best bit is, once you take full ownership of your results, you can DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

When you tell yourself making money is hard, you feel graspy.

You find yourself flip-flopping, doing all the things, offering discounts just to get the business, and will say yes to whatever comes your way. You never end up sorting out your prices properly and you stay stuck fulfilling the starving artist life (trying to stay motivated by convincing yourself you could just be grateful for what you have, right?).

The floral design industry loves to perpetuate this belief. This industry could be a textbook example of scarcity thinking.

Rather than openly talk about pricing and making money, florists like to brag about how busy we are. As if busy is a badge of honour and busy is the same thing as being successful.

I absolutely fell into this scenario early in my business. I said yes to every job that came my way because I thought that's what I was supposed to do.

It only took a core meltdown for me to come to terms with the fact that I didn't even like the business I had created. It took me a few years but I did finally learn there is a better way, an easier approach and, no, you do not need to work your way up the experience ladder.

How much money does a florist make?

As a very rough guide, if your flower business turns over $200,000 a year, you can easily bring home $50,000 (possibly more depending on your operations and the type of work you do). If you want to bring home more than $200,000, you'll want to set a revenue target of at least $1,000,000.

For anyone who asks me "How much money does a florist make," my response is always the same: You can make a lot of money as a floral designer.

But it takes a new level of awareness in your thinking and next-level belief in the value of what you're offering your customers.

And, honestly, once you realise pricing is super straightforward (it's based on an equation, not an emotion), you can get curious about limiting beliefs you have about making money, and you'll notice things shift radically in your business (yes it can happen really quickly too!).

If you're like so many other florists and struggling with pricing, be sure to check out this blog post (Florist Pricing Worksheet).

florist business plan 2022

Florist Business Plan for 2022

Business planning sounds boring, doesn't it? I totally get it. The idea of creating a florist business plan for 2022 makes you want to run screaming the other direction. Like one of those, can-I-please-poke-my-eyes-out-with-a-hot-skewer-instead sort of activities.

And if you Google "Florist Business Plan for 2022", it gets worse. All you're presented with is these epically long documents and heaps of questions to fill in.

That's precisely why I wanted to put together this blog post, to show you how simple business planning for your flower business can be.

Business Planning for Florists Doesn't Need to Be Hard

99% of the reason we resist planning is that it feels totally overwhelming and a lot of work for not a lot of impact. It's so much easier to just keep going with what you've been doing and hope the rest sorts itself out, right?

We tell ourselves to just keep doing stuff, filling our time, posting to Instagram with no plan, making random updates to our websites and just basically checking all the things off the list...but not seeing the results you really want to create in your flower business.

"If you don't know where you're going, any path will get you there."
– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The single most powerful reason a business plan helps you grow your flower business is it encourages you to shift your perspective.

It's like a North Star for your flower business. It gives you focus and makes it easier for you to make more informed decisions about the way forward.

We're bombarded with messages on social media, encouraging us to be grateful for what we have. But when you hear the call to start your own business, it requires you to channel your ambition and dive, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone every day.

The shift here is to be grateful for what you have AND still feel the drive to want more. It's not an either-or sorta situation. It's an opportunity for 'yes and'.

Once you begin to articulate a handful of numbers and set a clear revenue goal, you'll see how big you need to start thinking – and you'll start to understand just how much your drive and ambition are going to serve you in growing your flowe business.

 

4 Simple Steps – Florist Business Plan for 2022

Yes, you can spend hours and days and months crafting the perfect business plan. But then you'll never get to work, taking action, evaluating your results and making progress.

Crafting the right business plan for your flower business is about finding a balance (your business, your rules, yeah?). No matter how you decide to approach planning for 2022, here are four fundamental topics to address:

  1. Your Annual Revenue Target
  2. Your Monthly (or Weekly) Target
  3. Obstacles to Making it Work
  4. Strategies to Make it Happen

Your Annual Revenue Target

In most cases, the reason florists fail to keep their doors open and call it quits is that their goals are either (1) non-existent or (2) too small.

This one little bit of math helps shift your thinking and realises you need to set your sights higher.

Let's do some super simple math. When it comes to setting a revenue target for your flower business, the very basic formula I like to follow is: Annual Revenue Target = personal income goal x 5 

Now, I am not a financial advisor or accountant but I find this simple formula helps provide clarity. If you want to bring home £40,000 a year, your business' revenue target is £200,000. If you want to earn $100,000 per year, your business's revenue target is $500,000. Yeah?

Monthly (or Weekly) Target

I find it really helpful to take the annual target and beak it down into a number I can wrap my head around. It's hard to imagine $500,000 but it's much easier to envision 8 orders a day, right?

Your monthly (or weekly) target is going to depend on what niche you're focused on. But here are two examples to help show you how to break it down:

Daily Flower Deliveries:
Target Average Order Value = $120, including delivery
Annual Sales Target $250,000
$250,000 / $120 = 2084 orders per year
2084 orders per year / 12 months = 174 orders per month
2084 orders per year / 52 weeks = 40 orders per week

Weddings:
Average Order Value = $5,000
Annual Sales Target $250,000
$250,000 / $5,000 = 50 weddings per year

Obstacles to Making it Work

This is where my approach to creating a florist business plan for 2022 diverts from others. I'm here to keep it super-duper simple so you can get clear on the road forward and start taking massive action.

As soon as you start playing around with the numbers, you're going to hear that little voice in your head come up with 1235 reasons why it's not possible, why you won't be able to make your revenue goal happen. That's normal. In fact, it's to be expected. (If you don't hear that voice, are you even human?)

The next step in crafting your business plan is to think about the obstacles to you creating this volume of sales in your flower business. Yes, there is going to be shiz you gotta overcome to make it work.

Where we get in our own way is that we are convinced nothing should go wrong, nothing should get in our way to make it happen and it should all be smooth sailing.

And then you hit your first hurdle and you use that as a reason to stop.

Don't do that.

When you take the time, in advance, to identify the obstacles to creating your revenue goal, you're not as shocked when you hit the obstacle. In fact, you know you're doing it right when XYZ obstacle pops up.

That's the value of this one exercise – it gives you the markers to move forward. It literally shows you where to focus your time and energy.

Strategies to Make it Happen

This is the definition of planning ahead. With each obstacle you've identified from above, think about what steps you can take to overcome that obstacle.

  • Not good with tech? Who can you enlist the help of to make it work?
  • Want to make time to take care of the family? How can you plan ahead and ensure you make time to also focus on growing your business?
  • Not good with numbers? Is there a piece of software, an app or another human who can make it easier on you?
  • Not comfortable with a certain mechanic or design style (and you really want to learn to make it), who can you learn from? How can you prioritise personal growth and intentional practice and still make progress in your business?

Remember, no one was born knowing all the things. Building a successful flower business requires you to learn a lot of things. Not just flower care, mechanics and colour theory. But also, SEO, marketing strategies, sales tactics, customer service, team leadership and more.

This approach saves you so much of the additional frustration, distractedness and overwhelm we experience when we're expecting our path to building a business should be easy.

Taking time to map out a plan, identify the obstacles and strategies to make it work gives you room to evaluate your options and sort through different ways forward.

Planning for 2022

When it comes to planning for my flower business, I like to do it in two shorter sessions. In hour one, I'll set an annual sales target and then a 90-day sales target and I map out the obstacles, the hurdles that I know will get in the way of making it happen. I then take a second session to map out my strategies forward.

Y'all thought your creativity was limited to your flowering. Good news – that's just the tip of the iceberg baby!

Just like design, planning is a process. And, as with everything I teach, I'm here to deal it to you straight and cut out the fluff. This approach works well for me so feel free to use it, and make it your own.

 

Want more FREE goodness?

Check out this recent blog post: How to Increase Sales – 3 Steps to Success (click here) 

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