sales tips for florists

Sales tips for florists: 3 ways to make more money this year

I still find it amusing when I tell people that providing sales tips for florists is one of my most favourite topics.

I’m amused at myself because of how far I’ve come in overcoming a deep-rooted dislike of “sales” – you know, the bad impression that smarmy used car salesmen and pushy sales clerks working on commission leave you with.

However, I’ve come to appreciate that sales is a valuable and, more importantly, helpful service to provide your customers. Because “sales” is very simple: us business owners have a thing to offer the world. People have a need for those things. Collectively our society has agreed that money is how we’ll connect these two things.

That’s sales.

But here are three key reasons why we make sales way harder than it needs to be:

  1. We don’t believe in what we’re selling (we don’t think it has any value)
  2. Our self-worth is attached to the price tag
  3. We judge our customers..“she doesn’t look like a customer who could spend that much” or “he doesn’t dress fancy enough so we’ll lowball our initial price point”

 So, let’s jump into my top 3 sales tips for florist to help you make more money in 2021.

Tip #1: Push it Online

My first sales tip for florists is to push as much as you can online. Why? Because your website is way better at sales than any human could ever be.

Your website does’t suffer the same emotions as us humans do. It doesn’t pre-judge people or worry about what a customer will think of them. It doesn’t fear rejection. Instead, a good website presents the product, its benefits, the price and makes it easy to buy. Kapow!

So, think of your website as your lead sales tool regardless of what you’re selling – workshops, subscriptions, flower deliveries, wedding packages, table styling – anything.

Tip #2: Price Anchoring

My second sales tip for florists is to adopt a strategy called Price Anchoring.

However, before we jump in, I want to remind you to review your pricing every year at the very least. Inflation and raises in wages alone mean your pricing is outdated by at least 5% on 1 January every year. This is true even if you don’t make any changes to what you do.

So, make sure you’re adjusting your prices to account for this natural rise in costs.

Ok, back to Price Anchoring.

Have you ever heard it said that the best way to sell a $2,000 watch is to put it next to a $10,000 watch?

It’s true and is called Price Anchoring. Presenting customers with at least one very high pricepoint puts all your other prices into context and makes them more accessible.

And you can put this florist sales tip into practice on your own website. If you’re doing everyday flowers, make sure you have at least one big-ass design in your online catalogue with a hefty price tag on it – a price that makes you uncomfortable.

Price Anchoring also applies to wedding florists. If you’ve been following me for more than about 3 minutes, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of talking about price BEFORE your client even engages with you. So, if your dream is to attract clients who spend $8K on their wedding flowers, be the person who talks about $10,000 budgets on Instagram and your blog.

If you’re featuring floral archways in your marketing, throw in some high-priced examples. Love our style but don’t want to spend $5,000 on this archway? No problem, we can still create something lovely for $3,500. No problemo!

Price Anchoring is also great for Valentine’s Day if you have a retail space – put out one magnificent 48 rose bouquet on display (with what will be a big price tag). However, don’t be surprised if someone rocks up and buys it!

Tip #3: Relentless Marketing

My third sales tip for florists is about persistence. More specifically, persistence with marketing. So often we think, I posted about this already, why is no one buying?

However, your average human needs to see any given message between 8-16 times before they take action. And if you’re marketing on social media or Google, remember that your messages only get shown to a small portion of your follower base – so you posting about something 8 times might only reach many of your followers once.

As a result, you’ll hear me talk a lot about being relentless (or repetitive) in your marketing. For example, you could talk about Valentine’s Day every day for the next 3 weeks, in all of your marketing channels, and barely scratch the surface of what’s possible.

But we are our own worst enemy. We get bored of our own messages and we think our customers are paying WAY more attention than they are. So, when I say be repetitive in your marketing, I mean getting to the point where you want to punch yourself in the face because you’re that sick of hearing yourself talk.

And here’s my challenge to florists on this sales tip: talk about your next offer 10 times as a buy-in. Then, reset the counter and count up another 8 times. Only then will you be getting somewhere.

More sales tips for florists

And finally, learning about business and marketing doesn’t mean you need a university degree or fancy-pants corporate experience. I do have these things and am happy to share everything you need to know.

If you want to learn more about my Flower Boss Bootcamp and see if it’s right for you, sign-up for a free 20 minute Mini-Session with me.

💖

Kathleen

P.S. I’ve done a podcast on this topic which you may like. Find it on Spotify here or listen on the player below.

plan for busy seasons

How florists can plan for busy seasons

One of the things that separates experienced business owners from newbies is the amount of time they spend planning, especially for busy seasons.

Yes, there is a lot of “doing” as a business owner, but those with more experience know the value of having a plan. They know that a plan ensures they stay focussed on the right things by putting their limited amount of energy in the most effective places.

My rule is this: spend 3 times as much time planning as you do “doing”. This is true for any project you’re working on but it’s especially helpful when you apply it to date-dependant events.

This could be Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or Christmas. It might be the pop-up stand or wedding show you’re attending. And of course, it could be a wedding or workshop.

Literally, focussed upfront planning will work any time there is a deadline at play (which is kinda like every time in business).

Lessons on planning from the Advertising Industry

Back in my advertising agency days, we were required to put together a thing called a Workback Schedule. The way it works? Build your schedule by starting at the end and working forwards in time. It’s an incredibly efficient way of planning a job around the one unchangeable fact — the event date.

Building a workback schedule early in your planning for busy seasons is one of the simplest things you can do to set yourself up for success. But most business owners don’t do it.

Instead, many blindly jump into the “doing” and hope that things work out. But invariably, as the event approaches, you run into 100 challenges you didn’t expect. You panic. And you end up on a heap on the floor.

Putting together a workback schedule doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming. Plus, I guarantee you’ll save yourself a million headaches if you take an hour NOW to think about what needs to happen LATER.

TIP #1 – Start at the end

Literally, open a Google Doc and list your event date as the first item. Then, working from that date backwards, start to list the key tasks that have to happen in reverse order from your event date. Voila, a workback schedule.

In fact, this approach works for projects of any size with a deadline. They can be simple, detailed or somewhere in between but they all start at the end. 

TIP #2 – Do things early

When planning for a busy season, know that some jobs you can do right now, even if your event is six months out. Remember, as the event date gets closer, your stress level increases and the amount of work increases as well.

So, do yourself a favour and check off all of those things that aren’t time sensitive as early as possible. For example:

  • Valentine’s Day
    • Stock your wrapping paper, ribbons, cards etc.
    • Sort out your plans for dinner
    • Get your staffing, uniforms and delivery drivers lined up
    • Sort out how to block off your online orders / draft your Sold Out pop-up now
  • Weddings + events (workshop, pop up etc.)
    • Prep your hardgoods / sundries
    • Reorganise your studio space for max efficiency
    • Ribbons ordered, vases sorted etc.
    • Ensure your vehicle is serviced + insured

TIP #3 – Assign Jobs

When you break down any event into individual steps, or “jobs”, you’ll see that YOU don’t need to be the one doing them all.

Also, it’s very likely you don’t need a senior, experienced designer to do many of the jobs either: processing product, writing cards, sweeping the floor, answering the phone, deliveries, putting petrol in the van, loading / unloading at the venue … you don’t need to be a qualified florist to do any of these things.

So, think about the jobs you need done and what sort of resources could help out. Your bright and super-helpful niece, a local high school student or even your best friend may be the right solution. The key is to know what jobs you need done and make sure they’re all assigned to someone.

TIP #4 – Reflect + Make Notes

I know you’re exhausted at the end of a big job. But do your future self a massive favour — take 10 minutes to write it all down while it’s fresh in your mind.

Many times, Sloan and I would make our notes in the car ride home from the shop / wedding on the same day as the event. That’s no more than about 15 minutes in most cases but would be so helpful in planning our next busy season.

So, immediately after every event, note the following at a minimum:

  1. Three things that worked well
  2. Three things to do differently next time

If a recipe needs to be adjusted and your prices changed because you want 5 more roses in each table arrangement next time, write it down NOW.

You’re going to tell yourself you’ll remember, but you won’t.

I was looking at my notes from Valentine’s Day a few years ago and was surprised to read “natives are popular too so add these into the VDAY offering on the website”. There’s no freakin’ way I would have remembered that!

Even better, take a few minutes to gather ALL the pieces of your project together into one document. Which leads me to Tip #5…

TIP #5 – “Save as”

So, for your next big Superbowl event, simply pull out your document from the previous event and “save-as”. If you took the time to create your document in Tip #4, you now have an amazing starting point for your next project:

  • Staffing + roster
  • Hardgoods / sundry checklist
  • Actual wholesale order
  • Planned sales vs. actual sales
  • Workback schedule
  • Marketing plan
  • 3 worked well / 3 change for next time

Imagine how far ahead you’d be if you could start your next plan off the back of this gem?

Your plan for busy seasons is worth money

Hot tip for those of you who are thinking of selling your business in the future: a new owner will pay a premium if you have well documented plans.

In fact, someone buying your business isn’t just paying for your existing customer base and relationships. They are paying for your processes. The more you can demonstrate that your business can run without you and everything isn’t just in your head, the more you can sell it for.

More help planning for busy seasons

And finally, learning about business and marketing doesn’t mean you need a university degree or fancy-pants corporate experience. I do have these things and am happy to share everything you need to know.

If you want to learn more about my Flower Boss Bootcamp and see if it’s right for you, sign-up for a free 20 minute Mini-Session with me.

💖

Kathleen

P.S. I’ve done a podcast on this topic which you may like. Find it on Spotify here or listen on the player below.

Valentine’s Day Q&A

Valentine’s Day Q&A for Florists

I put out a call last week to my #ForFlorist community asking for all your questions on how to manage Valentine’s Day. I received a TON of great questions and have bundled them up into this Valentine’s Day Q&A.

But let me start with this observation: some designers look down on VDAY because they see it as creatively inferior to the work they want to be doing. However, I’ll provide you with a different perspective — as a business owner, design isn’t the only space where you get to be creative.

It’s a skill you get to exercise across your entire business, including sales, marketing, operations, product management, staffing etc. In fact, some of my best problem-solving came during VDAY and the skills I learned served me well on every other day of the year too.

Valentine’s Day Q&A

Q: Do people even celebrate Valentine’s Day?

A: It’s estimated Americans spent $25 billion on VDAY in 2020. So, yes, it’s a thing. In our business, sales during VDAY week would be at least double that of an average week.

Q: How many bouquet / arrangement styles should I offer? How many roses / filler do you put in each?

A: I suggest offering 5 – 6 separate “products”:

  • 2 bouquets, 2 arrangements, each with 3 price points (ensure at least a 30% price difference between the sizes)
  • 1 bouquet mostly red, 1 bouquet red + pink / blush. Same for your two arrangements
    • Bouquets: start at $150 up to $250 (Australian $ for reference)
    • Vases: start at $185 up to $325
    • Include a price anchor product as well — that is, one very high, aggressively priced product that puts all other prices into context e.g. one $500 bouquet.
  • Add one or two potted plant and/or bundle offers. For instance, an orchid + bubbly to round out your catalogue offering.

Q: How do I take pre-orders knowing my supplier will substitute half of the things I order?

A: Your #1 job is to educate and manage your customer’s expectations. It’s not your job to work miracles based on a false reality.

So, if the current relationship you have with your wholesaler says it’s OK to swap out half the order, then that’s your reality and you need to manage expectations accordingly. Your designs should be based on that reality and you should sell them to customers based on that reality (consider, for instance, guaranteeing colour palette but always in a florist choice design…)

You can’t sell something you don’t have access to – communicating this to your customers is vital. Educate and open their minds about how things work. Take charge.

Q: Any advice for managing VDAY on a Sunday?

A: This was the case for the very first VDAY we did. That year, our sales were 20% below the average of the years following.

Now, that could have been the result of us not knowing what we were doing as well as it falling on a Sunday — hard to say. That said, it is very likely that Saturday 13 February will be busier than when VDAY falls on a weekday.

Q: When I should get my wholesale flowers in?

A: Managing wholesale product during VDAY week can be an epic undertaking. In my case, we were planning for about double the normal sales volume of a typical week so it was important to have a plan that allowed us to process product in a manageable way.

So, if I were planning for VDAY 2021, I would divide my wholesale product into 3 phases:

  1. Foliages + any long-lasting blooms on Monday
  2. Half the rose order on Wednesday
  3. Half the rose order on Friday
    • Store everything in a dark, cool place (cool room, put on the AC etc.)

Q: I have to place a big pre-order through my supplier. How not to freak out and over-order?

A: This is a good question for this Valentine’s Day Q&A. Your first and most important task is to set a revenue goal. Pre-order to that goal and get to work on selling out. It’s not about chasing after more and more and more. It’s about setting a goal that’s meaningful to you and taking action to make that goal happen. 

Q: I will be closed on Sunday. What do I do about it?

A: If you want to close, you close. You navigate it like any other Sunday when you’re closed. It will likely mean you’ll miss out on sales because most Valentine’s Day customers want their flowers on 14 February, no exceptions. 

In my experience, VDAY doesn’t have the same halo effect as Mother’s Day which takes place over almost an entire week. For VDAY you have the 13th & 14th, that’s it.

But that’s the beauty of being The Boss — you get to decide how you want to run your business which may include not chasing VDAY business if you don’t want to.

Q: What’s more popular, cut bouquets or vase arrangements?

A: Our sales from 2019 were: ⅔ bouquets and ⅓ arrangements (including some potted plants). Keep in mind our demographic was a bit older and leaned more traditional in its taste.

Q: What’s the most I can charge for VDAY bouquets?

A: It’s likely more than you think. The exact price points you go with will depend on your brand and how luxe and fancy your finished product is. However, if you’re a rose + orchid kinda designer catering to an up-market clientele, it’s going to be close to $800 – $900. Even if you’re not, there’s every chance you’ll come across a customer who’ll be happy to spend $400 – $500. The only way to know is to test it out and see what works.

Q: I’m a first-time florist — do I take orders ahead of time? How soon is too soon to take orders? What’s the best way to start advertising for VDAY now?

A: It’s never too early to take an order if someone contacts you. However, VDAY is definitively a last-minute event for many, many customers so know that much of your sales volume is going to come in 12/13/14 February. That said, marketing + promotion is critical to get yourself in front of customers so you need to create a plan:

  1. Set a sales goal now
  2. Come up with 25 marketing/promotion/sales ideas to make that goal happen
  3. Start workin’ the plan RELENTLESSLY. Don’t look up until you’ve put all 25 ideas into action.
  4. Lean into the discomfort — perseverance is uncomfortable. Embrace it.

Q: What would be your #1 piece of advice?

A: It’s this — set a sales target. Plan to it, buy to it and make it your #1 mission to make it happen. Selling out of product is a very good thing.

Valentine’s Day Q&A Wrap-up

To wrap-up this Valentine’s Day Q&A, know this: there is no one right way to do anything in our industry. There are lots of different ways to be successful and only you get to decide what’s right for your business. And, the only way to figure out what’s right for your business is to try things out.

I know that in my own business, we came up with so many amazing ideas because we kept trying things. Sometimes they didn’t work but that ‘not working’ ultimately led us to try something that did work. 

So, you can stop believing that there is only one ‘right’ way to do anything. Because there isn’t.

More help with your flower business

And finally, learning about business and marketing doesn’t mean you need a university degree or fancy-pants corporate experience. I do have these things and am happy to share everything you need to know.

If you want to learn more about my Flower Boss Bootcamp and see if it’s right for you, sign-up for a free 20 minute Mini-Session with me.

💖

Kathleen

P.S. I’ve done a podcast on this topic which you may like. Find it on Spotify here or listen on the player below.

Valentine’s Day myths

4 Valentine’s Day myths florists should avoid

Yes, that crazy time of year in the florist’s calendar is fast approaching — Valentine’s Day. So today I want to debunk four Valentine’s Day myths that many florists believe. Let’s jump right in.

VDAY Myth #1: Being cheap is how you get orders

Being cheap as a way to get customers is a BIG myth in floristry but is particularly not true for Valentine’s Day.

Yes, you will always get customers who want to spend the least amount possible but that’s what the grocery stores are for. Trader Joes, Woolies or the local gas station will hook them up nicely. They are not your customers.

Let’s face it, the vast majority of Valentine’s Day customers are men, many of whom are happy to spend more than they normally (or ever) would on flowers. These customers want to show how much they love their partner and spending money is a way for them to do that.

These are your customers.

So, don’t hesitate to include some really expensive options in your online catalogue or on display in your shop. Perhaps include a gift hamper filled with an amazing candle, champagne, chocolates AND flowers.

This is called price anchoring — presenting some highly priced options puts all your other products into context and they’ll be seen as more accessible. Whatever your average order value is on your website, I will challenge you to make it 50% higher just for VDAY.

With this Valentine’s Day myth busted, now is the time to test the limits on your pricing.

Hot Tip: remove your cheapest product options during this time. Customers will buy from what you put in front of them and Valentine’s Day customers are on a mission to spend some money and demonstrate their love. This way you’ll fill your limited flowering and delivery slots with higher value orders.

VDAY Myth #2: Other flowers are just as good as red roses

Love it or hate it, our customers have been conditioned over a long period of time to believe that Red Roses = Valentine’s Day. If it’s not a red rose, then my special someone will be disappointed.

Absurd, I know, but remember who Valentine’s Day customers are: guys. In all likelihood they know nothing about flowers and may not even particularly like flowers. They’re buying them because they should, and they don’t want to get it wrong.

On my first Valentine’s Day I resisted this truth and tried to sell other, prettier, better value flowers. After all, wouldn’t every girlfriend/wife/special someone much prefer a bouquet with beautiful textures and shapes in a stunning crimson palette? No thanks, the customer would say. But do you have red roses?

Now I’m all for expanding your offering beyond just foliage, baby’s breath and red roses but, in my experience, red roses are what sell. And if you’re in it to win the sales target game, I would suggest red roses are the feature of your offering.

However, this Valentine’s Day myth aside, it’s your business so only you can decide what’s right for it. So, if you want to go against the grain and boycott the red rose phenomenon, you’ll need to do two things:

  1. Educate your customers on what you offer + why
  2. Position it in a way that is helpful to them
    • Why aren’t you offering red roses?
    • What is better than red roses?
    • Why is it better?

VDAY Myth #3: People will pre-order

Every year for five years I told myself that maybe this year would be different. Everyone will finally realise early that VDAY is on 14 February, as always.

Nope. Valentine’s Day myth #3 — most customers will not order in advance. When I look back at our sales data for those five years, 50-60% of our total Valentine’s Day sales came on the 13th and 14th.

Now, this can be disconcerting because us florists have been preparing and planning this event for weeks. So when it’s 12 February and sales are slow, your brain is gong to freak out. You’ll worry there’s no way you’ll use your stock and make your target.

However, this is exactly when you need to draw upon your persistence and keep going. Keep selling, keep promoting and keep pushing until the very last moment. Be absolutely relentless about marketing and sales until you’re sick of hearing yourself talk about it.

VDAY Myth #4: Selling out is a bad thing

I used to think the point of Valentine’s Day was to serve every customer who wanted flowers and to make as much money as possible. I would sacrifice my health, my body and my brain in the pursuit of money and the belief that I had a responsibility to help every last-minute shopper.

And then one year just before Christmas, I went to the butcher to buy a ham and was told “sorry, sold out of ham”. And that got me thinking — why don’t I make my goal to sell out? Busting Valentine’s Day myth #4 — selling out is a good thing.

So, by my third Valentine’s Day, my goal was was to make my sales target and then be on the sofa with a container of Ben + Jerry’s and a bottle of bubbly as early as possible. Sorry, sold out of flowers.

Selling out IS success. It doesn’t matter if your goal is $2,000 or $200,000, make selling out your objective.

And, when you do sell out, celebrate it – with your staff, your family and your customers.

Summing it up

Valentine’s Day is an experience that’s really more about flexing your production know-how, marketing and sales expertise. In my experience, it’s not the most creative opportunity from a design perspective  – Mother’s Day provides way more flexibility as customers just want “something nice”. Not so much on VDAY.

The creative opportunity comes from how you approach marketing and sales. So, use this Valentine’s Day as a chance to level-up your sales and production management skills and try a bunch of new things.

More help with your flower business

And finally, learning about business and marketing doesn’t mean you need a university degree or fancy-pants corporate experience. I do have these things and am happy to share everything you need to know.

If you want to learn more about my 1:1 Business Masterclass and see if it’s right for you, sign-up for a free 20 minute Mini-Session with me.

💖

Kathleen

P.S. I’ve done a podcast on this topic which you may like. Find it on Spotify here or listen on the player below.

floristry business lesson

Floristry business lessons from a shocking year

It’s not surprising that most people don’t want to spend much time reflecting on the last 12 months. However, this can be a hugely valuable exercise as there are valuable floristry business lessons to be learned.

In fact, making a conscious effort to reflect on what’s happened in our business, and glean the lessons it has to teach us, is one of the key reasons we were so successful.

Because you make progress by learning from what you’ve done. Every year you’re going to try new things — some will work, some won’t but that’s the whole point. Those efforts provide the insights and lessons into running your floristry business.

Albert Einstein had the best definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

So, here are the five key things I learnt about running a business in 2020 — perhaps you’ll find them helpful lessons for your floristry business.

1. You can do hard things

So the first floristry business lesson 2020 taught me was how to answer three tricky questions:

  1. How do you navigate running a business amongst bushfires? Where do I draw the line between personal safety and the need to deliver on a contract?
  2. How do you navigate being a business owner during a global pandemic?
  3. How do you navigate being a business owner while worrying about your family overseas?

And the short answer to all three of these questions came down to this: have a plan and make one decision at a time.

So, make sure you have your extreme weather plan in place before anything happens. Make sure you have comprehensive set of Terms + Conditions that anticipates all the scenarios that could happen. The floristry business lesson here is to spend time NOW preparing for the what if’s.

2. No one cares

Let me clarify this one right away; you’ll have lots of people in your life who care greatly about you.

However, no one cares nearly as much about what you do with your business than you think. And yes, even those special people in your life don’t care too much what you do with your business, they care about you.

We like to tell ourselves all sorts of stories:

  • What will my customers think if I…
  • Will my friends think if I…
  • What will my family think if I…

In reality, no one cares as much as you do and being attached to these ‘what will they think’ stories holds us back. They feel real, they feel important but they actually lead us to avoid doing something important.

I spoke to so many florist who radically changed their business in 2020 — pivoted to everyday flowers, closed a retail shop, opened a retail shop, overhauled their pricing, overhauled their designs — and none of their ‘what will they think’ scenarios came true.

3. You can change your mind

Floristry business lesson #3 was really simple: I can change my mind anytime to do what’s right for me.

As soon as you let go of the idea that someone else will be judging the decisions you make, a world of possibilities open up. You are in charge, you are the CEO. And, yes, this can feel like an uncomfortable place to be.

However, think back to March when every restaurant on the planet had to change their business model almost over night — take away, curbside pick-up, home delivery etc. They all had to pivot their offer to adjust to changing market conditions.

Now the changes that took place in 2020 were admittedly extreme but they also taught me a lesson: the market is always evolving, pandemic or no pandemic. And, you have the right to change your mind at any time and not owe anyone an explanation.

4. All decisions are made in uncertainty

Every day we operate with imperfect information. We have an idea, we take action, we evaluate the results and we adjust. And the floristry business lesson from 2020 is that every decision we make in the future will be made with uncertainty and doubt.

The key is to accept this reality and still take action — because doing so requires you to lean into the discomfort and continue to move forward even when you’re not sure (which will be always).

We approached our business like one big experiment. We had lots of ideas that we didn’t know would work or, more likely, we didn’t know how to make them work.

So, after every major event, we made a point of conducting a review to ensure we were learning from what we just did. For instance, after every key retail event, like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, we would sit down and document these things:

  • The plan. Detail EVERYTHING that happened: sales volume, # of deliveries, staffing, wholesale orders, timing etc.
  • What worked well? Are there things should we repeat for next year?
  • What would we do differently? What should we avoid or change for next year?

The business lesson for your floristry is this: take action despite the uncertainty but learn from what you did.

5. 2021 will also be hard. And good. But hard.

And this is true regardless of what happens with the pandemic. The reality is that running a business, and life in general, will span the entire range of human experience — joy, exhilaration, frustration, achievement, disappointment. All of it.

So, 2021 is going to be a challenge. And it’s also going to be a lot of fun.

But the floristry business lesson to take away from 2020 is that you are in charge and get to decide what to do.

And it doesn’t matter what you’ve done up until this point. Only you can decide what’s right for you in the future.

More floristry business lesson help

And finally, learning about business and marketing doesn’t mean you need a university degree or fancy-pants corporate experience. I do have these things and am happy to share everything you need to know.

If you want to learn more about my 1:1 Business Masterclass and see if it’s right for you, sign-up for a free 20 minute Mini-Session with me.

💖

Kathleen

P.S. I’ve done a podcast on this topic which you may like. Find it on Spotify here or listen on the player below.

florist pricing mistakes

Florist pricing mistakes: 3 things to avoid

I’m sure that I’ve made just about every pricing mistake a florist could make at some point. And the good news? I’m sharing my Big 3 with you today so you can avoid the same pitfalls.

And avoiding these mistakes is a very good idea because pricing is one of the most important things any business owner will do. Price right and your business moves ahead and you thrive. Price badly and, well, the opposite happens.

So let’s look at my Big 3 pricing mistakes every florist should avoid.

Mistake #1: Underpricing

Many, many florists make the mistake of setting their prices too low. For clarity, when I say “too low”, I mean placing a value on your work that is less than what the market will pay.

Alway remember, floristry and floral design is a luxury purchase. What we do takes skill and expertise and is not an everyday purchase that most people will make.

People expect to pay a premium. In fact, many WANT to pay a premium.

I’ve coached a number of floral designers who wanted to focus on higher end clients — those in the $400 – $500 per order range. However, many of these florists only had a most expensive product on their website of $250.

So, they’d attract a high-end customer to their website and…they’d leave without buying. Clearly this wasn’t a florist catering to their needs. They suffered from underpricing, a common florist pricing mistake.

And you don’t have to be targeting high-end customers to be underpricing. If you’re aiming for an average transaction value of $100, but most of the products you sell are $30-$50, it’s time to rethink your pricing.

How to tell if you’re underpricing

Three ways to check if you’re underpricing your services:

  1. Has someone bought the highest priced product in your online catalogue? If yes, add higher price points.
  2. If you think you need to compete on price and be cheap, it’s likely you’re underpricing.
  3. Are there other designers in your area who charge significantly higher than you? Don’t worry about the cheaper ones, if other florists are commanding higher prices, you should too.

Mistake #2: Assuming being cheap is how you get business

It’s common to assume that price is the most important thing to a customer.

Nope. Certainly not most customers at least.

Let’s think about the restaurant industry for a moment as it has so many parallels to floristry. When you think of a cheap restaurant, McDonalds comes quickly to mind.

Their entire business model? Volume. In other words, churn out an immense amount of cookie-cutter orders. No real personalisation, culinary expertise or hands-on customer engagement.

In fact, the ONLY way to make money as a fast-food restaurant is to have a an iron-clad process and move a crap load of product.

This is not a recipe for success for most florists who make the pricing mistake of trying to be cheap. Leave the fast-food flower business to the wire services, Trader Joes and Woolies. They appeal to a certain price-driven customer who cares less about expertise and what you have to offer.

On the other hand, at the other end of the restaurant spectrum, are places like Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant. Phenomenal customer service, exquisite food prepared by food “artists”, an experience you’ll never forget — at $300 per person.

The most lucrative place for florists to compete is somewhere in between.

One final thought on avoiding the “cheap” pricing mistake florists make: here’s what a nameless wire service charges for a gerbera bouquet:

  • 12 stems gerbera bouquet = $39.99 + tax
  • + shipping = $14.99
  • Order Total: $58.99 

Wire services sell thousands of these orders every day. You don’t need to be the cheapest option out there.

Mistake #3: Set-and-forget pricing

We’ve all been guilty of carefully calculating our prices, posting them on our website and then…never changing them. This is the third florist pricing mistake, what I call set-and-forget pricing.

Instead, I want you to adopt a new mindset: new day, new customers, new prices. And here’s why: we found that on any given day, more than 80% of the customers ordering from our website where NEW customers — they had never visited our website before.

This means they don’t know (or care) what we changed yesterday for a dozen roses. They just want to know that, yes, we can help them and that we make it easy.

In fact, this is also true if you’re focused on weddings and events. It doesn’t matter if you misquoted the last client. Today is a new bride so don’t make the same florist pricing mistake by using outdated prices.

Perhaps you made table arrangements over the weekend but you wished you had budgeted more product. Easy, update your pricing right now before the next enquiry comes in.

New day, new customers.

Help avoiding florist pricing mistakes

Knowing the pricing mistakes to avoid is one thing but the real challenge is the stories we tell ourselves. Any of these sounds familiar?

  • I’m new, I can’t charge that much
  • It’s too competitive here, I need to be cheap
  • The only way to build my portfolio is to do work for free
  • My customers won’t pay that much
  • I need more experience to charge more
  • I feel bad charging “that much”

I’m here to tell you that NONE of these stories are true.

So, if pricing is an area you struggle with, I’m here to help. Find out more about my Flower Boss Bootcamp with a free 20 minute Mini-Session with me.

💖

Kathleen

P.S. I’ve done a podcast on this topic which you may like. Find it on Spotify here or listen on the player below.

how to promote your flower business

How to promote a flower business? Conquer your fear.

How do I get my name ‘out there’ and promote my flower business? It’s a question I often hear and you may be asking it now as well.

Marketing, in fact, is just like every other task in managing a business. It’s the logical process of looking at the data and making decisions that will lead to a profit.

However, us humans make everything (including marketing) way harder than it needs to be. Why? Because our brains are complex pieces of machinery that run far more on emotion than logic.

The key to flower business marketing

Successful marketing of any business comes down to ONE thing: try a whole bunch of shit and see what sticks.

Yup, how to promote your flower business is that simple. The key is to be relentless about taking action and trying new things. Learn what works, and just as importantly what doesn’t work, refine your efforts and do it again. And again.

To give you an example, our flower business in Bowral, Australia (population of 45K) had an average online order value of around $120.

However, if I was to start a business somewhere bigger (say Boston, Barcelona, Berlin or Bangkok) I would aim to promote my flower business to earn an average order value of three times that: $360.

And then I would experiment with a whole range of marketing and promotional tactics to see if this was possible: test Google Ads, tinker with my price points, test a higher-end landing page, curate my Insta feed differently, make changes to my website checkout etc.

Many of these things would not work, and that’s exactly the point. It’s how I’d learn what did work so I could readjust my efforts and move forward.

So why is it so hard?

Human beings add a lot of unnecessary meaning to trying new things: what if it doesn’t work? It’ll be concrete proof that I’m not good enough, that I don’t know what I’m doing. That customers don’t want what I have to offer.

And the crazy part? These thoughts run through our head before we’ve even taken one step towards trying something new.

The fear of failure paralyses us into taking no action at all. After all, you can’t fail at something you never try to do.

However, we know that the key to marketing a flower business is to try a whole bunch of stuff. But if we’re afraid of failing, what then?

How to conquer your fear

When it comes to promoting your flower business by ‘trying a bunch of shit and seeing what sticks’, adopting these four concepts will help you get over your fears:

  1. Understand you have limiting beliefs. There’s a saying that sums this up: ‘You don’t see the world as it is. You see it as you are.’ How true! Our identities are a product of the stories we tell ourselves, whether they’re true or not. It’s why two people in the same situation may have two very different perspectives on it. We all have them, what are yours?
  2. Know your brain is working normally. The human brain is programmed for efficiency and to avoid danger. This means it wants to keep you doing the same familiar things and avoid the dangers of doing anything new. However, to promote a flower business you need to try new thing. So, lean in to the discomfort
  3. Set up a process to evaluate what is (and isn’t) working. Make it methodical, make it scientific, make it data-driven. Because evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing should be an objective review of the numbers. The math doesn’t lie, it’s your human brain that wants to have opinions about what the numbers mean. So, let the numbers speak for themselves. 
  4. Always be working on your mindset. Running a business really comes down to managing two things: the data and the drama. Therefore, spend time uncovering your limiting beliefs and get curious about the stories you’re telling yourself. What are you making the numbers mean? Because when you change the story you’re telling yourself, you can change your results.

Help with your flower business marketing

And finally, learning about business and marketing doesn’t mean you need a university degree or fancy-pants corporate experience. I do have these things and am happy to share everything you need to know.

If you want to learn more about my 1:1 Business Masterclass and see if it’s right for you, sign-up for a free 20 minute Mini-Session with me.

💖

Kathleen

P.S. I’ve done a podcast on this topic which you may like. Find it on Spotify here or listen on the player below.

how to go full time in your flower business

How to turn your flower business full time

Do you dream of turning that flower gig you have going on the side into something bigger? Are you wondering how to ramp-up your flower business into a real full time job?

The thought of ditching your day job and making it as a full time florist is exciting, but also scary. How much money would I need to make? How many customers would I need? Where do I even start?

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the thought of taking the leap into running your flower business full time. And, if you’ve ever tried to find any information on flowers + business, you’ll know there’s not much out there.

As a result, it’s very easy to get distracted and focus on all the wrong things. For example? Don’t assume you need a retail shop. Or that more Instagram followers will lead to more customers. And that free delivery is the way to win business. Or that you need to charge less because you’re “new”.

So then, what ARE the right things to focus on?

3 steps to a full time flower business

If you’re planning to turn your flower business into a full time job, I want you to follow these three steps:

  1. Identify your goal
  2. Make a marketing plan
  3. Take action

Now you may wonder, Ok Kathleen, surely it can’t be this straight forward? Well, yes it is. But it means committing to the steps I outline below, doing the work and making uncomfortable “CEO” decisions.

1. Pick your number

The goal of your business is to make money and that is its primary measure of success. If you tell yourself you’re “not in it for the money”, then save yourself a whole lot of grief and keep floristry as a hobby.

However if you’re running a flower business to make a full time living, you (and ONLY you) get to decide how much money your business needs to make. This number is 100% up to you but you must have a number to work towards.

Because if you don’t have a number in mind, you’ll have nothing to measure your progress against and no way of knowing where to focus your efforts.

So, how much money do you want to make?

Intuitively you may already have a number in mind but you’re afraid to say it out loud. That’s ok. It’s nothing to be afraid of, it’s just a number.

However, if you’re not sure how much money you need to make to turn your flower business into a full time job, consider this:

In Australia, a casual hospitality job will earn you about $40,000 per year. To take home that same amount running a flower business, multiply it by 5 to get a total sales goal:

Annual sales goal: $40,000 x 5 = $200,000

So there’s your number — $200,000 in sales over the next year.

To clarify, this is not an exact formula because how much money you take home will depend on a whole bunch of decisions you make. However, it’s a very good rule of thumb to use when you’re planning how to take your flower business full time.

You are the captain of this ship. Be brave. Put pen to paper and get clear on your goal.

2. Make a marketing plan

You’ve picked your number so now make a marketing plan to achieve it.

Let’s say you’ve set a sales goal of $200,000.

What sort of work do you want to do to generate this income? Are you focused on everyday flowers? Workshops? Intimate weddings? Family events? Subscriptions? Yes, as the CEO of your flower biz, you get to decide this as well.

But, here’ the catch — you need to pick ONE and go all-in on marketing it.

If you’re not making progress in your business it’s almost always because you’re not focused on marketing or you are trying to sell too many things and spreading yourself way too thin.

And that lack of focus usually comes from fear:

  • What if it doesn’t work?
  • Can I really ignore all those other customers?
  • What if I don’t “make it”?

Friends, there is nothing wrong with you feeling this way. Fear is normal. It’s how your brain is programmed to operate.

But as much as you want to believe you’re going to die if you go “all in” on everyday flowers you’re not going to.

Instead, commit your full time flower business to your one niche and get to work learning as much as you can about marketing.

Because as much as we like to believe our success relies on Instagram followers, having a shop front or being able to design “like her”, none of these things matter as much as relentless marketing to ONE niche.

The success of your business is 100% reliant on your appetite for learning about marketing.

3. Take Action

You’re building a business, creating something from nothing. And that’s hard.

At times it’ll feel like you’re in Times Square moving in the opposite direction to a huge crowd of people. You’re constantly fighting against the stream which takes A LOT of energy.

However, the truth is that turning your flower business full time is entirely in your hands. You are 100% responsible for making it happen.

And, the only way it’s going to happen is if you get uncomfortable and take action, in spite of the setbacks.

It’s going to feel awkward and frustrating. You’re going to wake up on many days with no enquiries, no orders. Your brain is going to tell you it’s not working.

But that’s a lie. It is.

You have to first believe that you’ll reach your goals and then the results will follow — not the other way around.

It’s OK that it’s hard taking your flower business full time. But be relentless and continue to TAKE ACTION.

Learn everything you can about marketing and continue to get yourself in front of customers, even when you feel like it’s going nowhere.

My help turning your flower business full time

And finally, learning about business and marketing doesn’t mean you need a university degree or fancy-pants corporate experience. I do have these things and am happy to share everything you need to know.

If you want to learn more about my 1:1 Business Masterclass and see if it’s right for you, sign-up for a free 20 minute Mini-Session with me.

💖

Kathleen

P.S. I’ve done a podcast on this topic which you may like. Find it on Spotify here or listen on the player below.

how to build a flower business

How to grow your flower business? It’s all in your head.

On your quest to grow your flower business, here’s a powerful fact to consider: our thoughts create our feelings.

Now I know you may be thinking: no Kathleen, I feel this way because of the things going on around me. I didn’t choose to be angry but someone just cut me off in the merge lane.

But that’s not really true. You see, that emotion of anger you’re feeling came from a thought that ran through your brain just after the other driver cut you off: What a jerk! That’s dangerous! He’s so rude! When you think these thoughts, yes, you’re going to feel angry.

The science of your brain

For a long time making the connection between your thoughts/feelings and growing your business was considered “out there”. A bit too soft and fuzzy.

But over the past few decades science has stepped up and taught us way more about how our brains actually work.

So our brain’s job is to think (obviously). But the primitive part of our brains are hard-wired to look for danger and avoid uncertainty. It tells us to be cautious, uncertain and to not take risks.

Now this survival trait was REALLY useful when we were dodging sabre-toothed tigers and avoiding poisonous berries. Today, however, that part of our brain leads to thoughts like these:

So although your brain’s job is to think, if left to its own devices, it’s going to continue to offer up “doom and gloom” thoughts — always, like 60,000 thoughts a day always.

Now, it’s not hard to understand the impact these thoughts will have on someone whose trying to grow their flower business. They stifle action and suck all of their confidence which are critical ingredients to being successful.

But science has some good news. We all have a prefrontal cortex. It’s the more highly evolved part of our brain that can actually supervise the rest of it.

Yup, so basically you have the ability think different thoughts on purpose. You can override the primitive “doom & gloom” part of your brain and think a better thought.

Change your thinking, grow your business

With science on our side, knowing we can choose our own thoughts changes everything. Because the way you choose to think will help you grow your flower business and live a more intentional life.

But remember, YOU need to step in and offer up better thoughts. Your brain will always default to the negative because that’s how it was programmed. It is always trying to keep you out of trouble, avoid change and stay where it’s safe.

So when choosing better thoughts, remember this golden rule: there is always more than one way to interpret any situation.

That guy who cut you off in the merge lane? Some different thoughts to try out include: Maybe he’s dealing with a crisis. Perhaps he didn’t see me. Don’t take it personally because he doesn’t even know me.

There are no right or wrong thoughts, only ones that lead to feelings that are more or less helpful. You get to decide. Make the thought deliberate.

Here’s your challenge — instead of those “not good enough” thoughts, why not trying these out for size:

  • I am awesome.
  • I’m practicing the idea of being awesome.
  • I’m learning to think I am awesome.

Think of it this way: if you had the choice between believing “I’m not good enough” and “I’m learning to think I’m awesome”, which would you choose? Which frame of mind will help you grow your flower business? Which one won’t?

As well, what is the downside of believing I’m learning to think I’m awesome? None.

Learning how your brain works is a game changer — it will revolutionise your world. And, I want you to know there is nothing wrong with you. You have a human brain but have not learned how to use it.

My help growing your flower business

I’ve done a whole podcast episode on how thinking better thoughts can help grow your flower business. Listen in to the episode below.

And finally, learning about business and marketing doesn’t mean you need a university degree or fancy-pants corporate experience. I do have these things and am happy to share everything you need to know.

If you want help with your flower business, check out my 1:1 Business Masterclass here.

💖

Kathleen

setting goals as a floral designer

How to set goals in floristry: 3 simple steps

In the first conversation I have with each of my students I ask them a very simple question: have you set a financial goal for your flower business?

Almost invariably the answer, after some squirming, is…NO, they haven’t.

And these students are bright, ambitious and determined florists who stumble over, what on the outside, looks like a very simple task: how much money do you want to make?

Why we need goals but don’t set them

It’s not hard to set goals in floristry — it should only take you 15 minutes — but the emotional barrier that prevents us from doing so is very real.

And the barrier is that we add a lot of negative meaning to the goal: if I don’t achieve my goal of $XX, then I’m a failure. It’ll be concrete proof that I’m not good enough, that I don’t know what I’m doing. That I was wrong.

And the crazy part? These thoughts run through our head before we’ve even taken one step towards the financial goal we’ve set for our flower business. The fear of failure paralyses us into setting no goals at all. After all, you can’t fail to reach a goal that you never set.

However, your brain is going to “think” no matter what. That’s its job. Good thoughts, bad thoughts, helpful thoughts, unhelpful thoughts. It is constantly cycling through the thousands of little stories that make up any given day.

So, why not put that thinking brain of yours to work for you? Your brain needs something to focus on and that’s exactly why we set goals in floristry.

3 steps for setting goals

Here are my three super-simple steps to set goals for any floristry business:

  1. Pick your number
  2. Become the CEO
  3. Make a plan

STEP 1 – Pick your number

Don’t over-think this one, just pick the number (or numbers) you want to make. If you’re not sure, take your best guess, but just make sure you have a number written down on the page in front of you.

Now, put a time frame around that number — by when do you want to achieve this? Finally, make sure it’s a number you can actually measure e.g. sales through Stripe, or a manual tally of wedding enquiries etc.

Here are a few goal examples to get the juices flowing:

  1. Daily flower deliveries: $80,000 total revenue by 31 May 2021. Measured through transactions on Stripe online payments.
  2. Weddings: book 30 weddings with an average value of $3,000 each, by 31 June 2021. Measured by list kept on a spreadsheet.
  3. Christmas wreath workshop: generate $2,000 in revenue by 30 November 2020 (10 people X $200). Measured by signups on my website.

Step 2 – Become the CEO of your business

OK this step may feel a bit mind-bendy but it’s actually quite simple: if you want to achieve something you’ve never done before, then you need to think like you’ve never thought before.

As a result, that means stepping into your authority and thinking like a CEO — the head honcho, the person in charge, the leader. Whatever title you give yourself, the point is that you need to think and act like The Boss.

So what does thinking like a CEO look like? Well, a good leader sets the vision for the company and defines the kind of business they WANT to create. And this may feel awkward for you at the beginning because most of us go through life in reaction mode — just trying to pick up the pieces in reaction to what’s going on around us. That’s certainly what I used to do.

Buy you’re lucky. You took the leap and went into business for yourself. So that means YOU are the boss and get to enjoy all the good things that come with not having to report to anyone but yourself.

Give yourself time to dream and intentionally decide what kind of business you want. This is not frivolous but rather the most important thing you can do as the leader of your business. And you don’t need anyone’s permission or approval because…you’re the CEO.

Step 3 – Make a plan

You’ve set your business goal and stepped into your CEO-ness. Now you need a plan.

To keep things simple, create your plan as follows:

  1. List all the steps you’ll need to take to go from ‘A’ where you are now to ‘B’ your goal.
  2. Identify your obstacles — write down all the things that are going to get in your way between A and B.

Where we often go wrong in setting goals is that we don’t identify and accept that we’re going to face obstacles. And lots of them.

But if you anticipate what those obstacles will be beforehand, then getting from A to B is really just about overcoming a set of obstacles.

For example, let’s say you’ve set a financial goal for your flower business of generating $80,000 in 6 months from deliveries through your website. As a result, these are some of the obstacles you’re going to face:

  1. My website doesn’t take payments now. How do I change that?
  2. I’ll need to create an online catalogue.
  3. How do I know that the ordering process is easy enough?
  4. Will it be optimised for mobile?
  5. I’ll need to figure out prices for my new products.
  6. What about my Insta feed – is it easy to navigate from my bio to the online ordering page on my website?
  7. What about paying for ads on Google? I’ve never done this before.
  8. How do I juggle all of this work around the kid’s school schedule?

So, can you see the focus that having set a goal brings? The person concentrating on overcoming these hurdles is not reacting willy-nilly to all of the random things that pop up in a day. Instead, they know where they want to go and, as the CEO of their business, are keeping themselves focussed on getting there.

Things to remember when setting goals

So now you know — set a goal for your flower business and give that thinking brain of yours something to work on.

Firstly, make the goal clear, measurable and time bound. Then envision yourself as the CEO and step into being her now. Finally, make a plan and take action.

Know this: negative emotions are going to come up. You’re going to feel uncomfortable and that’s OK. Embrace the discomfort because that, my friend, is exactly how you transform into the person who’ll achieve that goal.

More help with goal setting

I’ve done a whole podcast episode on how to set goals in floristry. Listen in to the episode listed below or jump on to Spotify here.

And finally, learning about business and marketing doesn’t mean you need a university degree or fancy-pants corporate experience. I do have these things and am happy to share everything you need to know.

If you want help with your flower business, check out my 1:1 Business Masterclass here.

💖

Kathleen

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