10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business

10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business

Looking for the 10 things I did to grow my flower business? You're in the right place.

One of the most common questions I get asked is, "Kathleen how did you go from a newbie, fresh outta flower school designer to a 6-figure designer so fast?"

Well friends, if that's your question, you're in exactly the right place.

And I mean, let's be honest, even if you're already a six-figure florist, I really hope I'm able to drop a few knowledge goodies for you too.

I spent so long trying to piece together all the things and it took me years to figure out how to attract the right customers, feel confident with my pricing and finally run a business I actually liked.

My goal with this blog post is to pass along the exact things I did to grow my flower business and make it easier for you than it was for me. Cause ummm yeah, this industry is so secretive when it comes to getting customers and makin' money. But I'm here to bust through the silence and pass along as much wisdom and expertise as possible.

So, let's get into it, shall we?

Actually, Just Before We Begin...

Here's the thing: hindsight is 20/20.

I don't want you to think that I knew what I was doing – it's not like I had a list from another florist called "10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business". What I want to map out for you here is a very clear, step by step guide on what you need to do, having learned from the 1000s of mistakes I've made and blunders along the way.

Know that, yes, 100% I messed up. I made so many mistakes when I was trying to figure out how to grow my flower business. So know that I did not come out of the womb knowing these things and being able to pull together such a succinct list is because of the benefit of hindsight.

I just want you to skip over the 'I don't know WTF to do first' bit and jump to the 'making money + enjoying flowering' part waaaaayyyyy faster than I did.

For those of you who have been following my journey for a while now, you already know many of my failures – attempting to sell super cheap wedding packages, offering up table arrangements for $45, overstuffing designs every which way to Sunday and hesitating to even charge clients $15 for delivery.

On the other hand, if you're new here and you're thinking that Kathleen's business growth has been so easy, I'm happy to burst that bubble. Imagine the exact opposite of that...and that was what the first five years of my flowering journey looked like. #hotmess

Now, let's get into the list, shall we? If I could rewind the clock, start all over again, here's exactly what I would focus on to grow my flower business...

10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business

#1 – Branding

Let's start at the beginning (even if you've been in business a few years) when it comes to the 10 things I did to grow my flower business, branding is definitely at the top of that list.

Take the time to craft a premium brand. And no, I don't mean get a fancy designer to work on your logo and get business cards printed. I mean sit down and go through a very intentional, strategic planning process to land on a clear vibe (like the one I teach inside Flower Boss Bootcamp).

In the end, no one thing is going to make or break your brand but what I know now is that the collective power of all the pieces of the puzzle contributes to attracting better, more premium clients. So be intentional with every customer touch point, the packaging you use and the overall vibe of your website and Instagram feed.

And, yes, this is something to start sorting through on Day 1. Right after you land on your business name, lock in that URL and save your IG handle, I'd start mapping out your vibe and brand.

No, it doesn't need to be complicated or hard (or expensive). In fact, in my experience, you can get your brand sorted in an afternoon and then get to work on pulling together all the details as you build your business.

If you want to learn my exact approach, come join us inside Flower Boss Bootcamp. I break it down for you step by step and it's one of the best things you can do today to get your dream business sorted.

#2 – Define Your Offer

I used to believe that in order to grow a profitable flower business you had to cater to a broad array of customers. Kinda like you had to be all things to all people and have your clients dictate your designs.

I did that for three years. It was awful.

It was hard in so many ways and it's actually a super inefficient way to run a business. It's kinda like if you were to walk into a restaurant and the chef had to be ready to make any meal at any time. Imagine if the first customer who came in wanted a vegan lasagna, the second customer wanted chicken vindaloo and the third client wanted a triple-chocolate gluten-free donut tower.

Oi. That just feels hard.

But that's how so many of us are taught to run our flower businesses.

It's time to turn the whole thing on its head and put yourself in the driver's seat. Decide now who you want to cater to and who your ideal client is. Then spend time thinking about your design aesthetic and what you want to create.

#3 – Create Your Set Menu

By far, this is one of the best ideas I've ever landed on as a floral designer. The basic concept is that you get to sit down ahead of time and decide the formats you'll use, the ingredients you'll feature and the colour palettes you want to offer. Do the math to set up your prices and then get to work learning how to sell that work (again, not actually that hard).

The concept is exactly like that of a restaurant menu. And, in fact, it's one of the most helpful things you can do for your customers – too much choice, too many decisions always leads to overwhelm. Overwhelm and confusion leads to no sale.

Again, this is how so many florists run their businesses. We wait for the customer to tell us what to make. Take a really long time quoting it up and then get surprised when we're ghosted. Again.

It leads to disappointed customers. And disappointed florists.

So, do your future self a favour. Sitting down now and map out your core menu. Be super selfish and decide how abundant you want your designs to be, what kinds of ingredients you want to use and the formats you'll offer. Do the math.

And then, instead of scrambling to quote new designs or new work, pour your focus into learning about sales psychology and marketing tactics. (Fun fact: the problem is never the price. Your customers want more than just a cheap bunch of flowers...but you don't get to learn that until you move past the self-doubt and uncertainty around pricing.)

#4 – Focus On Your Website

One of the biggest changes to come from the pandemic is how customers are shopping for florists. no more looking for the local flower shop or physical retail space. More and more customers are confident shopping online – whether it's for flower delivery, signing up for a workshop or ordering wedding flowers.

These days no longer is having a physical shop the mark of a credible, well-established florist. Instead, the functionality, sophistication and ease of your website is the most important asset of a flower business. (Yes, it's way more important than that window display you wanna work on in your shop.)

In today's online shopping world, customers expect a great user experience, modern design and easy to navigate content. Plus, in today's "I can Google anything" world, they want to get answers to their questions quickly.

Having a website that aligns with your customer's needs makes a world of difference to your business growth and that's why it's #4 on my 10 things I did to grow my flower business list.

#5 – Sales Systems

Now, I know the word 'systems' makes you wanna barf. I get it. It's boring and unsexy. But even a set of email templates, a basic Google Doc you can copy + paste from will save you so much time.

But taking 20 minutes to map out your customer's path to purchase, the steps they go through from the minute they find out about you to the moment you deliver the flowers to the end recipient, the more you can put that on rinse and repeat and that's good for you, your customers and your bottom line.

Why? Well, two reasons (1) you'll save heaps of time, which is awesome. But (2) you'll also save heaps of energy and as you know, it takes a lot of energy to be a floral designer. So anything you can do to make your systems more 'rinse and repeat', the better off you'll be.

#6 – Share Your Knowledge with Your Customers

I know this sounds a little crazy, particularly in our industry where everyone wants to keep their knowledge to themselves, but all that expertise and know-how you have, use that in your marketing. Write blog posts sharing helpful tips + tricks for planning a wedding. Use your Instagram captions to educate your customers about what flowers are in season and how to get the best bang for their buck.

When I started to brave the waters of sharing more helpful content on our website and our Instagram feed, I saw a dramatic shift in our sales. The speed with which we were booking clients was so amazing! Even better, our clients started giving us more creative freedom – they trusted us more because we were so open with our expertise. It's so fun!

#7 – Instagram Hashtags + Helpful Content = More Wedding Enquiries

This combination is exactly how we landed on the preferred venue list of one of Australia's top wedding venues (with no local area contacts, no insider scoop and not all that much experience).

PRO TIP: Focus on hashtags specific to your ideal client and then create a content strategy that aligns with what matters most to your customers.

In reality, most florists are so focused on "out designing" their competition that they completely miss the opportunity that Instagram provides to us. This is where you can come in and scoop up the good customers.

And yes, even with the tise of Tiktok, Instagram is still one of the fastest ways to get found by your dream customers and get bookings at those big fancy venues.

#8 – Google Ads, Google Business Listing + Simple Online Catalogue

I wasted so much time, energy and money on sh*t that delivered $0 to our bottom line. But when it comes to increasing your order volumes and getting more customers, Google Ads is by far the best option (I'm sharing more on this in next week's blog post so stay tuned for that goodness).

Getting your Google Ads sorted, paired with the right online catalogue strategy and a basic Google Business listing and you'll start to see more online ordering coming in pretty quickly.

PRO TIP – you can have a Google Business Listing even if you don't have a physical retail space. When you set up your listing, there is a checkbox to tell Google "I don't serve clients at this location" so then you can work from home, maintain your privacy but still be listed in the places that matter most.

#9 – Build Your Flower Family

Being an entrepreneur is hard work. Having support is a must. And having the support of people who get the weird-ass flower world we operate in matters.

One of the best ways I've been able to connect with like-minded florists is to sign up for workshops. I've met some of my closest flower friends during these experiences and I know that coming together with a shared perspective, shared values and shared mission makes all the difference in the world.

Even if the other florists have travelled from far away and you don't see them in person very often, just having a network and community you can connect with, share your troubles with and ask lotsa questions, makes a world of difference for your long term growth.

#10 – Get Coaching

I landed in the world of coaching kinda late in my career. Honestly, I spent so long thinking "I should be able to do this on my own" that I know it held me back.

These days, I see such dramatic progress in my business because I find the experts who can help me and teach me. In truth, I've spent more than $100,000 on my own training and education and I have no inclination to ever stop.

But, investing in yourself is always a great investment – it's the only thing that keeps paying off year after year after year.

So, whether it's having a mentor, signing on with a business coach or joining us inside Flower Boss Bootcamp, you'll see bigger results so much faster with the help of a mentor or coach by your side.

Let's Go Deeper: How to Grow Your Flower Business Faster (FREE Resource)

In this week's podcast episode, I'm sharing one of my favourite shortcuts for creating bigger, better business results quickly. I know it all sounds a little too good to be true, but that's why I wanted to record this podcast episode.

In this episode, I share my favourite mindset hack for showing up when things aren't really going to plan (i.e. you're not making enough money). And I teach you how to get 'unstuck' when you feel like you're not making real, measurable progress in your business or you've reached a plateau in your growth.

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

Why learning how to own your accomplishments matters and how it impacts your results

Why most of us consistently feel frustrated with our progress and how to break that habit

My super simple approach to learning how to own your accomplishments (even if you're convinced your goals are too big and too ambitious)

The one daily practice I've created in order to support myself on this roller coaster ride. It's super helpful even if you are making progress in your business and making money

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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Profitable Flower Business

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

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

Hitting Reset to Create a Profitable Flower Business

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

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

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

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

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

Profitable Flower Business: Basic Business Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another Note about Setting Up a Profitable Flower Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

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Website Must-Haves for Florists

8 Website Must-Haves for Florists

Looking for a list of website must-haves for florists? You're in exactly the right place.

Y'all heard me preach about how important your website and I believe that down to my bones. Particularly now, with the continued increase in online ordering and more and more customers getting comfortable connecting with florists online.

Your website is the easiest way to make your sales process super simple as well as making marketing way more streamlined.

But it's also really easy to get overwhelmed sorting out website must-haves for florists. The additional layers of tech, trying to troubleshoot and getting totally confused by the possibilities, add-ons and additions is totally normal.

In fact, I just saw another ad from Shopify, celebrating how easy it is to get a shop set up on their platform. I think these ads actually make the issue even bigger for us.

Yeah, it is easy to get it set up and started but getting the products uploaded, looking the way you want it to look, getting the delivery date picker sorted, and the checkout streamlined in a way that suits the needs of your customers is a totally different game.

So, I thought it would be helpful to put together a list of my 8 website must-haves for florists.

Website Must-Haves for Florists – Tip 1: Your Website Is Your Flower Business.

One of the biggest changes to come out of the last two years of upheaval is that more customers are shopping online than ever before. In fact, the world of online shopping is expected to exceed $5.5 trillion dollars in 2022. That's a big number, right? (Check out this article from Cloudwards.net.)

No longer is having a brick + mortar shop the benchmark for success as a floral designer. In 2022, your website is your flower business.

So, the goal is to translate the in-store shopping experience, the expert status of being a professional florist into your flower business website, creating an easy-to-navigate online experience for your clientele and a money-making asset for your business.

Tip 2: Find a Restaurant Theme For Your Website.

If you are going to use one of the DIY platforms like Shopify or Squarespace, when you're looking for a theme to use, focus on restaurant and cafe themes.

In the early iterations of my website, I made the mistake of paying for a portfolio theme (yes I totally got sucked in by the prettiness of the templates). But then I had to back to the beginning, figure out how to add heaps of new content, set up new page layouts from scratch and add on extra plugins and widgets.

Learn from my mistake and save yourself a giant headache on Day 1: focus on finding a theme that works for a cafe, a bakery or a restaurant.

There are so many crossovers and similarities between floristry and restaurant services that you'll be able to repurpose a lot of the default theme templates and layouts to really fast track your progress.

It's one of the easiest shortcuts to adopt when you're sorting through florist website must-haves.

Tip 3: First Impressions Matter.

Particularly in our industry. We're selling a luxury service and marking up our designs at a hefty premium. That demands that we put our best foot forward in terms of our marketing and the first impression we present to our customers.

So, be intentional with your visuals, the flow on your website and the level of sophistication you put out into the world. As crazy as it sounds, your customers are going to use your website as a placeholder for your ability to design. That means those first impressions really do matter.

If you don't want to figuring all things florist website, be sure to join us inside Flower Boss Bootcamp – we give you the templatest to follow, the words to use on each page and give you the tools to make it easier to build a better flower business website. Click here to join us today.

Tip 4: Use Simple, Direct Words.

One of the common mistakes I see florists make is trying to be uber creative with the words they use on their website. Yes, there are SEO implications with our word choice but just as important is that we need to make our language as simple as possible for our customers to understand.

Most customers are incredibly intimidated and overwhelmed by the prospect of talking to a florist and if we use too much industry jargon, designer speak and just make it all too fancy and complicated, they're going to run screaming the other direction.

So, when it comes to things like 'Order flowers', just say that. You don't need to get fancy and go with 'fill your basket' or 'spread joy'.

The general rule I like to follow with website words is to stick with the language your seven-year-old nephew would understand. Keep it simple AF.

Tip 5: Set up an About Me Page

I spent years hiding behind the facade of our business because I was worried I'd get called out as a fraud or not good enough. Turns out, I lost customers because they didn't know there was a real person, a real family behind this business.

So, don't be shy about telling your story.

Share with your clients why you LOVE flowers, how you first fell in love with this work and what your mission is. In turn, you'll notice your clients will fall in love with you even more because they'll be able to see your passion and your drive.

The brand Toms is a great example of this. We can buy a pair of slip-on shoes from thousands of different businesses around the world.

But we buy Tom's because we know their story and want to support their mission.

Your flower business is no different. Embrace the discomfort and start to share your mission and passion with the world!

Tip 6: Integrate Your Instagram Feed

This has got to be one of my favourite shortcuts for making your website look good. Integrating your Instagram feed into a few pages on your website keeps the content looking fresh, but you don't have to spend any time going in and updating image galleries or uploading new photos.

And, rather than just having it on one page on your website, don't be shy about doubling up. I suggest having it on your homepage, your about me page and your main services page.

This one tip has got to be one of my favourites when it comes to website must-haves for florists.

Tip 7: The Top Navigation is More Important Than You Realise

I didn't realise this but there is actually a lot of thinking that goes into setting up that top navigation on your website.

The goal with the navigation is to make it easier for your customers to navigate themselves through your customer experience. You want to serve up the experience and your content one step at a time.

So, put yourself in your customer's shoes and map out the process you want your clients to experience – from the moment they land on the page, to where they want to go next, second and last. And go through it all step by step (better yet, have a trusted friend do it for you and give you an honest opinion.)

HOT TIP: One of the best lessons I learned is to NOT have your wedding enquiry form linked in that top navigation. Yes, it lead to lots of enquiries but most of them were a waste of time.

Tip 8: Take It One Step At a Time

The thing about getting a kick-ass website stored is it is a lot of work. And what seems like a simple idea (thanks to Shopify), ends up leading you down a whole path of solving lots of itty bitty problems, constantly running into roadblocks and then taking the time to figure out how to overcome it.

One of the reasons getting a florist website sorted is complicated is because we need to have lots of layers of tech. For example, when your customers are ordering flowers, there are some very specific plugins we need to include (i.e. card message, delivery date picker).

This is what makes florist business websites different to other websites (and much more complicated than Shopify pitches it to be).

One of the best things you can do is get off your computer and grab a pen + piece of paper. Map out the process. Go step by step and really think about the stages your client needs to go through.

You can even look at florists in other cities, heck even head on over to Interflora or Petals just to see the steps in the process. And then start to sort it out for yourself.

I find drawing myself a diagram and going through it in detail to be really helpful.

In my experience, of all the website platforms available, I like WordPress the best. I've found it to be the most flexible, SEO-rich and cost-effective option for florists.

I know the initial set-up on WordPress can be overwhelming so check out this YouTube video where I walk you through the process step by step.

So, when it comes to sorting through website must-haves for florists, remember to take it one step at a time.

My #1 Tip for Streamlining Your Approach

Your website can be one of your best allies in growing your business. All the struggle and frustration we experience in trying to sort out the tech and getting it working is 100% worth it. It's one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and our business.

One of the biggest reasons I've been such an advocate for getting a kick-ass website sorted is that it saves you thousands of hours of time. Literally.

And it doesn't even need to be the fanciest, most sophisticated solution out there. I'm not talking about the sexiest plugins and latest widgets. And I'm definitely not saying you need to spend $$$$ on it.

On this week's podcast episode, I'm sharing heaps of helpful shortcuts, tips and tricks and ideas to help you use your website to streamline your approach.

Spending a little bit of time now can free up so much time and energy in the future, giving you more flexibility and allowing you to spend more time flowering and less time admin-ing.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode:

Simplifying the website building experience for florists

My go-to strategy for getting your website sorted

The five layers of every flower business website you need to pay attention to

What to focus on first when you next evaluating your own website and making planned updates

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript


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How to Run a Successful Flower Shop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or maybe you're somewhere in between.

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

Being In Charge is Awkward

Yep. There you go. I said it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go Deeper: My Flower Boss Success Formula

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What you'll learn from this episode:

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

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

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

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

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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Mothers Day Florist Business Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #2: Price Anchoring – Understanding Sales Psychology 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #3: Review Your Google My Business Listing Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What you'll learn from this episode:

3 sales tactics to help you increase your average order value

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

My #1 tip for sorting through deliveries and logistics

My favourite tactics to implement to help you skyrocket your sales

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

 

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Florist Website Templates

Florist Website Templates – Avoid These 5 Mistakes

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

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

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

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

YES!!!!!!

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

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

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

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

Florist Website Templates – Avoid These 5 Mistakes

Mistake #1: Picking a Portfolio or Photography Template

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mistake #3: Overthinking the Words

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

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

Mistake #4: Too Many Image Galleries

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

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

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

Mistake #5: Set It and Forget It

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

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

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

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

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

Want more tips to help you sort through your website?

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

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

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

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Online Catalogue Template for Flower Business

Online Catalogue Template for Flower Business – My Basic Framework

Struggling to figure out the right way to set up the online catalogue template for flower business? I've gotcha covered.

Navigating through all the details of your online catalogue is definitely a 'thing'. And yes, there is a specific strategy to follow. It's kinda like Goldilocks and the Three Bears: you don't want to offer too many options and you don't want to be too skimpy.

How Many Products Should You Include in Your Online Catalogue Template for Flower Business?

A few years ago I read about this study that a few psychologists did about selling jam. The general premise is that customers are MORE likely to buy when you limit their options. (You can read about it here.)

It sounds kinda counterintuitive, doesn't it? We as humans think we want to have an unlimited number of options. And as business owners, we fear missing out on sales if we aren't offering enough, right?

But at the end of the day, customers so want choice, but actually only from a limited number of choices. In the world of psychology, this concept is referred to as the Paradox of Choice.

In the case of the jam study, the psychologists found that more jam was sold when customers only had 6 options versus the initial 24 choices.

When I learned about this study, I immediately put it into action and put together a new framework for setting up the online catalogue template for flower business.

When it comes to setting up your daily deliveries, start with 12 products in your core offering. Set up your catalogue so that 50% of your products are presented in some sort of vase or container. And 50% is a hand-tied bouquet.

Why Not Just Add a Vase For An Add-On?

In our flower business, I found our customers came to us having decided ahead of time if they wanted something in a container or not. It's kinda like they came to our website with the format question already answered. They then looked through the photos and immediately eliminated the options that weren't the format they were looking for.

My experience is based on catering to a broad away of customers and living in a small town. So, if you operate in a big city and have a bigger population to work with and/or cater to a sophisticated audience, things might be different for you.

It's possible you're missing out on incremental revenue because your online catalogue isn't aligning to how your customers shop for flowers. Of course, every business is different and I reckon it's worth experimenting with both options. Track the data and then make a decision from there.

The most important thing to remember is to put yourself in your customer's shoes. Really think about how much expertise, experience and familiarity your clients have with ordering flowers and test out new hypotheses to really push the limits of what is possible.

Offer Three Size Options for Each Product

With each of the 12 products in your online catalogue template for flower business, set up three different sizes for each product. And make sure there is at least a 30% increase between each size.

For example, if your cheapest bouquet is $85 + delivery, then the next size up needs to be at least $110.50 and then the third is $143.65 (yes, they can be even more than this, just make sure the differences are noticeable).

Most customers aren't going to be able to tell the difference between an $85 bouquet and a $100 so make the price points and difference between the sizes you offer quite chunky. You can use your written descriptions to outline the basic sizes and educate your customers on what to expect (i.e. What's the difference between each size?).

Which Size Should I Show in the Pictures?

I'm lazy and kinda cheap. So when I set up our first online catalogue I just showed photos of only one size of bouquets. I didn't bother trying to take photos of each size. It was all too fussy for me.

Instead, I like to use the product description to give more detail, outline more specifics and give guidance on size. Want an example of what to write in the product description? Check out this YouTube video from the archives – 4 Details to Include in Your Online Catalogue

It's All a Work in Progress

One of the best lessons I've learned in my business is that nothing is permanent. This is particularly true with your website.

The nature of floristry is that every day there is a new set of customers coming into your little bubble. New babies are being born. More birthdays are being had. More get well soon gifts to be given.

This means that the customers who come to your website today aren't the same customers that visited last week (or even yesterday). So you can go in and update your website any day of the week.

For us, we found that more than 80% of our customers hadn't been to our website in the last 365 days.

Yes, you read that right.

More than 80% of our paying clients hadn't ordered in the past year. So they have no idea what was on there five weeks ago, let alone five days ago.

Don't delay! Stop telling yourself you'll do at the beginning of next quarter to the beginning of next financial year. Give yourself the go-ahead to go in today and make updates.

Your future self will love you so much because of it.

NEXT STEP: Wondering how to increase online orders? Google Ads is our go-to solution. Check out this super helpful blog post: 4 Google Ads Tips for Florists

Want more tips to help you get y our online catalogue sorted?

There is a lot of strategy that goes into getting an online catalogue sorted. Having the right mix of offers, but without too many options can be one of the best improvements you can make for your flower business. The first time I set up our online catalogue, I totally underestimated the task and I missed the mark with some of our solutions.

It's easy to overlook some of the finer details with an online catalogue. And it's really easy to do it wrong. If you need help sorting through your online catalogue, be sure to check out this podcast episode: What to Include in Your Online Catalogue as a Floral Designer

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Online Flower Business Tips

Online Flower Business Tips – 5 Steps to Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #2: Your Website is Your Most Valuable Asset

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

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

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

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

Tip #3: Set Your Sights Higher

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #4: Win the Google Game

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Promote Floral Business on Instagram

How to Promote Floral Business on Instagram – 3 Time-Saving Tips for Florists

Wondering how to promote floral business on Instagram? I'm here to help.

I used to be so intimidated and overwhelmed by all things Instagram. I used to look at the famous florists and think 'Wow, their work looks so effortless. They show up and make it look so easy.'

Meanwhile, I was struggling with finding halfway decent photos, knowing what to write in the caption and constantly second-guessing what I needed to do.

I spent so much time stuck, so much time wondering how to promote floral business on Instagram.

But then I started to look at things differently. I shifted my frame of reference.

Very specifically, I stopped focusing on what I thought I was supposed to do in comparison to my florist idols. I stopped worrying about what my competition was doing, I stopped dwelling in my own insecurities and self-doubt.

Change Your Perspective

When it comes to how to promote floral business on Instagram it's super important to remember that we're using Instagram as a way to attract customers. At the end of the day, Instagram is simply another way to market your flower business.

And when it comes to marketing, job #1 is to focus on your customers. It's time to get your self-doubt, your uncertainty and your fears out of the way. Hit pause for a few minutes and put yourself in your customer's shoes.

When you shift your perspective, stop focusing on yourself and start obsessing over your customers, it brings so much clarity.

It gives you guidance on what really matters when it comes to how to promote floral business on Instagram. No longer do you need to have the sexiest captions or worry about having the world best photos.

Instead, you can pour your heart into helping your clients, being helpful and making it easy for your customers to find the answers they're looking for.

You can play a totally different game.

Step Away From The Crowd

If you've ever spent any time deconstructing how most florists show up on Instagram, you'll see feeds filled with flower photos, pithy captions filled with a handful of emojis and, mostly, a lot of self-centred, look-at-how-good-a-designer-I-am posts.

This is how I thought we were all supposed to show up on Instagram.

But I realised that approach wasn't helping me get clients. It wasn't helping me streamline my systems and it definitely wasn't helping me show up consistently on Instagram.

All in all, that approach was just too hard.

So I came up with a totally different path. I decided to step away from the crowd, break with tradition and make my own rules for posting to Instagram.

Turns out, Instagram can be easy. When you shift your perspective and step away from the crowd, you can use your creativity to develop a better process – one that is (1) helpful to your customers (2) saves you time and (3) is actually fun (seriously!).

3 Time-Saving Tips: How to Promote Floral Business on Instagram

It's time to follow a new path, my friends! It's time to learn a better way to approach Instagram.

Here are my three favourite time-saving tips to help:

  1. Batch Your Posts + Plan Ahead – set aside 60 minutes in your schedule to sit down and plan your posts. I use Planoly to schedule and map out my feed. Decide ahead of time how often you want to post to your feed and then get to work making it happen. And remember, consistency is more important than frequency. Start with 1-2 times a week and go from there. It's better to post 1-2 per week x 52 weeks a year rather than 100 days in a row and then give up for 36 weeks.
  2. Use Stock Photos and Graphic Headlines as Images – Canva.com is one of the greatest shortcuts available to us and makes it so much easier to create a pretty feed and cohesive vibe on your feed. And, instead of posting a wall of your designs, switch it up. Be intentional with curating your feed and creating a sophisticated, cohesive vibe using a mix of stock photos and graphic headlines. (You also schedule your content using Canva.com, so if having it all in one place is helpful, this might be worth checking out.)
  3. Answer Your Customer's Questions – this is one of my favourite time-saving shortcuts when it comes to Instagram. Instead of wondering what to write or filling up that valuable real estate with a pithy, charming caption, use your Instagram captions to educate and inform your clients. It can be as simple as taking the very last question a customer asked and writing out the question + answer in the caption. Literally. (Yes, it really can be that simple my friends!)

Instagram is an incredible marketing tool to attract new customers and better clients to your flower business.

But one of the most important things to remember is we flower business owners get to play a totally different game. We can create a new set of rules because we don't need to worry about engagement or followers or cracking the algorithm.

If you're ever stuck wondering how to promote floral business on Instagram, come back to these three time-saving tips. They really do work!

Oh, and, if you want more Instagram tips for florists, check out this recent post on how to use Instagram Reels in Your Flower Business.

How to Price Flowers for Valentine's Day

How to Price Flowers for Valentine's Day

Not sure how to price flowers for Valentine's Day? You're in the right place.

On our very first Valentine's Day, running our flower shop, all I had to go on was a list of last year's rose order from one of the regular wholesalers. I'm so grateful I at least had that much info, because it gave me a point of something to go on.

From there, I had to just figure it all out.

All. Of. It.

I had no idea what people liked to order or when they ordered or even how much they wanted to spend.

I felt so lost.

I mean I could sit here and paint y'all a picture of it all being sunshine and rainbows, but let's be honest. It was messy. Super duper scrappy, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, hopefully-never-to-be-repeated-again, sort of messy.

If I could wind back the clock, go back and have a little pep-talk with old me, I'd tell her to be intentional with how to price flowers for Valentine's Day.

In fact, here's exactly what I would do:

TIP 1: Price to the Equation

I was convinced there was no way I could charge that much. In Australia, our wholesale rose prices double around Valentine's Day. That really challenged me and all my limiting beliefs about money and pricing.

I was filled with so much doubt, so much hesitation when it came to raising my prices. I felt bad for charging those kinds of prices.

But then I started to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes. What happens at the growing side of things and what the rose farms needed to navigate and just how intense the pressure is for them.

At these peak trading periods, wholesalers and growers work around the clock, trying to tame Mother Nature and do everything in their power to deliver quality flowers on this one magical day of the year.

So much is out of their control and yet customers still demand they deliver. Of course, these days, navigating international logistics is at a whole new level of 'hard'.

Once I started to understand all the effort that went on behind the scenes, I really began to appreciate what this industry is being asked to do, how much pressure is on every single person all along the supply chain.

Me telling myself, "I couldn't charge that much", assuming my clients didn't want to pay a premium wasn't just hurting my business. It was hurting our staff. Our growers. The wholesalers. Every single person along the way.

It was also hurting our customers.

Once I started to realise it wasn't my job to judge whether or not I should price to the equation, I started to see how much more, what a better experience we could offer our clients.

Being able to offer best-in-class customer service, being able to hire another delivery person, and being able to navigate last-minute requests meant we were able to exceed our customer's expectations.

That was only possible after I finally sorted out my pricing.

It's time to let go of the judgement and the hesitation my friends.

It's time to decide the industry-standard approach to pricing works. It applies to florists of all shapes and sizes and is a proven model for making a profit.

In fact, it's one of the best gifts we've been given. It works. We don't need to spend hours upon hours doing all this fancy math.

And yes, it still applies on Valentine's Day too.

(If you need a refresher on pricing, check out this blog post: Florist Pricing Worksheets)

TIP 2: Your Customers Want to Spend Money

For me, one of the best lessons to learn about how to price bouquets for Valentine's Day was seeing how much humans love to spend money.

When I was younger, I always thought of Valentine's Day as a "Hallmark Holiday," something made up by a smart group of marketing people to make people buy more stuff (...actually, I still think that's true).

On a personal level, Valentine's Day isn't really my thing. Professionally though, if it makes customers happy, if it brings a smile to their face and gives them an ounce of joy, I'm here for it.

If it gets flowers in more customers' hands, sign me up! More humans need to experience the joy of flowers.

When it comes to spending money on Valentine's Day, I saw customer after customer after customer, hand over their cash, throw their credit cards at us and not ever hesitate when we would quote them $300 or $400.

Yes, there are new customers who are shocked at the prices but there's an equal number of customers who are excited to indulge, to spend over their budget and share their love.

If you struggle with confidence when it comes to pricing, decide to make Valentine's Day the time you challenge yourself, let go of your limiting beliefs around money and let go of the judgement you have on someone else's appetite or ability to pay a premium for beautiful blooms.

If your customers want to spend money, make it easy for them to spend money.

TIP 3: How to Price Flowers for Valentine's Day

When it comes to setting up your online catalogue and mapping out your offer for Valentine's Day, here is a basic framework to follow:

  1. Design 1: Bouquet of reds with a touch of pink or purple. Standard Size $147, Premium $195, Deluxe $254
  2. Design 2: Bouquet of pinks and burgundy tones. Standard Size $147, Premium $195, Deluxe $254
  3. Design 3: Vase arrangement of reds with a touch of pink or purple. Standard Size $187, Premium $243, Deluxe $316
  4. Design 4: Vase arrangement of pink and burgundy tones. Standard Size $187, Premium $243, Deluxe $316
  5. Design 5: Deluxe vase arrangement with small chocolates + bottle of prosecco $424

Now, if you're the type of designer who wants to use premium ingredients and has customers who spend more money, be ambitious with your pricing. Double what I've outlined above.

When it comes to how to price flowers for Valentine's Day, use this framework as your guide and go big.

One final note: yes wholesale prices are on the rise. It's not your job to carry the burden of supply chain issues. It's your job to level up your marketing and branding to align with the value you offer your clients.

Looking for more tips and free stuff? Be sure to check out our YouTube Channel. Click here to jump in.

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