Establishing a Relationship with a Floral Wholesaler

Establishing a Relationship with a Floral Wholesaler: 3 Tips To Make It Easier

Not quite sure where to start when it comes to establishing a relationship with a floral wholesaler? I'm here to help.

If you haven't been to the Sydney Flower Market, you need to make a plan to go. It's gotta be one of the most magical flowering places on the planet.

And the most stressful. (As a florist, it's kinda like walking onto the set of Mean Girls right in the middle of that scene where the jungle fight breaks out.)

It's super intimidating. Everyone walks around looking like they know what they're doing (and you feel like you're the only one wondering WTF is going on). In addition to all the pros lookin' like pros, the general public is allowed in and you're fighting for a parking space and elbow room just to get in the doors

The place is massive. There are more than 150 wholesalers spread out over a few acres of space. It's all set within a massive warehouse, filled with the season's best. Buckets are spilling out of every corner, ballooning with the best blooms. For us florists, it's the literal 'kid in a candy store' experience.

Yes, it is a sight to be seen.

But it also kinda makes you wanna run screaming in the other direction, questioning your life choices and wondering how the heck does a wanna-be-florist go about establishing a relationship with a floral wholesaler?

The worry is compounded when you count up the number of well-established florists who have been working with wholesalers for years and even decades. What's a girl to do? (Panic and run screaming in the opposite direction...heading straight back into the corporate world and back to a desk job??? Yes, I did contemplate that many, many times during the 3:30 am alarms.)

So, I thought it might be helpful to pull together my top three tips when it comes to establishing a relationship with a floral wholesaler.

If you're brand new, this blog post will give you an insider's scoop on the florist + wholesaler relationship.

If you've been in business for a few years and want to take your flower business to the next level, this blog post will give you a few unexpected surprises, spark new ideas and give you a few secrets to ensure you separate yourself from the competition.

Why Establishing A Relationship with a Floral Wholesaler Matters

In the world of cooking, one of the best principles to follow is "Start with good ingredients." The same thing goes for flowers.

You'll be so much happier with the end result of your flower arrangements if you start with fresh, high-quality ingredients. In fact, one of the ways we created a loyal customer base in our flower shop was to make sure we focused on offering the highest quality, longest-lasting flowers.

I remember one year when a woman came in to tell us that her Mother's Day flowers lastest three weeks. Now, that's certainly not the norm, but it's always stuck in my mind because when you source quality ingredients and educate your clients on how to care for their flowers, they'll be so happy they'll tell their friends. And that extra word of mouth helps to grow your business and your bottom line.

As a floral designer with grand ambitions, having access to – and building relationships with – growers and wholesalers who have high-quality products (and quality customer service) can make all the difference in your success.

Investing the time and energy into building relationships with your floral wholesaler takes time but it can be one of the magic bullets to building a loyal following and growing your bottom line.

PRO TIP: I remember one of my flower school teachers told me "Cheap flowers are cheap for a reason. Don't ever expect them to get better." That piece of advice has always stuck in my head and I truly believe when it comes to whoelsaler flowers, you do get what you pay for.

How to Approach Floral Wholesalers

Here's the most important thing to remember: your wholesalers are running a business. Their list of to-dos and sh*t to sort through is just as long as yours.

Even with that being said, never underestimate the power of being professional and polite. The art of great customer service is lost on so many business owners but it's one of the secrets to building any B2B relationship.

For example, you know how when you walk into a business and get a kind smile, a professional greeting and the staff actually make eye contact with you. Yeah, I mean that kinda "back to basics, treat humans as humans" sorta professionalism.

The same thing applies when it comes to establishing a relationship with a floral wholesaler. So, whether you've been working with your wholesaler for years or are just starting out, Rule #1: be kind to your wholesalers.

And yes, be kind, even if they don't give you the time of day.

Remember, it's totally normal for wholesalers to be working all hours of the night, not sleeping and running on empty. So don't be surprised if they can barely string two words together. Don't forget: your wholesalers are running a business and you are not their only customer or concern.

If I could go back and tell my old self one thing about establishing a relationship with a floral wholesaler, it would be this: no one knows who you are and that is your best secret weapon.

If you're anything like me and feel like a total imposter and fraud, walking into a busy wholesaler brings up all of our insecurities and 'who do you think you are' storylines.

But let's flip that story on its head. The fact that your wholesalers don't know who you are is a great advantage. It means you can be a total noob and no one is paying enough attention to remember you.

So you can go ahead and ask all the dumb questions, get embarrassed and get through all the awkward 'first day of school' tremors. Then come back again next week and do it all over again.

Remember, No One Was Born Knowing All The Things

Read that again...

Maybe even write it down somewhere you'll see it every day.

This one thought has served me so well when walking into super intimidating, scary, new situations.

Because yes, quite literally, no one was born knowing how to do anything. We've all had to learn stuff and make mistakes and ask heaps of questions to get to where we are today. That means you get to do the same thing.

In fact, when it comes to building relationships with wholesalers, I actually like to just go all in, be brave and default to asking wholesalers and growers heaps of questions.

I do this for two reasons: (1) they know a lot about flowers – like a lot a lot, way more than you and I could ever know and being able to glimpse just 1% of that information is super helpful for you and your business.

And (2) it gives you a taste of what their long term customer service is going to be like. Wholesalers who cannot be bothered to acknowledge you, answer a couple of questions and don't see you as a valuable, paying client...they may not be the kind of partner you want to have in your business in the long run.

I use the word 'partner' very intentionally. Your wholesalers and growers are your partners in crime. Choose them wisely and then invest the time and energy into building, growing and maintaining those relationships – you never know when you'll need them to come in and save the day.

PRO TIP – If you need help sorting out how much to order from your growers and wholesalers, be sure to check out this super helpful blog post: Learning How To Create A Floral Design Recipe

Don't Forget, Local Growers Are All Around You

Yes, bigger more established wholesalers are awesome. But so are the growing number of boutique flower farmers popping up all around us. It's very possible you have access to some of the best, freshest ingredients around – it might be a few KMs down the road or literally down the street.

Do some digging. Jump on Google. Search Instagram hashtags and see if any local growers pop up. You never know who you might be able to connect with and what sorts of magical ingredients are being grown in your neighbourhood. And it could be that you get exclusive access to something amazing and build a whole network of local growers who will grow alongside you.

For example, my most favourite dahlias growers set up their entire business about 3km from my house. I was astounded to see their operation and set-up and I loved being able to support their family-run business.

Plus their dahlias are unlike anything you've ever seen. In peak season, we'd be going through 50-60 bunches per week and it was so awesome to have access to this quality product.

I loved these dahlias. Our clients loved these days. It was so incredible!

Many times, these kinds of growers may not be able to work with the larger wholesalers because they don't have the volume to support their structure. But that makes it a perfect opportunity for you.

Again, don't be shy. Reach out. Make a connection. Be kind. Be professional and be polite. They won't bite. (Just remember their to-do list is just as long as yours is – probably even longer.)

More Tips To Help You Build A Better Relationship With Your Wholesalers (FREE resource)

In this week's podcast episode, I'm digging more into the world of wholesaler relationships.

I'm sharing a few funny stories about what it's really like to shop at the Sydney Flower Market, with all the famous florists as well as passing on my best tips for building better relationships with your floral wholesalers and local growers.

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

5 tips to help you build better relationships with your wholesalers, even if you're brand new

The three most important things to know when it comes to wholesaler and flower grower relationships

Why the relationship you have with your wholesalers matters so much

How to approach new wholesalers and growers and quickly win their trust (so you can get the best flowers!)

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

Enjoy the Show?

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become A Florist

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become A Florist

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Qualifications Does a Florist Need?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make The Commitment To Keep Learning Even After Your Formal Qualifications

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

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

It's a lot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

Enjoy the Show?

How to Feel More Confident as a Floral Designer

How to Feel More Confident as a Floral Designer

Wondering how to feel more confident as a floral designer or farmer florist? You're in the right place.

To start with, I have a question for you: have you ever stopped to wonder where confidence comes from?

If you're anything like me, it's definitely not something most of us ever think about.

I used to believe that confidence was something you were born with. Like there are people who just 'have confidence' built into their DNA...and then there are the rest of us.

As a floral designer and creative entrepreneur, all of our self-doubt and imposter syndrome come bubbling up to the surface the day we make the decision to start a business. (And navigating that self-doubt is something we every dang day, right?)

My friend, if you feel like a fraud, a total imposter, you are not alone. Not by a long shot.

I used to believe I was the only floral designer on the planet who felt like I don't have my shit together – everyone else seems to be showing up on social media with their perfect studios, perfect flowers, perfect number of Instagram followers and perfect customers...

Meanwhile, you and I are falling deep down into the comparison spiral, second-guessing everything we're doing in our businesses. Every day we wake up wondering, "How the heck did those famous florists figure it out?!?!?"

Since starting my own business more than 11 years ago, I've been learning a lot about confidence and where confidence comes from.

And, I thought it could be super helpful to share some of my best 'a ha' moments and gives you my favourite tips for feeling more confident.

If you're a brand new florist, these tips will help you navigate imposter syndrome and overcome a lot of the self-doubt that keeps you stuck in inaction.

If you're a veteran designer, who still feels like a fraud and you're wondering how to feel more confident as a floral designer, you're also in the right place.

I am on a mission to make sure every floral designer on the planet has the tools they need to show up with more confidence – regardless of your formal training, qualifications, credentials or the years you've been in business.

Back to Basics: How to Feel More Confident As a Floral Designer

One of the best places to start, when it comes to learning how to show up with more confidence, is getting really clear on what confidence is.

For so long, I walked around just wishing I could feel more confident...but I never really thought about what that meant (in its truest, most tangible sense).

So, when it comes to learning how to feel more confident in your flower business, let's define what that means.

The kids on the Googles, define confidence as: the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.

In this instance, I will suggest we get super pedantic in the definition and replace "someone or something" with "themselves".

That being said, we can define confidence as: "the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on themselves".

I find this definition so empowering because it shows you exactly where to turn to when it comes to creating confidence: yourself.

That leads me right into Lesson #1...

Lesson #1: Increasing Your Confidence Is An Inside Job

Simply recognising and learning that confidence isn't something you're "given", it's not something that is handed over to you like a glass of water or a new sweater.

If you're wondering how to feel more confident as a floral designer, the first 'a ha' moment I had was realising that confidence is a feeling or a belief you create in yourself. It is 100% self-made.

And feeling confident in your own abilities comes from your own thinking. The way we humans are programmed to operate is that you create a feeling of confidence by thinking confident thoughts.

For most of us, that doesn't come naturally. We don't wake up in the morning thinking, 'Yeah, I am freakin' amazing!!'

Nope.

Why? Cause your human brain has a built-in negativity bias. That negativity bias is super helpful for keeping you safe and making sure you stay alive to see another day...but it's not helpful when it comes to feeling more confident.

In fact, it's the exact opposite – it is the opposing force and the thing we need to learn to unwind, in order to show up with more confidence, more often.

PRO TIP: We teach a lot about confidence and managing your mindset inside Flower Boss Bootcamp. If you're struggling with self-confidence, come join us and learn my best secrets for showing up with more authority (even if you're brand new, have no IG followers and don't wanna open a shop space).

Lesson #2: How to Think Thoughts That Create Confidence.

The work here is to redirect your default internal dialogue. Your brain loves efficiency and that means it wants to, by default, think the same thoughts over and over (and over) again.

As you walk through the day, without anything else to focus on, your brain is going to keep coming back to the same thoughts it's been thinking for the last few decades – for most of us, that narrative isn't very empowering.

For me, my default internal dialogue has traditionally been some version of "I'm not good enough" or "I'm not smart enough to figure this out."

For you, it might be "I'm not qualified," "I feel like an imposter," or "I'm too old/young".

And yes, we all have our stories. We all have our well-practised "I'm not good enough" internal narratives. All of us.

Here's the thing though, because you're a human being with a human brain, you also have the ability to think about what you're thinking about. And if you don't give your brain new thoughts to think, it's going to forever repeat the "I'm not good enough" storyline.

You're probably asking, "OK Kathleen, how do you do that?"

Great question!

Can you think of a time when you did a hard thing? Maybe you're the first in your family to go to college. Maybe you've had five kids. Maybe you've learned to speak another language. Maybe you're mother in law in a difficult person. Maybe you finally broke up with that partner who doesn't treat you like a total Queen. Give yourself a few minutes to think it over.

I want you to think about a hard or challenging experience you conquered. Something you feel really proud of (it can be anything!).

We all have experiences in our past that can serve as fuel for our futures.

Now, I want you to take a moment to recognise, truly appreciate, that YOU made that happen. (Yes, you!) And, if you're able to make that happen, then you can make anything happen. Right?

You can, in fact, figure out how to build a profitable flower business. Right?

You can, keep going on the hard days. Right?

You can do this. Right?

Use that past experience, that past feeling of confidence as fuel to move you forward to the next step of your growth.

Lesson #3: Repetition Is Key

Now, your brain, when left to its own devices, isn't going to automatically switch its internal thought patterns. Every day, it's going to want to come back to the "I'm not good enough" dialogue.

(Remember, we've been thinking that for years, so it's very comfortable staying in that pattern and it's going come back there until you create a new neural pathway. To do that though you need to be relentless in your repetition.)

You need to find ways to bring your brain back to thinking the thoughts that create confidence on purpose. You need to keep reminding yourself that if you make that happen, you can do the next hard thing.

This is a daily, often hourly practice.

And the most important piece to remember is that when your brain goes back to its "I'm not good enough" storyline, nothing has gone wrong. You are not broken. You are a human being with a human brain.

And learning to create confidence intentionally is 100% in your power. It just requires you to stay on top of your thinking, manage your mindset, and be relentlessly repetitive in your intentional confidence-creating thinking.

Let's Go Deeper: 3 Income Producing Beliefs for Florists

Once you start to see the power of shifting your perspective and you see that you can stop allowing your default brain to repeat the same BS narratives it's been repeating for decades, you'll see that you really can do anything (yes you can!).

Yes, you're going to have hard days.

Yes, you're going to get blindsided by difficult clients, wholesale supply will forever be a moving target and growing a team. And yes, becoming the next version of yourself brings a new level of discomfort and personal growth.

But that's precisely why I thought it would be helpful to put together a new podcast episode that dives into all of this more. And, even better, gives you my three go-to income-producing beliefs. (Save this podcast and be sure to come back to it when you need a boost of confidence and a little kick in the pants.)

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

Why more qualifications, more followers and getting published isn't enough

How to feel more confident right now – even if you're new or unqualified

What to do when your not seeing results, making the revenue you envisioned, or reaching your sales targets

My 3 go-to income-producing beliefs for floral designers and farmer florists

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

 

Enjoy the Show?

Flower Shop Operations

Flower Shop Operations – 4 Tips for Managing Your Cash Flow

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

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

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

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

Real Talk: Flower Shop Operations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #1: Face the Facts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don't put it off.

Do it now.

Literally.

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

Tip #2: Get your pricing sorted

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

That was totally me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 different ways to calculate a minimum in your flower business

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

Enjoy the Show?

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

Enjoy the Show?

How to Price Wedding Flowers

How to Price Wedding Flowers – Example $1500 Wedding Flower Budget

Looking back now, one of the reasons I struggled so much with pricing my work was that I had no point of reference. I knew how to do the math and price to the formula but I had no reference point in terms of what specific budgets looked like for wedding flowers.

The secrecy of our industry, the fact that your closest flower friends will not share their approach with you, is one of the many reasons florists consistently undercharge and underearn.

In my experience, one of the biggest reasons florists struggle to charge the right price is because no one talks about it. So, that is the point of this little exercise here, peoples. To help fill the giant void of information and give you the tools you need to learn how to price wedding flowers with confidence.

How to Price Wedding Flowers – The Right Formula to Follow

One of the greatest blessings we’ve been handed as florists is that hundreds of thousands of florists have travelled before you, testing out the pricing formula for florists. Florists of all shapes + sizes have used this pricing model, which means you don't need to keep guessing. It truly is such a gift and makes pricing our designs so simple!

In case you’re not sure what the right formula is and you're wondering how to price wedding flowers, here is the industry standard formula for pricing wedding + events work:

Wholesale x 3.5-4 + 30-50%.

Yes, I suggest you markup all wholesale items (flowers, foliage + sundries) at the same percentages to keep it easy on yourself. And yes, delivery, set-up and pack down are over and above this equation. (They're calculated based on the specific event requirements and logistics).

To bring this equation to life, let's go through an example. Let’s say you're a floral designer who just loves an abundance of roses in your bridal bouquets (me too!). Maybe we'll keep it simple and go with a very traditional colour palette and design the entire bouquet with Vandellas. These days, they wholesale for around $2.20 per stem.

For me, based on my design aesthetic and the level of abundance I like my clients to have, I want to account for 34 stems in a bridal bouquet. Plus, let’s allow $10 (wholesale) for ribbons, tape, packaging, etc.

Following the industry-standard approach, the math works out to be $415.

[(34 x $2.20) + $10] x 3.5 + 40% = $415

Pricing Is Based on Equation. Not an Emotion.

Let's dig into an example budget and break down the specifics. If a client came to you with a $1500 budget, what could they expect to see?

With the continued rising cost of flowers, it’s fair to say $1500 doesn’t buy you what it used to, right? These days, it's the starting off point and is enough to cover a basic set of personals or a few items for a more intimate ceremony.

Here’s a few examples of how $1500 might break down for a wedding:

EXAMPLE 1

Bridal Bouquet $415 x 1
Bridesmaid Bouquet $250 x 3 = $750
Buttonhole $25 x 4 = $100 (Groom, 3 x Groomsmen)
Saturday Delivery + Drop Off (Local) = $200

EXAMPLE 2

Brial Bouquet $415 x 1
Buttonhole $25 x 3 = $75 (Groom, 2 x Father)
Front-facing floral arrangement to sit on bar or signing table = $750
Saturday Delivery + Drop Off (Local, 2 locations) = $250

Looking for a step by step tutorial to help you quote a design you've never made before? Check out this YouTube video.

You Set Your Prices. Your Customers Set Their Budget.

One of the best lessons I learned in navigating wedding enquiries is that your customers have no idea how much to allocate or budget for wedding flowers.

You know how you, as the business owner, have a hard time finding information? Now, imagine being one of your clients! It's nearly impossible.

I know it feels scary to be the florist that openly talks about budgets and wedding planning, but it is the most helpful thing you can do for your customers. Being the florist who gives your clients the tools and resources to make empowered decisions is a game changer – it sets you up for an incredible relationship because the foundation for your entire creative relationship is built on transparency and helpfulness. And yes, that relationship then gives you the space you're dreaming of to make beautiful floral art!

So, while all the other designers are making it hard for clients to find information on how to budget for wedding flowers and what $1500 (or $5,000, $15,000 or $150,000) will get them, be the brave one. The easiest way to separate yourself from the competition and stand out from the crowd is to be the florist who actually gives your clients helpful, practical information.

And I don’t mean having it hidden deep in some blog post from a hundred months ago. Or setting up an auto email to send a price list (no, it's actually not that helpful). I mean be brave AF and put together a few helpful resources your clients can find on your website and in your IG feed/profile.

As counterintuitive as it feels, your clients will love you because you're making it easy for them and will love you more because you're the most helpful.

Worried Your Competition Will Find Out About Your Prices?

Don’t be. If your competition is spending all their time focused on you, you’re winning. It means they’re not focused on your clients and that provides you with the perfect opportunity to come in and sweep them off their feet, right?

And if you’re really stuck on the idea that your competition will find out, think about how all the big companies operate. Remember, the people who run Samsung know exactly what price the iPhone is offered at. In every country in the world. Because it's right there, in our faces every day, on their website.

They've figured out how to make it work. So can you.

Struggling to feel confident in your pricing? Come join us inside Flower Boss Bootcamp. No more second-guessing, offering discounts or saying to whatever comes your way. Learn how to show up with more confidence and build a thriving flower business.

Let's Go Deeper: 3 Steps to Break the Habit of Undercharging + Underquoting

If you're anything like me and find yourself constantly underquoting and offering discounts, you're not alone. I stayed in that cycle for years in my business.

It was like the fear of making felt impossible to navigate. It felt like an impossible battle and I couldn't figure out how to break the cycle.

When it comes to sorting out how to price wedding flowers, I was constantly filled with doubt and uncertainty. But I eventually figured out a way to make it work, to shift my approach and step into the discomfort.

I don't want you to stay stuck as long as I did. On this week's podcast, I'm digging into pricing in more detail and giving you specific actions, a step by step approach to getting yourself out of the undercharging cycle. It's time to get your pricing sorted once and for all!

What you'll learn from this podcast episode:

What is causing the doubt and uncertainty and how to move through it

Why we, as creative entrepreneurs, struggle with our pricing so much (yes, it's normal!)

How to reframe your perspective and show up with more confidence

My exact approach to getting out of your own way and finally getting your pricing sorted!

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

Enjoy the Podcast?

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

 

Enjoy the Show?

How to Improve my Florist Business

How to Improve My Florist Business – My #1 Sales Strategy

One of the things I wish someone had told me early on in my floral design + creative entrepreneurship journey is that when it comes to marketing + sales, one of the best things you can do is decide ahead of time what you’re selling.

When you’re first starting out, it’s tempting to think you need to offer up lots of choices and lots of options – that you need to cater to customers across all sorts of styles and aesthetics.

That sounds OK in practice but in reality, it leads to a lot of confusion and total overwhelm – for us and our customers.

This is exactly how we ran our flower business for years. And it was hard work – hard on the customers, hard on our business and hard on me, as a designer. It took me a long time (and a lot of money) to learn there is a better, easier way, a strategy we can follow that helps our customers and helps us.

It’s Time To Step Up and Take Charge: How to Improve My Florist Business

One of the biggest mistakes we designers make is not getting clear on exactly what they’re selling, handing over all your power and authority to your customer.

It’s kinda like if you decided to start a restaurant but, instead of deciding on a menu or cuisine, you just brought lots of different kinds of food and then waited for your customers to approach you and tell you what to make.

Could you imagine walking into your favourite cafe and, instead of the server handing you a menu, he looked at you and asked, “What would you like?” (leaving it entirely open-ended and expecting you, the hungry customer, to have come preferred with a recipe or cookbook).

This is exactly how we're taught to run our flower business. We are trained to have our customers tell us what to create, give us a reference picture and we're expected to know all the techniques and mechanics to be able to just make it.

When we do that, we're setting ourselves (and our customers) up for so much frustration. This approach requires your clients to have the same level of experience, expertise and flower knowledge we do, putting a huge amount of pressure on them.

And, for you as the designer, it leads to creative burnout and often requires you to spend hours and heaps of $$$ learning all sorts of different mechanics and styles. Plus, most of the time you don't even like the work going out the door (that was me!).

Over the past few years, I've heard similar stories from florists around the world, having been advised they need to cater to lots of different tastes and styles in order to grow their business. Philosophically, it makes sense. Practically, from a marketing + sales perspective, it’s an absolute nightmare.

The Paradox of Choice

Have you ever had that experience, where you’re trying to sort through making a decision and just feel overwhelmed by the options available to you? Maybe at the wine shop, looking at the 100s of options available. Or possibly in the chocolate bar section at the convenience store? (That was totally me as a kid!)

In the world of sales, there is a common anecdote that goes: “ A confused mind always says no.” As in, too much choice leads to overwhelm and confusion leads to the customer walking away.

One of the best sales studies I’ve learned about is called The Jam Study. Two psychologists set up an experiment, testing out their hypothesis on selling jars of jam. They wanted to see how sales were impacted by the number of options available to customers.

In one scenario, they set up the experiment with 24 different choices. In the second scenario, they limited it to 6.

Common sense might lead us to believe more choice is better, right? Turns out, the exact opposite is true.

When it comes to learning how to improve my florist business, there is such a thing as too much choice. In the case of the Jam Study, the psychologists found that sales increased when there were 6 products on offer (as compared to 24 options).

We floral designers can learn SO much from this one study. Our customers need us and want us to narrow down the choices and simplify our offer.

A Real-World Example: Apple iPhone

I often think about what a disaster it would be if we, as customers, had to walk into the Apple Store and were presented with shelves of wires, plastic screens, microchips and lenses as opposed to working phones and computers. As if the staff at Apple expect us, the totally tech ignorant customer, to come along and be able to tell the engineers what we wanted to made.

For me, I'd be in a spiral of confusion and overwhelm so quick I'd run screaming out the door. Me, the non-engineer type, has no idea what’s even possible when it comes to this sort of tech. I don't even know where to begin.

Apple has, in fact, does us a massive favour by limiting the number of decisions we iPhone customers need to think through. As of this moment in time, we can decide between basic things like (1) memory (2) colour (3) size (4) version. The rest, the amazing team at Apple have done for us.

We, floral designers, get to do the same thing in our flower business. You and I both know there are an infinite number of solutions when it comes to flowers. And, instead of relying on your customer to tell you what to create, it’s time to take charge and refine your offer.

Step #1 is to decide ahead of time what you think looks good, what ingredients you want to use and what formats you want to offer.

Simplification is the Secret to More Sales

One of the places I really saw this strategy work was when it came to table arrangements. A client would send us one of those generic emails that reads, “I’m having lunch for nanna’s 80th birthday next Thursday. And I’d like something for the table.”

Early on, we’d go back and forth with the customer for days, giving them heaps of options and overwhelming them with decisions and details.

In the end, when I saw how much time my staff was spending on all this back-and-forth, I realised I needed to find a better way. I’d have one of my best designers trying to sort through this for hours – in some cases, navigating the enquiry would take far longer than actually making the arrangements. I had had enough.

We sat down and decided OK, what do we want our go-to table arrangements to look like. We came up with a very simple framework.

  • Mini arrangement $85
  • Standard size $195
  • Premium $350

Rather than using a reference picture as a literal ‘please make me one of these chef’ directives, we started to use the reference pictures as a guide for colour palette, textures and overall vibe. We used it as a tool for communication, rather than a literal set of instructions on what to make.

It finally occurred to me that our clients were sending us reference pictures because (1) they thought they had to and (2) they didn’t know the words to describe what they liked.

PRO TIP: Looking for guidance on pricing your floral arrangements? Jump over here and grab my FREE pricing worksheets.

In the end, this new, simpler sales strategy changed the game for us. It cut down on 90% of the back and forth and streamlined our approach dramatically. Our clients loved how simple we made things and that helped us close more sales with less effort.  Better yet, it ensured that every design that went out the door met our standards. Win-win!

How to Effortlessly Sell Your Dream Designs

When you're looking for ideas on how to improve my florist business, keep this sales strategy in mind: stepping up and taking charge is the best way forward.

On a very practical note, remember that this sales strategy works for many different areas of your business. In fact, it applies to anything – ceremony features, funeral work, corporate arrangements, subscriptions.

If you're tired of saying yes to whatever is coming your way and feel totally embarrassed by the work you're being asked to create, you're not alone. That was me. 100%. Over the years, I've learned to flip the entire process on its head. There is an easier way!

It's time to put yourself back in the driver's seat and take control.

And that's precisely what I'm teaching in this week's podcast episode, passing along my exact approach to effortlessly sell your dream designs and giving you my best advice on how to improve my florist business.

What you'll learn from this week's podcast episode:

Why we're all taught the exact wrong approach to get orders and navigating event clients

My super simple solution to quoting designs you love and how to make it easier to close more clients

How to put yourself back in the driver's seat of your business and start making work you love

Streamline your wholesale ordering process and stop all the second-guessing

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

Enjoy the Show?

Floral Design Pricing

Floral Design Pricing – It's Allowed to Be Easy

Trying to wrap your head around floral design pricing? I've gotcha covered.

If you're new here, welcome to the best secret corner of the interwebs! I struggled with floral design pricing for a really long time (and I'm even a formally qualified designer).

I don't think I've ever met a floral designer who hasn't struggled with their prices – I think all of us, at one time or another, have had to navigate a sense of doubt and uncertainty when it comes to being able to sort through pricing.

Looking back now, I can see now there are a few reasons I really struggled with floral design pricing in my business.

Here are four unexpected insights to make pricing your work easier than ever!

TIP #1 – Don't charge your worth.

I know, this flies in the face of the "know your worth and add tax" narrative that we often see in the creative entrepreneurship space but if you're anything like me and struggle with your self-esteem, it's time to learn that your self worth as a human has nothing to do with the value of the designs you create in your business.

As a human, your self worth is infinite. If you were to charge your worth, there wouldn't be enough 000s to make it work. Quite literally, everything you'd offer in your business would need to have a price tag on it with "Infinite $$s".

It's time to unwind all that BS we're fed as creatives, women and humans and learn that your self worth is 100% intact. You are a whole, complete and totally worthy human being.

When it comes to floral design pricing, the last time I checked, the industry-standard approach to pricing didn't have a fancy square root of "Your Self Worth" in it, does it?

(Need to brush up on the equation – jump over here and check out this post about Florist Pricing Worksheets.)

It's time to get your self worth out of the mix and just stick to the math. In fact, the math is so simple your 7-year old nephew can figure it out. That will free up so much time and energy, which you can pour into learning more about elevating your branding, marketing and sales strategies!

TIP #2 –  Your brain is lying to you.

Here's a thing we don't learn in school: your human brain is wired for negativity and driven by efficiency.

That little voice in your head that says "I cannot charge that much" and "My customers won't pay that much", they're not true stories. I know it might "feel true" but it's just a very well practised story your brain is offering up to keep you small.

Essentially these storylines are just a sneaky version of fear.

My friend, if this rings true to you, I'm here to tell you there is nothing wrong with you. You are not broken. You are a human being with a human brain and learning how your brain works is POWERFUL! (It's why it's a part of the curriculum inside my Flower Boss Bootcamp.)

The truth is, 99% of what flies through our heads in the run of a day is just a pile of sentences. Stories we tell ourselves that are on repeat almost 60,000 times a day.

But, because you are a human being and you have the ability to think about what you think about (so crazy!), you get to decide to tell yourself whatever story you want. You don't need to believe those stories that go through your head. So, if you're gonna tell yourself a story, you might as well tell yourself a story that you like, right?

TIP #3 –  Discounts, deals and low prices aren't required for floral design pricing.

Flowers are a luxury service. As in, premium. High end. Fancy.

And learning to sell a luxury service requires next-level luxury thinking.

As a floral designer offering a luxury service, trying to compete with the grab-and-go shops is a waste of time. (That strategy only works if you have the power to influence wholesale costs. Most of us don't have that kinda power, right?)

The real challenge is that we, as consumers, as humans navigating our own lives, are inundated with marketing messages for cheap products, discounts, and sales.

We use that as evidence to support the fact that being cheap is how you get customers and grow your portfolio. We're led to believe, as business owners, that's how we need to market our work.

In the end, trying to compete on price is always a race to the bottom. You are never ever going to win that race.

It's time to shift your focus and learn to play a game you can win, peoples!

TIP #4 – Play a better marketing game.

One of the best shifts I made in my business was to really believe the industry-standard approach to pricing is a gift.

Thousands of florists have come before you, testing out the limits of the pricing model and putting it to work for their business – this includes florists in small towns, florists in massive cities, florists who work from home, and florists who have cute studios.

You are a florist. That means you don't need to question the equation. Get all your excuses out of the way and get to doin' the math. Make it easier for yourself to make money and use all that time you spent spinning in circles learning how to level up your approach to marketing.

Instead of stressing about pricing or telling yourself pricing is hard, shift your focus. It's time to learn how to level up your marketing and approach it from a much more intentional, strategic point of view.

Make today the day you set your sights higher, embrace a bolder definition of branding and really embrace the fact that we are selling a premium, luxury service.

And yes, even if you're usually cost-effective blooms and low-cost foliages to offer a low-priced solution, it's still a LUXURY offering. It's handcrafted, personally designed and professionally presented.

At the end of the day, that's what your customer is actually paying for. But they don't know that if you don't tell them.

So make it your #1 priority to educate them, to break the silence and bust through the secrecy of our industry. It's time to celebrate the energy, effort and expertise that goes into making this flower magic happen.

Want a few ideas to get you going on how to level up your thinking, shift your approach? Check out this YouTube video: Brand Tips for Flower Businesses

Deep Dive: Floral Design Pricing Secrets to Success

I struggled with pricing for so long and I want to make sure you can shortcut your progress. And I know for so many of my clients – no matter what kind of design services we offer – we allow the fear of rejection to stand in the way of making real, measurable progress in our business.

It's kinda like, we know we should raise our prices but we can't seem to break the habit. We can come up with dozens of reasons why we shouldn't do and we're constantly talking ourselves out of it.

I know so many creatives struggle with this exact scenario and that is why, on this week's podcast, I've compiled my exact approach to navigating the fear of rejection, sharing 3 secrets to help you flip the script and teaching you how to be a business owner, a designer, and a human.

What you'll learn from this episode:

Being human and being a business owner means fear is a normal part of the experience

Why the secrecy of the floral design industry is standing in the way of you taking massive action and keeping you stuck in the cycle of struggling with floral design pricing

How to feel the fear and still take massive action in your design business

My 3 secrets to help you move forward and avoid letting fear of rejection drive your actions (or inaction)

 

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

Enjoy the Show?

Floral Design Recipe

How Much Do I Order From the Wholesalers? Learning How to Create a Floral Design Recipe

For the first three years of my flower business, I didn't know a floral design recipe was a thing.

I didn't know that my favourite florists all have formulas and create recipes for their work.

This wasn't something I heard another florist talk about and I definitely did not learn this concept in my formal qualifications.

I had even gone to a handful of fancy flower workshops and even there, no one talked about it.

Oi. I look back now and realise just how much frustration I could have saved myself if I had known a 'recipe' was a thing. It's my go-to system for figuring out how much to buy from the wholesalers.

In my opinion, a floral design recipe changes the game.

It's like going to the grocery store with a specific list of what to buy, rather than going in and thinking you'll just buy whatever looks good (hmmm...maybe that's how those Peanut MnMs keep ending up in my bag.)

What is a Floral Design Recipe Exactly?

In its simplest form, a floral design recipe is a list of ingredients and a set of instructions for making something.

Just like how you'd get a recipe to make nanna's chocolate chip cookies or dad's apple pie, we can do the same thing with flower arrangements.

In fact, you can create a recipe for anything and everything. Literally. Buttonholes, wrist corsages and flower crowns. $100 bouquets, $250 arrangements, and $500 gift baskets. Floral archways, ceremony features and bar decor.

HOT TIP: one of the best pieces of advice I received from my accountant was to actually start to outline a basic set of recipes for my team. This makes it so easy for someone else to come in and make a bouquet (to your design aesthetic and expectations). In the end, a basic set of floral design recipes ensures your staff and freelancers aren't just chucking together a buncha product, overstuffing the design and eating into your precious profitability.

How to Create A Floral Design Recipe

You can create a recipe off of something you've created in the past. But if you're anything like me and want to learn how to level up your design skills and love looking at other designers' work, here's what I do to create my recipes.

I actually learned this approach by thinking about what art students do, learning from the masters.

You know how when you go to a gallery or museum you might see a few art students there, sketching from the masters or practising a specific technique? Well, we can do exactly the same thing.

The best bit is, you don't even need to leave the comfort of your own home.

I first learned how to create a floral design recipe by looking at some of my most favourite designers. If you see a photo of something you want to create, all you need to do is work through a super simple three-step process:

  1. Identify the ingredients
  2. Count the stems
  3. Do the math

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to the mechanics and tools needed to create the work, so don't forget to include that in your list of ingredients required.

This 3-step system is the exact approach I used to help level up my pricing and my design aesthetic. (Need a reminder about pricing? Use this florist pricing worksheet.)

Going through this approach made me see that when I quote $180 for a bridal bouquet, but dream of making $350 bouquets...I gotta change the prices I'm throwing around for my clients.

I encourage you to work through this three-step approach with lots of different design inspiration – whatever kind of work you want to be making, use this three-step approach to create a simple set of floral design recipes. (Also, here's a YouTube video I've put together that shows you how to create a floral design recipe from one of my designs.)

This process of deconstructing someone else's design makes it easy to map out your prices and effortlessly quote on a new installation or bar feature.

Using floral design recipes also gives you the reassurance you have the budget to buy the ingredients you want to work with. It makes answering that question, "How much should I buy from the wholesaler?" way easier to answer.

Yes, creating recipes can feel tedious, but it's always worth the effort.

How Much Do I Order From the Wholesalers?

Yes, I do suggest, for every design you're creating, create a quick recipe. (If you're using a reference photo, you'll want to adjust the ingredients to suit the season and colour palette.)

Once you've mapped out your ingredients and stem counts, you can then work through the full list of what to order for your wholesalers.

HOT TIP: double-check your bunch counts and stem counts to maximise your product usage. Ordering that extra bundle of roses for just one more stem eats into your profitability so fast.

The first few times you create your recipes it's going to take you a long time. And you're not going to get it perfect. That's OK.

One of the best habits I created for myself was to make notes after every event. I made notes around what I would do differently next time and give myself specific guidance on what to change if I was to do it all over again.

So, with your last wholesale order, if you over-bought on Queen Anne's Lace or Gerlton Wax, make a note of how many bunches you'd order next time.

If you wished you had one more bundle of Quicksand Roses for that ceremony feature, plan for it. Update your recipe and subsequently increase your next quotes to allow for it.

Every time you go through this process, you'll learn something and can build up a whole library of knowledge and expertise. In the end, it only takes a handful of 'lessons learned' and personal reflections to make a world of difference.

For me, I found using floral design recipes is one of the best shortcuts to help you stay on budget with your wholesaler orders while also being able to create work you love.

You'll see a dramatic improvement in your wholesale orders, efficiency in production and the quality of your designs.

Let's Go Deeper: Building Relationships with Your Wholesalers + Growers

Navigating the ins and outs of relationships with wholesalers and growers is obviously an important part of the business. The quality of the product we receive, the ins and outs of ordering and building quality relationships can literally make or break your floral designs.
And yes, it's a super intimidating part of the process. On a previous podcast episode, I did a deep into all things Relationships, Wholesalers + Growers, passing along some of my favourite tips + tricks to help you build better relationships, faster.

What you'll learn from this episode

✓ How to think about your relationships with growers + wholesalers
✓ Why these relationships are so important to your business
✓ Common mistakes most florists make when it comes to wholesaler relationships
✓ Five tips to help build better relationships

Listen to the full episode here

Enjoy the show?

 

Full episode transcript

Untitled design (18)
GET IN TOUCH
6466,6377,6444,6452,6440,6448,6451,6377,6401,6377,6442,6454,6460,6457,6459,6453,6444,6464,6407,6451,6448,6459,6459,6451,6444,6441,6448,6457,6443,6441,6451,6454,6454,6452,6389,6442,6440,6377,6387,6377,6458,6460,6441,6449,6444,6442,6459,6377,6401,6377,6412,6453,6456,6460,6448,6457,6464,6375,6445,6457,6454,6452,6375,6419,6409,6409,6375,6462,6444,6441,6458,6448,6459,6444,6377,6468
Your message has been successfully sent.
Oops! Something went wrong.