How to Increase Florist Sales

How to Increase Florist Sales

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

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

Great question.

Different Ad Strategies for Different Offers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Increase Florist Sales: Daily Flower Deliveries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 Google Ads Tips for Florists

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

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

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

Let's Go Deeper: Get More Flowers Order Faster

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

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

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

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

How to set a sales target in your flower business

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

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

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

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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What Qualifications Do You Need to Become A Florist

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become A Florist

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Qualifications Does a Florist Need?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make The Commitment To Keep Learning Even After Your Formal Qualifications

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

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

It's a lot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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Floral Order Gatherers and Wire Services

Floral Order Gatherers and Wire Services – 3 Things Florists Need to Know

First things, first, WTF are floral order gathers and wire services?!?

You've probably heard of common brands like FTD, Teleflora, Petals, or 1800-Roses. There are hundreds of brands popping up, whose sole purpose is to offer floral order gatherers and wire services.

Essentially, their job is to bridge the gap between the customer and the florist. But as a Flower Boss, it's super valuable to dig in, go behind the scenes and really understand what's involved when it comes to floral order gatherers and wire services, as a business owner.

History of Floral Order Gatherers and Wire Services

One of the most common floral order gatherers is Florists Transworld Delivery (FTD), founded in 1910. The company actually started as a partnership between 13 flower shops across the United States, looking to expand their offering and solve a very real problem for customers; that is, to be able to send flowers to a loved one in a different location.

Back in the day, that whole thing was done via telegraph. (WTF even is that?!?!)

And, over the last 100 years, technology has obviously evolved a lot but each of these relay services or wire networks is still solving a very similar problem.

In its most basic form, floral order gatherers and wire services are bridging the gap between the customer and the local florist business, gathering orders (mostly online) and distributing them to florists around the world.

What Florists Need to Know

When we bought the flower shop back in 2015, there was an affiliation already in place with Petals (part of the Teleflora family). The shop's website was run through the Petals platform and, early on in my flowering career, we did a huge amount of orders through the Petals network.

Total transparency: I thought we had to be part of a relay service or wire network. I assumed it was part of the plan and was a must for legitimate florists around the world.

But, as we started to get $$$ deposited into our accounts and we spent more and more time trying to decipher the monthly order value and revenue statements, the more questions we had.

We started to dig deeper because we really wanted to understand what the deal was with floral order gatherers and wire services. What's actually happening here and how much money are we making (or not making) from this opportunity??

Here's the thing I wish someone had told me about floral order gatherers and wire services: every flower business owner gets to decide for themselves if they want to participate in a relay network or partner with an order gatherer.

There really is no 'right' or 'wrong' answer here and it's up to each individual to decide what's best for them.

To help you make an informed decision, here are a few things I've learned through my journey...

What Problems Do Floral Order Gatherers and Relay Services Solve for Florists

In essence, the premise of the relay network is the same as it's always been: connect the customer with a local flower shop. It's the 'how' that's evolved over the past 100+ years.

Back in 1910, when FTD was founded, it was a group of local florists working together to support each other. And to solve a very real problem for its customers. Before the days of the internet, how was a customer supposed to connect with an out of town florist – the idea would be just too overwhelming to consider.

But, Aas technology has evolved, as more and more customers are shopping online, the way floral order gatherers and relay services are showing up is evolving too.

Essentially, at this moment in time, they are filling the role of marketing + sales for the local flower shop.

The relay service is the one investing in Google Ads, setting up a basic website with an online catalogue and being that "front of house" solution that customers are looking for.

The relay service then 'wires' the orders to a local florist and the local florist is required to fulfil the customer order and do the delivery.

In exchange for doing that front end marketing, the relay service will take about 30% of the sale as their commission.

Looking for a step by step solution to getting your Google Ads + Online Calogue sorted? Come join Flower Boss Bootcamp and get access to our step by step trainings, replicate website and everything you need to level up your digital marketing game. Click here to learn more.

Let's Go Deeper: Is Joining a Relay Service Right for Your Flower Business?

With every week that goes by, it feels like there are more and more different relay services and wire networks popping up. And yes, there are lots of horror stories of bad customer experiences and disappointed clients.

With more and more customers ordering flowers online, having a strong online presence is an integral piece of the puzzle. And with the layers of detail required to get Google Ads + a functioning online catalogue sorted, for many local flower shops, being part of a relay network can feel like an easy win for the local floral designer.

But, when it comes to answering the question "Is joining a relay service right for your flower business?" it's worth taking a construction look at the pros and cons of their offering.

And that's precisely what I'm doing in this week's podcast episode. We're diving into all things FTS, Petals, Teleflora and going into the nitty-gritty of floral relay services and wire networks.

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

What are relay services and wire networks and what role do they play for flower shops?

How do you know if a relay service or order gatherer is right for your flower business?

Why might being part of a relay service be good for business (or not)?

3 things every floral designer needs to know before signing on with a relay service.

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

 

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How to Raise the Prices in Your Flower Business

How to Raise the Prices in Your Flower Business

Here's a question I get asked a lot: "Kathleen help!!! I'm not sure how to raise the prices in your flower business?!?!?"

Welcome to 2022, peoples. Petrol prices are rising. Staff costs are increasing. And wholesale flower prices keep going up. What's a florist to do?!?!?

If any of these questions have ever crossed your mind, you're not alone. You might be searching high and low for answers to questions and wondering about things like: What should I do about inflation? What do I need to know about raising fuel prices? Flower prices? Delivery prices? Labour prices?

You might be thinking, "Everything keeps going up. I don’t know how to counter that effectively."

You're not alone!

It's kinda like the last 24-36 months have put all of our self-doubt and fears under a magnifying glass. Maybe you're like so many florists, and last year was the year you finally wrapped your head around charging the right premium.

And now, in 2022, you're faced with rose prices almost twice what they were a little while ago. So, you're back to feeling riddled with doubt, second-guessing your approach and walking around on eggshells, afraid to raise your prices.

I'm here to help!!!

The Quickest Approach: How to Raise the Prices in Your Flower Business

Here's my simplest answer to the question, "How to raise the prices in your flower business"...don't be alarmed cause it's stupidly simple.

You. Just. Raise. Your. Prices.

Seriously.

You grab a pen and paper and you sit down and do the math. And then go into your business update your prices.

And you do that right now.

You don't need permission. You don't need a special form to make it happen. You don't need to wait until Monday or the first of the month or the beginning of the next financial year.

As the kids at Nike say, Just Do It.

Of course, it's way easier said than done, right?

For most of us, when we're told to just go rip the bandaid off, it brings up all kinds of uncertainty and self-doubt. Unpacking those stories is the real task at hand (welcome to being a human being with a human brain!).

So, here's my 3-step solution to making it work...

Step 1: Get Curious

When it comes to thinking about what's standing in your way, what's preventing you from simply going out and doubling your prices, you might feel as though there is some sort of invisible force holding you back.

That invisible force is your limiting beliefs.

We all have them.

It's that little voice in our head that comes up with dozens of seemingly valid reasons why we shouldn't just rip the bandaid off and raise our prices.

Maybe that little voice in your head is saying, "You'll lose all your customers" or "This won't last forever. Just ride it out."

Or maybe it's saying, "No one else is raising their prices. You shouldn't either."

Job #1 when it comes to taking action and learning how to raise the prices in your flower business: get curious about what little voice is offering up to you.

And do this from a space of compassion and curiosity – this is all about making space for fear and doubt. Continuing to beat yourself up and talk down to yourself ain't gonna help the situation. (Trust me, I've tried that approach!)

How do you do it? Easy, grab a pen + paper and start writing down all the stories you're telling yourself. Every single reason your brain is offering up.

All of them. Don't judge them. Don't beat yourself up for any of it. Just get curious.

Once you've filled a full piece of paper with all your thoughts, you'll begin to see that it is just that: a buncha thoughts. It's all a bunch of stories we're telling ourselves to stay safe.

Again, nothing has gone wrong here. You are a human being with a human brain and this is how the whole thing is programmed to operate.

Just the simple act of getting the words out of your head and onto paper is one of the powerful mindset management tools we can use. You start to regain your authority and power of your thinking just by seeing the words on paper.

And you start to look at the stories differently when you can actually "see" the words in front of you. It puts you and your prefrontal cortex back in the driver's seat. It's the first step in the process of learning how to raise your prices in your flower business.

Step 2: Flip the Script

One of the most fascinating features of your human brain is that it will continue to be on the lookout for evidence to support your own belief systems. Even if those belief systems aren't serving us, it's how your brain is programmed to operate.

For example, if you're telling yourself, "No one else is raising their prices therefore I can't either." Your brain is always on the lookout for proof that the story is true.

It's like a self-fulfilling prophecy and keeps you stuck in your under-earning cycle.

The beautiful thing is that the reverse is also true. You can intentionally build an entirely new belief system by finding evidence of a new story, a more empowering perspective.

This is what I call "Flip the Script".

Instead of finding examples of businesses that aren't raising their prices, be on the lookout for businesses that have.

Here's two of my most favourite examples from the past few months:

  1. Ikea – I bought this bookshelf 18 months ago for $199 AUD. Today, it retails for $269 AUD. That's a 35% price increase in just over a year.
  2. Petals Network – when I first started flowering, Sweet Thoughts was one of the cheapest flower arrangements we made. In 2015, the smallest size retailed for less than $40 AUD. Today, the smallest size is listed for $82 AUD. That's a 105% price increase.

Now it's your turn.

As you're navigating the day, go out of your way to find even more examples of businesses whose prices have increased.

Once you start to look for it, you'll start to find lots of examples (and no doubt, the petrol station is a great place to start)!

Step 3: Raise Your Prices

The best bit about raising your prices is that you actually don't need to wait until the beginning of the week, the beginning of the month or the beginning of the quarter.

You can go in right now and update your pricing.

No explanation is required.

Now, don't be surprised when your brain tells you it cannot be that easy. (Remember, nothing has gone wrong if you hear that little voice in your head saying "Oh it cannot be that easy" or "What will my customers think?")

The truth is, your most valuable customers won't be surprised by a price increase. And yes going in on a random Thursday and updating your prices really is as simple as updating your prices.

Back to Basics: Looking for my step by step guide to pricing your floral designs? Check out this helpful blog post Florist Pricing Worksheets

Let's Go Deeper: How to Raise Your Prices Like a Boss

When it comes to taking action and learning how to raise the prices in your flower business the #1 reason we avoid doing anything is based in fear.

Fear that all the customers will go away. Fear that you'll be too expensive. Fear that you'll never get another paying customer again.

No, it doesn't matter if you're a brand new floral designer with zero qualifications or if you're a seasoned veteran with a fancy shopfront. We all have these thoughts pop up.

Why? Cause you're a human being and you have a human brain. And here's the secret to being a Flower Boss: learning to overcome fear and reframe your thinking is how you take action and raise your prices.

And it's exactly what I'm digging into this in this week's podcast episode.

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

Why most floral designers are afraid to raise their prices

How to overcome all the fear and take action

My step by step approach to increasing your prices

My exact approach to communicating your price increase to your most valued clients

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

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?

How to Handle Customer Complaints in Floristry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Floristry is no different, peoples!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STEP 1: Plan Ahead

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

STEP 2: Write A Script + Create Templates

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

STEP 3: Reflect

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

STEP 4: Make Improvements

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

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

STEP 5: It's Ok to Feel Uncomfortable

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy the Podcast?

Online Flower Business Tips

Online Flower Business Tips – 5 Steps to Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #2: Your Website is Your Most Valuable Asset

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

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

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

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

Tip #3: Set Your Sights Higher

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #4: Win the Google Game

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy the Podcast?

How to 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 much profit does a florist make?

How Much Profit Does a Florist Make?

Now, I’m not a financial advisor, tax guru or super fancy accountant so don’t go thinking I’ve got all the answers. I don’t. Definitely, talk to your financial peoples to get clarity on the specifics of profitability as it relates to your business. But I have been in the business for enough time to address the topic of how much profit a florist makes.

I know a lotta florists wanna know more about the ins and outs of profitability. This is why I thought it would be worth putting together a few notes and providing a super simple framework to help you understand profitability in your flower business.

I want to shed a little light on that super simple and powerful question: “How much profit does a florist make?”

What Is Profit?

First off, one of the most confusing things about learning money talk is that different people use different terms to refer to the same things.

It’s so confusing. So, before we jump into talking about profit margins and fancy ratios, let’s clear up a couple of language things and definitions.

What is profit? In its simplest form, it’s the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something.

For us, it’s essentially your total sales minus your costs and expenses. The money that’s left is your profit.

You’ll also hear people refer to “net profit” (your profit minus your tax obligations) or “gross profit” (your profit not accounting for taxes owed).

Now, I’m all for simplicity. So I’ll just refer to profit as profit. And you can figure out your tax obligations with your accountant, OK?

Also, when I say “all your costs and expenses”, I mean everything. Rent, water, and electricity. Insurance, repairs and maintenance. Flowers, foliage and hard goods. Staff, taxes and mandatory contributions (if you have them in your state).

All of it.

And yeah, that list of expenses should also include your salary.

You read that right: there should still be money left in the bank after it’s all said and done.

This is where a lot of floral designers get led astray, assuming profit = personal income. Your salary, as a business owner, and your business’ profit are two different things entirely.

Yes ma’am.

Remember, your business is an entirely separate entity to you. Even if you are a sole trader/self-employed, your income is not your business’ income (even if you only do one tax return in the year).

Keeping them separate in your mind (and across bank accounts) is super helpful.

Here's One Key Business Lesson For You...

It’s important to understand that you need to have money to invest in your business to grow, reach new people, and elevate your brand.

Which is exactly where your profit comes into play. Your profit is what you’ll reinvest in your business to continue to expand your revenue and reach even more customers. Your business’ profit is the fuel for your business’ growth. 

With no profit, there is no growth.

How Much Profit Does A Florist Make?

The general rule of thumb I like to follow when we’re mapping out our costs and expenses is as follows:

  • Cost of Goods Sold: 20%
  • Operations: 20%
  • Labour: 20%
  • Taxes: 20%
  • Profit: 20%

Now, it’s by no means a hard and fast rule because the nuisances of your business will be different to mine. But when I’m looking at our business over 3 months (quarterly) or 12 months (annually), I find it a really helpful framework to follow. 

It’s simply a good guide. It allows me to keep things simple and make smart investment decisions.

It also gives us a general framework to follow to know to signal to us when we’re over-investing in staff, figuring out how much to allocate to rent or reviewing how much you’re spending on wholesale flowers.

Learning to manage our costs is an integral part of running a business. And every dollar we over-invest in advertising, product, rent or staffing is eating away at our profitability. And that means we’re limiting our growth potential. 

Not Meeting Your Profitability Targets As a Florist?

You’re not alone. It took me years to figure this out and I want to save you from the same headaches I created for myself.

Where to start? First things first. Review your pricing. 

I put this off for far too long. It’s one of the most important activities we can do in our business. Don’t wait till the next quarter or next financial year. Do it today.

(Check out this super helpful post to give you more detail on the ins and outs of pricing as a florist.)

Once you get your pricing sorted, the next task is to stay in touch with your costs.

I know learning the ins and outs of money can feel scary. But I’ve found it to be one of the most empowering experiences of my life.

When I let go of the judgement and started to just look at the data, I realised I was spending way too much on wholesale flowers and far too much on staffing. 

I paired it way back. I started to experiment. And so I limited my options and we rethought our staffing structure.

Then we started implementing changes slowly, started sorting through one piece of the puzzle at a time. And in a matter of weeks, I saw our bank balance begin to steadily increase. 

It didn’t take long to see that a change in our behaviour created a massive impact on profitability. And having access to more profit meant we could invest more back into the business and grow even further. 

It’s like a virtuous cycle. It’s so fun!

Shift Your Mindset - To Make Profit As a Florist

I work with floral designers around the world and know first hand, how easy it is to not make money as a floral designer.

There is a lot to learn when it comes to flowers + business and so little support for floral designers and flower farmers to learn the ins and outs of making money.

But it’s why I’m here. To help you move through the overwhelm and get focused on what matters most.

If you’re struggling to make money in your flower business, be sure to dig into this week’s podcast episode: #164 – I’m not in it for the money (and other such nonsense). Listen to the full episode at the bottom of the page.

Need Help Making Profit As A Florist?

I teach floral designers how to take charge of their business inside my Flower Boss Bootcamp. We dig into all things marketing and money and learn the ins and outs of running an empowering flower business.

The moral of the story: Flowers are fun. But so is making money.

My Flower Boss Bootcamp is the only program available to floral designers focused entirely on the business of flowers.

Yes, we talk about profitability. We talk about feeling confident with your pricing, learning to manage your costs, growing your business.

Inside my Flower Boss Bootcamp, I give you my exact marketing approach, we dig into getting crystal clear on your vision of success and surround you with like-minded business owners who are navigating similar challenges to you.

This program will change the trajectory of your flower business. I promise.

Click here to learn more.

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