In November 2017, I had a total meltdown. It was early on a rainy Monday morning and I had had enough. I wish I could turn back the clock and do things so differently. I wish I had this list of 5 things I did to grow my flower business
On that Monday morning, I had just wrapped up an epic 5-wedding weekend and I was going through the motions of setting up a beautiful funeral service.
I will never forget that moment because what was happening around me was so beautiful, so perfect.
We had the honour of creating a custom funeral design using flowers from the family’s garden. He was an avid gardener and I had free reign. This was every florist’s dream and was such an incredibly special moment.
I was so overcome by the emotion of this experience, touched by this opportunity and the beauty of the situation. And absolutely rocked to the core by the weekend I had just wrapped up.
I was standing in the centre of the garden thinking, “Kathleen this is what you want to be doing. This is the magic of floral design.” Simultaneously I was feeling so deflated by the weekend that has just passed.
The truth is, I had taken on too much. I was saying yes to every client that came my way and I felt pulled in 15 directions.
I knew I couldn’t go on like that for much longer. I was exhausted. I didn’t like most of the work I was creating. I barely knew my clients. I couldn’t remember one bride from the next.
It was too much. I told myself, “Enough is enough, Kathleen. You’ve been chasing someone else’s version of success for too long. It’s time to step up.”
And step up I did. From that moment forward, I knew I needed to change how I approached my business. I needed to get clear on my vision and take action. In other words, I needed to become a Flower Boss.
5 THINGS I DID TO GROW MY FLOWER BUSINESS
If you’re feeling frustrated in your flower business, you’re not alone. I’ve been there. And I’ve seen it happen to so many of my peers.
We find ourselves following the crowd, doing what we think we’re supposed to do to build up our flower business and then one day you wake up and wonder, “How the heck did I get here?”
It’s so easy to see why we’re called to work with flowers. Our passion and drive get us going. But before long, we realise we’re travelling a path that isn’t what we actually want. You’re exhausted, deflated and wondering if you have what it takes to figure this out.
Looking back now, I realise I didn’t have the full picture. So much of what is talked about in our industry is the beauty, the design, the flowers.
But the business of flowers, how to make money as a florist, that is kept under lock and key. I know now, that was what was missing for me.
I had to learn how to build a business for longevity rather than riding the high from week to week, pushing myself beyond exhaustion and crossing my fingers it would all work out.
Of course, if I could wind back the clock and have a do-over, there are so many things I would do differently.
Here are the 5 things I did to grow my flower business, to go from a totally burned out exhausted floral designer to the CEO and Flower Boss of a thriving business.
#1 – GOT CLEAR ON MY VERSION OF SUCCESS
I stopped trying to live up to someone else’s vision. I took time to reflect and asked myself, “If I could wave a magic wand, what does my dream flower business look like?”
Then, I slowly untangled myself from everything that wasn’t on that list.
It wasn’t an immediate shift. It took a while. But within a matter of months, I finally saw the light. I stopped saying yes to weddings that didn’t fit a specific set of criteria. I sorted out my ingredients selection and stopped allowing my customers to drive the designs we created.
#2 – SORTED OUT OUR PRICING
I had never sat down and actually done the math to figure out how much I should be charging for a bridal bouquet or how much those hospital arrangements should be priced at.
I had been running in reactive mode for so long and I knew I was undercharging and over-stuffing.
I took the time to properly price out every stem in our shop, to create a price list for the kind of wedding work I wanted to be making and we did the math on what we should be charging for deliveries.
The beauty with this is, although it was tedious at the time, you only have to go through that process once to see you’re missing out on a lot of money. Those numbers stick with you for a long time and make it easy to step up your game.
#3 – LEARNED HOW TO SELL LIKE A BOSS
I used to believe all my customers cared about was the price. I thought being cheap was how you got clients and built a portfolio.
Once we got our pricing sorted, I realised why I wasn’t making money. I embraced the discomfort of raising our prices, which then forced me to learn how to become better at sales.
It turns out, yes, customers do have a budget in mind, but getting the lowest price isn’t their biggest concern.
What do they care about? Value. Quality of service. The reassurance you’re going to do what you say you’re going to do and show up when you say you’re going to show up.
Learning how to sell anything to anyone is a must for every floral designer. It’s what changed the game for me and allowed me to book wedding clients without doing formal consultations and easily navigate sales conversions with our customers.
#4 – DOUBLED-DOWN ON DIGITAL MARKETING
Yes, we had a fancy shop front. Yes, it was beautiful and an amazing space to connect with our local community.
But it’s also a money pit. If 2020 has taught florists one thing is that’s having a shopfront isn’t a guarantee for making money.
More people are connecting with businesses online and that means your digital marketing presence is more important than ever.
We invested a huge amount of time learning about Google Ads, search engine optimization, Instagram hashtags and making it easy for our customers to buy from us online.
We even learned how to sell wedding flowers online and how to get found by our dream clients on Instagram, without stressing about the algorithm or chasing after followers.
#5 – FOCUSED ON CREATING SCALABLE SYSTEMS + HIRING THE RIGHT PEOPLE
At one point in my business, I assumed growing my team meant having more qualified florists around. Once we started to document our processes and map out our systems, I realised how much more important it is to hire for fit than to hire based on experience.
Having the right people around you, with the right training programs and clear expectations makes a world of difference.
I stopped caring about people’s work experience or qualifications and started connecting with potential staff members based on their alignment with our values and support of our vision.
We then got to work documenting as much as we could in our business – how to do the market unpack, how to process flowers, our go-to recipes for a $60 shop bouquet, an example phone script, our suggested formats for event table arrangements and how to navigate wedding enquiries.
We spent a year pulling all this together and mapping out our own expectations so everyone on our team knew what was in my head. Yes, it took a while but it was worth it. It made everyone’s job so much easier.
WANT MORE? I GO EVEN DEEPER ON THIS WEEK’S PODCAST EPISODE
If you like these 5 things I did to grow my flower business, you'll love this week's podcast episode. I’m sharing more helpful guidance on building a successful flower business and teaching you how to create a thriving flower business. Listen to the episode using the Spotify player below.
STOP WONDERING WHAT ALL THE SUCCESSFUL FLORISTS KNOW THAT YOU DON’T.
You can do this. I know you can. Stop second-guessing your abilities and limping along from week to week.
You don't need to keep giving away your work or stretching yourself too thin. You are a good enough designer. You can make this work. You just need a blueprint to make it happen.
My Flower Boss Bootcamp teaches you exactly how to do that.
It’s time to put yourself back in the driver’s seat, get back in control of your business and unlock your potential. Sign up for my Flower Boss Bootcamp and get my blueprint for creating a successful flower business.
You can do this. I can help.
LISTEN TO THIS WEEK'S PODCAST EPISODE
Go beyond the 5 things I did to grow my flower business and learn even more helpful, practical advice to create a better flower business. Listen using the Spotify player below or click here to jump over to Apple Podcast.