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

 

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10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business

10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Actually, Just Before We Begin...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business

#1 – Branding

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

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

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

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

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

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

#2 – Define Your Offer

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

I did that for three years. It was awful.

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

Oi. That just feels hard.

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

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

#3 – Create Your Set Menu

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

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

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

It leads to disappointed customers. And disappointed florists.

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

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

#4 – Focus On Your Website

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

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

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

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

#5 – Sales Systems

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

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

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

#6 – Share Your Knowledge with Your Customers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#9 – Build Your Flower Family

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

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

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

#10 – Get Coaching

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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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

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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

 

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Profitable Flower Business

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

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

Hitting Reset to Create a Profitable Flower Business

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

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

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

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

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

Profitable Flower Business: Basic Business Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another Note about Setting Up a Profitable Flower Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

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How to Wedding Florist Consults

How to Wedding Florist Consults With Ease – 5 Questions to Ask Your Clients

Struggling to figure how to wedding florist consults? Here's my go-to approach to making it easier for you (and your prospective clients)!

In 2018, I must have held the record for most wedding consults done and the least number of bookings made.

When it came to figuring out finding answers on "how to wedding florist consults" I was so lost!

Seriously. It felt like a crazy hamster wheel where I would show up for the consult, ask the questions, tell them I'd send them the quote and then either get ghosted or finally hear back that they went with someone cheaper. It was happening to me every single week.

Overcoming that challenge taught me so much and, most importantly, it got me to question how I was consulting my client consults and finding new, more efficient ways to do things.

Since that time, I've really mastered the art of the wedding enquiry process and started to really see that the process of how to wedding florist consult itself isn't the end-all, be-all. Rather, it's just one step in the customer experience we're providing our clients. It's like that one meeting is simply one piece of a bigger sales process, an experience you're providing your clients.

Rule #1: There Is No One 'Right' Way To Do Consults

We all have different strengths and different personalities. Don't shy away from that and don't assume that someone else's template is going to fit you perfectly.

Instead, I want you to think about your wedding consultation process as something that is intrinsically yours, built on your strengths and structure in a way that makes it easy for you to navigate.

Make your wedding flower consult process your own and, remember, you can forever be refining it, changing it and adjusting it.

Below, I've mapped out my five favourite questions to ask clients during a consultation – feel free to use them, try them out for yourself. But also, don't feel you must stick to this formula. Make the questions your own. Play around with the specific words you use and the order you sort through the details with.

At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember when it comes to wedding consults is that this is about building a relationship. You want to show up with professionalism and focus on building trust, really getting to know your clients and understanding what makes them tick.

As crazy as it sounds, how you navigate your consultations can set you up for a huge amount of creative freedom. If you can get a sense from your clients about their vision for the day, their priorities, what they're worried about and really dig into their priorities, you'll get such a clear picture of where you can push the creative experience and where you need to stick to a specific box.

BONUS TIP: Not sure what to include on your wedding flower enquiry form? Check out this YouTube Video: 3 Questions Every Florist Should Include On Their Enquiry Form

How to Wedding Florist Consults: 5 Questions to Ask Your Clients

QUESTION 1: Paint me a vision for the day. How do you see the day unfolding?

I like to lead with this question for two reasons: yes, it's helpful to get them to explain how they see their day going. But just as important: get them talking, have them share their vision and dedicate a bit of time getting comfortable with one another at the beginning of the session.

This question is all about setting the tone for the consult and building rapport. Your clients are as nervous as you are. Use the first 5-10 minutes to settle in, generate excitement and build that personal connection.

QUESTION 2: What are you most excited about on your wedding day?

This one question is incredibly powerful because it shows you where their values are and what really matters to the two of them.

A word of warning: don't be surprised if they aren't quite sure or they each have sort of conflicting ideas of what matters.

Not having a clear answer to this question is super common and in fact, it presents you with the opportunity to become truly indispensable.

Be the one who helps them sort out their priorities and they will take your guidance and input on all the things (particularly when it comes to prioritising budgets, colour palettes and flowers to feature).

Don't be shy about sharing your point of view and bringing them back to the task at hand: prioritisation.

QUESTION 3: What is your budget?

Yes, talking about money can feel uncomfortable but this one question serves your clients as much as it serves you.

This is one area I really shied away from in the early years of my business. I didn't want to talk about money and I didn't want to feel the awkwardness. But I know, my hesitation to talk about budgets is one of the reasons I wasted so much time and got ghosted by so many clients.

Now, just like you, most humans hate talking about money. This is true for your clients as well.

Your clients are going to feel embarrassed to bring it up and might even be filled with a sense of shame because they are convinced they don't have enough money (this is true no matter how small or big their budget is).

HOT TIP: I like to include this question on their initial enquiry form to avoid that uber awkward first money conversation. It's much easier to repeat the information from their initial enquiry form than it is to have them be the first to throw their hat into the ring.

At the end of the day, 99% of our clients don't have enough money to afford their entire wish list (that's why it's called a wish list, right?).

That's OK. Remember, you are the expert. You're there to help. Make it your goal to pass along your guidance and expertise and give them the information they need for them to make the right decision for them.

QUESTION 4: What is stressing you out the most?

This question is there to really built trust and create a better bond between you and your clients.

I've found that most couples getting married don't feel like they have enough people advocating for them, cheering them on or giving them the support to make decisions from a place of empowerment. Instead, they're trying to make sure they're not hurting anyone's feelings or hoping mum doesn't blow a gasket when she hears how much that archway is.

Become your client's #1 fan and be their #1 cheer person. They'll love you for it!

In addition to building a better bond with your clients, this question is really helpful to give you a bit of a heads up as to what to watch for on the big day.

Weddings bring up all sorts of emotions for all of us and it's helpful for us to know what we're walking into on the big day, right?

For example, it's super helpful to know if the bride is super stressed about being the centre of attention or if one of the pair is dreading what their Aunt Judy is going to do on the dancefloor.

Shortcut your progress and get access to the full suite of templates + how to guides with my Wedding Enquiry Masterclass. This course is part of the Flower Boss Bootcamp study vault. Join today and fast track your enquiry process!

QUESTION 5: If you could ask me anything, what would it be?

Yep. Give them a few minutes to ask any questions they might have. And give them permission to ask anything (quite literally, tell them it's OK if they think it sounds silly).

Remember, your clients haven't done this before (or if they have, they did 10+ years ago).

Be patient and shower them in kindness. A the end of the day, I have found this approach really does help set the foundation for being able to create an even bigger, better 'wow' client experience on the day.

Go Deeper: Wedding Consults Like a BOSS

It's normal to feel super intimated and overwhelmed navigating wedding consults. Most of us spend a lot of time worrying about how to respond to questions like "how many weddings have you done before?" or "show me your portfolio?"

We stay stuck, paralysed by our own insecurities and are afraid we're going to get called out as a fraud, feeling like an imposter. This is a totally normal human response when we're doing new things.

The remedy: create a plan for success.

Yes. When it comes to how to wedding florist consults, there is a simple formula to follow.

And it doesn't need to be super-duper complicated.

In this week's podcast episode I'm sharing some of my favourite principles for sorting through your approach to conducting wedding consult and giving you the tools to show up like a Boss at your next consult.

What you'll learn from this episode:

Why most florists approach how to wedding florist consults backwards (and how to make sure you're not!)

My five-part wedding consult framework

The fastest way to win a client's trust and book better clients – even if you're new

My #1 tip for showing up with confidence at your next wedding flower consult

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript


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Flower Shop Operations

Flower Shop Operations – 3 Tips for Increasing Profitability This Week

Let's talk flower shop operations and profitability!!! It's one of my favourite topics!

Here's the thing. Running a flower business is hard work. And, like every other business on the planet, it's really easy to not make money.

It took me a few years to really settle in and find my grove for all things flower shop operations and now it's one of my most favourite areas of floristry to teach about. It's unsexy AF, but it really does make the difference between riding the struggle bus and setting yourself up to run a thriving business.

There are three big things we did in our flower shop operations that really changed the game for us, and instead of you feeling like you need to create all your own systems + processes from scratch, staring at the blank page and just feeling so overwhelmed by the idea of having to create more processes, I wanted to distil it down into three easy actions and simple ideas to get you real results faster.

In economics, there is a guiding principle that states: 80% of the output is driven by 20% of the actions. This is called Pareto's Principle.

It definitely applies to flower shop operations and it's one of the lessons I come back to time and time again, believing that 80% of your business can be run if you get 20% of your systems sorted.

It's just a matter of making sure you know which systems are more important than others (cause y'all don't have time to do it all, right?).

Very specifically, when it comes to flower shop operations and how to use systems to increase your profitability, here are the three places I'd focus on first:

  1. Staffing
  2. Wholesale Orders
  3. Maximising Product Usage

(If you're struggling with the basics, and want to get your pricing sorted, be sure to check out these two resources (1) Flower Pricing Worksheets and (2) How to Price Flower Bouquets – YouTube Video)

Flower Shop Operations Tip 1: Smart Staffing Solutions

One of the biggest challenges (and opportunities) of living in a small town is that you don't have access to the same talent pool as in the big city. In hindsight, I now see this as such an incredible blessing because it forced us to look at our staffing totally differently.

We had to get creative with who we hired and how we staffed our flower business. We didn't have access to dozens of highly trained, experienced florists and that required that we look at our structure differently.

As we were sorting through our staffing challenges, I realised that not all tasks in a flower shop are created equal. For example, writing out card messages, processing new flowers from the market and sweeping the floor don't require special training or qualifications.

Yes, you need to train staff on your expectations and how things need to be done but with the right attitude and hiring for cultural fit, many of our day to day flower shop operation tasks can be passed along to a capable, inexperienced lovely human.

I vividly remember pausing one day, taking a little time to look at what each one of our team members was doing and seeing how disjointed it was. We had our most talented designers doing things that others could do and we had team members who were awesome at customer service stuck behind the workbench all day, not engaging with customers at all.

It all came to a head one Mother's Day (this is like when all the holes are put under the microscope). I remember sitting down and thinking, "I have to plan this differently." So we decided to shift our perspective and divide the tasks into 'front of house' and 'back of house'.

Rather than have a designer handle an order from the phone call, to ingredients selection, design and on to packaging and delivery, we broke the whole process down into smaller steps. This gave us the opportunity to get the best people on the job doing customer service and taking orders and have your best designers, designing. Then, you can set up a system for wrapping, packaging, writing cards and organising deliveries.

It's kinda like in a restaurant. The process of making a meal is broken down into stages and you have a mix of staff members, support resources, and chefs navigating a specific series of steps to make it easy for the whole team to follow. The person who takes the order from the customer isn't the same person who makes the meal and probably not the same person who cleans the kitchen.

In short, we flipped the traditional model to flower shop staffing on its side and came at it from a totally different perspective. This allowed us to hire a range of staff, fill the gaps where they needed to be filled, level up our training processes and maximise our profit.

It meant we were no longer doubling up on expensive staff at all hours of the day and we could hire more junior employees, train them up and deliver a great experience to our customers.

Tip 2: Better Wholesale Ordering Processes

When you run a flower shop it's easy to spend a lot of money on product that just ends up in the bin. It's like a long, roundabout way of taking cash out of the ATM throwing it in the trash.

Yes, we all get sucked in by the new, beautiful flowers showing up at the market each week and get tempted to buy a little bit too much of that or too much of this.

It's like the impact is x100 when you run a flower shop because you're bringing in new flowers every day and/or every other day (or at least once per week). $100 overspending with each wholesale order adds up really quickly when you're buying at this frequency.

When it comes to sorting out better wholesale ordering, I started out by creating a system for tracking product wastage (i.e. a piece of paper where we wrote down what was going in the bin).

At the end of each week, I could tally it up and see just how much wastage we were creative (and how much money was going in the trash). That one exercise compelled me to come up with a better process for ordering flowers.

What I ended up doing was, rather than staring at a blank page and coming up with a brand new wholesale order each week, I looked at what we ordered the previous week, cut down on the order depending on how much wastage we had and plan more strategically.

(I even took it so far as to write out my order and then go back and shave off 20% of the flowers, just to see how little flowers we needed to navigate the week. It's a remarkably eye-opening exercise that has a dramatic impact on your bank account.)

The results were amazing and as I did this, over the course of just a few weeks, I started to see that there really was a 'standard order' I could place with our wholesalers and then add in a few delights here and there.

This one system had a knock-on effect for so many areas of our business because it also made pricing was so much easier (no need to keep supplying new price lists to staff with all the new flowers we were getting in every week) and the designs that were going out of our shop were so much more consistent. It was a total win-win!

Tip 3: Maximising Product Usage

One of the super simple systems we put in place to help increase profitability for our flower shop operations was to create an 'orphan bucket'. As we were unpacking the cool room and cleaning up each night we'd gather the stray stems, the random one snapdragon here, the two last roses here and pull them together into a bucket.

We'd place that bucket on the workbench and whoever was starting orders first would work through that orphan bucket, using up loose stems as they worked through the pile of flower orders.

This one process really helped us maximise product usage but it also turned it into a game for all our designers. Yes, there was something to celebrate when we finished up the orphan bucket but what was even more fun was the challenge of being able to still create something lovely with 1 snapdragon and two miss-matched gerberas.

It pushes your design skills but also helps increase your profitability.

Another Awesome Shortcut: Create Floral Design Formulas

One of the best shortcuts we created in our business was to come up with "a formula" for our floral design.

Yes. You read that right.

I spent so much time spinning my wheels, second-guessing all the things and staring at the blank page (or empty workbench) thinking I had to create brand new designs from scratch every time out. I wasted so much time but it also meant we didn't have a consistent 'look' to our designs.

That experience is double stressful when you have customers standing there waiting for their order, the pressure seems like x100. Time just slows down to a molasses pace and you feel like every pair of eyes is just staring at you, right?

And then even as you're designing, trying to stick to your costings, we're all tempted to over-stuff, add in more ingredients and just keep adding in more stems because we want it to meet our expectations.

The idea of creating a flower formula is one of the easiest ways to cut through the overwhelm and make it easier to a create a consistent look. It's like being able to bridge the gap between your vision + design aesthetic and the final recipe or wholesale order you place.

I go through the process of creating flower formulas on this week's podcast episode, giving you my step by step, a how-to guide for you to take this concept and implement it in your business.

I'd love for you to take this concept, put it to work and make it your own peoples!

What you'll learn from this episode:

What a floral design formula is and the exact process to creating one for your designs

My #1 tip for scaling your design work and making it easier to train new staff

How to stop over-stuffing and set up a system to make it easier to manage profitability (with every order!)

Real-world floral design formulas and frameworks you can use in your business

Listen to the full episode here

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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

 

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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

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