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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How to Sell Floral Subscriptions in 2022

How to sell floral subscriptions in 2022

Wondering how to sell floral subscriptions in 2022? You're in the right place!

Floral subscriptions are definitely rising in popularity. Florists are recognising that having a set, recurring income is awesome. Customers are recognising that having flowers in their workspace or on the kitchen island is awesome.

It's the definition of win-win, right?

And from the outside, selling floral subscriptions feels like it should be simple. It's like "Who wouldn't want to have flowers delivered to their house regularly?"

It's easy learning how to sell floral subscriptions in 2022 should be super basic, right?

After you've gone through all the effort of getting the subscription tech sorted on your website, you step out into the big bad world and tell a few people about it.

Maybe you mention it to a few friends or family members. And then you sit back and wait for the orders to come rolling in...

...But all you hear are crickets. Nada. Nothing.

Maybe you've had a handful of customers pop on from now and then, but it's not the rush of revenue you thought it would be.

You're left feeling frustrated, wondering how everyone else makes it look so easy but you're left wondering what you're missing, wondering "WTF am I missing?"

Maybe you've even Google "How to sell floral subscriptions in 2022?" (Well hello there. Nice to see you too!)

Let's get into it!

I'm here to share a few helpful tips to make it easier for you to sell floral subscriptions this year!

Back to Basics: What is a Floral Subscription?

(I know it might seem obvious, but just in case the whole concept is new to you.)

Just like the name states, a floral subscription is a regular, recurring flower delivery you make to a customer. It might be a corporate client who received flowers for a reception table every week. Or it might be for a family of four to put on their kitchen table every week.

Typically, the frequency of the delivery is weekly, fortnightly or once per month. But there are no real set rules around timing.

Some florists require their clients to sign a contract, locking them into a specific window of time. Others allow their clients to navigate subscriptions on a self-serve basis, meaning they can go into their account and pause their order, update their details and change their information. (It's kinda like if you signed up for a CSA or weekly veggie delivery. The customer sets up their account info and then has total control over the details and delivery.)

What's the Most Common Mistake Florists Make in Offering Subscriptions?

One of the most common mistakes I see florists making when it comes to how to sell floral subscriptions in 2022, is offering up too many choices and too many options for their customers.

Most of us would assume that giving our customers choices, leaving the possibilities open, will lead to increased revenue.

But it doesn't.

Instead, it leads your customers to overwhelm and decision fatigue. And that always leads to no sale.

I know it sounds counter-intuitive but in actual fact, one of the most helpful things you can do for your customers is narrow down the choices. Yes. Scarcity leads to easier decision making, leads to more sales, leads to increased revenue.

So, if you're wondering where to start in terms of how to sell floral subscriptions in 2022, start with a very simple offering of two choices, each in just three sizes. One in a neutral palette, one in a more colourful palette. And make sure the size variation price points increase by at 30% between sizes.

For example, you might have your smallest size start at $135, your medium is listed at $175.50 and your large is listed at $228.15 (and yes, you can set your prices even higher than this).

My #1 Tip For How to Sell Floral Subscriptions in 2022

I used to think I needed to ask the client to supply the vase or that I needed to offer enough options to cater to a wide array of containers.

Turns out, it can be a lot simpler than that.

Turns out, one of the best sales tactics you can implement for floral subscriptions is to design with a specific vase in mind – a vase you pick. A vase that aligns with your vibe and your brand.

Every florist I've met has heaps of stories of showing up at a client's house, thinking we knew what container everything was going in...only to find out that container is actually four times bigger than the sizes they provided.

So, set yourself a little shopping mission. Go exploring and look around at different container options and find one that feels right for your floral designs.

Offer it up as a 'free' incentive for a new customer to start their subscription and then you'll know, with every week's bouquet you're making, it's going to look awesome because it's going in exactly that container.

Yes, it makes your job 100x easier. But just as important, it makes the flowers look great.

That adds to your customer's satisfaction and, because of that, they're more likely to tell their friends or share a photo on social media.

That, in turn, increases your exposure. More people find out about your offer. And, just by having offered a super simple solution for your customers, all of sudden you're experiencing the power of word of mouth marketing. SHAZAAM, more orders come in the door! So good, ain't it?

Let's Go Deeper: Selling Floral Subscriptions Like a Boss

Want more inspo to help you learn how to sell floral subscriptions in 2022? I've gotcha covered!

On this week's podcast, I'm diving deep into all things floral subscriptions. I'm passing along three tips to help you get better results when it comes to selling floral subscriptions in your business and we talk strategy.

Whether you're brand new to the idea of subscriptions or you've been selling floral subscriptions for a long time, this podcast episode will give you lots of juicy tips and tricks so you can sell floral subscriptions like a Boss.

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

The right marketing strategy to follow for selling floral subscriptions so you can get results faster

Sales tips to help you grow your revenue

My #1 approach to making it work so you make faster progress

Simple, step by step guidance on levelling up your floral subscription business today

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

 

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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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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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How to Improve my Florist Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Paradox of Choice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Real-World Example: Apple iPhone

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

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

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

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

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

Simplification is the Secret to More Sales

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Effortlessly Sell Your Dream Designs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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How to Handle Customer Complaints in Floristry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Floristry is no different, peoples!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STEP 1: Plan Ahead

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

STEP 2: Write A Script + Create Templates

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

STEP 3: Reflect

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

STEP 4: Make Improvements

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

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

STEP 5: It's Ok to Feel Uncomfortable

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Is owning a flower shop profitable?

Is Owning a Flower Shop Profitable?

So...you're wondering, Is owning a flower shop profitable?

The short answer: floristry is like every other business under the sun. It's really easy to NOT make money.

Just like in the food world, setting up a restaurant looks so glamorous and sexy. And then you realise you gotta do all the things, think about all the unsexy business things and learn how to get customers to come into your restaurant and pay you money.

The same goes for car dealerships. Coffee shops. Movie theatres. Fashion boutiques. Jewellery shops.

Like every other business on the planet, running a flower business requires a balance between creativity, design, and business know-how.

Of course, you probably know that already. That's why you're here, reading this sexy blog post, right? And you wanna get the inside scoop. You wanna learn how to go from Backyard Betty to Profitable Polly, yeah? Read on my friend!

Is owning a flower shop profitable?

Let's get to the heart of the matter. Is owning a flower shop profitable, Kathleen?

Yes.

And no.

(If you're wondering WTF kind of answer is that, let me explain...)

Running a flower business can be a highly profitable endeavour. Once you wrap your head around pricing, see the value in managing your costs, learn marketing, and conquer sales, you'll start to see a lot of money in your bank account.

But many florists I know have a dream of owning a beautiful flower shop and focus on the physical shop space as the heart of their operations. They rely on the shop space to drive marketing and sales for their flower business.

That's where things can go wrong.

I am like so many florists. I had the dream of running a beautiful flower business and thought that required having a physical shop space. That's why we bought the flower shop (quite literally because I wanted to be the one who owned the beautiful, super cute flower shop, which is what we transformed it into).

But a few years into running the shop, I realised the shop itself isn't what made our business profitable.

Fun fact: rent in our area is super-duper-duper expensive (like more expensive than in many big cities...no joke.)

Consumer behaviour has shifted so much in just a few years that I started to believe our shop was actually a community service, a not-for-profit endeavour. A gift to the all old ladies of our small town.

In fact, over five years pre-COVID, our walk-in traffic saw a steady decline, whereas online ordering steadily increased.

The real reason our flower business was so profitable is that we really understood how customers operate.

While other florists were fussing over window displays and focused on merchandising, we took a different path. We made the investment to set up a website and focused on online marketing.

That's why, when you ask me, "Is owning a flower shop profitable?", my answer is yes and no. It all comes down to context and understanding what question you're asking.

Is running a flower business profitable? Heck yes.

Is managing a flower shop and physical retail space a recipe for success? Nope.

Is owning a flower shop profitable? Yes. And no.

Don't get me wrong, our business was super profitable. But the shop itself became much more of an operational consideration rather than a driver of marketing and new orders.

It's why I will tell you, a retail space and shop front is much more about operations and logistics than it is about marketing, sales and making money.

Changing Consumer Behaviour

In today's world, more customers are ordering flowers online than ever before. Moreover, more customers are intentionally choosing to buy flowers online rather than visit a traditional brick and mortar space (check out this article from medium.com).

The past 24-months have seen an even more dramatic shift in consumer behaviour, with more customers buying flowers online than ever before.

So, if you decide to invest in a shop space, having a strong online presence and a profitable website is ridiculously important. I dare say mandatory. Because that's where your volume is going to come from to help you sustain the costs of the shop space.

Know Your Numbers

At the end of the day, you get to make the decisions that are best for you and your flower business. Go in with eyes wide open and get comfortable crunching some numbers.

Most important, map out a revenue plan and do your homework. Put some thought into your marketing priorities and figure out how many orders you need to consistently bring in to balance the cost of the rent.

And don't forget to account for staffing and other operational costs.

Many commercial leases will have mandatory trading hours. That means someone will need to be in the shop, ready to serve customers at whatever hours are set out in your lease. Insurance, electricity, internet, and water might also all be above and beyond the rental space.

Do your homework. Know your numbers and make a plan. A few hours of number crunching and talking to an accountant can save you weeks or months of heartache and frustration.

Oh, and, if you're trying to navigate the ins and outs of setting up your flower business website? Check out this blog post: Florist Website Mistakes – How to avoid the Big 5

Are flower shops a dying business?

Are flower shops a dying business?

Almost every florist I’ve met once had a dream of running a beautiful flower shop.

It’s so easy to fall in love with the dream of a flower shop. To look at those perfectly posed photos on Pinterest and see the beauty of the abundance on display when flowers are so wonderfully presented at the front of a flower shop.

I also remember having hundreds of customers just swoon at the smell of flowers. They would always tell us they could smell the flowers before they could see them.

It really is magical. It’s a gift to all the humans in your area.

But it’s also really expensive.

Like really really expensive. Once you account for rent, electricity, internet, phone, the shop fit-out AND having to keep the shop staffed and well-stocked during normal business hours, it becomes a “thing”.

Running a flower shop isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. 

It’s not for everyone. And, in my experience, it’s no longer a “must” in terms of running a successful and profitable flower business.  

Do I Need A Flower Shop?

I realise now, the decision to have a shopfront is much more of an operational decision, rather than a marketing decision. 

I see so many florists make the commitment of opening a shopfront in hopes it will increase sales and drive revenue.

In addition to that, so many florists assume having a shop front will make them feel more legitimate. (That was totally me!)

2020 changed the game for florists. With so many customers not able to come into a physical shop space, the need to get your business online has become the only way to thrive as a florist.

No longer is having a shopfront required if you want to run a successful florist business.

In my experience, the vast majority (like 99% of our customers), never bought flowers on impulse. Of course, it happens now and then, but it’s so unpredictable and makes it a real challenge to maintain a sustainable revenue stream.

In reality, even if you have a shop front, having a strong online presence is mandatory. This is why I think having a shop front is as much an operational decision as it is a marketing decision.

Being able to have a place for efficient production and storage of your product is the most important thing to consider. And whether or not you want to offer a place for customer pick-up becomes the next decision. Socially distanced, of course.

Are Flower Shops A Dying Business?

Let’s cut to the chase: are flower shops a dying business? Hmmm…not necessarily. 

In the end, it’s totally worth doing the math. Look at the cost of running the shop front and the financial commitment of committing to a 3, 5, or even 10-year lease and see if you can make it work.

Having a strong digital marketing game is where the sales growth is going to come from. 

Right now, that is being eaten up by many of the relay networks and wire services. Yes, it’s the local florist who eventually receives the order, but with many relay services, they’re taking 25-30% of the revenue. Over time, and with the volume required to maintain our shop spaces, that percentage quickly erodes your profitability.

That’s precisely why we made the decision to create our own website. Yes, it was an undertaking. Yes, it took time, but that investment continues to pay off week after week after week.

During 2020 that same website still continues to generate a lot of revenue for the business. It’s the gift that keeps on giving and is way more reliable (and profitable) than having to worry about having a fully stocked and fully staffed shop front.  

2020 broke all kinds of sales records for so many florists – with people not able to be together and the continued uncertainty through 2021, being online is where your incredible sales revenue is going to come from. So, having a strong digital presence is mandatory for running a successful and sustainable flower business.

Let's Do A Little Bit Of Math, Shall We?

Grab your calculator and let’s do a little number crunching. Here’s what you’re going to want to look at, to decide if a flower shop is right for your business. Do some Googling and find a few bits of info:

  • Rent (in a location with great parking, and the right amount of space)
  • Insurance
  • Electricity, water, internet, phone
  • Shop fit-out (painting, counters, storage, flooring, lighting, cool room, signage)
  • Staffing (assume you need to pay at least one person to be on-site during opening hours)

Then, look at the numbers over a 12 month period. As well as 3 to 5 years. The length of the rental agreement or lease you sign varies but it’s always worth looking at the costs over the long term. It gives you a great deal of perspective.

Now, if you want to get a sense of the revenue required to cover that operation, take your 12 month total and multiply it by five. For example, if your operational costs listed above for a full year are about $100,000, then your mission is to generate at least  $500,000 in sales.

No, it’s not an exact approach but it helps paint a picture of the scale of the operation you need to create. You might want to talk to your accountant for further clarity. 

In the end, creating a successful flower business focused on daily flower deliveries is all about having the volume to sustain your business. In today’s world, that volume is going to come from being online and playing the right digital marketing game.

Need Help Getting Your Flower Business Online?

You’re not alone. 

It can be super confusing and overwhelming to understand the world of digital marketing.

And we’re here to make it easy. To show you exactly what you need to focus on when it comes to making more money in your flower business. We want to give you the exact tools you need to set up a successful online shop.

And it’s all waiting for you inside my Flower Boss Bootcamp.

My Flower Boss Bootcamp is the only program available to floral designers, flower lovers and farmer florists focused entirely on the business of flowers. The program is run entirely online, so you can join in no matter where in the world you’re located. It’s the perfect plan to help you transition your business online and make more money. 

Inside my Flower Boss Bootcamp, you get access to all my tools, templates and resources so you can build a flower business you love.

The program includes templates and training for everything you need to get your flower business set up online, including:

  • Making your website your #1 sales tool (we’ve even created a replica website for you to use as inspiration, giving you the exact roadmap to follow)
  • Sorting out your online catalogue (including a step by step guide to covering off all the details)

We even give you the exact approach to outlining your top marketing priorities including 

  1. Playing the Google game and understanding Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  2. Step by step tutorial for setting up your Google Adwords campaigns
  3. How to use Instagram to successfully attract more customers

Peoples, we’re here to help you build a better flower business, to show you how to get more customers, make more money and show up with more confidence. It’s time to shortcut your way to success.

I feel so strongly about what we teach inside this program and all the resources we provide that we’ve even set up a money-back guarantee. This means you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Click here to learn more about my Flower Boss Bootcamp and I’ll see you on the inside. 

LBB Blog Images Tile Templates 18 May 2021

How Long Is A Floristry Course?

One of the things that separate successful floral designers from the “I’m not there yet” crowd is that the successful designers know they need to keep investing in their own learning. As a florist your next question would be, if I have to invest in a course for my learning, how long will that floristry course be?

They know they need to keep learning and evolving and that a workshop here or an online course there isn’t enough. 

So, when it comes to answering the question, “How long is a floristry course?” the simplest answer I could give is probably “forever”.

I know, that might not be the answer you were looking for but 8 years into this, I believe it to be more true now than ever before. And this response is coming from someone who has invested a lot in my own design skills and flower know-how. And also on my business learning.

I’m a fully qualified floral designer. That took me 12 months to complete. I’ve also signed up for workshops with Little Flower School, Holly Chapple, Jardine Hansen, Mr. Cook, and Ponderosa & Thyme. And now, with the rise of so many online workshops and courses, continuous learning grows to new heights.

Forever Learning

Our industry isn’t regulated. There is no actual need to sign up for formal training or certification. That frustrates a lot of florists and makes it really easy for the Backyard Betty’s to jump into and attempt to play with the well-established designers. 

But it also creates great energy. It requires business owners to keep innovating and moving forward. And focusing on what matters most to their customers to stay relevant.

This is where the power of continual investment comes into play.

I love signing up for new programs and training that help me learn from people who have been in my shoes. From fellow business owners who can show me how to get from A to B in less time, with fewer mishaps. I don’t have to figure out all this stuff on my own.

If I could pass along one piece of advice today, this is it: you will make progress faster in your flower business if you’re continually investing in your own growth. 

Permission Granted

I wasted years in my flower business waiting for permission. Permission to create the shop I’d always wanted, to create the work I wanted to create, and to move the business in the direction I wanted to go.

Turns out waiting for permission is a total waste of time.

Check out this week’s podcast if you want to hear more about this. (Listen on Spotify, linked below)

In my Business Coaching program (Flower Boss Bootcamp), the very first exercise we do is to dig deep and dive into what your version of success looks like.

It’s so powerful because we never stop to ask ourselves what we want. And, as humans, we’re conditioned to believe that we need permission to take action.

Invest In Your Growth. Always

One of the reasons our business continues to grow and be successful is because I know I am my most valuable asset.

I know, every single time I invest in my own learning and growth, I will be able to translate that into even more growth and progress for my business. It’s like putting $10 into a slot machine and having $10,000 come out.

I talk to floral designers around the world who are struggling to make money. One of the most common discussions we have is what their plan for growth is. Like, quite literally, where are you investing your money (in your business and in yourself) to ensure your success?

Flowers are so easy to fall in love with. And the craft and skill of becoming a professional floral designer take hours and hours and hours of practice.

And then, when you make the decision to start a business, you feel like you have to learn all the skills as fast as possible. It’s like being thrown into the deep end of the pool and just told to “swim harder”.

So many florists I talk to are totally heartbroken and frustrated with their businesses. They’re questioning whether they really have what it takes to make this work. We fall into the comparison trap and find ourselves spinning our wheels, wondering if we should just call it quits.

That’s precisely what happened to me. 

But I knew there had to be a better way. I could not be the only floral designer struggling to make this business work. It wasn’t possible.

If you’re frustrated with your business you’re not alone. I promise you’re not.

Better yet, there is an easier way. 

Need Help With Your Flower Business?

My Flower Boss Bootcamp is the only program available to floral designers focused entirely on the business of flowers – I give you my exact approach to marketing, we dig into getting crystal clear on your vision of success and you’ll be surrounded by floral designers who are navigating similar challenges to you.

Click here to learn more. 

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