How to Make More Money as a Farmer Florist

How to Make More Money as a Farmer Florist

Wanna learn how to make more money as a farmer florist? You're in the right place.

Over the past few years, I've worked closely with farmer florists from all around the world. It's been such an honour to watch them grow and really evolve how they show up as business owners, designers and industry leaders.

Truth be told, there are a lot of common mindset blocks that many of my Flower Boss Academy members share – but there are two very specific scarcity stories that farmer florists struggle with.

But First, Some Context.

Now, here's the thing, we're all human beings. We all have a human brain.

Your brain's job is to think. It's what it does day in and day out and it offers up something like 60,000 thoughts in the run of a day.

Of those 60,000 thoughts, 80% are negative and 95% are repetitive thoughts.

And here's the real kicker...every one of us walks around thinking "our thoughts" are "the truth".

We accept every one of those 60,000 thoughts as unarguable facts.

Except they're not.

They are just our brain's default (likely negative) interpretation of the situation.

It's these repeated, negative stories that stand in the way of us creating the results we want to create in our businesses (and our lives).

Here are a few of my favourite examples that many struggle with...

  1. I cannot charge that much.
  2. My area is too competitive for me to charge full price.
  3. Pricing is hard.

Now here's the fun bit: none of these things is the truth.

If you were to ask 100 florists, there's no way they would all agree (particularly if you ask the amazing humans inside Flower Boss Academy!).

The profits in my business finally took off after I learnt the idea that those thoughts aren't actually 'facts'. That they were just stories I was telling myself – stories that "felt true" because I had been telling myself the same scarcity-based narrative for so long.

For years, I walked around believing each one of these stories. It's these stories that stood in the way of me creating the results I wanted to create in my business.

Why? Well, when you tell yourself 'You can't charge that much,' you feel unworthy and undeserving. When you feel unworthy and undeserving, you give away your work. You offer discounts. You don't pay any attention to how much you should be charging and you just stay stuck in the spiral of underearning.

The result? You wake up each day trying to convince yourself that it must be enough just to love your work. And you don't even learn that you can charge more and how to charge more. (Hello, Starving Artist persona!)

It's scarcity thinking at its best. You are not broken and there is nothing wrong with you.

This experience is how your primitive brain behaves without any sort of adult supervision. Just the fact that you can think about what you're thinking about means you can decide to think anything you want.

It's literally about making the choices between allowing your default thinking to stay stuck in "I cannot charge that much" versus "Maybe it's possible I could charge the same as Kathleen does."

The truth is, you can choose to believe anything you want. You can decide to believe Santa exists. No one can stop you.

So, you can choose to believe that pricing is hard and you cannot charge to the industry formula.

Or you can get to work changing your money story and getting out of your own way so you can watch your profits increase.

How to Make More Money as a Farmer Florist

How does this all relate to making more money as a farmer florist? Well, here's the short version.

When it comes to learning how to make more money as a farmer florist, there are two important mindset shifts you gotta make:

  1. Shift out of the default 'farmer' thinking and into a 'floral designer' mindset
  2. Start appreciating the additional value you bring to the table because you know exactly what's gone into each bloom you grow

Here's one of the most powerful mindset shifts you can make in your business and one of my most favourite questions to ask farmer florists who are struggling with money...

Who do you get to become if you believed your flowers are more valuable than the ones available at the big wholesalers or the grocery store?

I dig into this and much more in this week's podcast episode – 2 Mindset Shifts Farmer Florists Must Make in Order to Increase Your Profits.

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

How to make more money as a farmer florist today

One of my favourite shortcuts for believing your 'home-grown blooms' are more valuable than the fanciest flowers you can get at the wholesalers

How to step out of the farmer's mindset and into the premium, floral designer's mindset

Step-by-step examples to help you rewrite your 'making money' scarcity stories

Why you don't have to make the trade-off between creativity, passion and money

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

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Online Flower Business Tips

Online Flower Business Tips – 6 Essential Skills For Flower Biz Success

Looking for simple online flower business tips? You're in the right place.

The other day, a friend of mine asked, "Kathleen, what does it really take to be a successful florist in 2022?"

It's such a great question and it actually made me laugh.

Why?

Cause if you had asked me a few years ago, I would have said, in order to be a successful florist, you need to:

  1. Be a great designer
  2. Have lots of followers
  3. Be the owner of a sexy AF flower shop

...And each one of those things needed to be absolutely perfect or else success was never going to be possible.

Oi.

It took me a few years, but I'm so glad I finally figured out I was so wrong. (So, so wrong my friend!)

If I could rewind the clock and go back and pass along my best online flower business tips, here's what I'd tell me from a few years back.

Skip the obsession with followers and engagement. Set up a shop if it's the right thing operationally. And focus only on learning the mechanics and techniques that help you create the look you want to create.

And then, know this...In order to run a successful flower business in 2022, you only need to learn 6 new skills:

  1. Develop a CEO Mindset
  2. Get Good at Goal Setting
  3. Own Your Outcomes
  4. Think Like Your Customer
  5. Conquer the Customer Journey
  6. Sell Like a Boss

Wanna conquer the business of flowers? Want to get access to all my online flower business tips + shortcuts? Come join me inside Flower Boss Academy. Click here to learn more.

Online Flower Business Tips

The truth is, our industry is changing. The world of marketing is so different to what it was just a few years ago.

The rise of TikTok, the dominance of Facebook + Google, and our customer's appetite for immediate solutions means we gotta change the way we're approaching our business.

No longer is the retail shop the backbone of a successful flower business. No longer is having a lot of followers a road to success.

And no longer is it necessary to have the best portfolio or flashiest styled shoot set-up.

Nope.

When it comes to conquering the business of flowers and learning online flower business tips, the game has officially changed. Welcome to being a floral designer in 2022.

At the end of the day, when it comes to getting customers, scaling your business and increasing your revenue, these are the two things I'd prioritise:

  1. Get good at marketing (and I don't mean start posting to TikTok, I mean understanding strategy)
  2. Learn to manage your mindset (cause you're the only thing in the way of your own success)

Heck, if I'm honest, you don't even need to be the best at those two things.

Ain't no need for perfection here.

When you can learn to shift your focus and get good enough at these two things, the money will follow.

Yep.

Being a successful flower boss can be boiled down to this very simple formula:

Marketing + Mindset = Money

I wish someone had told me that making money isn't complicated. (In fact, it's actually super straightforward.)

The thing that makes making money so messy is the fact that we're human beings. And we have all these BS stories we like to tell ourselves about what is and isn't possible (particularly when it comes to making money as a floral designer).

But that, my friend, is why I'm so excited to share this week's podcast episode with you – Your Super Simple Formula for Conquering the Business of Flowers in 2022.

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

My super simple formula for conquering the business of flowers in 2022

My favourite shortcut for feeling more confident + showing up with more authority in your flower business

The exact steps to follow to make more money as a floral designer

My story...and my best tip for building your business faster (it's so good!)

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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How to Increase Florist Sales

How to Increase Florist Sales

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

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

Great question.

Different Ad Strategies for Different Offers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Increase Florist Sales: Daily Flower Deliveries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 Google Ads Tips for Florists

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

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

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

Let's Go Deeper: Get More Flowers Order Faster

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

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

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

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

How to set a sales target in your flower business

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

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

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

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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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

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

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How to Raise the Prices in Your Flower Business

How to Raise the Prices in Your Flower Business

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

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

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

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

You're not alone!

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

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

I'm here to help!!!

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

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

You. Just. Raise. Your. Prices.

Seriously.

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

And you do that right now.

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

As the kids at Nike say, Just Do It.

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

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

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

Step 1: Get Curious

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

That invisible force is your limiting beliefs.

We all have them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 2: Flip the Script

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

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

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

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

This is what I call "Flip the Script".

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

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

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

Now it's your turn.

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

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

Step 3: Raise Your Prices

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

You can go in right now and update your pricing.

No explanation is required.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why most floral designers are afraid to raise their prices

How to overcome all the fear and take action

My step by step approach to increasing your prices

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

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

 

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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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Flower Shop Operations

Flower Shop Operations – 4 Tips for Managing Your Cash Flow

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

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

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

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

Real Talk: Flower Shop Operations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #1: Face the Facts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don't put it off.

Do it now.

Literally.

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

Tip #2: Get your pricing sorted

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

That was totally me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 different ways to calculate a minimum in your flower business

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

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