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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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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Flower Shop Operations

Flower Shop Operations – 3 Tips for Increasing Profitability This Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flower Shop Operations Tip 1: Smart Staffing Solutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip 2: Better Wholesale Ordering Processes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip 3: Maximising Product Usage

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

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

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

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

Another Awesome Shortcut: Create Floral Design Formulas

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

Yes. You read that right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What you'll learn from this episode:

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

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

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

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

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript


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How to Buy a Flower Business

How to Buy a Flower Business: 3 Things to Know.

So, you're thinking about buying a flower business. But you're not really sure how to buy a flower business or what the benefits of buying a flower business are? I've gotcha covered.

I want to share three things I wish I knew before we bought our flower shop.

What are you actually buying, when you buy a flower business?

Like for reals, what do you actually "get'? Well, most apparent, you get the supplies and materials from that business – things like the sink, a cool room, buckets, and all the flowering things (technically referred to as the assets of the business). Maybe there's a delivery van, some uniforms, a social media following, a phone number and a website.

The specifics vary from flower business to flower business but the shop fit-out and physical assets are just the beginning of what you're buying. So much of what you're actually buying isn't visible to the human eye.

The real value of a flower business sits in its systems, processes, and relationships. This is referred to as Goodwill. And it often has a juicy value associated with it, possibly something like $40,000, $80,000 or $200,000.

In essence, the whole point of Goodwill is that you should, no matter your level of expertise or experience, be able to open the door (literally or figuratively) and be able to turn over the same volume the previous owner turned over – all without the previous owner being there.

Goodwill moves with the business and isn't something that stays with the previous owner. So, if you buy a flower shop and the handover date is on a Friday. You, the new owner, should be able to generate the same revenue and profit as the previous owner in a similar trading window.

Yes, this whole Goodwill thing is pretty nebulous and it's super easy for people who are selling a business to pay lip service and say "Yeah, yeah yeah. It's all there."

This is where I want to step in and share three things I wish I had known before I jumped into buying a flower business.

I Wish I Had Known Better: How to Buy a Flower Business

When we bought the flower shop, I wish I had known way more about what to ask the previous owner.

In the end, we took on the shop with a handful of text messages and one email. Thank goodness for the handful of staff we inherited, who knew enough to keep us on track for the first while, while we figured out how the shiz this whole flowering + business situation was supposed to go.

When it comes to thinking about how to buy a flower business, here's three things I wish I had known before I jumped into the deep end.

#1 Documented Operations + Systems

The more systems and processes that have been documented, the better. And no, you don't want an old dot-matrix printer document. You want the most recent, up to date systems (including COVID operations plan).

The goal is for you to have access to a complete 'How To Guide' to running the business exactly as the previous owner ran things. Yes, you're going to make changes and improvements but this is your place to start and a safety net when things get hectic.

#2 Marketing + Sales Processes

At the end of the day, one of the most important things you're buying is the systems that come with consistent orders and enquiries. If these are based on a best guess or relationships with the seller, that's a giant red flag.

The biggest benefit to buying an existing flower business is that you don't have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to marketing + sales. This includes social media plans, website guides, advertising programs and sales scripts.

If this isn't clearly mapped out, proceed with caution. (If you're looking for quick tips and more marketing ideas, be sure to follow me on Instagram @littlebirdbloom. I'm showing up every week, passing along super helpful tips and teaching florists how to build better businesses.)

#3 Wholesale + Customer Relationships.

One of the most unexpected wins from buying the flower business was the established relationships with wholesalers. This saved my bacon on more than one occasion and makes your job 8000 times easier.

At the end of the day, your flower business success is directly linked to your wholesaler relationships and having these squared away is invaluable. Better yet, have the previous owner do a formal introduction and handover to set you up for a seamless transition.

The same goes for high-value clients and regular customers. Prepare a script for you and the previous owner, align your stories and celebrate the transition so you can continue to build great relationships with these customers.

Enlist Help to Navigate the Process

I am so grateful I threw myself in the deep end and bought the shop...but I also know there are heaps of questions that come up through the process.

Do lots of research. You won't regret it. (Still, to this day, I jump online and look to see what shops are for sale. It's so fun to see what's listed and explore the possibilities.)

When it comes to all the ins and outs, the who, what where, why and how to buy a flower business, definitely enlist the help of a financial planner or accountant. You'll probably also need a lawyer to help you review the contracts and logistics.

And, be sure to know your financial risks and the ins and outs of your obligations.

Go in with eyes wide open and do your best to not get sucked into the pretty shop layouts, cool decor and fancy design stuff. At the end of the day, it's all the unsexy things that are going to help you build a profitable, thriving flower business.

Know too, particularly in today's world, you don't need a physical retail space to be successful.

More and more designers are building successful, hugely profitable flower businesses without a physical retail shop space. (PS – if you need help getting shiz sorted out online, check out this blog post: 4 Google Adwords Tips for Florists)

If owning a physical retail shop is your dream, go for it. If not, that's awesome too. You do you, boo.

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

Pinterest Graphics LBB Sep 2021

Preparing for a Busy Season

Have you seen all those statistics flying around on Instagram about how there’s going to be a record number of weddings in 2022? It's time to talk about preparing for a busy season. (If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this NPR article which estimates 2.5 million weddings will happen next year).

This impending madness means, for many floral designers, we’re going to be double, triple and even quadruply booking our calendars. Plus, we’re used to having peak trading seasons around Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas.

Preparing for a busy season is kind of a given if you’re a floral designer. We're all trying to balance life, family and running a flower business.

But navigating the crazy in a way that doesn’t break the bank or break your back takes a shift in perspective and to plan ahead.

The truth is, a little bit of pre-planning makes a world of difference – it will help save your sanity, ensure you maximise profitability as well give you the space for recovery (before you dive into it all over again).

PREPARING FOR A BUSY SEASON

I learned these lessons the hard way – I’m a great case study on what not to do when it comes to managing busy seasons.

One year I said yes to 100 weddings. Which would be fine, but given I did the bulk of the work on my own and would manage multiple wedding weekends solo, it’s definitely not how I suggest any florist should set up their business. 

(I must give a giant shout out to my husband and business partner who took charge at our retail shop while I was off wedding-ing. No way one human can do it all but I’m too stubborn to ever learn that one.)

Of course, I’m all for making hay while the sun shines, but it’s also important to know your personal limits and possibly, just as important, get really clear on your own definition of success. 

I’m embarrassed to admit this but I said yes to so many weddings because I thought I “should”. That’s how our industry defines success.

But please take it from me: it was awful.

4 TIPS TO HELP SAVE YOUR SANITY AND PREPARE FOR A BUSY SEASON

TIP 1 – Plan With the End in Mind

More than a decade ago, when I used to work in advertising, we used to create timelines called “Workback Schedules”. Quite literally you start with the end product and you move through each stage of the process backwards until you get to the beginning of the project.

This approach is so helpful because it ensures you’ve thought through a lot of details before you even start. It makes it really easy to see where the hurdles come in and where the pressure points are.

Now, when I’m planning ahead, I like to fast forward to the day after the madness. If it’s Valentine’s Day, start from 15 February. For Mother’s Day, start with the Monday (or Tuesday) after the epic weekend. If you are doing a lot of weddings, start with your first recovery day.

Then trace backwards, going step by step and backtracking the to-dos. Take it one deliverable, one task at a time and write down everything you can think of until you get to today (or the start date of your project list).

When you approach it with the ned in mind, it forces you to also think about who is going to look after the kids and who else can look after dinner on the final few nights. Plus, it deters you from booking in anything new on the day after the craziness.

Your Workback Schedule doesn’t need to be anything fancy when you're using it to prepare for a busy season. 

Just open a Google Doc or the notes app on your phone and start getting all the things out of your head and on to “paper”. 

I prefer to use an app because when you’re off getting something at the grocery store and you remember you need to also take the van in for service, you can make a note of it on your Workback Schedule. So good!

TIP 2 – Time Yourself

The first few years I was designing, I had no idea how long it took me to make a flower crown or wrist corsage. I had no idea how long a $300 arrangement would take, how long a $100 rose bouquet needed nor did I know how long I needed to make a full, luxurious archway.

So, the next time you’re making something (even if you’re not under time pressure), watch the clock.  Make a note of it. Then, when you get into full production mode, you can plan more accurately and map out your production schedule with more accuracy (avoiding those 2 am night-time design sessions)

The more you start to track your work, the easier it is for you to map out how long you need for hands-on production. 

Once you have a good library of production times, you’ll also be able to staff much more accurately and set a sales target that isn’t about just saying yes to everything that comes your way. You set a goal and you can manage your production to that goal. 

Tip 3 – Start Checkin' Things Off Today

I know florists who prep all their sundries and hard goods for the full season before the season even starts. Every client is assigned a box and all their materials are allocated, labelled and organised before a single flower is even stripped.

The beautiful thing about a lot of what we need to prep and prepare is that it isn’t the fragile/short shelf-life blooms. Taking time to prepare hard goods and sundries is a game-changer. So is making dinner and putting it in the freezer.

Quite literally, in the weeks (or days) leading up to the craziness, the more stuff you prepared ahead of time, the more you will be able to experience the beauty of the design process. When you have 1297 things filling up your brain, it’s hard to take in the magic of your work.

Yes, go fill up the car with petrol. Yes, get that insurance paperwork done now. Yes, assign someone to deal with dinner and have a babysitter lined up for the kids and the pets. Whatever you can organise now, do it! This is the magic of pro-actively preparing for a busy season. Your future self will be so grateful you did.

Tip 4 – Active Recovery

When I say ‘active recovery I don’t mean “run a marathon or go to the gym”. I mean “intentional recovery time”. 

Whatever fuels your soul and gives you the reset you need to get back to work is what you get to prioritise in the period following the madness.

Don’t spend hours mindlessly scrolling Instagram. I mean intentional, active rest and recovery. That might be a funny movie with the kids, your favourite junky takeaway or the peace and quiet of staring out at the sky.

Of course, I am the first to want to dive into the champagne and chocolate but I also know it’s going to slow my recovery. As much as I don’t really love it, I will always lean into more water, more veggies, more nutrients because I feel 1000x better the next day than when I fill my exhausted body with sugar and booze.

Whatever it is that fuels you and gives you the physical rest you need, is what you need to prioritise. 

Give yourself time and space for this recovery as well. It takes me twice as many days to recover as the crazy period lasted. So if I’m doing 3-4 weddings in a 48-hour window, that means I won’t feel amazing until 96 hours later (just in time to do it again the following week).

Many florists choose to close up shop for specific dates, others block out their calendar entirely. This is your business and you get to decide what serves you best.

Make a plan for active recovery and outline it on your Workback Schedule. Pour back into you so you can pour yourself into your work again.

Want more practical tips to help you prepare for a busy season? Check out this blog post passing along more tips to help you navigate busy weeks in your flower business. 

NEED HELP GROWING YOUR FLOWER BUSINESS?

It’s time to learn the secrets of successful florists – sign up for my {Free} Ultimate Guide to Building a Thriving Flower Business. CLICK HERE to get immediate access.

blog post: how many stems in a bridal bouquet

How Many Stems in a Bridal Bouquet?

Have you ever ask yourself, “How many stems in a bridal bouquet?” 

I have. In fact, I spent months wandering around trying to find the answer to this question.

Now, someone else might immediately jump in and say “34” but I want to go deeper. I want to give you the tools to help you come to the right conclusion for your business.

YOU ARE THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF YOUR FLOWER BUSINESS

When I used to work in advertising agencies, the person who lead the creative development process was the Creative Director.

That means, when you start a flower business, YOU step into the role of creative director; it means you get to decide your aesthetic, your vibe and the kinds of ingredients you want to use. Yep. All of it can be up to you.

It also means you get to decide how big or how small your designs are. So, in response to the question, how many stems in a bridal bouquet, the real answer is: How many stems do you want to put into your designs?

One of the things no one tells you about being a floral designer + business owner is that you are in charge of everything. That includes being the creative director.

Every floral designer has their own preferences in terms of shape, size and ingredients. So there is no right or wrong answer here. You get to decide. 

EXPLORING ALL THE OPTIONS 

One of the unexpected lessons I love teaching floral designers is how to be selfish. I know, it’s an unexpected topic. 

Being selfish is seen as a bad thing in so many cultures.  But not being selfish, gets us into trouble in our flower businesses. I spent years creating work I didn’t even like. I didn’t know there was a better way, a different path and a different option on the table.

I want to give you permission to explore, to take some time and ask yourself what kind of work do you want to be creating? 

You know all those famous florists you follow on Instagram, if you could pick up design queues from any of them, what would your aesthetic look like? What kinds of ingredients would you use? How abundant would your designs be?

Not sure? Don’t stress. I’ve got a great exercise to share with you.

The next time you find a photo of a design you love, take time to create your own design recipe. (You can follow me on Instagram for more inspiration.)

I’ve spent years doing this and it’s one of my favourite ways to learn and deconstruct different colour combinations, textures and ingredient selection. And you don’t even need to leave the comfort of the sofa. That makes it even better!

Here is my exact approach to this creative deep dive:

  1. Find a photo of a design you love
  2. Identify the ingredients
  3. Count the stems

Once you have your basic recipe, you can make specific adjustments to the ingredients, textures and colours to make it your own or give allowance to what’s in season at the time.

Finally, with your recipe in hand, make a date, pick up your flowers and have a play. Be sure to take notes and reflect on what you’ve created.

Do this exercise a few times and within no time, you’ll have a great sense of how many stems you want to put in a bridal bouquet based on your aesthetic and preferences.

EMBRACE BEING IN CHARGE

I spent years letting my clients dictate the work I was making and the specific ingredients used. They’d provide me with a photo and I’d do everything in my power to make that exact design.

It causes me so much stress and it took me years to learn there is a better way.

It took me a long time to learn I was the Creative Director of my flower business. No one tells you that bit when you start a flower business and it feels very unusual for us to be in charge. Embrace the discomfort; you are the captain of this ship!

When it comes to managing your client’s expectations, it’s important to remember your customers don’t know how the whole “flower designing” thing works. That’s why they’ve come to you. They see you as the expert and need your help. In many cases, your clients are going to be more open-minded than you first imagine.

Of course, there is a lot to think through when it comes to stepping into the Creative Director role in your business. 

I’m here to help. I’ve recorded a podcast episode on this exact topic. I’m passing along my exact approach to defining your kind of bridal bouquet and giving you my best tips! Listen to the full podcast episode using the Spotify player below.

FRUSTRATED IN YOUR FLOWER BUSINESS?

I spent years feeling like I wasn’t in control of my business – my customers were driving the design process and I was second-guessing everything. I felt trapped. And totally alone.

I am on a mission to show floral designers a better way, to save you from the same frustration and exhaustion I felt.

Peoples, it’s time to put yourself back in the driver’s seat, get back in control of your business and step up your marketing game. Sign up for my Flower Boss Bootcamp and get my blueprint for creating a successful flower business. 

You can do this. I can help.

Check out my Flower Boss Bootcamp here.

Wedding Proposal Template for Florists

Wedding Proposal Template for Florists

I used to assume wedding proposals needed to be some fancy, flashy, complicated thing. Turns out, that’s not true.

How did I figure it out? Ummmmm the super hard, really awkward way. 

I was getting enquiries, hosting formal consultations but I wasn’t booking many of these customers. 

I was being ghosted a lot. Like every single week, even though I had invested a lot of time and energy into the relationship.

Because I wasn’t getting the result I wanted, I started experimenting with different formats and processes.

Lesson learned! It turns out, a complicated, detailed proposal isn’t what’s needed to book more clients.

Wedding Proposal Template for Florists - The Basics

In 2018, my calendar was packed with wedding consultations. Back then, my process looked something like this (1) enquiry (2) consultation (3) detailed proposal and quote.

I booked less than 10% of the clients I met with. From a pure numbers perspective, it wasn’t working – my effort “in” wasn’t matching the outcome I wanted.

In a traditional sales context, the objective is to set up an enquiry process that enables you to effortlessly book25% of the customers who enquire. If you’re receiving 20 enquiries, your mission is to set up a sales process that lands 5 of those clients.

5 / 20 = 25%

A 25% close rate is awesome. My close rate in 2018 wasn’t awesome.

I knew I needed to change my approach.

Three Tips for Booking More Clients

In the end, through a lot of trial and error, I’ve finally figured out a process that works. The system we’ve created is built on three key insights:

  1. Be quick to respond – more than 50% of clients go with the vendor who responds first. So, set up a system that gets you back in their inbox within 48 hours. And I don’t just mean an autoresponder. I mean providing real, tangible value to your clients quickly.
  2. Talk about budgets first – yep. One of the best things we did to increase our booking rate was to flip our entire system on its head. We learned that being upfront about budgets, being open with pricing and making that our first step in the consultation process got us from enquiry to booking with way less effort. As a matter of fact, we started booking $8-$10,000 clients in just a few emails.
  3. Skip the complicated proposals – you bet. I give you permission to break all the traditional approaches. We don’t use fancy software, we don’t do fancy mood boards. We keep it all unsexy and boring. Why? Refer to point #1.

I know it’s typical in our industry for florists to invest in expensive, complicated software. I used to think the prettier the proposal, the more legitimate we’d appear.

It didn’t work. Fancy wedding proposals templates for florists slowed us down.

When we followed the traditional approach, I wasted a lot of time talking to clients about colour palettes, flowers and big visions for their wedding. And spend a lot of time putting pen to paper, resting fancy proposals and quotes.

And eventually, when it came to $$$$, we’d be so out of alignment with what our clients were expecting that they would just run the other direction. Literally. We’d never hear from them again.

Start Here - Wedding Proposal Template for Florists

Your wedding enquiry process is one of the most important systems to create in your business. And it’s something that takes time to finesse but it’s worth every ounce of energy!

To begin, the best thing you can do is sit down and put yourself in your client’s shoes. What would they like to see/hear/have access to that would be helpful?

Forget about what is normally done in this industry or what your flower friends focus on. What does your client need?

Yes, question all of your assumptions. I know it sounds crazy, but don’t assume that the traditional fancy proposal approach is required. In fact, our enquiry process is so streamlined these days that, most of the time, we don’t do formal consultations.

Instead, we focused on dialling in our marketing messages, our enquiry form and our planning tools – to a point where clients are sold on us by the time we send them the first quick quote.

Our enquiry process has been refined over thousands of enquiries and I’ve spent so much time thinking about my clients that I can almost predict their behaviour.

[As an aside, if you decide, having a pretty PDF or cute mood board is a helpful part of your progress, jump over to Canva.com and check out their templates.]

Our approach is awesome because we don’t worry about custom quotes, detailed mood boards or a fancy wedding proposal template for florists until after they’ve made their first payment.

It works for us.

We got to this place because we questioned all the assumptions. We focused on what mattered most to our customers and kept tweaking and refining our approach.

Need Help?

Want to fast track your progress? Want to get access to our exact enquiry process (including all our planning templates, emails and the exact questions we ask our clients)?

Sign up for my Flower Boss Bootcamp (click here).

Inside my program, I have created specific training on our wedding enquiry process. We include all the templates and tools you need to get real good at responding to clients – and show you what really matters when it comes to attracting better clients.

It’s not as complicated as you think.

Your Current Knowledge + Experience are Enough.

We’re here to make it easier for you to make more money in your flower business!

You don’t need to have a flower shop or qualifications. Nor do you need to have thousands of Instagram followers or worry about being featured on a fancy blog. 

All you need are the tools to get you focused and pointed in the right direction.

That’s where our Flower Boss Bootcamp comes in. It’s like a 90-day business school for florists. If you’re on a mission to make more money in your flower business, this is the program for you!

We’re here to fast track your progress, to give you the tools you need to change the trajectory of your flower business. Click here to learn more about my Flower Boss Bootcamp and we’ll see you on the inside.

Imagine where your flower business could be in 90 days? Learn more here.

Florist Wedding Contract Terms and Conditions

Florist Wedding Contract Terms and Conditions

It used to scare me to talk through our wedding terms and conditions with our clients. I thought our clients would see right through me and call me out for not having a clue about what I was talking about.

I was afraid of getting called out. Of being told we were doing it wrong.

Cause the truth is, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I didn’t have a clue why wedding terms and conditions mattered or how to structure a florist wedding contract template.

That is until I had my first client cancel their event. This was back in 2018. On an otherwise-uneventful Thursday afternoon in September. We received the heartbreaking update that the couple were not going through with the wedding. The event was being called off.

I still think back to the day, talking to the bride’s mother. She called just to let us know Stephanie and Tom had decided to call off the wedding.

She was in tears. The bride's mother could barely get words out. It was had to console her. I didn’t quite know what to tell her so I said, “I’ll send you an email so you have the formal confirmation from us.”

Of course, I was heartbroken. Yes, my heart goes out to the couple, to the family navigating this experience. I don’t want any human to have to navigate this experience.

But I also know, as a business owner, I have an obligation to do right by my business. That’s part of what we are required to do when we start a business.

Being a Human vs Being a Business Owner

It’s the ultimate tug of war: the experience of being a caring human and the experience of being a flower boss. Sometimes, the two things don’t perfectly align.

As a human, I was heartbroken. As a flower boss, I knew I had to say the uncomfortable thing.

Emotionally, I find these situations very challenging. I care a lot about my business and I care a lot about our clients. I don’t want to go through these experiences. It has to be sunshine, rainbows and lollipops for me. All. The. Time.

Here’s the most amazing thing about being a business owner: you are the authority. The biggest downside of being a business owner? You are the authority.

As a flower boss, we have to make hard calls, unpopular decisions and do the best thing for our business. Many times, that might mean saying the unpopular, uncomfortable thing.

In this case, I was heartbroken for our clients. And I advised the family in writing, the 25% payment made is non-refundable (as per the wedding contract terms and conditions they signed).

It’s not about having to decide between one thing or the other. We can feel sad AND stand our ground.

And, in my experience, this is where the real value of florist wedding contract terms and conditions come into play. 

Mapping out a formal set of booking terms and conditions for your clients requires you, as the flower boss, to think ahead, to decide now what you’re going to do if the wedding gets called off, postponed or rescheduled.

Do that in the cool calm light of day and then when shit hits the fan, you already have a plan to follow. And then, all you need to do is follow the plan.

Florist Wedding Contract Terms and Conditions - The Basics

Why create florist wedding contracts? There are three main reasons to have clear wedding terms and conditions in place:

  1. To get clear on what your plan is when things don’t go to plan
  2. It helps protect your business
  3. It also protects your clients 

Yep. You read that right: your florist terms and conditions are of value to your business and to your clients. 

Technically the word “contract” comes from the Latin contractus, meaning ‘drawn together’. As in, ‘two things tied together’.

Your florist wedding contracts aren’t created as a defence mechanism. 

Booking terms and conditions aren’t something we need to use to intimidate or bully our clients. It’s not about threatening a lawsuit and being aggressive.

In fact, in my experience, I found the exact opposite to be true: walking our clients through our booking terms and conditions is an amazing opportunity to demonstrate our professionalism and care.  To educate our clients and show them how methodical we are in our approach.

It shows your clients you’re looking out for their interests and demonstrates that your business has a plan in place should things not go to plan. 

As a result, your clients walk away feeling reassured, cared for and know they can trust you.

An added bonus, when you take the time to walk your clients through your wedding florist booking terms and conditions, the trust factor increases. Better yet, this increased trust leads to more creative freedom on the day.

This is the most surprising outcome of having a set of terms and conditions: when you take the time to talk your clients through your wedding terms and conditions, they trust you. That increased trust leads to more creative freedom. What an amazing outcome for all involved!

Florist Wedding Contract Template - Start Here

I know exactly how overwhelming and intimidating the world of booking terms and conditions can feel. 

We’re here to help. We’ve created a set of booking terms and conditions for you to follow. For FREE. 

Yep. Our wedding florist contract template is inside our Big Ass Folder of Free Shiz #ForFlorists. 

👉  CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR FREE FLORIST WEDDING CONTRACT TEMPLATE

Use these florist wedding contract terms and conditions as your foundation. Be sure to engage a contract lawyer who knows the laws in your state. 

Hire a professional contract lawyer to help you formalise your agreement and account for the laws in your area. They will help you navigate the ins and outs of the details. 

I know the idea of talking to a contract lawyer feels scary. But I promise it’s nowhere near as intimidating an experience as you think. And it’s nowhere near as expensive as you’re imagining (particularly if you start off with this free template – click here to grab it).

Focus On The Future

If you don’t have a formal set of terms and conditions in place, you’re not alone. Don’t waste a minute beating yourself up or wishing you could turn back the clock.

As Maya Angelou once said, “When you know better, you do better.” This is precisely how I think about wedding florist contracts.

All that matters is that you know you can adjust your approach today. Stop stressing about what you did (or didn’t do) yesterday and get to work on making things better.

Today is a great day to get yourself sorted. 

Jump in and grab our free wedding event booking terms and conditions (click here) and get to work on implementing them in your business.

Your future self will be so grateful that you did the uncomfortable, boring thing today.

Do you struggle to show up with confidence in your flower business? Check out my Flower Boss Bootcamp – it’s the only program available to floral designers focused entirely on the business of flowers. Click here to learn more.

Want More Help?

Want more guidance when it comes to florist terms and conditions? I recorded a podcast episode all about it – jump in and listen to it today.

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