Seven things every florist wishes they knew when they got started
Selling flowers is an age-old profession, but there are some factors that are important to business success.
Having a passion for flowers and flower arranging is one thing… turning this passion into a business is another!
As many a florist will tell you, a lot goes on behind the scenes in this industry.
Aspiring florists, take note! Here are seven things to take on board before you launch your petal-filled empire:
Social is key
Your business is visual, which gives you a fantastic ‘in’ for social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook.
Make the most of these free marketing services by setting up accounts and managing them from a central hub like Hootsuite.
Post pictures of your beautiful arrangements and add captions that will get picked up by people doing online image searches, e.g. ‘Tulip wedding bouquet’.
The more stunning your pictures, the more likely they are to be shared online, which equals free marketing for you!
Try to keep yourself to a routine to avoid over or under-posting!
Good accounting starts from day one
From flowers to fine dining… this is the case for every business!
Keeping track of the money coming in and going out on a weekly basis will make life a lot less stressful when it comes time to hand in your business activity statement or pay your end of year tax bill.
Fortunately, the days of handwritten ledgers are behind us. By setting up your accounts online and linking them to a cloud-based accounting software service, you can balance the books from home or in your local cafe without needing to spend hours tapping away at a calculator.
Access to fast broadband, such as via services over the nbn™ network, means you could log in and review your day in a matter of minutes.
Word of mouth and referrals are important for those in the business of flowers. It doesn’t hurt to ask your clients to let their friends know about what you can do, especially in the early days.
Setting up an email newsletter and staying in regular touch with your clients (and sharing those beautiful pictures) will remind them you exist and prompt them to recommend you to their friends.
Managing staff can be a headache…
Even a small florist business could need help on the weekends. Once you gain more clients you may find you have a team out and about each day delivering and arranging flowers at events and businesses.
Your reputation is built on your reliability; it is imperative to have people who show up when they are expected.
Remind casual workers that they have a shift coming up by connecting them to an online shift management service.
This will allow you to send them text messages or emails in advance and gives them a place where they can record the hours they have worked for you.
…but so can managing stock
The last thing you want are bunches of flowers that haven’t sold and are starting to wilt.
By implementing an online stock management system, you can start to get a feel for trends as well as seasonal peaks and troughs.
These will give you insights so that you’re not flying blind with ordering.
Drawing the line on favours
Floristry is one of those professions where people seem to think you do it for love alone.
Hence you can expect requests to provide the flowers for your aunt’s friend’s daughter’s wedding or your former flatmate’s son’s christening for a discount.
It is lovely to be able to help, but you have a business to run and a living to earn!
Setting up a discount policy for friends and family from the get-go will make it easier for you to say no to doing things for free.
Share an online quote and make note of the discount so that they know exactly how much money they are up for.
A floristry business is like a good flower arrangement
It has a number of elements and it is harder than it looks to get right!
As a business owner you are in charge of marketing, recruitment, store presentation, finance and HR.
When these all work together you are on to a beautiful thing, but sometimes the workload can feel overwhelming.
Experienced florists will tell you to streamline your ordering, your marketing and your customer communication with the help of online systems.
Doing all this will the help of fast broadband, such as via services over the nbn™ network, could free you up to spend more time doing what you do best.
Check your address to see if you can connect to the nbn™ network.