Business Tips for Florists – Summer Survival Guide

How can you utilize your creativity for business decisions?

Florists are artists, and working in the floral industry means you get to regularly flex your creativity. Yet, your skillset isn’t limited to the flowers alone. In this episode of our Summer Survival Guide, Lovingly florists and industry experts share the creative ways they handle business in their shops. Watch now for even more business tips and guidance from our partners.

Key Takeaways

  • Sourcing Products, Resourcefully: Floral Inventory, from Wholesalers to Local Farms
  • Training, Hiring and Learning from Staff
  • Customer Service Tips

More About Our Guests

This video features testimonials from our Lovingly Momentmakers:

Full Episode Transcript

Selena 0:00
You really have to be established and ready emotionally, and be mentally ready to ride that ride. I knew when I came in that that commitment was a long term commitment that I am giving my heart to. Because these two families had committed to grow this business and I’m committing to also continue growing it. Yeah, we can’t predict a pandemic. But I also knew that I gave this commitment and it wasn’t going to happen on my watch.

Joe Vega 0:32
It’s summertime in the floral industry, which means plenty of opportunities to grow your business. Our goal throughout this mini series is to not only help you get through the season, but also gain valuable insights from professionals in the industry, our floral community and our Lovingly team. Welcome to Flower Shop Secrets: Summer Survival. Streaming now on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google and more.

Selena 0:00
You really have to be established and ready emotionally, and be mentally ready to ride that ride. I knew when I came in that that commitment was a long term commitment that I am giving my heart to. Because these two families had committed to grow this business and I’m committing to also continue growing it. Yeah, we can’t predict a pandemic. But I also knew that I gave this commitment and it wasn’t going to happen on my watch.

Joe Vega 0:32
It’s summertime in the floral industry, which means plenty of opportunities to grow your business. Our goal throughout this mini series is to not only help you get through the season, but also gain valuable insights from professionals in the industry, our floral community and our Lovingly team. Welcome to Flower Shop Secrets: Summer Survival. Streaming now on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google and more.

What’s up everybody? This is Joe Vega, and welcome to another flower shop secret podcast summer survival. Of course, we all know that florists artists working in the flower industry means you get to regularly flex your creativity. Still, your skill set isn’t limited to just flowers, after all, florists are in business. So let’s take a look at how some florists use their creativity to run their shops. From a business perspective, let’s go.

Corrine 1:24
Last year was a huge wake up call for us, we could not plan to depend on these wholesalers forever, we had to be able to supplement our product by at least 30 to 40%. In future coming years, in order to account for any losses that we were incurring from, you know, just daily issues like you know, delayed shipments, FedEx not showing up, you know, all those things with shippings. And with wholesalers, when people are just getting started in the industry, or even consumers, they don’t really know where product is coming from. And so to learn, you know, for an event, you might have 50 different products that are coming from, you know, 30 different countries. And so we really have to be price competitive, but also smarter and our buying habits and where we get our products. So that has been something we really just try to to help our

Steph 2:15
or teach our flowers are going to come in about six days before the holiday. Like I said in our previous episode, we do not chill anything, we have nothing in coolers we are fully fresh and fresh out. And six days is our magic number. It’s not too long, and it’s not too short. And if we have any delivery hiccups in terms of the products getting to us, we know that we have enough time to pivot, where last year we had so many issues with product flying into us with airport issues. And, you know, flights being delayed and things of that nature. We’re prepared this year to get stuff from our local wholesalers, which were not open last year. As well as getting clients we are shopping with multiple wholesalers this year, instead of putting all of our eggs and baskets with one wholesaler, we’re going to spread it out between schepens wholesale and our local farmers. I’ve reached out to four different local farmers and said I have a budget this is what I want to spend this is my color palette. Are you able to accommodate that? I’ll come pick it up or do you deliver, you know and reached out to them very early because I don’t want to be that jerk at the last minute looking for flowers because one of my local wholesalers or my shipment didn’t arrive I’d rather have it lined up now

Corrine 3:28
I’ve really made it a mission to focus on the floral industry having worked on the Import side and seeing how disconnected a lot of our wholesalers were to our customers and and even beyond that our farms so we have really gone above to have our farms connected with our florist and so people can actually see what products are being grown or what’s available or what is new details was designed so that we can house any type of catalog of sorts of products. And so we have different representations from ball which is a breeder, so any product that a ball breeds is on our site. And so when our florists do use that product, they get those specific varieties so they know exactly what to ask their wholesaler for but it’s really interesting for ball because they can see what products are trending or what months are these products going to be most sought after or most used what should they plant more of? What should they sell more seeds of? So all of those products we have Alexandra farms on they’re all their garden roses, you know, when you’re selling a wedding you want to sell you’re usually very color specific but you would like to see oh my gosh there’s 40 different varieties of different garden roses and I want that one so if you have the intention of what you’re looking for, not only are you getting the name right, but you’re also able to like communicate that to your suppliers in a in a more robust like way the supermarket’s have definitely taken a large chunk of our like business, the growers and importers or exporters are just looking for ways to, you know, peddle their wares. And the grocers are big buyers. I think it’s our role to help convince consumers to support local florists just because they’re needing that extra hands. You know,

Steph 5:19
if you’re looking for a local farm, I highly recommend getting on Facebook and looking at local gardening groups, we try and steer away from bad farmers and look for sustainable farmers, I think the best tool is to give them a set budget, say, you know, I want to spend $250 a week at your farm every single week, keeping a consistent amount of money, not necessarily variety. Because again, flowers are produce. So whatever is the best quality is what you want to offer your your clients, you don’t really want to cater to your clients, you want to cater to, you know what the farm is able to offer you and then your clients will end up understanding that they can appreciate the better quality, you know, you have to be resourceful. And think in advance. You know, if you go to the grocery store, once a week, buy two cases of mason jars every time you go to the grocery store, because you don’t want to show up on Mother’s Day, in a pinch, expecting to see four cases and they have not. Because you’re not the only one looking for them.

Poppy 6:23
You can always learn from somebody, right? So it’s finding people to learn from and your business, the the core value or the core part of your business, your finances have to be in check, your books have to be in check, it is worth it for you to either pay a professional or learn from a professional if it worked for you to bring somebody in in a part time are casual rule to work alongside you with that. Look out of the box that who you’re hiring, you know, maybe there’s a retired bookkeeper looking for a part time job that could could teach you some of the book work and help you with it. And you could learn from them. Not everybody has the money to hire a chartered accountant to do their books, but you still have to maintain that in and find somebody for sure,

Steph 7:18
we have had great luck on Instagram, we can call on our local family and friends, we can post stuff on Facebook jobs, which is a great resource and just say, you know, day labor, X amount of dollars per hour, you know, I give my bonuses to delivery drivers, I tell them right off the bat, if you show up on Saturday and Sunday, you can extra 50 bucks just for showing up. That’s a good incentive to get people to show up on holidays when you’re super busy. And you don’t have the regular staff is just show people you appreciate them financially, once they’re here, they’re in love, I mean, come back every single holiday,

Jeanne 7:53
I always tell my employees to smile when on the phone. Because you can tell when somebody smiles on the phone,

Poppy 8:00
you can hear it, we evolve and change all the time you adapt. As as the staff get to try new things, they might be afraid of using a product or trying a new technique. But you adapt to learn something new and you and you grow and keep trying new things. And we work together on what flows best and what maybe doesn’t work. And sometimes they end up with skills that I don’t have, maybe I get frustrated with something. And maybe they do it well. And so we play off of each other. And, and, and grow together.

Jeanne 8:42
We’re in a business of people, and you have to go into it knowing that if you don’t, then you’re not going to be successful, simple as that you love the art of floristry. But you also have to really love the human connection, you get

Poppy 8:53
to build the relationship not only with your customer that’s buying the flowers, but with the person that’s receiving it. And you know, they get to see you and talk to you and spend that little bit of extra time

Unknown Speaker 9:05
I try very hard not to mass produce anything going out of my shop, I really try my hardest to send out unique creations for everybody just so that way. They do feel one of a kind and they do feel special in that regard. I really try to make the person feel like even though I’ve got you know, 20 or 25 other orders that day that alone to deal with that they’re

Jeanne 9:26
the most important person I have that day to deal with. It takes a little bit extra effort and time. But it really makes a lasting impact. You’re building that trust with that customer so that they’ll come back time and time again, it’s a fine line where you can only make some of the people happy. There’s a few people that complain probably almost daily, and it’s usually the same five people but they teach you so much about where you need to go. You meet a client where they’re at. Oftentimes if there’s a problem sometimes I realized that it’s not about me. It’s there’s really actually something else going on. doesn’t always work but I try my best to kind of emotional I remove myself from the situation and realize that there’s probably something more going on behind it. But then at the same time validate how they’re feeling. And, you know, say I understand what you’re going through right now, how can I make it better.

Unknown Speaker 10:10
If a customer calls with a complaint, it doesn’t matter where they are right or wrong, we give him 100%. satisfaction. If they complain, we say, we give you three options, we will refund you 100%, we will send another arrangement as a second option, or we’ll leave it the way it is. And next time you order you order will be free. Some of them will say, give me the refund. But I can assure you that next time I order flowers, I’m going to go through you and consumer love that when they are happy, you could come out and say, listen, since you are happy with the resolution, why don’t you do a good review for us, you know what, they go into Google, and they do a beautiful review for you. And that’s pushing you up all the time. So never refuse to give a customer their money back or replace your arrangement. It’s not enough, make me rich or poor, what I want to be able to do is maintain my credibility. That’s the name of the game today, service service service, and the consumers is always right.

Unknown Speaker 11:19
You don’t go to a restaurant, say, Hey, I’ll have the fish, I’m sorry, we don’t have any fish laughs don’t expect them to walk out, you offer them something else, you know, if you’re going to share love through the beauty of flowers, there’s more than one way to do it. There really is there’s always more than one way to do it. You know, and and that’s the joy of what we do. In our industry. There’s so many beautiful options, you know, from from plants, to flowers to just cut bouquets and flower arrangements and whatever’s there’s all kinds of options. So always getting those extra options that they might not have thought of either in the

Unknown Speaker 11:51
past, when they were no Google reviews, and customer will complain. And you will say Well, you didn’t like it, it’s too bad. You already paid for it. You know, don’t call me Don’t bother me. In today’s world, you cannot afford to do that. Because there is Google who’s overseeing everything. And when a customer is not happy with your service, for whatever reason it is they might not be right. It might not be a solid complaint. But if they have a complaint, and they do a bad review, and cool, people are looking at those reviews all the time, and that’s going to maintain you in business, you just have to treat them that with that little extra service. I don’t do that because they want their loyalty. I do that because they genuinely care. I think people see that. And they respond to that

Jeanne 12:40
there have been times where there’s been a bad experience or something’s gone wrong, and I’ve seen it as an opportunity. And then all of a sudden I’ve got a lifelong client. And I do tell people that if they have a really positive experience, please leave us a review. I think having the online orders where they can easily just click the link and then leave us a review is great. My reviews have really jumped up because of that.

Joe Vega 13:04
We want to help your business blossom. How for more episodes of flower shop secrets streaming now on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google and more.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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