How Much Money Does a Florist Make

My life changed when I heard a seemingly successful florist tell me, "Kathleen, you don't go into floristry to make money."

I couldn't believe this famous florist was uttering these words to me.

I was speechless.

Here was another florist who, from the outside, checked all the boxes of "successful florist" while telling me she was struggling to make ends meet. Meanwhile, I had made millions of dollars in my flower business (and wasn't famous at all).

Up until that moment, I thought every florist experienced the financial success I had.

Turns out, I am the exception.

Turns out, when we tell ourselves money is hard, we make the process of making money...hard (real hard!).

Inside my Flower Boss Bootcamp, I share my exact approach to making money and teach you how to approach pricing with ease.

Very specifically, I teach you how to think about making money. When you ask me the question, "How much money does a florist make?" My response is quite different to other florists.

We all relate to money differently.

When you believe money is out of your control, you'll stay stuck in inaction, waiting for the stars to align. (Yes, this is how most humans learn to think about money.)

When you're a floral designer, on a mission to build a business, learning how to reframe your money stories and shift your thinking is how you learn to pay yourself a living wage.

You can decide to continue to stay stuck and tell yourself, you don't go into floristry to make money.

Or you can decide that creating the flower business of your dreams, making more money and serving your clients at your highest level is the real goal.

Shifting your mindset, getting curious about your money stories and opening yourself up to the possibilities of being creative and making money is a must for any creative entrepreneur (including floral designers).

It's also what makes pricing so easy and attracting better clients effortless. And it's actually how you attract better clients, increase your profitability and grow your business.

Reframe your money stories

At the end of the day, money has no more inherent value than a Kleenex. But we all grow up in environments and are conditioned to believe certain stories about money.

We are told money doesn't grow on trees. We believe making money is hard. We hear influencers tell us we should just be grateful for what we have.

And in most cases, we're unaware we carry these blind spots in our potential.

At the end of the day, the amount of money you're making (or not making) is up to you. 100%.

Money doesn't fall from the sky. Money doesn't just land in your lap.

You make money through your actions.

You are 100% capable of making more money in your flower business.

To do that though, you have to take full responsibility for the results you're creating right now.

The best bit is, once you take full ownership of your results, you can DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

When you tell yourself making money is hard, you feel graspy.

You find yourself flip-flopping, doing all the things, offering discounts just to get the business, and will say yes to whatever comes your way. You never end up sorting out your prices properly and you stay stuck fulfilling the starving artist life (trying to stay motivated by convincing yourself you could just be grateful for what you have, right?).

The floral design industry loves to perpetuate this belief. This industry could be a textbook example of scarcity thinking.

Rather than openly talk about pricing and making money, florists like to brag about how busy we are. As if busy is a badge of honour and busy is the same thing as being successful.

I absolutely fell into this scenario early in my business. I said yes to every job that came my way because I thought that's what I was supposed to do.

It only took a core meltdown for me to come to terms with the fact that I didn't even like the business I had created. It took me a few years but I did finally learn there is a better way, an easier approach and, no, you do not need to work your way up the experience ladder.

How much money does a florist make?

As a very rough guide, if your flower business turns over $200,000 a year, you can easily bring home $50,000 (possibly more depending on your operations and the type of work you do). If you want to bring home more than $200,000, you'll want to set a revenue target of at least $1,000,000.

For anyone who asks me "How much money does a florist make," my response is always the same: You can make a lot of money as a floral designer.

But it takes a new level of awareness in your thinking and next-level belief in the value of what you're offering your customers.

And, honestly, once you realise pricing is super straightforward (it's based on an equation, not an emotion), you can get curious about limiting beliefs you have about making money, and you'll notice things shift radically in your business (yes it can happen really quickly too!).

If you're like so many other florists and struggling with pricing, be sure to check out this blog post (Florist Pricing Worksheet).

Florist Business Plan for 2022

Business planning sounds boring, doesn't it? I totally get it. The idea of creating a florist business plan for 2022 makes you want to run screaming the other direction. Like one of those, can-I-please-poke-my-eyes-out-with-a-hot-skewer-instead sort of activities.

And if you Google "Florist Business Plan for 2022", it gets worse. All you're presented with is these epically long documents and heaps of questions to fill in.

That's precisely why I wanted to put together this blog post, to show you how simple business planning for your flower business can be.

Business Planning for Florists Doesn't Need to Be Hard

99% of the reason we resist planning is that it feels totally overwhelming and a lot of work for not a lot of impact. It's so much easier to just keep going with what you've been doing and hope the rest sorts itself out, right?

We tell ourselves to just keep doing stuff, filling our time, posting to Instagram with no plan, making random updates to our websites and just basically checking all the things off the list...but not seeing the results you really want to create in your flower business.

"If you don't know where you're going, any path will get you there."
– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The single most powerful reason a business plan helps you grow your flower business is it encourages you to shift your perspective.

It's like a North Star for your flower business. It gives you focus and makes it easier for you to make more informed decisions about the way forward.

We're bombarded with messages on social media, encouraging us to be grateful for what we have. But when you hear the call to start your own business, it requires you to channel your ambition and dive, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone every day.

The shift here is to be grateful for what you have AND still feel the drive to want more. It's not an either-or sorta situation. It's an opportunity for 'yes and'.

Once you begin to articulate a handful of numbers and set a clear revenue goal, you'll see how big you need to start thinking – and you'll start to understand just how much your drive and ambition are going to serve you in growing your flowe business.

 

4 Simple Steps – Florist Business Plan for 2022

Yes, you can spend hours and days and months crafting the perfect business plan. But then you'll never get to work, taking action, evaluating your results and making progress.

Crafting the right business plan for your flower business is about finding a balance (your business, your rules, yeah?). No matter how you decide to approach planning for 2022, here are four fundamental topics to address:

  1. Your Annual Revenue Target
  2. Your Monthly (or Weekly) Target
  3. Obstacles to Making it Work
  4. Strategies to Make it Happen

Your Annual Revenue Target

In most cases, the reason florists fail to keep their doors open and call it quits is that their goals are either (1) non-existent or (2) too small.

This one little bit of math helps shift your thinking and realises you need to set your sights higher.

Let's do some super simple math. When it comes to setting a revenue target for your flower business, the very basic formula I like to follow is: Annual Revenue Target = personal income goal x 5 

Now, I am not a financial advisor or accountant but I find this simple formula helps provide clarity. If you want to bring home £40,000 a year, your business' revenue target is £200,000. If you want to earn $100,000 per year, your business's revenue target is $500,000. Yeah?

Monthly (or Weekly) Target

I find it really helpful to take the annual target and beak it down into a number I can wrap my head around. It's hard to imagine $500,000 but it's much easier to envision 8 orders a day, right?

Your monthly (or weekly) target is going to depend on what niche you're focused on. But here are two examples to help show you how to break it down:

Daily Flower Deliveries:
Target Average Order Value = $120, including delivery
Annual Sales Target $250,000
$250,000 / $120 = 2084 orders per year
2084 orders per year / 12 months = 174 orders per month
2084 orders per year / 52 weeks = 40 orders per week

Weddings:
Average Order Value = $5,000
Annual Sales Target $250,000
$250,000 / $5,000 = 50 weddings per year

Obstacles to Making it Work

This is where my approach to creating a florist business plan for 2022 diverts from others. I'm here to keep it super-duper simple so you can get clear on the road forward and start taking massive action.

As soon as you start playing around with the numbers, you're going to hear that little voice in your head come up with 1235 reasons why it's not possible, why you won't be able to make your revenue goal happen. That's normal. In fact, it's to be expected. (If you don't hear that voice, are you even human?)

The next step in crafting your business plan is to think about the obstacles to you creating this volume of sales in your flower business. Yes, there is going to be shiz you gotta overcome to make it work.

Where we get in our own way is that we are convinced nothing should go wrong, nothing should get in our way to make it happen and it should all be smooth sailing.

And then you hit your first hurdle and you use that as a reason to stop.

Don't do that.

When you take the time, in advance, to identify the obstacles to creating your revenue goal, you're not as shocked when you hit the obstacle. In fact, you know you're doing it right when XYZ obstacle pops up.

That's the value of this one exercise – it gives you the markers to move forward. It literally shows you where to focus your time and energy.

Strategies to Make it Happen

This is the definition of planning ahead. With each obstacle you've identified from above, think about what steps you can take to overcome that obstacle.

  • Not good with tech? Who can you enlist the help of to make it work?
  • Want to make time to take care of the family? How can you plan ahead and ensure you make time to also focus on growing your business?
  • Not good with numbers? Is there a piece of software, an app or another human who can make it easier on you?
  • Not comfortable with a certain mechanic or design style (and you really want to learn to make it), who can you learn from? How can you prioritise personal growth and intentional practice and still make progress in your business?

Remember, no one was born knowing all the things. Building a successful flower business requires you to learn a lot of things. Not just flower care, mechanics and colour theory. But also, SEO, marketing strategies, sales tactics, customer service, team leadership and more.

This approach saves you so much of the additional frustration, distractedness and overwhelm we experience when we're expecting our path to building a business should be easy.

Taking time to map out a plan, identify the obstacles and strategies to make it work gives you room to evaluate your options and sort through different ways forward.

Planning for 2022

When it comes to planning for my flower business, I like to do it in two shorter sessions. In hour one, I'll set an annual sales target and then a 90-day sales target and I map out the obstacles, the hurdles that I know will get in the way of making it happen. I then take a second session to map out my strategies forward.

Y'all thought your creativity was limited to your flowering. Good news – that's just the tip of the iceberg baby!

Just like design, planning is a process. And, as with everything I teach, I'm here to deal it to you straight and cut out the fluff. This approach works well for me so feel free to use it, and make it your own.

 

Want more FREE goodness?

Check out this recent blog post: How to Increase Sales – 3 Steps to Success (click here) 

Marketing Strategy for Florists – The Right Approach to Follow

I used to believe getting more customers for my flower business was all about getting famous. I thought the more popular I was on Instagram, the more customers would come my way. It's like "posting to Instagram" and worrying about engagement = marketing = attempting to get customers.

That thinking led me to spend A LOT of energy trying to get more exposure (but not getting more customers).

I experienced the same struggles so many florists find themselves in, trying to just "get my name out there", doing all the things but not really feeling like I was making much progress.

Yep, I used to do styled shoots. We paid for print ads in fancy magazines. Yes, I even walked around the neighbourhood and hand-delivered cute little brochures in the fancy neighbourhoods.

Guess what came of those things? $0.

Chasing exposure but not seeing results is exhausting.

It's what leads so many florists to call it quits because it's really hard to keep going when you're not making enough money and barely making ends meet.

And when you see all these florists showing up on Instagram, bragging about how busy they are...but your business feels like a hot mess – you don't have enough customers, not enough enquiries and you're not doing the work you dreamed you'd be doing, you wonder what you're missing.

I spent years in that spin cycle, stuck in the spiral of waking up each day hoping today is the day when I finally crack the code, the day when everything has miraculously sorted itself out.

It finally all came crashing down in November 2017, when I hit burnout and realised something had to change. I was saying yes to everything that came my way. I wasn't charging enough and I was stuck in the thought process that getting exposure = getting customers.

Albert Einstein once said: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result."

That quote has served me so well in my business. It's what lead me to figure out that the right marketing strategy for florists isn't about getting exposure. It's not about being popular, getting famous or trying to get more followers (as much as this is what this industry wants us all to believe those things matter).

There is a Right and a Wrong Marketing Strategy for Florists

It's easy to think that getting customers is directly related to getting exposure. Like more followers = more customers or having a shop front = more orders. The exposure game is how marketing works in a lot of industries. But it's not how marketing works in the floral design industry.

Yes, it works for Toyota and Chanal and Cadbury. And yes, worrying about engagement and followers and likes matters for businesses whose followers = customers.

But there is one major difference between selling flowers + selling anything else: you only do flowers in a very specific footprint.

You cannot ship your designs around the world. You're not going to do a wedding on the other side of the country and you're not going to deliver Mother's Day flowers in another state.

This geographical constraint is what makes the marketing strategy for florists unlike marketing in any other industry.

If you're focused on daily flower deliveries, most of your customers don't actually live in your local area...but they want flowers delivered in your local area.

Yes, your clients for weddings and events might be in your local area but they don't plan a wedding or event because they followed you on Instagram. They book their event date and venue first. And then go looking for a floral who can design for their event on the day and time of their event.

Once you understand that we need to approach marketing differently (what works in other industries doesn't apply to us) you'll start to see where you're wasting your time, energy and money.

The Real Secret to Getting Customers

I'm proud to say I am probably one of the most unfamous florists on the interwebs. But I've also made millions of dollars in my flower business.

How did I figure out how to make it work? I shifted my focus and started focusing on where my customers were actively looking for a floral designer. I put myself in my customer's shoes and asked myself what mattered to them.

Marketing strategy for florists isn't about getting exposure or getting more followers. You don't have to invest in a single styled shoot if you don't want to.

The right marketing strategy for florists is all about being in the right place, at the right time, with the right message. Be where your customers are actively looking for designers and make it easy for them to buy from you.

No more posting to Instagram without a clear plan. No more worrying about engagement or stressing over the algorithm. You don't need to do Reels and you don't need to start doin' TikTok (unless those things are fun and creatively fulfilling for you).

No need to play the popularity game and if you don't wanna worry about getting published...then don't worry about getting published.

Getting more customers in your flower business isn't about getting exposure. It's about putting yourself in your customer's shoes, getting really specific about where they are actively looking for a florist and showing up in the most helpful way possible.

Essentially you gotta ignore how every other designer is showing up and learn to play a different game. But this is a game you can win – it's a game that has nothing to do with being popular or being the best designer.

You don't need more qualifications or more credentials. You just need to put yourself in your customer's shoes and make it easy for them to buy from you.

It's so fun!

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.

Wedding Flower Quote Template

Let’s talk wedding flower quote templates, shall we?

In the early days of my flower business, I used to spend hours pulling together these uber detailed quotes and mood boards. This was back in the day before Canva.com existed or before I learned those fancy florists invested in fancy software solutions to solve these problems.

The very first booking I ever landed, for Paul + Prue, I think I spent eight hours on their quote and mood board. That didn’t include the phone calls, face to face meetings or any of my site visits to measure up the reception designs. And this was just to get the booking, not even thinking through ingredients, recipes or logistics.

Fast forward 24 months and I was doing about 100 weddings a year. There was no way I could sustain that level of customisation or personalisation. 8 hours per client was not sustainable for me.

I learned the hard way that there is a “right” and a “wrong” way to go about quotes and consultations.

Inside my Flower Boss Bootcamp, I teach florists a very streamlined approach to navigating new enquiries. I’ve wrapped up all my best lessons in a pretty bow,  giving you permission to use all my email templates, take my exact approach and make it yours.  

BREAK ALL THE {UNWRITTEN} RULES

My approach to navigating new wedding enquiries flies in the face of how most florists approach it. I created a super-streamlined approach because I was tired of wasting time on formal consultations, detailed quotes and mood boards that didn’t go anywhere.

In 2018, I tried a lot of different ideas and finally landed on an approach my clients love and one that works for me. Your business’ wedding enquiry process is one of your most important systems. Creating a process that allows you to filter clients ahead of time, providing the right info to your prospective clients as well as making it feel effortless to you is absolute magic.

No longer do you need to waste your time or your clients time doing custom quotes or detailed mood boards. There is a better way! 

It's time to flip the entire process on its head peoples!

MY WEDDING ENQUIRY PROCESS

Here is a quick snapshot of how I go about wedding flower quote templates:

  1. New Client Enquiry
  2. Welcome Email Response (Template email, provides my clients with super helpful planning tools and a budget guide). In this email, they are invited to move to the next step in the enquiry process (Step 3)
  3. Online Design Q&A (gives me guidance on their wish list, personal preferences and priorities)
  4. Budget Recommendation Email (outlines total budget required to achieve their wish list as well as a recommendation on what to include and what to let go of, if they want to stick to their budget)
  5. Finalise the Scope of Work (inevitably there is some back and forth on deliverables)
  6. Formalise Booking (only after they say “How do I book you in?” do I move to this phase of the process and create the detailed quote)

WEDDING FLOWER QUOTE TEMPLATES

My approach to navigating new enquiries works for me and it works for my clients and it turns the traditional process on its head. I got tired of doing detailed wedding flower quote templates and being ghosted by clients.

When I teach floral designers how to effortlessly navigate new enquiries, I share two fundamental principles:

  1. Talk about budgets and pricing in your up-front marketing and make it the first thing you sort through (even before you have a consultation if you choose to do that)
  2. Instead of worrying about being fancy, focus on being quick to respond and uber helpful. 

You will see an increase in your bookings if you do the opposite of what you see in our industry. Be the florist that talks about budgets and pricing ahead of time (like actually on your Instagram posts, write some helpful blog posts etc.). It works so good!

3 LESSONS LEARNED FOR EFFECTIVE WEDDING FLOWER QUOTE TEMPLATES

  1. Use a Template – whether you use a CRM system like Dubsado or stick with your accounting software (we use Xero), setting up your items as template products makes the formal admin around creating the final quote super easy.  
  2. Itemise Delivery, Set-up and Pack Down – in most cases your clients will have sticker shock over the labour involved on the day. I found breaking down those three items into three separate line items super helpful. 
  3. Use the Event Description to Sell the Experience – that bit of copy you put at the top of the quote that paints the picture of the day and gives your clients the reassurance that you know what you’re selling is a great sales opportunity.

Here is an example of a wedding flower quote template (click here for the PDF). 

NEED HELP GETTING MORE SALES IN 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. 

WANT MORE {FREE} WEDDING FLOWER QUOTE TEMPLATE SUPPORT?

Check out this archived podcast episode – Real Wedding Quote: Detailed Review. 

I dig into a real quote and give you some great tips to make the process run smoothly and increase your chances of getting the booking.

How Can I Increase Sales as a Florist – 3 Steps to Success

OK, you’ve got your social media sorted (kinda). You’ve even contemplated embracing the discomfort of Instagram Reels. You’ve been through the process of getting a website sorted and your Google My Business listing is done.

You feel like you’re checking all the boxes but you’re struggling to get enough orders and enquiries. Every day you hear yourself ask, “How can I increase sales as a florist?”

My friend, you’re in exactly the right place. I wanna let you in on the secrets of successful florists and give you super specific, actionable advice to help you make it work.

While all the other florists wanna keep their secrets a secret, hidden from the world, I’m on a mission to ensure every florist knows how to build a profitable flower business. 

THE SECRET TO FLOWER BUSINESS SUCCESS

The single most important lesson to learn about marketing + sales as a floral designer is this: you have to follow a different strategy.

Selling flowers requires a different approach to marketing + sales. I know everyone else is teaching you how to increase engagement and grow your following but I’m here to tell you that’s a total waste of energy. 

If you go out and talk to any marketing person, they’re going to tell you the go after more “exposure”. That approach works in 99% of other industries. Volkswagen needs to keep reminding you they offer great cars. They need to encourage you to go through the effort of upgrading your vehicle and spend a bit more money.

Prada wants you following them so they can seduce you with their lifestyle and convince you to drop $5K on a bag. The girl selling cute handmade candles needs to keep sharing and showcasing her designs to try to convince you buying a candle is a good idea. 

The local cafe wants you to follow them on Instagram to keep you buying your daily coffee from them – 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year.

But when it comes to understanding ‘how can I increase sales as a florist’, the most important lesson to learn is you gotta follow a different strategy to what is traditionally spouted out by your favourite influencer and marketing coach.

There are four things that make floral design sales different to any other industry:

  1. Your service area is limited – you don’t do weddings in every corner of the planet and you can’t do flower deliveries beyond a specific footprint.
  2. Your customer could be based anywhere – the person paying for the flowers might be based halfway around the world
  3. Your customers already know flowers are the right solution – flowers have been part of the human experience for 5000 years. They already know they want flowers at the wedding, funeral or birthday party. They know flowers are perfect for sympathy, get-well-soon and celebration. 
  4. Your customer has a specific need – the majority of customers buy flowers to fulfil a very specific brief (date, location, occasion, budget are all constraints we need to account for)

This is why the traditional approach to marketing + sales doesn’t work for floral designers. It’s why, when you’re focused on growing your following, it doesn’t translate into more revenue for your business. This is why playing the popularity game or going after exposure isn’t required.

It’s also why I will tell you not to worry about wasting energy on Instagram Reels or worrying about doing another styled shoot. It’s why I will tell you, you gotta learn about Search Engine Optimisation and playing a smarter Google game. (Check out this super helpful YouTube video if you want some insider tips.)

HOW CAN I INCREASE SALES AS A FLORIST – 3 STEPS TO SUCCESS

When it comes to understanding how can I increase sales as a florist, here are my 3 steps to success:

STEP 1 – Follow the right strategy

What is the right strategy? Be where your customer is. 

Job 1: Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and map out their shopping experience. Quite literally, close your eyes and envision your customer. Where do they go first when they’re looking for a florist?

Once you do this one exercise, you’ll understand why worrying about the Instagram algorithm or chasing exposure isn’t important. That’s not how your customer shops for a florist.

STEP 2 – Make it easy for your customer to buy from you

As much as the relay networks, wire services and wedding planning networks might irritate you, they have figured out what matters most to customers. It’s time to take a page out of their book and realise they are doing a few things right.  

So many florists miss the mark because they make online shopping or planning a wedding really freakin’ hard. We overcomplicate the enquiry process, make it hard for customers to understand what their money will get them and never explain how the heck this whole floral design thing works.

My friends, it’s time to blaze a new trail. It’s time to break the tradition and make it really easy for your customers to find the information they’re looking for. The more helpful you are, the most your customers will spend with you. The easier you make it for your customer to say ‘yes’ to what it is you’re offering, the more orders you’ll get.

Essentially, in order to get more customers and make more money, you just need to do the exact opposite of what you traditionally see in this industry: be open with your expertise and guidance; give your clients the answers to the most common questions; and make it really really easy for your customers to buy what you have to offer.

Write that super helpful blog post outlining wedding flowers budgets. Create a section on your online catalogue that explains how to order. Make it clear to your customers what their money will get them. Give them lots of opportunities to spend even more money. They’ll love it!

STEP 3 – Be relentlessly repetitive

One of the biggest lessons I learned early on in my flower business is that every day is a new day filled with new customers. Every day there are new couples planning new weddings. Every day there is a new set of birthdays and babies and get-well-soon gifts to be sent. 

This requires you, as the head of marketing + sales, to step up your game and be willing to repeat yourself. A lot.

In many cases, it means we create a set of shortcuts. You don’t need to keep coming up with new content ideas or new better-than-the-rest photos. You could literally post the same thing on Instagram stories every 24 hours. You can repurpose and repeat your posts every 7-14 days. 

This is also why tactics like Google Adwords, Google My Business and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and are so important for floral designers. (If you’re totally confused by SEO, check out this blog post SEO For Florists: The #1 Thing You Need to Know.)

The truth is, it doesn’t matter what happened yesterday in your flower business. You might have received 15 new enquiries and 5 online orders or you might still be waiting for your next enquiry and your next online order. Today is a new day filled with a new set of customers. 

Being able to consistently show up despite the current results (or lack thereof) is how you make it work. This is why so many florists call it quits. They give up too early because they’re focused on the wrong things and following the wrong sales strategy.  

Learning the right marketing strategy, learning to show up every day despite what happened yesterday, learning to believe in our own potential and learning to feel a new level of determination is how you build a thriving flower business. This is what separates a Flower Boss from the rest of the crowd.

NEED HELP GETTING MORE SALES IN YOUR FLOWER BUSINESS?

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Maximise Profit in Your Flower Business – 8 Tips

Let’s talk about makin’ money!! In fact, let’s talk about how to make more money in your flower business. Here are 8 ideas to help you maximise profit in your flower business.

WHAT IS PROFIT?

First things, first, let’s all agree on a definition of “profit”, can we?

There are a few different ways to define profit, but for simplicity, I’m going to define it as follow: 

Profit = the money left over after you’ve paid all the bills.

In most cases, profit is defined over a timeframe – you could define it over a week, a quarter, a year, or you can evaluate it on a per-project basis.

Let’s get into a real-world example, with the last design project you did, you’ve got bills from growers, invoices from suppliers, labour costs as well as operational costs (petrol, insurance, rent, heat, electricity, etc.).

Once you pay all those invoices, there should still be money left in your bank account (this includes after you pay yourself).

Most florists are gobsmacked to realise they’re barely breaking even. If that’s you, you’re in exactly the right place! 

Getting a handle on your numbers and learning to evaluate your profitability regularly is so helpful!

I know it’s super scary and intimidating at first, but it gets easier! 

Know this: getting comfortable reviewing your profitability is incredibly powerful. That's why I've put together these tips to help you maximise profit in your flower business.

This isn’t about using your numbers as an opportunity for your inner critic to come in and judge, ridicule and beat you up (more than usual).  

Treat this as a science experiment. A pure fact-finding mission. 

Look back at your last project. Maybe you way overspent on ingredients for the event. Or maybe you miscalculated how many freelancer hours you needed.

That’s OK.

Don’t stress. Don’t beat yourself. Don’t dwell on what went wrong.

“When you know better, you do better.”

Maya Angelou

I have lived by this mantra for years and it has served me so well in my flower business. Beating yourself isn’t going to help you move forward. Let that sh*t go, friend. Instead, make notes of what you would do differently next time… and then do it differently.

The best way to improve your numbers is to know your numbers. Once you know your numbers, you can take action to change them, to always improve.

Now, with all that said, here are 8 ideas to maximise profit in your flower business:

IDEA #1 – REVIEW YOUR PRICING

And do it today. I spent far too long putting this one off when the reality is, there is no reason to hold off. Just go in there and update it straight away. And no, you don’t need to gradually increase your prices. Embrace the discomfort, peoples! Don’t dilly dally. (Need help? Check out this recent blog post How to Price a Bouquet.)

IDEA #2 – KNOW YOUR COSTS

When I first started, I had no idea what was involved in running a flower business. Just becoming aware of money in, money out is helpful because that increased awareness will help you measure your progress. You will feel more in control and have a more complete picture of what’s happening (rather than just hoping you have money in your account to pay for the next bill that comes in your inbox).

Your homework: how much money does it take for you to just have your business “open”? Grab a worksheet and add up your rent, insurance, website hosting, accounting software, electricity, water, internet, phone, etc. Whatever you spend money on just to keep the lights on.

IDEA #3 – SHAVE 10% OFF YOUR NEXT WHOLESALE FLOWER ORDER

I used to overbuy at the Sydney Flower Market all the time. $100 there. $200 here. It adds up so quickly and is one of the simplest ways to eat up your profitability. 

Shopping for flowers is like being a kid in a candy shop. Building the discipline to stick to a budget and work through the urges to buy the things, not on your shopping list takes practice but it’s doable. It made a dramatic difference to our bottom line.  So, put your list together and then cut it back by 10%. Keep shaving a little bit off here and there, push your design skills and watch your profitability increase. It’s so good!

IDEA #4 – PUSH YOUR CREATIVITY + DESIGN SKILLS FURTHER

In the shop, we used to have little design wars. We’d grab the bucket of orphan stems (the leftover from full bunches) and we’d challenge each other to make something look good with an imperfect set of ingredients.

I used to be so impressed by what we could create using three mismatched gerberas and one snapdragon.  Learning to create beautiful designs with an imperfect number of stems is a valuable skill to learn and helps you push your creativity to the next level.  

It makes you a better designer and teaches you how to make more money.

IDEA #5 – REVIEW YOUR DELIVERY CHARGES

Free delivery isn’t a tactic you have to adopt. If the relay services and networks can charge $12.95 for delivery, you can too. 

In 2017, we sat down and did the math, adding up the total cost of just doing deliveries. Once it was all said and done, we saw that it cost us $25,000 to do deliveries PLUS, adding on the labour charges to then make the deliveries happen. 

When you look at those costs on an annual basis, the numbers become very real. It is a sort of tedious job to do, but it’s so worth it.

And if you need any evidence to see that you can charge for delivery, check out one of the national wire services or relay networks.

IDEA #6 – STOP OVER-STUFFING

We have high expectations of our work. We want everything that leaves the bench to look good. It’s super tempting to add in one extra stem of this or an extra stem of that. Don’t! 

Multiply that one stem x orders per year and watch the money just walk out the door. 

So, it’s time to solve this problem a different way: set your prices so your designs reflect your expectations. Then you won’t ever need to worry about overstuffing designs.

IDEA #7 – CHARGING OUT YOUR STAFF

When it comes to quoting for set-up and pack down, double-check your staffing mark-ups. (Yes, like we mark up our flowers, we also mark up our staff).

I take the hourly rate we pay our staff/freelancers and multiply it by 3. That becomes your per hour charge for each staff member.  

In Australia, we also have rules around staff rates for after hours and weekends. So be sure you’re keeping up with proper staffing requirements when you’re quoting per hour for the projects.

IDEA #8 – BEFORE YOU BUY THOSE CONTAINERS…

I spent so much money on stuff I never used. Honestly, I had an entire shed of containers and stuff that I might have used once.

Today, my rule is that I don’t buy the thing until I get the project. I’ve also told myself I need to give myself 7 days before I hit “buy”. This ensures I don’t waste my money on things I don’t need or won’t use.

FREE COURSE #FORFLORISTS

Want to go deeper? Want more than these 8 tips to help you maximise profit in your flower business? Learn the secrets of successful florists – sign up for my Ultimate Guide to Building a Thriving Flower Business. CLICK HERE