How to Separate Yourself From the Competition Quickly

Struggling to figure out how to separate yourself from the competition? This article gives you my super simple approach to shortcutting the process and getting results!

(And yes, it's super easy!)

When I look back now, it seems so obvious. But when I was in the thick of my struggle, filled with so much doubt and uncertainty, the very idea of making this shift, being the florist who openly talked about the ins and outs of our craft felt scary AF.

Way back in the day (just after the dinosaurs roamed this beautiful planet), nobody was showing up on Instagram openly talking about all the shiz that goes on behind the scenes.

But I was so sick of battling price shoppers, wondering how to compete with grocery stores and struggling to compete.

In our town of 40,000 people, we had dozens of florists all fighting for their little patch of land as well as the hundreds of florists who wanted to come down from Sydney to do weddings + events in our beautiful little corner of the globe.

Needless to say, this particular footprint is the definition of competitive.

And, as a newbie-you're-not-from-these-parts immigrant, I just felt like everyone was looking for reasons for us to fail.

But, to cut a long story short, when I decided to blaze my own trail and begin to share the behind-the-scenes and pro-actively educate our customers on the ins and outs of flowering, the game changed. It's how we grew our business so quickly and cracked the code on how to separate yourself from the competition.

We started getting enquiries with budgets that aligned to wish lists.

We started to have customers call us and say 'Hey, I just love your vibe. Can you do a flower delivery for me?'

And yes, nobody cared that I was new or had just finished my formal qualifications. Nobody asked me how many years I'd been in business and nobody gave a rats ass if I had ever been published in a magazine or featured on a blog.

What they saw was a helpful team of people, making it easy for them to find answers and ready to shower them with phenomenal customer service.

Flipping the Script is How To Separate Yourself From the Competition

I don't need to tell you just how secretive our industry is.

Now, just imagine being in your customer's shoes. It's nearly impossible to get a simple answer to the most obvious of questions, right?

The reason sharing your expertise ahead of time works so well is because it builds trust. And trust is a must in order to get the customer to the point of paying you money.

The real magic of understanding this strategy lies in knowing how customers make decisions.

The most important piece to know: humans do not make decisions instantly. Particularly in the overwhelming, confusing and "I don't know" land of flowering.

Quite specifically, your customers need to move through three steps before they even get to the point of paying you money.

  1. They need to find out about you.
  2. They need to like you.
  3. They need to trust you.
  4. ...Then they'll pay you money.

What's even better is that most of your customers are on the hunt for flower information at all hours of the day – so no, making them wait until your business hours just slows down the process and increases the chance you lose the sale.

Are you totally overwhelmed by the world of online marketing? Join me inside Flower Boss Academy and get access to all the templates, tools + live coaching you need to fast track your results and show up with confidence online. Click here to learn more.

So, while every other florist on the planet is keeping all the info, expertise and know-how, I encourage you to do the exact opposite.

Quite literally.

Give it all away.

Talk about your design process on your website. Share your best tips + tricks on Instagram.

(Here's a helpful YouTube video talking through the right Instagram strategy to follow.)

Be proactive when it comes to educating your clients on budgets and how much they should be spending to create a specific impact.

If you wanna dig into this even further and get my best tips for learning how to separate yourself from the competition, jump into this week's podcast episode – Why Cutting Through the Secrecy Makes You Money So Fast

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

Why you don't need to worry about the competition coming in and "stealing your ideas"

What to talk about and how to make it easy to attract better customers

My favourite shortcuts to cut through the confusion and overwhelm of not knowing what to post on social media

How to streamline your approach to marketing, sales + social media and make it even easier to attract higher-value clients

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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The Value You Bring to Your Flower Customers

Have you ever stopped to consider the value you bring to your flower customers?

I never did until I started to see how much I was missing the mark on obsessing over pricing...and completely ignoring the fact that we florists bring a huge amount of value to the world.

But, truth be told, we all downplay the value we bring to our clients. Although we all feel that intrinsic, real, emotional tie to flowers...the same connection humans have had with flowers for 5000 years...we "feel bad" for charging a premium.

The underlying reasons for this typically stem from one of two storylines:

  1. The starving artist persona – a.k.a. making money is bad and rich people are evil
  2. Our customers don't want to pay a premium –  a.k.a. I'm going to project my scarcity money beliefs onto my customers

I've navigated both of these experiences and battled my own demons when it comes to untangling my self-worth and scarcity money beliefs. For me, shifting the narrative and reframing the value equation is one of the best opportunities for personal growth (and revenue growth).

The concept of "value" is probably one of the most commonly misunderstood concepts in our industry because (a) nobody openly shares the expertise and attention required to create a flower arrangement and (b) the industry-proven approach to pricing is focused on stem counts and wholesale inputs.

It's time to park those two things and step into a new way of thinking.

Value Versus Price

When it comes to deconstructing the value you bring to your flower customers, it's helpful to distinguish between the value and the price.

(Yes, they are two different things.)

Here's a quick definition that I love:

Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.

Warren Buffet

When it comes to understanding the value v/ price concept, I find it super helpful to look to the big wig multinational companies for inspiration, education and a quick reframe.

Let's talk about that fancy pants phone you have. Have you ever stopped to wonder how much the company paid for the inputs to make that phone?

Apparently, it costs Apple about $600 to make an iPhone. They sell it for at least twice that amount. But the real question is, what is the value you place on that phone – the benefits it provides you and the convenience factor of having it all in one place?

That's the real shift in perspective required. Nobody cares that it costs Apply $600 to make their iPhone. What we really want to know is, what can it help us do? And how much would you be willing to pay for those benefits?

This, my friend, is the difference between value and price.

I'm also going to interject here and point out for all of you that look at Apple's wholesale inputs and go 'That's only a 100% markup – the floral industry markup is way more than that.'

You're right! It's super helpful to remember that phones don't have as short a shelf life as flowers and that particular phone can get sent in the mail pretty easily...plus very few people will be disappointed if the phone arrives on a random Tuesday or Friday in March.

Floral design, on the other hand, has way more layers and complexities to it. PLUS the layers of meaning and emotion tied into our work.

The Value You Bring to Your Flower Customers

One exercise that was really helpful for me as a struggling florist was to sit down and write down what needed to go into the process of making a super simple bouquet.

Even if you take a pretty standard 12-rose arrangement...grab a pen + paper and write down every single step that needs to happen in order for that perfectly crafted arrangement to reach your customer.

Here's a great place to begin:

  • Order flowers from the wholesaler
  • Pick up flowers from the wholesaler
  • Process the flowers
  • Keep them cool and out of sunlight until the order date
  • Make the arrangement
  • Wet wrap + gift pack the bouquet
  • Write the card
  • Deliver the bouquet
  • Make sure the recipient is at home

Now, all of that depends on also being able to make sure you get found by the customer (i.e. website, Google Ads, Instagram hashtags, Google Business listing), make it easy for them to place their order and you have a facility to take payment, gather the delivery info and know what date the flowers need to be delivered on.

Once you get into all the details, it's easy to see the steps involved in making what seems like a super simple arrangement, right?

But here's where the magic lies in this experiment...what is it worth to the customer? What is the value they place on having a beautiful bouquet of roses delivered to their loved one on the right day, crafted with care and professionally designed?

The penny dropped once I realised that the industry-proven approach to pricing was just a starting point. Once I decided to value the care, expertise and attention that go into making this work happen (and reminding your customers that every time out) it become super easy to command a premium for our work.

If you wanna dig into this even further, shift your perspective and feel more confident in your sales process, jump into this week's podcast episode – The Value Chain (What are you actually selling as a floral designer?)

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

How to sell yourself on the value of your offer

My super simple solution to overcoming self-doubt and uncertainty so you can raise your prices and make more money

The real secret to getting out of your own way and pricing with confidence as a Flower Boss

Easy ways to win your customer's trust and pro-actively demonstrate the value you provide

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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Establishing a Relationship with a Floral Wholesaler: 3 Tips To Make It Easier

Not quite sure where to start when it comes to establishing a relationship with a floral wholesaler? I'm here to help.

If you haven't been to the Sydney Flower Market, you need to make a plan to go. It's gotta be one of the most magical flowering places on the planet.

And the most stressful. (As a florist, it's kinda like walking onto the set of Mean Girls right in the middle of that scene where the jungle fight breaks out.)

It's super intimidating. Everyone walks around looking like they know what they're doing (and you feel like you're the only one wondering WTF is going on). In addition to all the pros lookin' like pros, the general public is allowed in and you're fighting for a parking space and elbow room just to get in the doors

The place is massive. There are more than 150 wholesalers spread out over a few acres of space. It's all set within a massive warehouse, filled with the season's best. Buckets are spilling out of every corner, ballooning with the best blooms. For us florists, it's the literal 'kid in a candy store' experience.

Yes, it is a sight to be seen.

But it also kinda makes you wanna run screaming in the other direction, questioning your life choices and wondering how the heck does a wanna-be-florist go about establishing a relationship with a floral wholesaler?

The worry is compounded when you count up the number of well-established florists who have been working with wholesalers for years and even decades. What's a girl to do? (Panic and run screaming in the opposite direction...heading straight back into the corporate world and back to a desk job??? Yes, I did contemplate that many, many times during the 3:30 am alarms.)

So, I thought it might be helpful to pull together my top three tips when it comes to establishing a relationship with a floral wholesaler.

If you're brand new, this blog post will give you an insider's scoop on the florist + wholesaler relationship.

If you've been in business for a few years and want to take your flower business to the next level, this blog post will give you a few unexpected surprises, spark new ideas and give you a few secrets to ensure you separate yourself from the competition.

Why Establishing A Relationship with a Floral Wholesaler Matters

In the world of cooking, one of the best principles to follow is "Start with good ingredients." The same thing goes for flowers.

You'll be so much happier with the end result of your flower arrangements if you start with fresh, high-quality ingredients. In fact, one of the ways we created a loyal customer base in our flower shop was to make sure we focused on offering the highest quality, longest-lasting flowers.

I remember one year when a woman came in to tell us that her Mother's Day flowers lastest three weeks. Now, that's certainly not the norm, but it's always stuck in my mind because when you source quality ingredients and educate your clients on how to care for their flowers, they'll be so happy they'll tell their friends. And that extra word of mouth helps to grow your business and your bottom line.

As a floral designer with grand ambitions, having access to – and building relationships with – growers and wholesalers who have high-quality products (and quality customer service) can make all the difference in your success.

Investing the time and energy into building relationships with your floral wholesaler takes time but it can be one of the magic bullets to building a loyal following and growing your bottom line.

PRO TIP: I remember one of my flower school teachers told me "Cheap flowers are cheap for a reason. Don't ever expect them to get better." That piece of advice has always stuck in my head and I truly believe when it comes to whoelsaler flowers, you do get what you pay for.

How to Approach Floral Wholesalers

Here's the most important thing to remember: your wholesalers are running a business. Their list of to-dos and sh*t to sort through is just as long as yours.

Even with that being said, never underestimate the power of being professional and polite. The art of great customer service is lost on so many business owners but it's one of the secrets to building any B2B relationship.

For example, you know how when you walk into a business and get a kind smile, a professional greeting and the staff actually make eye contact with you. Yeah, I mean that kinda "back to basics, treat humans as humans" sorta professionalism.

The same thing applies when it comes to establishing a relationship with a floral wholesaler. So, whether you've been working with your wholesaler for years or are just starting out, Rule #1: be kind to your wholesalers.

And yes, be kind, even if they don't give you the time of day.

Remember, it's totally normal for wholesalers to be working all hours of the night, not sleeping and running on empty. So don't be surprised if they can barely string two words together. Don't forget: your wholesalers are running a business and you are not their only customer or concern.

If I could go back and tell my old self one thing about establishing a relationship with a floral wholesaler, it would be this: no one knows who you are and that is your best secret weapon.

If you're anything like me and feel like a total imposter and fraud, walking into a busy wholesaler brings up all of our insecurities and 'who do you think you are' storylines.

But let's flip that story on its head. The fact that your wholesalers don't know who you are is a great advantage. It means you can be a total noob and no one is paying enough attention to remember you.

So you can go ahead and ask all the dumb questions, get embarrassed and get through all the awkward 'first day of school' tremors. Then come back again next week and do it all over again.

Remember, No One Was Born Knowing All The Things

Read that again...

Maybe even write it down somewhere you'll see it every day.

This one thought has served me so well when walking into super intimidating, scary, new situations.

Because yes, quite literally, no one was born knowing how to do anything. We've all had to learn stuff and make mistakes and ask heaps of questions to get to where we are today. That means you get to do the same thing.

In fact, when it comes to building relationships with wholesalers, I actually like to just go all in, be brave and default to asking wholesalers and growers heaps of questions.

I do this for two reasons: (1) they know a lot about flowers – like a lot a lot, way more than you and I could ever know and being able to glimpse just 1% of that information is super helpful for you and your business.

And (2) it gives you a taste of what their long term customer service is going to be like. Wholesalers who cannot be bothered to acknowledge you, answer a couple of questions and don't see you as a valuable, paying client...they may not be the kind of partner you want to have in your business in the long run.

I use the word 'partner' very intentionally. Your wholesalers and growers are your partners in crime. Choose them wisely and then invest the time and energy into building, growing and maintaining those relationships – you never know when you'll need them to come in and save the day.

PRO TIP – If you need help sorting out how much to order from your growers and wholesalers, be sure to check out this super helpful blog post: Learning How To Create A Floral Design Recipe

Don't Forget, Local Growers Are All Around You

Yes, bigger more established wholesalers are awesome. But so are the growing number of boutique flower farmers popping up all around us. It's very possible you have access to some of the best, freshest ingredients around – it might be a few KMs down the road or literally down the street.

Do some digging. Jump on Google. Search Instagram hashtags and see if any local growers pop up. You never know who you might be able to connect with and what sorts of magical ingredients are being grown in your neighbourhood. And it could be that you get exclusive access to something amazing and build a whole network of local growers who will grow alongside you.

For example, my most favourite dahlias growers set up their entire business about 3km from my house. I was astounded to see their operation and set-up and I loved being able to support their family-run business.

Plus their dahlias are unlike anything you've ever seen. In peak season, we'd be going through 50-60 bunches per week and it was so awesome to have access to this quality product.

I loved these dahlias. Our clients loved these days. It was so incredible!

Many times, these kinds of growers may not be able to work with the larger wholesalers because they don't have the volume to support their structure. But that makes it a perfect opportunity for you.

Again, don't be shy. Reach out. Make a connection. Be kind. Be professional and be polite. They won't bite. (Just remember their to-do list is just as long as yours is – probably even longer.)

More Tips To Help You Build A Better Relationship With Your Wholesalers (FREE resource)

In this week's podcast episode, I'm digging more into the world of wholesaler relationships.

I'm sharing a few funny stories about what it's really like to shop at the Sydney Flower Market, with all the famous florists as well as passing on my best tips for building better relationships with your floral wholesalers and local growers.

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

5 tips to help you build better relationships with your wholesalers, even if you're brand new

The three most important things to know when it comes to wholesaler and flower grower relationships

Why the relationship you have with your wholesalers matters so much

How to approach new wholesalers and growers and quickly win their trust (so you can get the best flowers!)

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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Making Money in Your Flower Business During a Recession

Looking for tips about making money in your flower business during a recession? You're in the right place!

There are so many news headlines flying around and no doubt, your human brain is dwelling on the idea that people are going to tighten their purse strings over the coming months or years.

Now, I'm not gonna be the one to argue whether a recession is coming or even discuss if it's already arrived.

Instead, I want to give you a bit of guidance and insight to help you show up as a proud and confident Flower Boss over the coming 2-3 years.

Yes. You read that right. This is about preparing for the next 2-3 months. Not just stressing over next week's sales target or worrying about next season's weddings.

It's time to play the long game my friend! It's time intentionally decide how you want to show up as a business owner for the next 24 - 36 months.

Making Money in Your Flower Business During a Recession

I was doing a little research the other day and I found this article that talks about how Warren Buffet made $10 billion dollars during the last recession.

This idea really stuck with me and it's been so helpful! So, I thought it might be worth sharing with you too.

I love the idea of using other people as examples of what's possible – particularly if those people are really different to you and me. So, as odd as it sounds, we can all use Warren Buffet as an example of what is possible in our own lives (and businesses).

And even just pretending I could get a glimpse into Warren Buffet's brain is so fun. Because, while most humans are walking around, tightening up their purse strings, revamping budgets to account for higher home loan rates...Warren Buffet is probably planning on making another $10-$15 billion over the next 24-36 months.

In other words, he's looking forward to what he could achieve next. Isn't that just so crazy to think about? It's like he's decided ahead of time that recessions are his thing. Because of that, he shows up with authority and a new commitment to creating bigger, better results in his business.

That my friends is a revolutionary concept for every business owner on the planet.

We Can Learn a lot From Warren Buffet

While everyone else is being driven by their primitive brain, obsessing over their worst fears and indulging in scarcity thinking, Warren Buffet is showing up in a whole new way. This gives each of us a more abundant frame of reference to build on.

When it comes to learning how to making money in your flower business during a recession, it's time to embody Warren Buffet.

He's not paying attention to the news headlines or spending any time on Facebook groups. He's getting to work. He's looking for opportunities and he's creating massive results in his business. All because he decided that during a recession, he's going to make a lot of money.

That, my friend, is how I want you to show up in your business in the next 24-36 months.

Yes, some clients are going to want to cut back on their budgets. Yes, some people are going to decide to cut back on extra spending. But, for every person who cuts back on flowers, there are going to be just as many who decide flowers are a better option than something else (i.e. going out for a fancy meal).

For example, the girls planning on spending their 40th birthdays in Fiji might decide to stay home, have a backyard bash and spend $10,000 on flowers to make it special.

Sure, some people will tighten their spending. But staying focused on those people doesn't help you move your business forward. Obsessing over who isn't spending money doesn't do anything to help you make money in your flower business.

In fact, it does the exact opposite. Your default scarcity beliefs will encourage you to stop taking action. It will talk you out of making that super smart investment in your business and it might even stop you from saying yes to a new opportunity that comes your way.

Quite literally: nothing beneficial comes from scarcity thinking.

If you struggle with scarcity thinking, come join me inside Flower Boss Academy and get access to private 1:1 coaching every week. Dig into your money story and learn how to show up with more confidence as a business owner. Click here to learn more.

So, let's all follow Warren Buffet's lead. Let's decide we're going to make more money in our businesses in the next 24-36 months. Let's commit to showing up in a powerful, bold, audacious way.

As scary as that sounds, it still sounds more fun than hiding away, staying stuck in the cave and not stepping outside my comfort zone.

If you wanna dig into this even further and get more tips on how to set yourself up for success during a recession, jump into this week's podcast episode – Making Money in Your Flower Business During a Recession

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

How to move past scarcity thinking and develop a growth mindset

Why it's helpful to decide ahead of time how you want to navigate the next few years of your business

My best shortcut for staying positive and upbeat, even while everyone else is obsessing over the zombie apocalypse

What to do to protect your flower business during a recession

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

 

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How to Make More Money in Your Flower Business in 2022

Looking for tips on how to make more money in your flower business in 2022? You're in the right place!

For the longest time, I had this vague notion that "when the stars aligned" I'd finally be successful.

That concept is so disempowering.

It's like you gotta sit around and wait. And you talk yourself out of taking action a lot.

You spend heaps of time second-guessing everything, buying into the idea of "if it's meant to be" and you never step out of your comfort zone and try stuff.

But that line of thinking is so common in our society. And our industry.

That line of thinking is what stands in the way of your success. It's what's holding you back from creating the business you wanna create.

And, truth be told, it's the thing standing in the way of you figuring out how to make more money in your flower business in 2022.

Shift Your Perspective: How to Make More Money in Your Flower Business in 2022

Here's one of the best quotes I've heard from Mel Robbins recently:

Your dreams are your responsibility. No one is coming.

Seriously. No one is going to come to teach you all the things you need to know to grow that dream business of yours.

No one is going to do the work for you. That's up to you.

If you don't like the results of your business, take ownership of it and know you get to fix it. You don't need someone to come in and do that for you. You have what it takes to make it work. (How do I know? You're here reading this.)

Inside Flower Boss Academy, I refer to this concept as Owning Your Outcomes.

And yes, it feels a little uncomfortable at first. It's not something we're used to doing.

No doubt, if you're anything like me and you have a very well practised inner critic, when you first learn this idea, you're gonna wanna judge and shame yourself a lot.

Don't.

That's not the point of this shift in perspective.

This is about seeing how much power you have and how much authority you have over your life, your business and your actions.

You don't need to wait for someone to give you permission.

You don't need approval from your boss.

You gotta give yourself the official go-ahead, step outside your comfort zone and know that you'll have your own back no matter what the outcome is.

This my friend is the practice of Owning Your Outcomes. And it's one of the six essential skills every floral designer needs to cultivate to become a Flower Boss.

At the end of the day, when it comes to learning how to make more money in your flower business in 2022, it's time to see how much you've been standing in your own way.

The magic of this whole situation? If you're the one standing in your own way, you can do something about it and, quite literally, get you of your own way.

Again, this isn't about blaming yourself.

No one sits us down at any point in our lives and says "Ok, let's talk about how to own your outcomes."

Nope.

Instead, we were all conditioned to believe someone needs to come along to rescue us (a.k.a. the media) or wait and give us permission (a.k.a. our educational system).

In reality though, none of that is helpful when it comes to you being able to take your business to the next level.

The best lesson of the day: reminding yourself you have a choice.

You can choose to wait for someone to come along and save the day. Or you can decide that you have what it takes to figure this out and you will learn how to make more money in your flower business in 2022.

If you wanna dig into this work more, check out this week's podcast episode – Willingness to Be Wrong

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

How to cut through the disappointment of not liking your results and build the habit of taking action

How to take ownership of your outcomes and increase your capacity to be wrong

The surprising 'a ha' I had a few weeks ago, reflecting on my biggest business mistakes and the lessons I've learned since

Why having a willingness to be wrong will help you get results faster

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

 

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Flower Boss Pro Tips: How to Become a Good Decision Maker

Looking for the inside scoop on how to become a good decision maker? You're in the right place!

More than 10 years ago, I remember hearing the story of Steve Jobs and his wardrobe routines. Every time he appeared on stage at an Apple launch, he'd always be wearing the same thing: black turtleneck, jeans + sneakers.

I'd imagine his closet is filled with all the same things – the most boring of boring closets.

Barak Obama did the same thing. When he was in the White House, he only wore blue or black suits.

I'm sure many on the planet might call it unfun and underwhelming...But my guess is those people don't run their business, right?

Decision Fatigue is a Real Thing

When it comes to learning how to become a good decision maker, here's one really helpful lesson to keep in mind.

Your human brain doesn't like making decisions.

It wants everything to be the same today as it was yesterday. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.

Why? Well, making decisions requires energy. You literally burn calories making decisions and that exhaustion you feel at the end of a big day, part of that is because you gotta make a lot of decisions all day.

If your primitive brain had its way, it would just tell you to do what you did yesterday. But as a business owner, you know that ain't gonna work.

When you run a business, you're in the hot seat. You're the one calling the shots, making decisions dozens, even hundreds of times a day.

The reason it feels doubly tiring is that you're actually making decisions for two (1) yourself and (2) your business.

So, anywhere you can lean into routines and habits, the better.

If you're totally overwhelmed with making decisions in your flower business, come join me inside Flower Boss Academy. Get access to all my templates, tools and weekly live coaching so you can show up with more confidence and get good at being the boss! Click here to learn more.

One of the biggest reasons I became a big believer in systems and processes (even if it's a super simple copy + paste template), is because it helps cut down on the decisions you gotta make every day.

There was a time in my business when every time I responded to an email, every time I picked up the phone, it felt like I was starting from scratch. It's exhausting.

And that was just in the daily tasks, the day-to-day of running a business.

We can spend so much time and energy just trying to cover the basics that when it comes to making the big decisions in our businesses, we just stay in analysis paralysis. Or just decide to not make a decision. (Which, ironically is still a decision.)

How to Become a Good Decision Maker – My 3 Tips

Learning to get good at making decisions is a skill.

And don't stress if you like to cast yourself as "an indecisive person". You'll get hundreds of opportunities every day to change that and yes, you too can decide you're good at making decisions (particularly after you learn my framework for making decisions).

Here's my three guiding principles for how to become a good decision maker:

  1. Anywhere you can get into a routine and not tax your brain power, do it. That might mean eating the same things for lunch 2-3 times a week, wearing the same clothes for a few days in a row or posting the same caption on Instagram every week. (Yes, I do all of these things!)
  2. Decide ahead of time. Quite literally, you can make decisions about travel, dinner plans, the gym or even your business, days and weeks in advance. It frees up so much energy and makes it way more likely you'll follow throw on your big goals.
  3. Let go of the concept of "right" and "wrong". We're all conditioned to believe there is a right and wrong way to do things. When you realise that's just something you've been thrown into from a social perspective and open your eyes to alternative points of view, you'll see just how much you've been holding yourself back. Your creativity and problem-solving skills will skyrocket when you get out of the 'right' and 'wrong' paradigm and realise there are literally 10,000 options to pick from (for just about anything!).

If you wanna dig into decision-making even more and get more practical, actionable flower business tips, check out this week's podcast episode – How to Make Decisions

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

My super simple 3-step approach to making decisions

Why we avoid making decisions and how to get good at decision making

The value of making decisions ahead of time

How to apply my 3-step approach works to decisions in your life and your business

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

 

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Wedding Florist Enquiry Process – Our Exact Approach

Looking for an insider's guide to the wedding florist enquiry process? Here's our exact approach.

If you're a wedding florist, your enquiry process is one of the most valuable assets in your business.

Quite literally, that process is worth money.

As per my usual approach, I'm here to bust through the secrecy and give you a run down on our EXACT approach to navigating wedding enquiries. Yep! Yep and more yep!

How I Created Our Wedding Florist Enquiry Process

When I first started as a baby florist, I fell into the trap of thinking that I had to do fancy proposals, custom quotes and face-to-face consults.

I think with my very first wedding enquiry, it took me more than a week to get her a quote. That was after the hour-long consultation. I spent hours on that proposal, trying to make it look at fancy and legit.

Man oh man, I'm so surprised she stuck around but since that experience, I have learned SO much about how to effortlessly navigate wedding enquiries.

The key to figuring it out? I paid attention to what wasn't working.

In 2018, I remember looking back at my calendar and seeing how many hours I had spent on consults. My close rate was disastrous and I was wasting hours every single week meeting with prospective clients...which got me $0.

Talk about a waste of time (for me and the people who didn't book with me).

But that year was also revolutionary in my business.

I could see how much time I was wasting on these enquiries and in-depth consults.

I just knew there had to be a better way.

But, instead of trying to follow the traditions of our industry, I put my blinders on. I decided to create my own way. From scratch.

I literally threw out everything I thought I had to do and got focused on creating a system that was easy for me and super efficient for my clients.

Why? Cause I knew I had to shake things up. I couldn't afford to waste so much energy on non-money-making activities. It was, quite literally, the definition of inefficient.

So, I went through the process of completely overhauling our wedding florist enquiry process. And yeah, I kinda have broken every rule in the book.

Jumping right into the myth-busting bit...I don't use fancy proposals. I don't do custom quotes. I don't do consultations. And I don't use expensive software solutions.

I keep it bare bones.

Why? It allows me to focus on what matters most to my clients – being quick and being helpful. And, I can sort through new enquiries in a matter of minutes, rather than days (or weeks).

Wedding Florist Enquiry Process – Here's Our Exact Approach

Here you go. This is the step-by-step summary of our approach.

Inside Flower Boss Academy I go through this in itty bitty detail and I give you all of my templates + shortcuts. So, if you wanna get my exact approach and shortcut your progress, come join us today.

Let's start at the very very very beginning...well before the client even contacts you.

  1. Share helpful tips in your marketing. Yep. BEFORE the client even enquires, be open with your guidance and share your wisdom. Do this on social media, your website and anywhere where your clients might be on the lookout for a wedding florist.
  2. Be proactive about talking $$$. This is the fastest way to get rid of the budget clients. The first solution I created was a simple blog post that gave a breakdown of key price points (i.e. $2K, $5K, $10K, $20K). I later then discovered a free WordPress plugin that allowed me to create an online calculator. (That was an awesome innovation for us and our clients!)
  3. On your enquiry form, ask them two seemingly unexpected questions (1) what is your budget and (2) what are you looking for in a floral design team. This gets the money piece on the table early and it changes the dynamic of the relationship (less "master > servent" and more "partnership")
  4. After they respond, send them a template email with a few points of personalisation and point them to (a) the budget blog post or online calculator and (b) your top 10 tips for wedding flowers. Also, make it clear what the next step you want them to take if they're happy to continue.
  5. At the bottom of this email, point them to an online form (a Google Doc is good enough). In this form, ask them to give you all the info you'd traditionally get in a consultation (yes, this form will be long!)
  6. Based on what they have supplied in their Q&A, put together a very simple email with two pricing options (a) their wishlist and (b) your recommendation based on their budget. No matter what your client's budget is, their wish list will always cost them more (that's why it's called a wish list!). They will love that you're giving them both solutions. It gives them a helpful point of view and valuable insight to make an informed decision.
  7. After a little back and forth, (no doubt, they'll have questions) wait until they say the magic words "How do I go about booking you in?" That's when you jump into doing up the formal quote, getting the contract together and adding in your notes.
  8. The client pays 25% to secure your team for the date. And shazaam...another beautiful client booked!

My goal in sharing the above process is to give you an idea of what's possible when it comes to navigating new wedding enquiries. But know that it's not the only way to make it happen.

No matter what you end up doing with your wedding florist enquiry process, just know that you get to create a system that works for you. Lean into your strengths and create a system that is easy for you and helps you get to the goal of booking one in four enquiries (without wasting hours and hours of your time or your client's time).

If you wanna dig into this even more and get more juicy tips from me, I'm passing along more helpful insights in this week's podcast episode – Optimise Your Wedding Enquiry Process – 3 Quick Wins

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

My best lessons learned from navigating more than 2,500 enquiries

My best shortcuts for optimising your enquiry process

Three common mistakes many florists make when they're navigating new enquiries

Super simple solutions for dealing with price shoppers and budget brides

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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How to Make More Money as a Farmer Florist

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

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

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

But First, Some Context.

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

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

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

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

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

Except they're not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Make More Money as a Farmer Florist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to make more money as a farmer florist today

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

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

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

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

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

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

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

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

Oi.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Online Flower Business Tips

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

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

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

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

Nope.

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

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

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

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

Ain't no need for perfection here.

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

Yep.

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

Marketing + Mindset = Money

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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How to Increase Florist Sales

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

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

Great question.

Different Ad Strategies for Different Offers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Increase Florist Sales: Daily Flower Deliveries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 Google Ads Tips for Florists

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

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

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

Let's Go Deeper: Get More Flowers Order Faster

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

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

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

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

How to set a sales target in your flower business

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

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

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

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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