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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#1 Mindset Tip For Florists Who Struggle With Confidence

Looking for mindset tips for florists? You're in the right place, my friend!!!

But, before I pass along my #1 mindset tip for florists who struggle with confidence (and wanna stop feeling like a total imposter), there's one little itty bitty bit of insight I want to provide so we're all on the same page.

Why Being a Business Owner Feels So Awkward...

Here's the thing nobody tells you when you make the decision to start a flower business:

You're in charge.

On the surface of it, this doesn't seem like such a big deal but it is everything. Like yeah, E–V–E–R–Y–T–H–I–N–G.

It's this one thing that makes us feel like a fish outta water.

Every one of us has spent years, decades, being told by other people what to do. We grow up with our parents telling us the rules. Then we go to school and have teachers and advisors telling us how things need to be done.

Then we go to university or get a job...and there are more people telling us what to do.

Then, somehow we get this crazy idea to start a flower business and get our paperwork sorted and...NOBODY TELLS US EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT.

But everything is different.

When you're the head honcho, the Flower Boss, the CEO, you are the one calling the shots, making decisions and need to take charge.

And that sh*t is awkward.

Being in charge, calling the shots, is not our normal way of being.

But that's OK. It's not a problem.

The secret to making it work is focusing on mindset tips for florists. (Also, if you're anything like me and you like a little positive voice in your head, cheering you on, be sure to check out my weekly Podcast #ForFlorists – it's a great resource to feel supported and know you're not alone.)

I Wish I Had Known...

The truth is, starting a business is actually super simple. You fill in some paperwork and check some boxes. Maybe you pay for some sort of formal registration. But really, it's all super standard stuff. It happens every day. Ain't no thang.

But nobody tells us the identity shift that is required. There is no popup box or 'please check here' to confirm that you understand that you are now the one calling the shots.

Nope.

And because nobody talks about this stuff, we all walk around feeling like total imposters and complete frauds (waiting for the flower police to show up and tell us we're doing it wrong.)

If that sound familiar, I'm here to tell you it's totally normal.

You are not broken. You are a human being with a human brain and that human brain of yours is working just as it's programmed to work.

That fear, doubt and uncertainty, it's to be expected.

Particularly when you make the decision to start a business.

Personally, I just wish someone had told me that the day you decide to start a business is the day that you're signing up to be a CEO – a Flower Boss – and that requires you to learn a whole new set of skills (way more than just what's in season and how to get good at design).

Mindset Tips for Florists

Here's the one thing I've learned in +10 years of running my own business: it's OK that being a CEO + Flower Boss feels awkward.

Feeling awkward is OK.

Feeling awkward is not a problem.

Seriously. It's not.

If you dig beneath the surface and do an itty bitty little bit of research on your favourite leaders, creative entrepreneurs and CEOS, you'll quickly learn that none of those people came out of the womb knowing how to do all the things.

Literally, they knew so little about what was "right" and what was "wrong". They just decided to show up, kept putting in the time and energy and figured it out one step at a time.

At the end of the day, they are no different to you and me.

They are human beings with a human brain. They also have moments of doubt, fear and uncertainty. That's a normal part of the human experience.

And yeah, when you show up to work today, you will have moments of "WTF am I doing here?"

If you struggle with confidence, you're not alone. That's precisely why I created Flower Boss Academy. Join today and get access to a supportive community of flower fairies, jump into live classes and get access to private 1:1 coaching every single week. Click here to learn more.

No doubt, those moments happen when you need to step up and be the CEO. And then you'll have moments of 'Hey this is kinda fun.' That's more likely to happen when you're designing, doing the flowering thing and being an employee in your own business.

This distinction is really really helpful – knowing there are times when you'll need to be a CEO and time when you get to be an employee. And learning how to jump between the two is one of my favourite shortcuts for making progress. In fact, you can use these two personas as a great hack for creating more confidence.

The truth is, this has been one of the most powerful mindset concepts I've ever adopted – and I use it in so many different areas of my business. It started with pricing, but since then, I've adopted the Employee v. CEO Mindset shortcut in almost every other area of my business.

If you wanna dig into this even further and get more mindset tips for florists, jump into this week's podcast episode – CEO v. Employee Mindset 2.0

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

Why you need to think about being a good CEO and a great employee in your own business

The real reason we stay stuck in overwhelm and confusion as business owners

My #1 tip for conquering pricing, not overbuying at the market and staying consistent on Social Media

My easy shortcuts for knowing when to step into the Employee role versus when to be the CEO

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

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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!)

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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

 

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What Qualifications Do You Need to Become A Florist

It's a fair question these days...what qualifications do you need to become a florist? Every time you turn around, it feels like new florists are popping up all over the place and no, doubt, if you're here, you're looking for a super simple, clear answer.

So, let's cut right to the chase. The truth is, floristry is an unregulated industry. That means there is no overarching board or flower police who are going to ask to see your credentials.

Unlike lawyer-ing, doctor-ing or accounting, you don't need any formal training or qualifications to be able to call yourself a "Florist".

So what? Well quite practically, no one is going to drop into your studio or shop and say, "Hey, show me your paperwork."

Having said that though, if you're looking for a job and want to be employed as a florist, it's super common for established flower businesses to prefer to hire formally trained, qualified florists. But that's certainly not true for all business owners so definitely ask around and do your research. (Some businesses might even offer on the job training or an apprenticeship.)

On the other hand, if you're looking to set up a flower business and want to be self-employed, you don't need to be formally trained. From my perspective though, I do think it's really important that if you are going to call yourself a professional florist and hang a sign out front (literally or online), you commit to upholding a standard – kinda like an agreed-to code of quality, professionalism and expertise.

What Qualifications Does a Florist Need?

I get asked this question all the time. But, instead of thinking about certifications, credentials and qualifications, I like to think of this slightly differently: What skills does a professional florist need?

It's a great question to dig into because yes, there are some obvious areas to cover – design, flower care, and mechanics. And, yes, quite practically those three areas are where most formal floristry training programs focus on.

For the record, I am a formally trained, certified florist. And yeah, I am so grateful I did my formal qualifications because I got to learn first-hand from florists who have been in the industry for decades. It was an awesome experience. Every one of my teachers was such a wealth of information and knowledge, really open with their experience and willing to answer all my questions.

To this day, I carry their lessons with me. (FYI, if you live in Australia, and you're exploring formal certification, I do recommend talking to the team at Pearsons Flower School. They have a calendar filled with a variety of short courses as well as offering formal certification. Plus, their staff is super helpful and willing to help guide you in the right direction.)

I do wish though that someone had told me that pursuing formal qualifications, learning about mechanics, flower care and design is just the beginning of the education journey. It's the place to begin. It's not the 'end all be all' of floristry and flowering business-ing.

Most formal floristry training programs are set up specifically to focus on the craft of traditional floristry and "increase your career prospects" (that's definitely the way the system is set up in Australia).

It's awesome if you want to get training to cover the true foundation and fundamentals but where I went wrong was thinking that getting my formal qualifications was enough.

Looking back now, I remember on the first day of my formal training, our teacher sat us down and said 'This is not a business class.' I don't think the gravity of that really sunk in until a few years later when I realised how valuable my fancy pants marketing background was to our business success.

After I finished my formal training, I quickly realised I needed to keep going and that my learning was only just beginning. To this day, I love going to workshops and learning from other designers. It's one of my favourite ways to push myself creatively and hone my craft.

Make The Commitment To Keep Learning Even After Your Formal Qualifications

One of the things no one tells you when you're starting a flower business is that the learning curve is really steep.

There's the time, energy and money we spend learning about mechanics, design and flower care but it's a whole other thing to then learn the right sales strategies, marketing priorities, mindset shifts, money management, and team building. Plus, customer service, tech stuff, and tax requirements all become part of the job when you make the decision to start a business.

It's a lot.

So, it's like formal qualifications are chapter one and as soon as you finish that chapter, 11 more chapters mysteriously appear and you didn't even know they existed until now.

That's precisely why we created Flower Boss Bootcamp so you can get my A-Z blueprint for building a succesful flower business. We've laid it all out for you step by step and offer heaps of support to make it easier than ever to turn your passion into profit! Click here to learn more.

PRO TIP: All That Time & Energy You're Investing Learning About Flower Care, Share It With Your Customers (You'll Make More Money That Way)

Early on in my flowering career, I made the mistake of thinking being a good designer was what mattered the most.

It took me years to learn how much value our customers place on the full experience – from the minute you answer the phone to the minute you deliver the flowers. Even putting careful thought into what you post on Instagram and the overall usability of your website impacts your customer's view of your work and positively impacts your bottom line.

Sharing helpful tips about flower care and giving your clients guidance on how to extend the shelf life of their flowers, in many cases, is just as important as delivering quality work. It's all part of the value of the service we offer our customers.

So, regardless of whether you're formally trained or totally self-taught, when it comes to getting customers and growing your business, one of the easiest ways to separate your floristry offering from the competition (particularly others focused on lower priced point offers) is to double down on sharing your expertise and knowledge.

All the invisible things about our work, make 'em visible. For example, talking about flower availability and seasonality is an easy way to quickly gain trust with your customers. So is talking about what's involved in making a design happen, the process of bringing in flowers, and all the steps it takes for a simple bouquet to be created.

With all the time and energy we spend learning about flower care, seasonal availability and the logistics of floral supply, it's of value to share that information with your customers too.

When it comes to answering that question "what qualifications do you need to become a florist? and learning how to grow a flower business, I've found that being helpful, and sharing that guidance and expertise is one of the fastest ways to grow your business and make more money. It's so awesome!

Let's Go Deeper: What Qualifications Do You Need to Become A Florist in 2022

If you want to dig into this topic even further (and learn more helpful tips), be sure to check out this week's podcast episode. I'm diving into way more details about the ins and outs of formal qualifications, certifications and credentials and sharing my 'I wish I had known' insights to help you build a thriving flower business.

I pass along the exact approach I followed to get good at design and give you helpful tips to help you fast track the floral design learning curve. I talk about my experience having gone to formal floral training here in Australia and I share my #1 strategy to help you learn floristry skills faster.

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

My five guiding principles when it comes to investing in personal development, learning the basics and levelling up my design skills

Innovative and modern avenues to explore to help you figure out what qualifications do you need to become a florist in 2022

Deep dive into deciding whether formal training is really right for you and your floristry ambitions

My perspective on the best bits of flower school and pursuing formal education as a florist

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Floral Order Gatherers and Wire Services – 3 Things Florists Need to Know

First things, first, WTF are floral order gathers and wire services?!?

You've probably heard of common brands like FTD, Teleflora, Petals, or 1800-Roses. There are hundreds of brands popping up, whose sole purpose is to offer floral order gatherers and wire services.

Essentially, their job is to bridge the gap between the customer and the florist. But as a Flower Boss, it's super valuable to dig in, go behind the scenes and really understand what's involved when it comes to floral order gatherers and wire services, as a business owner.

History of Floral Order Gatherers and Wire Services

One of the most common floral order gatherers is Florists Transworld Delivery (FTD), founded in 1910. The company actually started as a partnership between 13 flower shops across the United States, looking to expand their offering and solve a very real problem for customers; that is, to be able to send flowers to a loved one in a different location.

Back in the day, that whole thing was done via telegraph. (WTF even is that?!?!)

And, over the last 100 years, technology has obviously evolved a lot but each of these relay services or wire networks is still solving a very similar problem.

In its most basic form, floral order gatherers and wire services are bridging the gap between the customer and the local florist business, gathering orders (mostly online) and distributing them to florists around the world.

What Florists Need to Know

When we bought the flower shop back in 2015, there was an affiliation already in place with Petals (part of the Teleflora family). The shop's website was run through the Petals platform and, early on in my flowering career, we did a huge amount of orders through the Petals network.

Total transparency: I thought we had to be part of a relay service or wire network. I assumed it was part of the plan and was a must for legitimate florists around the world.

But, as we started to get $$$ deposited into our accounts and we spent more and more time trying to decipher the monthly order value and revenue statements, the more questions we had.

We started to dig deeper because we really wanted to understand what the deal was with floral order gatherers and wire services. What's actually happening here and how much money are we making (or not making) from this opportunity??

Here's the thing I wish someone had told me about floral order gatherers and wire services: every flower business owner gets to decide for themselves if they want to participate in a relay network or partner with an order gatherer.

There really is no 'right' or 'wrong' answer here and it's up to each individual to decide what's best for them.

To help you make an informed decision, here are a few things I've learned through my journey...

What Problems Do Floral Order Gatherers and Relay Services Solve for Florists

In essence, the premise of the relay network is the same as it's always been: connect the customer with a local flower shop. It's the 'how' that's evolved over the past 100+ years.

Back in 1910, when FTD was founded, it was a group of local florists working together to support each other. And to solve a very real problem for its customers. Before the days of the internet, how was a customer supposed to connect with an out of town florist – the idea would be just too overwhelming to consider.

But, Aas technology has evolved, as more and more customers are shopping online, the way floral order gatherers and relay services are showing up is evolving too.

Essentially, at this moment in time, they are filling the role of marketing + sales for the local flower shop.

The relay service is the one investing in Google Ads, setting up a basic website with an online catalogue and being that "front of house" solution that customers are looking for.

The relay service then 'wires' the orders to a local florist and the local florist is required to fulfil the customer order and do the delivery.

In exchange for doing that front end marketing, the relay service will take about 30% of the sale as their commission.

Looking for a step by step solution to getting your Google Ads + Online Calogue sorted? Come join Flower Boss Bootcamp and get access to our step by step trainings, replicate website and everything you need to level up your digital marketing game. Click here to learn more.

Let's Go Deeper: Is Joining a Relay Service Right for Your Flower Business?

With every week that goes by, it feels like there are more and more different relay services and wire networks popping up. And yes, there are lots of horror stories of bad customer experiences and disappointed clients.

With more and more customers ordering flowers online, having a strong online presence is an integral piece of the puzzle. And with the layers of detail required to get Google Ads + a functioning online catalogue sorted, for many local flower shops, being part of a relay network can feel like an easy win for the local floral designer.

But, when it comes to answering the question "Is joining a relay service right for your flower business?" it's worth taking a construction look at the pros and cons of their offering.

And that's precisely what I'm doing in this week's podcast episode. We're diving into all things FTS, Petals, Teleflora and going into the nitty-gritty of floral relay services and wire networks.

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

What are relay services and wire networks and what role do they play for flower shops?

How do you know if a relay service or order gatherer is right for your flower business?

Why might being part of a relay service be good for business (or not)?

3 things every floral designer needs to know before signing on with a relay service.

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