The only time of the year it’s perfectly safe to put all your eggs in one basket.
The old adage “April showers bring May flowers” is a telling reminder to the flower industry of the impending spring season and all the flower holidays that come with it specifically, Easter, Administrative Professionals Week and Mother’s Day. As business kicks up again after a winter lull, wholesale and retail florists should keep in mind the following points.
- MARKETS: How familiar are you with your current and future markets? Understanding why your customers buy from you is important because it can help you figure out ways to attract new customers. Knowing your audience is also important to identify more profitable customers, such as event planners who will frequent your business or big companies that regularly order from you. Similarly, it is important to be in the loop for new markets that you have yet to reach.
FLORISTS: Consider selling regular weekly arrangements to local businesses, such as funeral homes, car dealerships, law firms, real estate agencies that will become annual, steady contracts.
- COMPETITION: Keeping an eye on your competition is important, especially when considering market trends and your businesses’ profits compared to market share. What is your competitor offering that you aren’t? Pay close attention to specials and promotions that your competitors are running.
FLORISTS: Combat cultural trends that may be hurting your business–for example, “donations in lieu of flowers” may hurt the flower business, but a solution might be offering gift baskets or flowers sent to the family’s home.
- DISTRIBUTION: Finding new ways to distribute your product can help boost sales. What untapped opportunities exist in your community? There may be an opportunity to partner with another business and provide bundled packages.
FLORISTS: Untapped markets may include local high school proms, partnering with photographers or limo services to offer one-stop packages for prom attendees or weddings.
- PROMOTION: Do your marketing strategies need an update? Make sure to explore all options while keeping in line with the image you want to portray. Consider the benefits of active online marketing, including social media feeds such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
FLORISTS: Make sure all contact with customers is fresh and professional. Keep your Facebook page and other social media handle regularly updated and interact with customers by asking questions, offering promotions, etc. Take advantage of news exposure by posting any relevant articles or stories about your business, adding credibility to your brand and maximizing engagement potential.
- PRICING: Explore all aspects of your pricing–variable pricing might make sense for different markets, perishable products, or time-based sales (such as holidays).
FLORISTS: Remember to stay steady with prices and avoid offering discounts on the spot. Emphasize the value of your product and offer different options before lowering prices. Employees should be familiar with these tactics in preparation for price-sensitive customers.
- SERVICE DELIVERY: Acknowledge any problems in delivery and production. Evaluate the need for more specific staff trainings that align with the standards you envision for your company. What methods do you use for evaluating satisfactory customer service? Your delivery personnel is the face of your business.
FLORISTS: Follow up with clients who stopped buying from you to get feedback on your quality and customer service.