Florabundance News

Tom Bowling 2011 > HOW DO YOU SPELL SUCCESS

October 16th, 2011

Success is measured in many ways depending on the desired outcome. You may want to improve your walk in traffic, so you do a promotion to have more people visit your flower shop. When your walk in traffic improves to a desired level, then you evaluate the process to see if the return on investment was in fact successful. You may want to improve traffic to your web site as a goal. So you may develop a promotion to drive more activity through your site. It could be a blitz or blast campaign or you may decide to increase your frequency of contacts to your customers that offer an opportunity that is featured only for web orders. Again, when you see the desired outcome successfully happen, then once again, you evaluate the return against the investments made. This will help determine whether a campaign should be repeated at another time as executed the first time or whether you want to tweak the variables to see if the second marketing strategy had the same desired outcomes.
Another area to evaluate is the production in the design room. Is your current staff producing at full capacity or are there areas that could be revamped to make improvements. As you will find, most shops perform better at a holiday than they do at non-holiday times. What this means is that the sales staff and design staff are more efficient at selling and producing the required number of designs at the correct price points. The answer lies in the fact that most shops offer a more selective or limited amount of offerings during the busier times so it streamlines the sales and production process. Think about going into your favorite restaurant. When you sit down, the server offers you a menu of items to choose from. The management knows exactly what ingredients go into making each of the menu items. While you as the customer can still make modifications to ‘personalize’ a standard menu item, the bottom line is that the standardization is still fairly much intact. This allows for cost controls and time efficient production.
We are coming up on a time in the floral industry that this concept works well. Take for instance Thanksgiving and Christmas. Looking at past sales records, look to see just how many centerpieces were sold. Did some have no candles? How many single candle centerpieces were sold? How many were sold with double candles? What were the other high demand items that were requested? This history allows you to do more mass production for these items. The next step would be to make a recipe for each composition to be able to determine the number of the components that you are going to need to create the desired number of arrangements in that category. This can be done for as many items that you want to place on your ‘holiday menu’ of holiday offerings.
By doing so now, it allows you to be proactive to be able to make the prototypes, photograph them for your website and to get your customers thinking about the upcoming holiday floral needs. After the prototypes are determined, do the math, extend the numbers and gather your totals to give to your Florabundance Account Manager so they can place their orders in a timely fashion with their suppliers. This process allows everyone to react to the holidays in a timely and orderly fashion versus running around at the last minute trying to find product to satisfy the customer’s requests. What you will find is that production increases dramatically thereby increasing profitability because less production hours will be needed for the 80% of repetitive requests. It will also allow you to give the necessary time to those customers who want those ‘special, one of a kind’ creations that do not fit a menu offering. This way everyone wins! Customers are happy, morale is good because the flower shop is organized, and your supplier has what you need at the best price available.
How do you spell success? Very simple – start your holiday preparedness now to ensure a smooth and profitable season. Invest a few hours now to have a successful return in the future.
Don’t forget to stop by the Teleflora program this Sunday at Florabundance to be inspired for the busy season ahead. I hope to see all of you there!

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