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Old 27th April 2011, 03:42 PM   #1

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 4
Smile Need Some Good Ideas

Hello Everyone!
I posted this question in the New Member Introductions and it was suggested that I post it in this category! I need some brainstorming here. I think my head is too clouded to see straight! I am looking for something to do with the dead times in my shop.

Here's the background.... I recently opened a Flowershop in a small town in TX. While my wedding business is fantastic, the daily orders are slow to come in. I belive that most of this is due to the economy, however.. I am still open from 8:00AM - 5:00 PM to be available for the daily orders. Given all that said... I can sit here in the shop all day with nothing to do. I have re-decorated over and over, found this web site, marketed to corporate accounts, etc. I have done all the usual required things that a " new" shop should do in town. I have great relationships with most of the area vendors, have corporate clients, but reality is... people, companies, etc... are just not spending money on flowers unless it is the utmost of importance. I've seen in my time ( used to work in the wholesale side of the business ) many flower shops go out of business, due to lack of business, however, my weddings can carry me thru.... now the problem is Monday - Friday... I just can't sit here and do nothing. So, hence the looking for something else to do, whether it be pertaining to flowers, something completely different to do online...I think
( lol ) I am fairly computer literate so I thought something on line would fill in the gaps...but the big question is what??? Without all the work at home schemes, get rich quick... yadda, yadda, I need some good constructive ideas what would benefit the shop... weddings... or even me personally with the most profit whether it be with cash in hand or exposure.

I appreciate all your input.

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Old 27th April 2011, 08:00 PM   #2
DL Davis
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Posts: 14

Hello again Donna,

Time is a scarce resource because it is limited. If we could have more hours in the day (or clone ourselves!) we could get more done in business, and ideally grow it twice as fast. You have the unique situation of having all of that free time while manning an open shop. In a way, it is exciting because you have an abundance of a scarce resource. There is an opportunity for you in this... now you just need to find a good way to leverage that abundance.

You said that you were previously in the wholesale flower business, and then you made a move to the retail flower business. While you could certainly look outside of the industry for other opportunities, I'm thinking you like the flower biz based on what you've said and done. I think you should brainstorm ideas within the flower industry first, before letting your mind go to something completely different.

I am biased toward the internet and all of the opportunities that social media has brought us, so I am prone to looking that direction first. Since you made the distinction that you'd like to profit either your business OR yourself personally, that gives you the room to do something that is not specifically tied to selling more bouquets.

I'm reminded of the story of Gary Vaynerchuk. Have you heard of him - the "wine guy"? Look him up, specifically google the BusinessWeek article on him from 2008 titled "Gary Vaynerchuk is Thirsty." He took his father's wine business, and he created a huge wine empire with basically just a video blog called tv.winelibrary.com. He certainly stayed in the wine industry, but instead of only retail sales, he expanded the brand tremendously with the online presence- good content, videos, loyal community of followers - and turned his high energy and passion for wine into exposure and big profits.

I'm not saying that would necessarily be a good fit for you, but think along those lines. What could you do within your industry, but perhaps on different platforms, to make use of your extra time and provide value to the flower community? How else are flowers involved in people's lives? (Perhaps a blog or video that has some fun with describing the flowers that were used in famous movie scenes...)

Anyway, think about the Gary Vaynerchuk example and let it roll around in your head awhile...

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Old 28th April 2011, 01:36 AM   #3

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Default 7 Ideas To Help Your Flower Shop Bloom With New & Repeat Customers During the Week

Hi Donna,

After reading your post & DL Davis's reply, I figured I would share my 2 cents with you...

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think you really like flowers, right? I mean, why else
would you have left the wholesale side of the flower business and started
your own shop.

Anyway, here's a few ways you could monetize your "down time" during the
week & increase consumer interest & awareness of your shop, too.

1) Offer flower arrangement classes to: homeschool kids, stay-at-home Moms, local college/university continuing ed or enrichment programs, etc. during the week.

2) Start a "Reminder Service" for your clients ... have them tell you their important dates (b'day of family members, wedding anniversary date, etc.) and then contact them (via a text or email message) as the date is
approaching - with a friendly reminder of the upcoming event & a coupon for
a particular flower arrangement. Plus, once they're on your text messaging or email list, you can send them mid-week (& time-sensitive) special deals. <NOTE: I highly recommend the YepText messaging service because they are friendly, flexible & geared specifically toward helping local small businesses. Or, for dependable email interactions with your customers, I recommend using Aweber because they are very user friendly & offer excellent customer support.

3) Begin a "Doghouse Buster Club" where hubby's can pre-order a selection of
goodies to be picked up or delivered on a weekly or monthly basis. (happy wife, happy life strategy!) This creates reliable, on-going cashflow.

4) Partner Up with Successful Realtors and offer their clients a "Welcome To
Your New Home" bouquet service and include a card with a QR code that
takes them to a "Welcome to the Neighborhood" video that introduces you
and your shop to the newcomers.

5) Create a "Give Romance A Chance" discount card to give local marriage
therapists so they can distribute them to their clients as a way to rekindle
the flame of passion with their loved one.

6) Write & distribute some short ebooks (or videos) on topics such as: How to create a beautiful bridal bouquet on a tight budget; Top 10 Flower Choices for Birthday Bouquet / Bridal Bouquet / Funeral Drape; Flower Shop Secrets
Exposed; etc.

7) Create a membership site dedicated to helping cash-strapped brides (or
their Mothers) learn how to buy flowers in bulk; make boutineers; choose
appropriate flowers; make different types of bouquets; accessorize a
bouquet; decorate the church or wedding venue; etc.

Well, hopefully you'll be able to use one or more of those ideas to help your
business blossom.

To Your Success!

Liz Day
Direct: (770) 826-7458
Bee The Buzz Online

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Old 28th April 2011, 08:50 AM   #4

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Default Great ideas

DL & Liz,

Thank you for such amazing ideas. I guess I am still dumbfounded on how to pull it all together with vitually no money to play with. I love ( actually love) both of your suggestions. I have the knowledge about the flowers, and the passion for my weddings. I love nothing more ( other than family )than seeing a bride walk down the aisle with my flowers in hand. My former place of employment was at a local wholesale florist who also does weddings. I can offer the same services if not better than them, because of my personality and low overhead. I just have to figure out how to get the word out without spending dollars on advertising.

Liz, your ideas are awesome. I will put those into action today! I love them... made me stop and think... wow why couldn't I think of that.... I guess the answer is I am trying to think too hard.

DL... like the wine guy... I could do videos on DIY weddings, but what would make me stand out different than all the others out there! I had the idea a few years ago to market myself as a free lance floral designer, and could travel across the country doing weddings, but when we stopped and figured it out...dollars and cents didn't add up to make it worthwhile, without actually costing ME money! lol

Thanks for the great ideas bo both of you!

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Old 28th April 2011, 09:43 PM   #5
DL Davis
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Liz- your ideas are great. Actionable steps in and of themselves, as well as great seeds for other ideas. My favorite -the "Reminder Service" or a variation of it. I'm sure someone with a mind for flowers could add additional value to that service as well, so that people would have good reason to participate in that instead of just using a reminder in their Gmail calendar...

Donna - as far as the videos idea goes, I'm not exactly sure what you mean by DIY weddings.. but as far as standing out goes, people that are successful with this always have "a thing" - some kind of quirk or something memorable that makes their content stand out. Gary Vaynerchuk has been called the Jim Cramer of wine. Jim Cramer does the program Mad Money on, I think, CNBC. He is loud, passionate about his field, and (a lot of people think) interesting to watch. The point is, Vaynerchuk is thought to have made fans out of people who would have otherwise been only mildly interested in wine. It's not just the field of interest being covered, it is also in how it is packaged. It is especially how it is packaged. So if you could give the videos your own interesting slant, one that was valuable to people, you would stand out.

I'll keep thinking on it. Perhaps others will offer some more ideas.

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Old 4th May 2011, 09:03 PM   #6

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Location: Charleston, SC
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Are you trying to sell more to your existing customers and clients? If so, then this is a profit-area that you will want to focus on.

To get more new business, consider the reliable marketing techniques that don't fail. Every month, see if you can tie in your Flowershop with a holiday or special event of some sort.

I'm pretty sure that there are alot of DIY gardeners in your city, so i would run an ad showing these gardeners how to keep their plants and roses in top notch shape.

When they request your free report, include in the mail package a pitch for your services. Studies have shown that it takes about 3 contacts to make a sale when you follow up on your prospects this way - so stay persistent in your efforts. Just my 2 pence.

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Old 5th May 2011, 03:46 PM   #7
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I'm sure there are an unlimited number of paths you could take, but the unique benefit of an Internet solution in the United States especially, is you can start with absolutely no cash and grow an income that could at least cover your rent in a year. I sold my office to a flower shop 6 years ago and like you noticed, this new economy forced them out of business and I had to foreclose on the loan. It was the Internet that provided enough income to get us past that loss in income, until we could get it sold again. I'm still glad I am retired.

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