Florists trying to better themselves!

August 21, 2009

DSC00260The Beneva Team just returned from doing another Flower Manager website install at Freytag’s Florist in Austin, Tx. What a fantastic operation; a family run florist since 1974 in Austin Texas.

Chad and his Dad and Sister are actively involved in this beautiful florist with a true “Yes We Can” attitude. Chad said he was looking for the tools to maximize the opportunities on the Internet now and in the future. The Flower Manager website is just the thing too. With updates scheduled throughout the year, solutions are created almost on the fly for users. We believe the internet never stops evolving and your website should not either.

DSC00254Freytag’s has also committed to the Conforti Collection’s Fitz and Floyd Holly Berry Bowl for the upcoming season. Freytag’s was also one of the original LocalFlowerShop.com members and we are proud to have them in our group of industry leading florists with one thing in common, a focus on maximizing local efforts to grow business.

Times like this require more unique efforts to capture and retain customers. We believe that is the only way for local flower shops to survive. We have to not only attract the order, but build the relationship to keep future orders coming in.

Welcome aboard, Freytag’s Florist of Austin Texas; the Beneva Team wishes you much success in the coming years!

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CEO makes business blossom despite economy

August 18, 2009

ArtReprinted from lbknews.com

Jeanette Billings
Staff Writer
jbillings@lbknews.com

Conforti has built a bustling operation of more than 40 employees garnering 70% of Sarasota’s floral market share.

What does football, clam chowder, a geranium and a hibachi grill have in common? Everything, according to Beneva Flowers President, Arthur Conforti. “My business is like a football franchise; I am the coach and my employees are my team, our clients are the fans. My coaching philosophy is simple. We have 100 yards to score a touchdown. 100 yards is a long way, but if we break it down into 10-yard plays we can make it to the goal in 10 plays,” says Conforti.

It wasn’t always that way for Conforti. When he launched his family floral business, it was just his mother, father and himself in a small flower shop at 6980 Beneva Road in Sarasota. But with his commitment to clients and his strong repeat client base, Conforti has built a bustling empire of over 40 employees garnering 70% of Sarasota’s market share.

Today, Conforti’s shop occupies the entire business plaza at the corner of Beneva and Clark. The floral empire encompasses a showroom, telephone sales center, floral design studio, delivery dispatch center, wedding consultation studio and a worldwide marketing division.

Conforti is touted throughout the floral industry as the gold standard for floral operations. In-fact, his operation and management has been so successful Conforti also owns Beneva Solutions, a coaching and consulting business offered to start up florists. “Businesses need to stop focusing on the top-line and redirect their focus to the bottom-line. Take today’s economy: everyone is worrying about slow sales. Sales are down, that is true. So what if sales are down? What are you doing to bring your operating costs down? A well-run business can report profits if run correctly regardless if sales are up or down. Through changing economies, politics and demographics Conforti has adjusted to meet ever-fluctuating needs. He has added 24-hour delivery, Internet shopping and live web cams for clients. He has trimmed payroll, streamlined delivery methods by organizing his delivery routes and using GPS technology efficiently.

One thing Conforti has not done is open new locations. “The overhead cost expansion adds to your bottom-line can be the most destructive line item for a business. Conforti maintains that his centralized operation allows him to deliver one of his most important business edicts, “Give customers what they want and need.”

And what customers want and need often exceed your basic flower order. In-fact last week he was posed with a very specific request. The caller, a young woman from Maine, asked if Conforti and his team could round-up and deliver a can of clam chowder, a geraniums and a hibachi. Instead of asking “Are you crazy,” Conforti immediately and instinctively assured her that it would be done!

For Conforti, this request was not out of the ordinary. He says that in a typical week Beneva Flowers delivers everything from romantic gestures, sometimes highly personal and unique gift ideas, down to somber flowers sent to those in mourning. It is the act of fulfilling the unique demands and vision of his customers that is hallmark to his company’s ongoing success.

Though Conforti has been in the flower business for over 20 years, he learned his business lessons while driving a SCAT bus, his first job here after relocating from New York. He learned that knowing your customer is key to providing exceptional customer service. While driving the bus, he remembered faces, names, locations, favorite stops, etc. He transformed those tenets into a business that spans wedding planning to business coaching and marketing. He has seen flower trends come and go, and by anticipating those changes in taste and design, Conforti stays ahead of the game by tapping into his greatest resource, his clients.


Why should you carry the Fitz & Floyd Holly Berry Bowl this upcoming holiday season?

August 7, 2009

Fitz and Floyd Holly Berry BowlFor the past 2 years, I have found myself disgruntled after purchasing wire service specialty containers for a holiday only to find them on the wire service websites discounted as much as 30%. I purchased a container with an SRP of $60.00 only to find it may be purchased at their own website for $48.00. Frustrating.

I want to be perfectly clear, I am not opposed to wire services, I had trouble with this model so I created a solution. The Conforti Collection of floral giftware that include fresh blooms. Gifts that are numbered, that come with a gift box, a gift that is a true collectable as only a Conforti Collection dealer can offer.

When you design a holiday brochure, you are marketing products any florist can design. With a featured Conforti Collectable, you show a product that is exclusive to you! It can not be purchased at just any local shop. Even better, you can use LOCALFLOWERSHOP.COM to look up florists that carry this collectible. In many cases, one exclusive shop can cover an entire city and they will be glad to fill your order. Example, the entire Phoenix Az market is exclusively covered by one company, Phoenix Flower Shops. Ken Young owner and operator finds this to be a competitive advantage. He recognizes that this draws new customer’s to his business. In St. Louis, Walter Knoll Florist is glad to fill your orders with plenty of containers on hand. With over 100 years in business, could there be a better trusted name? Seattle Washington, Stadium Flowers, Baltimore, and Washington Dc, Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, they are all covered.

Supplies are limited and sure to sell out. Reserve yours today. Remember, most of your holiday orders during the last week call for centerpieces. With an srp of $59.95, it seems like the perfect product to tag for those orders.

Let’s bring more awareness to what makes our shops unique. Take a look at the marketing materials also available. If you decide your have other ideas for marketing, we will be glad to furnish you with a print version of this product for your own marketing efforts. As with everything we do, the choice is yours.

Call us anytime at 800.554.4845 to learn more!