What is the true agenda here? What are our objectives? There are so many areas in our industry that require attention and improvement for us all to benefit together. It’s time that we agree that we need to make constructive changes, pick a course and follow it!
With so much talk about wire services, are they really the root of the problem? When used as a clearing house, I have trouble finding fault in what they do. I guess if you send 20 orders a month it doesn’t matter much, but isn’t your goal to send more and to do more? Then what would you do? I don’t think this is the real issue here.
The industry has become very complicated for many. Wire services and national marketers such as Pro Flowers, 1-800-FLOWERS, Teleflora, and FTD have taken over the majority of orders and it’s simply due to marketing. It’s all in the game of how products and services are presented to the consumers. How are we supposed to compete with that? Take DesMoine, IA for example. Boesen the Florist owns Des Moines because they earned it! They branded their name, marketed it, and flat out stepped up to the plate to claim their territory by taking calculated risks and involving themselves in their local market. For anyone who still questions the power of marketing I ask you this…Do you really believe the #1 selling hamburger in the world is the best tasting? Do I even have to ask you who has sold more hamburgers worldwide? Is a McDonalds hamburger even healthy? What about happy meals? Are they in the toy business? There is a lot to be learned here. They want to sell us and our families’ food. They will go to all extremes to connect with us whether it is through our kids, or any other interests they have studied that families enjoy. THAT is their marketing.
McDonalds is an example of product made successful by superior marketing.
In our case…
The most beautiful designs are offered by our shops in this day and age. I am so proud of what we have to offer as retail florists and to top it off, same day delivery! These two things equal amazing quality and service. People will pay for these if they KNOW it is available to them, FROM YOU! But how will they know? We need to step up our marketing efforts to bring attention to what we do so well.
Retail florists are becoming mad and frustrated! Many are screaming for a way out of the hole, but it will take learning new behavioral patterns for them to see the light. Obviously, if they are in a hole, what they did in the past didn’t work, so it’s time for a positive change.
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”-Albert Einstein
The focus from the florists seems to have deterred from the core of our being, our flower shops, to complaining about everything else. My motto is to focus on the positive of my competence, confidence, quality and ability to believe in myself and my company. Wasting time complaining about the wire services is only taking away from the time that I should be spending thinking of ways to build my core business. There are so many options for advertising and a great one is to find your own niche, a simple thing to make you stand out from everyone else. We are all entrepreneurs and it’s time we all start looking within for the credits instead of constantly looking out for others’ faults.
A possible solution?
I believe that working together to set some general guidelines would be a great place for us all to profit. For instance:
1. Setting standards across the board that not one of us will ever overpromise and underdeliver. In other words, don’t advertise a product that isn’t actually being sent. Customers get upset and it reflects on the entire industry.
2. Build realistic parameters for standardization that we can all follow.
a. One option is to make sure that all same day delivery orders consist of “staple” flowers.
b. Make sure each shop always keeps the same “staple” flowers in stock.
3. Market together as a whole and cut costs on advertising as individual shops.
In my opinion, I believe we all have the solutions to our “across the board” problems within ourselves and it is time that constructive ideas are brought to the table to make positive changes. Quite frankly, I am way too busy to spend time complaining about things that are out of my control. On the other hand, I have plenty of time to champion constructive, positive ideas to make our industry today productive and prosperous for all of us! This is a roundtable I would love to join. How to standardize and develop realistic programs we can all participate in for the ability to send and receive orders in all price ranges that make sense and profit for all.
Consider implementing a simple program I have introduced to many florists, the YES WE CAN commitment. Let’s begin with how we are to accomplish the requests of our customers removing the answer NO as an option.
Do you really know your customer? This is where you can start your plan. If you have a survey at your shop for all three experiences below then you are, at best, part of the 25% who really do know. 1 out of 4 florists have surveys for all three experiences (at best).
#1 The experience at the counter (Your walk in)
#2 The phone in order. How are your phones really answered? Do you ever lose an order? Do you even know if you do?
#3 Online. Do people really like your website? Does it keep them coming back for more? Does it have more value than your competition? With 60% of all transactions having at least looked at your website, I would imagine you want it as unique as the rest of your retail flower shop.
If you want a survey for your shop and orders, we have affordable choices at Beneva Solutions. If you have another option then by all means use it, but we never allow a design to go out our door without a comment card attached for the recipient. It indicates, WE CARE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE. After all this is not necessarily your customer, it is the recipient.
Remember to market for LTV (Lifetime Value). It’s not the immediate order you get from your ad, it’s the relationship and repeat orders that will make the effort profitable.
I have a formula for LTV (Lifetime Value) of a customer. If you would like me to send it to you, I would be more than happy to, and it’s FREE to use! Click here to contact me.
If I wasn’t recovering from knee surgery, I would definitely be there to join all of you in addressing these and more issues. I really hope the intention is to work smarter and develop a better way to retail flowers with the understanding of what we did before it is no longer the best and most practical way to operate.
Keep your eye on the road…
Remember, a curve in the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn.
I wish you the best of luck and look forward to hearing from you.