Florists for Change • October 3rd • Atlanta Georgia

September 28, 2011

Florist for Change this Monday, October 3rd, in Atlanta http://www.floristforchange.org.

It is clear change will have to be dealt with whether we want to or not. But I have always believed that a curve in the road is not the end of the road, UNLESS YOU FAIL TO MAKE THE TURN.

The days of the free ride are over. Florists must step up, pay the toll and reap the benefits of retailing success. The pointing of fingers must stop. We are responsible for our own business and our future. People will do what they will but it is up to us to participate with unfavorable business practice and/or support it.

I want to make it clear I, as a local florist like you, am interested in bettering the future of floral retailing. I have tools I am willing to share and am more than willing to help anyone get on the forward path to success.

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Visiting Allendale Florist

September 24, 2011

Today I stopped in to visit Lambros at Allendale Florist only to find him on our website at Beneva Solutions using our LTV calculator figuring out his holiday budget. What are the odds! This tool is available for all shops.

It seems the shops I was able to speak to are not only signed up on floralapp™ but running with recharged batteries. There is business out there for all of us.

Nice job Lambros!


Art Conforti Visits Tri-State Florists at Hillcrest Gardens, Paramus, NJ

September 22, 2011

Sept 21, 2011- Paramus, NJ

I enjoyed visiting Hillcrest Gardens where owner Eric Levy invited florists in the tri-state area to join me in a discussion of the industry today, technology, how florists can use it to grow business and stay ahead of the curve, and most obvious, an OUT of THE BOX  way of approaching retailing.

The presentation included an overview of design tips, working S.M.A.R.T., understanding Lifetime Value (calculate yours here), INSANITY, as well as how the floralappTM works and plans for future enhancements coming on floralappTM. There were GREAT questions from the shops and we all enjoyed an evening of feeling better about our industry when I was able to show just how many UNIQUE visitors increased to national websites just last year. Click here to see video. There is no question when we look at raw numbers, they don’t lie. We have opportunities. The app world is EXPLODING as app usage is on the rise to the tune of 50% increase in just one year.

These shops were there because they were ready for a new and better way to do things. Marketing is the key, customer experience is more important today than ever before.

Over a dozen new members signed up on floralappTM and a surprise floralappTM license giveaway was won by Eddie at Entenmann’s florist in Jersey City. I never saw Eddie smile so wide. Congratulations Eddie and welcome to floralappTM!

5 Florists also won 1,000 custom holiday brochures for their shops. You have to start somewhere. With proper tracking and targeted mailings, positive results are almost guaranteed. Congratulations to all!

The way to change our industry is to change the way we approach it!

Ray from Heights Florist with Bruce and others all lined up to license floralapp™!

Eddie from Entenmann's Florist the winner of a floralapp™ License!

Tammy from Tappan Zee Florist.


Where Have Your Customers Gone?

September 19, 2011

• So are you still wondering where your customers have gone?

• Do you really think everyone in your local city goes to you by default?

• Could others be taking your customers?

• Do you think less people are buying flowers?

Some shops like to think the last is the answer. It is easier to point at. The truth is, while your customers in your database may have lost their job, there may be a new next door neighbor who just relocated for a new job. How will you be sure they contact you when they send flowers?

P R I N T  M A R K E T I N G

Before you try it, take a look at our online calculator to understand the results so you can be realistic and make the most of your effort.

The key is understanding that very few people who order at the holidays only order from you once. The odds are it is 3-6 times a year. Using 4 to be conservative, and an average order of $60.00 means the yearly value of that customer is $240.00! The only problem is that most shops do not recognize the repeat order and lose sight of it. Historically, a customer usually stays with a florist an average of 3 years. So the lifetime value of that customer is really a minimum of $720.

Too many shops sit back and “wait” for orders during the holidays only to have too many come back to them as wire in’s. There is nothing wrong with wire in’s, just as long as you have your backyard (your delivery area) covered. Take a look at the charts below. 4.2 MILLION new unique visitors to national websites. How many were your customers?

Yes, many people shop using websites and apps today, but you could guide them to your site first with an attractive print ad either in the mail or in the newspaper.

How about a QR code for a special gift? A FREE iPad2 giveaway when they download your FLORALAPP, PLUS a $10 offer the first time they use it. Can you feel the excitement? Your customer needs that from the LOCAL florist, not national!

Look around at the most successful florists in the industry. They all have one thing in common, they market. What is holding you back?

At Beneva Solutions, we have the best price on print marketing products, the ONLY floralapp in the floral industry, plus you may be able to get the inaugural release of the SPODE Holiday Express TRAIN. Collectable and numbered, it is the first of a series. One 1 florist in a city can have this. With a minimum order amount of 12, can you afford not to have it?

YOU HAVE TOO MANY CONTAINERS? This is a collectable gift with flowers. It comes with a gift box and is individually numbered. Best of all, you will be the only one who has it PLUS you can wire it out with any wire service. Select a codified shop at localflowershop.com and send your order. It’s simple and unique. Now when you market your brochure, your customer can never take it to your competition to fill, only you.

Be smart, be unique, and be profitable.

Call us and let’s see what we can do together!  •  866-768-2420


Unboxing the Spode Holiday Express

September 9, 2011

The First Step With Florists For Change Begins With MARKETING

September 9, 2011

What do all these well known florists have in common?

• Royers             Raimondi’s      Phoenix Flower Shops

Hoogasian       Viviano            Field of Flowers

Raimondi’s      Bice’s               Walter Knoll Florist   

Boesen            Beneva            • Field of Flowers

Sparks             Carithers         Nanz and Kraft                           

Viviano            Mancusos        Mc Shan

Gainan’s          Moravian         Billy Heroman’s

M A R K E T I N G

Today I received flyers from of the area theaters kicking off the season with all the plays and performances they have scheduled. If they were florists they would expect everyone to find them and see what is playing. On the 4th of July I saw more ads for Weber grills for the 4th of July cookout then I did in January. How about January? That is when you see all the ad’s for flat screen TV’s to watch the Super Bowl. The rest of the world uses events and holidays to market their brand and, for the most part, we feel an email here and there is enough. This is why the industry is where it is. We can change when we become florists for change in OURSELVES first!

Florists for change needs to start with a mirror. It is no one else’s fault that we are losing our industry. If you feel you have put all your eggs in the wire service basket and you are not happy with the results, you need to make the first move. Quitting is not the answer, marketing is.

If florists advertised in their delivery area in PRINT or media there would be a SERIOUS decline in wire in or national orders. Customers do not know what a great job we can do for them in town AND out of town.

Did you ever try telling your customer that the pretty bouquet they just ordered on your website is available locally and across the USA with YOUR personal guarantee? That is all you need to do. You know people call and say that they are looking for something, and they like what they see on your website as they make a decision. This is your time to shine. It is when you can remind them how flexible you are and that they only need to think of ONE place to go when sending flowers and gifts and that is YOU. This costs NOTHING and will get you more out of town orders.

I was amazed that out of all the shops that re-ordered Thanksgiving postcards yesterday, only 4 were new. People actually say things like, “Thanksgiving is not that big of a deal.” Really? Is anyone slow the day after the Sunday before Thanksgiving? How many orders are printing in on your Dove and Mercury? Where did they come from? Look in your Sunday paper and see who is advertising because that is who is getting whatever business there is.

Sure you will get some calls, but how many will you miss because you are not exposed. Not many? Again, look at the national orders. Look at this chart of UNIQUE customer visits to the big 4 websites.

Where did these customers come from? OUR local markets! Don’t kid yourself.

When I hear about florists for change I think about marketing, I think about standardization, and I think about what we as an industry can do better. The wire services are a concern, but not #1.

Everything I sell and offer is more what I SHARE. There isn’t a thing I offer that I don’t use myself. I am happy to share ideas with florists. I was once a 3 man operation and I will tell you this, small shops that are successful become big. There is no question. It has to happen.

These are the days we can never be comfortable. With the LTV (lifetime value of a customer) being 720.00 a year, you need to attract every customer you can get. One order is all that most shops measure, but repeat business that you get through the year is the real value and they have to start somewhere.

Take some time and look at the holiday offerings we have for you. With a minimum purchase amount of just 1,000 pieces, we want to reach out to all shops. We have enjoyed working with the large shops in the industry and continue to do so,  however, our biggest challenge in the industry is getting deliveries out of town. That being said, we need ALL florists, BIG and SMALL to do better.

With every holiday brochure purchase you will get the images for your website and floralappTM. This will keep everything consistent allowing you to reduce you offerings and increase efficiency!

With every train purchase you will  get images of the train as well as posters for your store and a coloring contest for you to introduce at your local schools. Run contests, engage your customers, and most importantly, CLOSE THE TRANSACTION. It is all up to you.

Call us anytime to discuss your marketing plan as we are always glad to help. If you have your own printer then go with them, just don’t sit back and wait for it to happen. It is not realistic.

Below is a comment from a florist who has our website and floralappTM, R & A Robinson in Rowland Heights, CA. He has about 12 employees and was one of the later shops to get floralappTM. Once he found the time to get it started last month, here is the letter he sent me this morning:

Thank you Art!!

So far we have three FloralApp orders and 50 downloads..:-)

The amount of downloads and orders is all over the place. Those who are marketing are seeing immediate results.

Tomorrow I will send you the artwork for cards we are attaching to our deliveries and giving to our walk in customers. Being different and engaging consumers in your business is what every successful company is doing. Others are just waiting. I don’t know what for.


Market your backyard with our Fall Postcard.

September 7, 2011

It amazes me how many florists are concerned about losing orders to wire services, 1-800-Flowers, and other national competition when we all have a chance right here and now to compete.

 

Our FALL/THANKSGIVING postcard is the perfect way to market your backyard, but our print deadline is fast approaching. Numerous shops have used our fall postcard and have seen success especially when applying a TURN 2 sales approach. Customer service agents who take Thanksgiving orders are often able to take a holiday order from that same customer by offering a discount.

 

If our postcard is not right for you then I hope you have your own marketing plan in place. It’s imperative that you have a marketing piece of some kind in the Sunday paper before Thanksgiving.

 

Many shops have asked me if they should do 50,000 or 75,000 for a newspaper insert. Numbers like this have often scared off smaller shops from doing an insert. All I can is that larger shops had to have been small shops at one time. What kind of shop do you want to be?

 

If inserting isn’t for you, don’t just rely on emailing your customers. Everyone emails. Direct mail however can get something physical in their hand, and sending to your delivery areas ensure that your shop is the one on their mind when they look to order.

FLORISTS FOR CHANGE need to be starting with FLORISTS FOR MARKETING. That is the first step to getting orders back. Florists for Change starts with forward thinking.  If we want to see change we need to start the effort. Getting our orders back can only be done with everyone’s participation.

 

The truth is, there are over 4 MILLION unique visitors to the nation websites from Pro Flowers to Teleflora. Where are they coming from? YOUR DELIVERY AREA! I promise. There is no magical place they get orders, they are in our back yards!

 

The one thing about me is I can see a problem and I take it upon myself to find the solution. With dozens and dozens of regular marketing shops with our group, there must be something we are doing right. Yes I have an answer and it is 1 of your choices. See some options…

 

#1- Order holiday brochures at http://www.benevasolutions.com I will be glad to discuss ideas to market your local community for the best return on your dollars. You can order 1,000 pieces and secure your customers to order form you again.

 

#2– Use some other print company to make you a brochure or postcard and get it out in your delivery area. Be sure to make your offer attractive and be ready for your results with trained staff.

 

#3- Is NOT recommended. Sit back and assume your customer will order from you. If that was the case, there would not be any national orders!

 

The choice is yours. Now is the time to reserve your Fall/Thanksgiving postcards and get Thanksgiving orders while you secure holiday orders in December. Want to know how? Call me. I will be glad to share some thoughts. Contact us at 866.768.2420