Welcome to Flower Manager, Wayne Pollack of People’s Florist

October 26, 2011

Please join me in welcoming another top florist in the country to Flower Manager and AMS, Wayne Pollack of Peoples Flowers in Albuquerque Nm.

Wayne is the 2nd generation of Peoples Flowers founded by his father. They are open 7 days a week with 5 locations and a strong wedding and special event business as well. It is a great operation worth seeing if you travel out this way, with a full wholesale division and a unique cooler set up in their shops that will make you think…cool ideas for sure!

Many of you may know Wayne and his wife Vicki who also helps with bookkeeping. Wayne does a considerable amount of insert marketing and is very involved in the community. He has Lucky Stems businesses already lined up, as well as Helping Hands participants. Located just outside an air force base, I would have to imagine the rewards points and having the app will make him one of the easiest people to do business with. Whatever way someone needs to reach Peoples, they can. They are a true YES WE CAN florist, and support the Train for the group being available for your orders in the Albuquerque area. All you need to know is the spelling A L B U Q U E R Q U E!

Feel free to check out his website and drop him a line. After all these installs, it is exciting seeing him start like all of you, and knowing where he will be able to take his business is a thrill. Thank you to all who spoke with Wayne and the kind words. Our family is this much stronger because of it. Gravity Free was outstanding in the set up as they are just about ready to roll out the new checkout. Almost there!

Thanks again and remember to check out Wayne’s site and drop him a line. http://www.peoplesflowers.com


When Florists Market, Everybody Wins!

October 22, 2011

Last Sunday we had a photo shoot at our shop for pets dressed up for Halloween. What I found to be most interesting was how many kids, and even owners of the pets, dressed to match their pets! We formed lines around the front of the store and had snacks for everyone. While waiting, we signed everyone up for our Rewards Program, and told people about our IPad2 giveaway, which really got people excited, so we even downloaded the app for people on their phones! Pet contests, floralapp downloads, Facebook, and ideas like this get customers interested in your shop. These are all things that set you apart from your competition. See our contest at http://www.beneva.com/contests/Halloween2011

We, along with many shops across the country, spent this past summer promoting our floralapp. Florists reported as many as 300 downloads of floralapp to their shops! SEEDS were being planted. These people are growing a captive audience so in December, they can send a simple PUSH notification and run in store specials for people who have the app. We have also found this is very popular with athletes and people who travel. It is quick and easy and keeps customers connected to YOU! The best part about floralapp is that customers have you IN THEIR PHONE. No bookmark, when they click that APP it is YOUR SHOP.

The biggest surprise was the increase we had in our brochure sales (over 20% increase in print marketing). Florists are realizing that YES there is business to get, we just need to get it! Shops bought as little as 1,000 brochures per shop for billing and handouts at the counter. WAY TO GO! You are giving your customer a good reason to shop local. Always ask yourself, “Why should anyone shop with you?” I hope you have answers that are unique to your shop because there is lots of competition, not only in your town, but also on the web.

The holidays will bring you about 40% of the traffic you receive all year long. Florists that have recently signed up  for floralapp are promoting it on their home pages and on every delivery, as well as delivery confirmations. What you do with the traffic you will soon receive will make all the difference in your future success. You can’t work on the 2nd order until you get the first!

While you are at our site, take a look in our cooler as we also allow customers to shop online and order RIGHT FROM OUR COOLER with our coolercam. We now have the answer to, “What do you have available today?” We tell them to take a look in our cooler right from their computer! http://www.beneva.com/coolercam.cfm

Happy Marketing!

Florists That Get Noticed, MARKET.

October 19, 2011

Florists that get noticed, market. Successful people do what unsuccessful people don’t. Start gathering orders, and check the Lifetime Value calculator to figure out what you should spend to get more customers.

When was the last time you noticed a leading retail florist in a city that did not market? How about ANY retail business that everyone has heard of that didn’t market?

The point is, successful people do what unsuccessful people don’t. Watch this several minute video with Don Gurcio (was a leading salesman at Nike worldwide). He also hosts a sports talk show in Sarasota.

There is no question that NOTHING good is FREE. Don’t look for the free deal to turn your business around. Spend the money and track the results. It is said you have to spend money to make money, I also understand that you need to spend money to lose money too. You don’t lose what you don’t have. I understand that, and I hope you do too.

How many florists got websites when the internet became an option? Does anyone today not have one? Successful people do what others don’t. Don’t be left behind. We have solutions, and hundreds of florists are benefiting by thinking out of the box. Many can’t wait to say something that someone else thinks of doesn’t work. The next time someone tells you about what doesn’t work, ask them for a better way. If they don’t have one, keep moving forward. Eagles fly alone.

So when you see our pet contest, see the Spode train we released for only 1  florist in every area across the country, or look over our app, think about how it can impact your business, and weigh it against the next best idea. If it was waiting for incoming orders then also remember those are orders from MARKETERS. Haven’t we been kidding ourselves long enough? Get out there and gather up those orders and get them off the conveyor belt. That is what local florists need and want. MORE CUSTOMERS

It is Never Too Soon to Begin Marketing Collectables for the Holidays.

October 16, 2011

Yes, it’s October and at Beneva Flowers we are doing something different to attract early holiday orders. We are marketing the COLLECTABLE Spode Holiday Express Train for the holidays now.

This holiday season, ask yourself this, “What makes my shop different“? You have an APP on your home page? GREAT! Look around, how many small businesses have their own apps? That is an edge for you!

Next, the COLLECTABLE train. This holiday season why send flowers in a container when you can have flowers in a collectable? Numbered and limited in production, this train is oversized and complete with its own box and packaging for safe keeping throughout the years. Even better, it is the 1st of a series! Shops who have this are locked in to the future trains. We have studied the interest people have with trains and I think you will be very surprised. We have had people buying them since September at our store. These are 2 options that can make your retail flower shop stand out from the rest.

So what makes this different than the fine gifts you carry in your shop? CODIFICATION. Everyone who carries the Spode Train will be codified. ANYONE can go to http://www.Localflowershop.com, click on the train and type in a zip code. The shop carrying the train will appear (this feature will be live in about a week). What if there is not a shop? Then you can have us mail them one or it just isn’t available there. There is value in a limited unique product like this. No, everyone everywhere will not have it. If you are one of the 100 shops who have it, you are special and will have first right of refusal for the following train next year. I do believe there is a market for a container at the holiday. So why not have a collectable? Something hand painted, numbered and partnered with a name you can trust, SPODE. Take a look at it on http://www.conforticollection.com

With shops like Carithers, Walter Knoll Florist, Phoenix Flower Shops, Bice’s, Americas Florist, Vogue, Clifford’s and so many that you all probably know  and so many more, how can you go wrong? It’s about standing out in your local market.

So you have the Kinkade village? So does every other shop. This year it is $85.00. It is a fine piece but there is no exclusivity and every shop has it. Most of the shops that have the Spode are EXCLUSIVE. This train cannot be purchased again or from anyone else after the holiday. BEST of all, http://www.conforticollection.com does NOT sell to retail. Look at our list of participating retailers. We steer people to YOUR shop.

So if you want to see change, be the change you want to see.

We will be advertising the Limited Edition Spode Holiday Express Train has arrived and you can reserve yours now on Facebook. Check out Gary at Winfield Flowers in Winfield, IL. He is already doing this on Facebook.

So what will you be promoting this holiday season? That is the difference.

How Do Your Customers Find You? They May NOT Be The Best Ones To Ask

October 14, 2011

Do you really know how your customer finds you?

Last night, I spoke with a close friend who’s wife lost her aunt. They needed flowers for the service. While talking with them, we decided it was best they took a look at our website for some ideas. A few hours later they had made a selection, so I recommended they go ahead and place the order online so we can process it.

After we hung up, I logged into my site to check on the order only to find out they clicked on a Pay Per Click ad on MSN!

These are close friends of ours so I felt comfortable asking him if his wife always searches MSN to find websites. I assumed they had my URL memorized because these are very close friends. He said, she used Comcast not MSN.

My URL tracking reported that she clicked an MSN ad of ours which appeared on the Comcast homepage. In many cases, you can easily be on one website and search for something using an outside search engine like Google or MSN to serve the results. It looks like Comcast, but the results were served up by MSN. Sound complicated? It can be.

For example, if you hear someone tell you they found you on ASK, they really saw your Yellowpages.com listing. That is who serves the search results for ASK.com

The point is, if you feel asking your customers how they heard about you is getting you the information you need to make better marketing decisions, guess again.

I believe any marketing effort you make should be at least 50% track able.  You can use a tracking URL (which I suggest to all our members on localflowershop.com) to show you in your admin where the order came from, but that is only 50%. The other is unique phone numbers, also known as DID (direct inbound dial). Tracking phone calls is how you can tell just why you see so many clicks, and only a few orders are placed on your website. By tracking the inbound calls, at least you can tell where the call originated. Tracking the order that took place would give you the best results.

There are many ways to do this. Begin with a tracking URL. At localflowershop.com we generate an automatic email every time someone clicks on your ad. That may be good for most of our members but there is so much more. Wouldn’t it be great to see for yourself how many clicks turn into orders?

Take the time to track your results and be realistic with your marketing and Lifetime Value (LTV). To learn more about Lifetime Value and use our calculator click here

This Holiday Season, What Makes YOU Different?

October 10, 2011

We just closed out our holiday marketing at http://www.benevasolutions.com  as we move to customization with all who ordered. We saw an increase in shops stepping up to print marketing, congratulations! It seems that florists are realizing they can no longer sit back and wait for business.

This holiday season, ask yourself this: What makes you different? Why should a customer shop with you?

Here are some tips….

* Review your offerings on your website and KNOW what you have. There is nothing worse than a customer calling about something on your website and the person on the phone not even knowing the offering. Don’t allow anyone to upload an image without your permission.

* By now, you should understand there is no need for more than 1 website. It will hurt you more than it will help you. Your website should be an extension  of your store. A website is like your logo. While you should never vary your logo design, your website should be as consistent and stable as your logo. People need to feel your brand, and that leads to trust. DECEPTIVE order gathering starts with the merging of your name to their website. If a customer never knows what the website should look like, it is easy to slip away without knowing it. If your site is consistent and branded, a customer will know right away that the look and feel of where they are shopping is not consistent with your shop. 1 logo 1 website. Keep it simple and have your staff trained on your offerings.

* Update your directory minimum. Not just the wire services, but internet directories as well. Be sure to check your listing at http://www.localflowershop.com and be sure your prices are all correct. Those with GOLD listings, update your coupon offering as well. You should do this wherever your listings appear.

* Mobile FLORALAPPTM. Those who have this will have a TREMENDOUS advantage this holiday season. After all, this is one of the times you will see the highest traffic to your site. When you have “DOWNLOAD our APP” front and center on your home page, you will see downloads and mobile use. Remember to promote your giveaway and/or your 1st use discount. Your app allows them to order flowers anywhere anytime (yes, WE know that but remind them too). Most national companies all have apps today, now YOU, the retail florist do as well. Take advantage of this edge you have on your competition.

*Another engagement opportunity. Not only are Facebook and floralappTM ways to get people to your shop, how about a Halloween pet contest? People are dressing pets more than ever before. Try a contest at your shop and see how many people will come in, or enter to win.

Click here to see ours http://www.beneva.com/contests/Halloween2011

Sound like a lot? This is retailing today. It is more than carrying a nice product and hoping someone comes in to buy it. We need to get out and get people to not just buy from us, but to visit us as well.

Keep up with our blog at floralappTM to better understand the advantages as you learn why FLORALAPPTM connects YOU with YOUR customer like no other technology. http://www.floralappblog.com/

Florists for Change Recap

October 5, 2011

I just returned from the Florists for Change meeting in Atlanta, where industry florists form as a group to promote local retailing. It is clear that not only the awareness of local flower shops is lacking, but also the services they provide. As we discussed the difference between order gathering and deceptive order gathering, florists learned we need to promote our services to attract more orders.

For Example:

When a customer calls you to order local, remind them that the images on your website are available locally AND out of town. They already trust you, they just may not think of you for out of town orders. This is a GREAT first step to gathering orders. It is just smart business.

The vendors who presented services are also contributing percentages of business transactions to the group to help build revenue. We offered a special promotion to all who attended for floralappTM and brochure marketing. In my opinion, Beneva Solutions offers SOLUTIONS to help you.

The 2nd day, Bloomnet, Teleflora, and FTD were allowed to visit and answer questions. Questions were presented and addressed. We have a long way to go, but taking the first step was needed to begin.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” -Albert Einstein

Well, it is October and we are wrapping up our holiday brochure which we have had for sale since August. Several shops signed up, and a few are even going to market for the 1st time. I could not be happier to see that. What will YOU be doing different this holiday to attract customers?

The solutions to all the challenges small florists have are the same that the big ones have, we need more orders! The 1st step is marketing. Marketing creates the orders which allow us the opportunities to be successful retailers. It looks like several really got the message. Thanks for the orders!

Today I look forward to being a guest speaker at Cortez Manatee wholesale in Palmetto Florida, where I will be addressing the state of our industry and local retail. It’s time to “get out of the box”. Those who are getting on board are getting ahead of competition. The sooner you start the effort, the quicker you will see positive change.

If you are a member of FFC, please be sure to mention them for special consideration, and remember, we give back to FFC with every future purchase an FFC members makes.