Which Comes First Floristry or Marketing/Selling?

So a very hectic few days for “Team Flower Design” what with the wonderful wedding at The Great Hall at Mains on Saturday and then to Myerscough College for a very special event organized by the Commercial Floral Design Degree students who are in their second and third years and then off to Holland, my feet haven’t touched the ground Given that we lost an hour on Sunday morning and my lecture was scheduled for 10:30 – 11:30, I was scared that I may have no body to present to, but I shouldn’t have worried, Susanna was in charge and we had a room full.
I talked, I fear very randomly about PR & Marketing within our florist business, we talked about demonstrations, Blogs, Competitions and a whole manner of things, I felt very nervous and though I am very much a perfectionist and a worrier and had prepared thoroughly, it was great relief when it was over (I’ve only just started wearing glasses and I just can’t read from notes so remembering an hours long presentation was a test).
I had practised to my long suffering daughter Olivia, who wasn’t quite as receptive as my lovely audience on Sunday, so thank you those of you that came, thanks for being there so early, thanks for listening and most of all thanks for being so kind to me.

Here’s the gist of my talk, for those of you who couldn’t come but who may be a florist just like me with an interest in surviving the recession…

Which Comes First Floristry or Marketing/Selling?

You can’t design & make something without knowing you’ve got a potential sale for it or better still an order and payment for it already “in the bag.”

So Chicken or Egg?

As professional independent florists we need to market ourselves, we need to make sure the world knows we exist and just how special what we do is.

Do a press release for anything & everything you do that isn’t the norm eg. Competitions, Charity events etc etc

Be responsible & respectful for our industry, don’t undercut or critiscise other florists, think of something better or a unique idea in order to get the client, cheapening yourself isn’t the answer.

So start a Blog, it’s a free way of leaving a trail all over the World Wide Web that leads back to you.

If your budgets don’t allow for advertising don’t spend money on it! Be clever be creative, but don’t sit inside your shop and hope customers will come and find you, get out there and find them.

Don’t steal other florists customers, it never works out, find your own and then really work hard at keeping them.

Look after your loyal core customer base, treat them if you can with priority delivery or your direct line to speak to you, invite them to special events your hosting. It doesn’t have to cost you a bean. Remember there is a lot of choice out there and as independents we’re unlikely to be the cheapest so we have to be the very best we can be.

No one single thing will work! You need lots of layers, Loyalty cards, Newspaper editorials, Web Site, Blog, Demonstrations, Charity work, talking to people, an excellent delivery driver, loyal staff and colleagues who are committed to the business etc etc

Network with other industries, get to know other business people, hairdressers, nursing homes, café’s, Beauty therapists, Antique shops anything that is independently owned just like us.

You will need lots of energy, lots of enthusiasm, lots of creative thoughts, if you don’t have these you’re probably not a florist!

You don’t need lots of money!

Don’t copy other florists in your area it dilutes the effect for both of you and it won’t be successful for either of you.

Remember other florists are not your enemy, internet sites are, supermarkets are, other delivered gift providers are but not florists, every time a florist shop closes down it weakens our industry, it may seem great in the short term but the long term effects will be devastating, so look after each other! Never ever dis-respect your fellow florist.
The very lovely Susanna Brandon from Myerscough had booked us and looked after us all day, Susanna, I have to say that you and your fellow students did the most stupendous job on Sunday everything was spot on, we thoroughly enjoyed your hospitality and we enjoyed seeing the competition entries, the other Demonstrators and exhibitors, Per Benjamin was fantastic but the very best bit was the CAKES!!! And of course the beautiful flowers you gave to me. Myerscough should be very proud of you all it was an extremely well managed and well run event.

Jason and I went to see Aaron McManus do his demonstration “Inspiration from around the World”, Aaron has his own successful business in Southport Aaron Mark Floral Design, he did a really fabulous job and we were totally entertained.

The Per Benjamin demonstration was a joy “In Love with every day Flowers” I think every lady there was in love with Per Benjamin I know our girls Emma & Rachel were seriously impressed. I thought I’d share with you all some of his beautiful designs…

Master Florist Per Benjamin is from Sweden he is a World Champion Floral Designer and as such deserves huge respect.

This design was a delight, masses and masses of Mimosa, so lovely!

The lovely Helen was lucky enough to model for Per
there were many jealous eyes on her I can tell you!

Jason and I had to leave at 3:45 in order to catch the ferry from Hull to Rotterdam but that’s another story for another day…
If any of my thoughts apply to you or make you feel just a little bit excited about the new era Floristry is moving into please post a comment or send me an e-mail to jane@flowerdesign.co.uk


Some great advice there Jane, applicable to all us independent businesses, not just florists. Thanks - there's a couple of things for me to think about there!


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