Pioneer Blog

From the Benches: The Florist Brain: Biz vs. Design

Sarah Botchick - Tuesday, January 21, 2014
"From the Benches" - The Florist Brain: Biz vs. Design
By Joe Guggia, AIFD

We florists are unique animals.  While embracing the retail world, there is a yearning to create floral art that sets us apart from most other business and allows us to make a difference in lives on a daily basis.  That fact keeps our mojo going to produce and maintain our place in this fast paced world.

This right/left brain struggle has been the florist nemesis for years.  I’ve fought the gallant fight myself struggling to climb the ladder of success on both sides of the fence.  But it’s pure and simple: one cannot survive without the other.

So what do we do?  Just create cookie cutter flower arrangements so the biz part is satisfied?  Or do we allow our artful being to rise to the occasion and set ourselves apart from our contemporaries? Well, my friends, I can tell you that both can be done.  I’m proof that artful floral arrangements can be created with style and visual value while making money.  It takes some planning, but what doesn’t (in any business)?

During busy times, I’ve always planned our flower arrangements to have unique style.  Not totally creative, but enough that most designers can mimic them and show that our shop can give our clients something that the internet just doesn’t have to offer.  You can always design the traditional styled tulip or rose vase; just make sure you have some other items that are unique while being within the financial parameters you set out to follow.

Quality florist business practices are key to our survival.  Using proper industry markups for all of your product (fresh flowers, greens, containers, supplies, silks, plants) and adhering to their retail amounts when designing will keep your head above water.  Adding extra flowers “here and there” to satisfy your need to give that special client more value isn’t going to put more money in that register.  However, I do agree with giving more visual value to a floral arrangement going to a large company.  If fact, I advise it…..where else do you have a captive audience of over 50 potential customers?  That can be part of your advertising budget and you can’t get more advertising than showing your wares to a large group. 

Working with the professional team at Pioneer Imports & Wholesale will take care of both sides of your brain.  With diversified product lines, you bet you can separate yourself with great containers and supplies that will give the “artful” you incentive to create beautiful flower arrangements for your wonderful client base.  And with pricing that is definitely affordable, the biz side of your brain will be just as satisfied.  Now the fight can slow down, and you can feel calm and relaxed and ready to start that new florist day!

Shop Tip #3- Show your skills

Courtney May - Monday, June 10, 2013
Do you tend to work in the back of your shop?  You might be surprised by the response you get if you work more in the front where people can see your skills!

Shop Tip #2- Bouquet Handle Treatment Display

Courtney May - Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Do you have a Bouquet Handle Treatment display in your shop?  Rhinestones, wraps, blings, and more.  Don't miss out on selling these profit boosting upgrades.  If you don't show it, you can't sell it! 

Shop Tip #1 - Color Sells

Courtney May - Monday, May 20, 2013

What do you want to stand out in your store? Is it a feature item, or perhaps your own exclusive, or maybe even those items that you really need to move.  Put a block of color behind it in the cooler.  It doesn't need to be fancy-even a painted piece of foam core works! Tip courtesy of Gerard Toh at Fall and Winter Teleflora Design Show 2011.