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Smart Owner, Healthy Business

 

 

Unlike yesterday’s post full of our opinions and thoughts about your personal floral health, today we have collected articles and thoughts about what florists may be missing when it comes to running their business. Please keep in mind we are not business experts or doctors here at Floral.today, we just have observations and know how to google solutions to some of the issues we see or drive us crazy. For the floral industry to stay strong for many more years to come we the floral designers, crafters and professionals need to stay on top of ourselves and good business. For today we will give you links for each category provided and only 1-3 comments of what our favorite or thought was very educational about said article. So Here We Go!

 

Business Practices That Go Unnoticed or Get Ignored Do To Stress Or Being "To Busy"

- Employee/Customer Relations
- Owner/Employee Relations
- Online Reviews and Comments
- Industry or Business Image
- Product Sales or Organization
- Business Issues
- Scheduling or Meetings

 

Employees and Customer Relations

How often have watched your employees sell your products and company to people on the phone or in-store? Even if they have been at your store for 15-30 years they should be representing your company to the very best of their ability and treat every customer as their next pay check. When your customers walk out your door, no matter who they spoke to at your business, the customer should not have a single reason to doubt your companies professionalism and quality and most of the shoppers experience will be placed on the shoulders of your employees.

1. How to Evaluate an Employee’s Customer Relations
This article written by Chris Miksen, for smallbusiness.chron.com gives you different situations of how to watch you employees customer service to great effect. From how they talk to customers, contact customer, and even the importance of having employees do a quick self evaluation are all include in simple short explanations so this is a quick and easy read and even easier to implement into your business practices to see who may be loosing you customers by they are interacted on behalf of your company.
2. How Does Poor Customer Service Affect a Business?
Lisa McQuerrey lays it down plain and simple the many different ways that your business’s customer service is driving you into the ground. We really like how Ms. McQuerrey shows the impact on profit, customers, and reputation through one solid domino affect. You will find the harsh truth laid out simple for you of how customer service is one of the biggest problems with failing small business.
 

Owner and Employee Relationships

Are you friends with all of your employees while at work or are you their boss? There is always the struggle of keeping your employees happy but still being a boss. Your employees must always understand that you not a charity and at the end of the day you are running a business and they were hired to do a job. It is also important to make sure that employees understand that you are not running a high school, so they can keep their grips and moans at home about work, each other or any other plethora of topics that have nothing to do with doing their job. This makes for a acid filled workplace that can only lead to a mess of issues at the end of the day. What can you do show you support your employees to better them and your company?

1. Small Business: It’s All About Relationships
Investopedia has broken down really well and simply what relationships a small business owner should have from employees to bankers and they can affect your business and it’s future. As small business owners how many of the those relationships that were listed do actually have established? DO you understand the difference of how to treat an IT guy from a driver? As floral.today is made up mostly of a technical side and a creative side with a small in between, learning about these relationships has been been a great read in understand who is better to deal with certain people and parts of a business.
 

Online Reviews and Comments

Good, mediocre or bad reviews or comments, you should always try your very best to address them all. For the good or mediocre, a response to the personals review or comment can show you value you customers and their opinions. Especially with mediocre and bad reviews you should always be on top of responding in a timely manner. When other’s see that you tried to professionally and calmly rectify the issue or problem they see your professionalism and wether the person with the review was right or wrong in other’s eyes you will be given a chance do to your professionalism and your caring about your customers. You don’t have to give the whole shop to a person but a simple “Thank you, we appreciate your business and support”, or “We sincerely apologize for this mishap, please feel free to contact us so we can fix this issue you for you right away”. It’s all about serving that professional controlled face to people even when you are ready to throw things. According to PricewaterhouseCoopersLLC in 2012 83% of consumers checked reviews, comments, and social media before actually going into or contacting a brick and mortar store.

1. smallbusinessreputation.com
Does the name of the website not say it all. Floral.today finds the amount of content amazing when it comes to the topic of reputation. Smallbusinessreputation.com breaks down many different ways of how marketing, hiring or exposure can affect how your company is viewed by others. From being featured on blogs (wink,wink) to how potential hires you can find a great amount of articles on how to handle a multitude of questions when it comes to internet review and comments and the best way to handle them and getting what now is the ‘Face’ of your business out there and well received.
2. Online Reviews – The Small Business Owner’s Guide
Educate Yourself! This step by step helps you to understand the many different ways people can search, review, rate or find you. If throughout the article you don’t understand, google it, if a term comes up and you don’t understand, google it. We live in the world where knowledge is power and knowing how people are finding your company, perceiving your company and deciding to use your service is one of the most important things to understand if you hope to survive in the ever changing world.
 

Business Image

We live in the world of judging a book by it’s cover, and that’s what can hurt many really good designers and businesses in the long run. If we were to log into any of our personal facebook pages right this second and click on almost any floral industry facebook group, we will find at least 3-4 people that seem to always be complaining about a lot of everything. We don’t have problem with venting as most of us have been there and can support but when it’s all that’s seen from a designer it would make us very weary of working with those designer, is there a reason that seems they always have customers complaining, why are they quick to criticizes but don’t show their own work, why do all of their comments have personal opinions and nothing to contribute to helping the person.

Do you post photo’s of event you’re designing for your own company or freelancing before the event is held? You can believe our freelance designer list can be shortened if one you have time to take pictures on my time and two if I see a photo before the event is done and struck. If you are doing it with your own business be wary that your clients may have some type of connection or way of seeing your post before their event is held. Hell hath no furry like a bride who’s wedding flowers are online before she even walks down the aisle or a marketing team who see’s all their party planning on twitter before the owner even see’s what the company has paid for. Just be careful what or how many times you say something and be very careful when you post pre-event photos no matter how beautiful they are.

1. How to maintain a good online reputation
The reason we like this blog is because it is a personal list by Liz Dexter that is easy to understand and implement into your business or personal life and is a super way of creating your own kind of rules for posting or  doing anything online that could affect your ‘Social Face’. We appreciate how Mrs. Dexter has explains being human and yourself and good place to avoid like complaining about customers and everything in between in short and quick explanations so it doesn’t take a lot of time to read but has a great impact on how you present the ‘Social Face’ to the industry and the consumer.
2. How to Clean Up Your Online Presence and Make a Great First Impression
What does your internet presents say about you as a design, person, or as a business? There is nothing better than being able to start right at the point you’re at right now and being able to follow steps to clean up your ‘Social Face’ on the internet. Alan Henry and Lifehake.com have laid out all the steps for you and like i said before, if you don’t understand a term or suggestion google it, they have really created the perfect cleaner for anybody to make personal and business social presence clean and professional.
 

Product Sales and/or Organization

How many times has been slow and you haven’t went to your straight to the cleaning supplies, you go to grab a vase and your out, your plant section area is all dead? When you get busy you don’t have the time to baby sit your employees so always have well trained staff that know what to do when they are done with their designs for the day or it’s slow. Even doing a walk through with a notepad right before walking out for the day, you can jot down things to be addressed the next day. The great thing about a well trained staff or manager is that they will instantly go to the next project that needs to be done without having to stop you to ask what to do next. It’s very hard to give up that kind of control but it’s very satisfying when you know they will wash the windows and display glass when it’s slow or how much water each plant needs so reduce over watering or under watering. Every shop has it’s own amount of extra time or none at all but there should always be ways of making sure that a business is kept clean organized and well stocked. The biggest part of it all is communication so that you know how your business is operating, when products need bought, or the quality is lacking and not to your standard. With good communication you should never have issues with product sales or organization because you should always know when your getting low on something not when you’ve run out after just selling something.

Business Issues

Along the same lines as before, you owe it to yourself and staff to always be communicating. Leave drama at home unless it effects the work place than squash it like a bug and always keep communication open about how the company is doing to avoid rumors starting. Like we said up top, you do not run a high school so when people are on your time you should solve any drama that has to do with your company and all other drama should be left at the door when employees come in. If employees can work and talk (A rare true trait in designers) then tidy ho talk about that ice cream social last wednesday but if it interferes with the work process in any way turn the music up and get the job done.

When we say to keep communication open about the business we don’t mean everything. An example of what we consider sharing is tell all the employees at the same time that hours are being reduced because it’s one, slow so not as many people need to be there to accomplish the work and two, you honestly can’t afford it with it being slow. When your upfront and honest with your employees, customers and yourself about why you can and can’t do things you will receive respect from that situation. When employees understand why something is happening, it reduces everybody jumping to conclusions such as all of a sudden your shop is closing or you’re firing someone because you just didn’t like them personally. If your business can’t handle something than you need to be honest with yourself, you can’t just keep taking out more and more loans if you know you’ll never pay them back or buy those containers when you can’t afford to pay for this weeks pay checks. When it finally hits you, it will hit you hard and it will be nobody’s fault you didn’t listen or realize what was right in front of your face to begin with.

Meetings and Scheduling

When people get busy they get frazzled and forget things. No matter if that appointment is in 3 hours or 3 months way you should always have it document in at the very least 1 place. Many schedulers are inexpensive or free and will save your life as being late in our book is one of the most un-professional things you can do. So you aren’t missing those meetings or showing up late to those appointments we have collected our favorite schedulers and a couple articles of helpful time organizing tips for busy small business owners.

1. Our Favorites
Google Calendar – Emailed Notifications
iCloud Reminder – Computer Notifications
Phone Calendar – Phone Notifications
2. How to Make a Busy Schedule Effective
In this article you find suggestions in how to manage that crazy schedule without just having a scheduling book. Our favorite tip is having a trusted employee that has enough of your confidence to do things for you. When you have those types of employees you will want to book even more consultations and events but then your just forcing all your stress onto yourself and now more people instead of just focusing on just focusing on the meetings and projects at hand and making them perfect.
3. How to: Keep your sanity with a busy schedule
Do you get flustered when you’ve missed a meeting and it ruins your whole day? You control how being late or missing something effects you, so a few of these suggestions could help you come back down to earth and help you stay from going crazy. You are the one that makes you schedule and it is your own fault if you over schedule yourself not the people you say yes to when scheduling.
 

Final Bits and Bobs

– Busy people can be perfectly happy and you’ll find some good tips for that here : 10 Happiness Tips for Busy People
– Do you know what your money is doing : Cash Flow Statement
– What makes a Small Business a Small Business? : 16 Surprising Statistics About Small Businesses
– Make Personal and Business Goals : 8 Benefits of Goal Setting
– Why Small Businesses Fail or Stop Growing : Why Small Businesses Fail (or Fail to Thrive and Grow)
 

Don’t be another statistic of a fail or stagnate business because you were to busy trying to run that business. As we enjoy history here at Floral.today it may sound cruel but just like great people and civilizations we find the rise and fall of a company to be interesting since it is a learning experience. We hope you are able to find just a little bit of one of these observations to be helpful toward the success of your business since the floral industry is only as great as it’s weakest designer.

Till next week,

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