Christmas is in 76 days — and Valentine’s Day arrives (rain, shine, snowstorms or otherwise) just 51 days later. So, retail florists could be forgiven if they decided to burrow in, keep their heads down and crank out planning and prep throughout the fall. But for dozens of industry members, the pull of a packed day of education with some of the industry’ top experts, and the chance to step back from day-to-day responsibilities and critically assess what’s working and what isn’t, was too powerful to ignore.
More than 100 industry members from 12 states and Canada traveled to Portland, Oregon, on Sunday for the Society of American Florists’ 1-Day Profit Blast, sponsored by Frank Adams Wholesale Florist. Among them, Michelle Simpson of The Posie Shoppe in Prineville, Oregon, who called the event “a fantastic opportunity to look at our processes and systems with fresh eyes and in a new light.”
“It’s so easy to get bogged down in the daily grind of business,” Simpson said. “We came home so energized to implement some new things and continue to take our business to new heights.”
The event featured four experts from inside and outside the industry talking about major challenges all retail florists face, and the best-practice solutions attendees could take home and implement immediately.
SAF launched the Profit Blast series in part to deliver high-impact education around the country — allowing more florists to attend, without the expense and hassle of traveling far from home. That message wasn’t lost on Rick Samuelson of Judy’s Central Point Florist and Gifts in Central Point, Oregon, who appreciated the tight timeline and session location (about four hours from his shop).
“Short, sweet, conveniently located and packed with useful information,” he said. “I will be hard pressed to miss the next offering in the Portland area.”
Madeline Bombardi of Sellwood Flower Company in Portland said the event energized her — she’s already shared much of what she picked up with her team.
“I learned so much,” she said. “[Our] team is excited to implement the tips, tricks, and tools we gathered.”
Among those tips, tricks and tools:
- In a session sponsored by Syndicate Sales, Derek C. Woodruff, AIFD, CF, PFCI, of Floral Underground, in Traverse City, Michigan shared solutions using design mechanics, new and old, to help attendees increase efficiencies and grow their bottom line profit—including tips on how they can leverage the current plant craze with events such as hands-on terrarium workshops.
- Floral Management magazine contributor Derrick Myers, CPA, CFP, PFCI, president of Crockett, Myers & Associates Inc., explored the six main cost centers of any floral business and presented an eye-opening look at cost of goods sold, labor, delivery, occupancy, marketing and wire service business—and how to get those areas under control to maximize profits.
- In a live interactive version of his Floral Management column, Tim Huckabee, president of FloralStrategies, detailed the processes that can improve attendees’ customer satisfaction and lead to higher sales.
- Crystal Vilkaitis, one of the nation’s premier social media experts for retailers and the founder of the Social Edge, revealed social media’s latest features and dished on how attendees can use them to enhance branding, reach more potential customers and close more transactions.
Look for more on SAF’s 2019 schedule for the 1-Day Profit Blast series in future issues of EBrief.
Mary Westbrook is the editor in chief of Floral Management magazine.