It can be hard to find good help these days — especially experienced designers.
In a recent survey by the Society of American Florists, nearly half of respondents reported that being short-staffed hampered their December holiday sales. Anecdotal feedback from Valentine’s Day suggests the same.
The key, says Tim Farrell, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, of Farrell’s Florist in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, is having a variety of easily replicated and stylish designs in your arsenal.
“Customers want beautiful, trendy designs,” says Farrell. “And there’s a way to deliver on that with smaller, less experienced teams. It’s all about making the right choices in your design offerings.”
Farrell will pull back the curtain on a slew of trendy designs — and how to train your team to produce them efficiently — in his session, “Cha, Cha, Cha, CHANGE!” at SAF’s 1-Day Profit Blast in Albany, New York on March 22. The event is sponsored by Bill Doran Company.
Farrell has 40 years of experience in the floral industry and has owned and operated Farrell’s Florist since 1983. He began working with session sponsor Teleflora in 1995 and is now a senior advisor and industry ambassador who travels the country helping floral shop owners.
“We are finding that in the floral industry there’s a lot of shops that have new employees that aren’t as trained or seasoned as some other employees,” Farrell says. “So, we want to give them something that is trendy looking but easy to duplicate for many different levels of skills.”
Once those employees become more skilled, Farrell says retaining them depends on good communication from shop owners, including frank conversations about pay and frequent feedback on work performance.
“Constant communication is better than an annual review,” he says.
He will also open the discussion to the audience so participants can mine the room for thoughts and ideas, taking full advantage of the experiences of other floral professionals.
“There’s a lot of great minds in that audience,” he says. “You never know what someone is going to say that might work for somebody else.”
SAF’s 1-Day Profit Blast also features networking opportunities, time to visit a supplier showcase with nearly 20 exhibitors, and two other educational sessions:
- Flower Clique’s Vonda LaFever, AIFD, PFCI, and Lori Wilson will host an interactive session for owners, managers and employees aimed at improving employer-to-employee communication and retention.
- Renato Sogueco, AAF, PFCI, vice president of digital technology for Floriology, will help floral marketers grow their business through their online presence. His presentation will include tips to maximize search engine optimization and how to improve a website’s ranking and mobile viewing.
Nona Nelson is a contributing writer for the Society of American Florists.