Do you want to pay your employees a competitive wage, but can’t find the wiggle room in your profit margins? Are you interested in performance-based compensation, but don’t know where to start?
A seasoned floral industry husband and wife team have pulled back the curtain on the wage control tactics that contributed to their shop’s success, in the third installment in the popular Forecasting Your Future course series.
“We are sharing our real-world methods of controlling wages…and creating structure, motivating your staff, and building careers — all while driving profit,” says Manny Gonzales, who with his wife, Clara Gonzales, developed the course exclusively for the Society of American Florists’ Floral Education Hub.
The Gonzaleses’ methods are proven. The couple left their corporate careers in 1996 and bought Tiger Lily, a flower shop in Charleston, South Carolina. Despite hitting $2 million in sales, they were nearly bankrupt when the recession of 2008 hit. Structuring a turnaround, they borrowed business strategies from their corporate experience and saved the business. They sold the shop in 2018 to their former manager.
The first two courses of the Forecasting Your Future series, “Sales Forecasting” and “Cost of Goods Sold,” build upon each other by setting the framework to create an effective forecast and then using that forecast to control costs. Retailers who’ve taken the course praised the practical approach and application of creating a sales forecast. Jennifer Chastain, a studio florist at JMC Bloom in Reno, Nevada, liked the course’s easy-to-follow structure, downloadable spreadsheets and step-by-step instruction.
“I have learned a lot about how to manage sales expectations while making clear reasonable estimates for future sales,” she says. “I believe [the course] will be helpful to anyone who invests in it.”
The final course, “Wage Control,” builds on the previous two courses using videos, worksheets and reading assignments. The course teaches participants how to implement a variety of incentive plans and use forecasting skills to easily manage wages throughout the year. Participants learn how to determine the true cost of compensation and wage margin, and how to manage salaries in accordance with sales.
“Wage control isn’t about cutting wages,” Manny says. “It is about leveraging the power of wages. It is possible to increase employee wages and decrease your wage margin.”
All three courses are available now on SAF’s Floral Education Hub for a fee.
Kate Delaney is the director of career development for the Society of American Florists.