“State of the Industry — and SAF” presentation
Labor, rising costs, intense competition and the need to understand and adopt new technologies are among the most significant challenges facing floral professionals today — and industry members, now more than ever, need targeted support to overcome these challenges and continue to grow and thrive.
That was the message Kate Penn, CEO of the Society of American Florists, delivered in September during “State of the Industry — and SAF,” the kick-off presentation during SAF Amelia Island 2019, the association’s 135th annual convention. During her remarks, Penn charted some of the unprecedented changes in the industry and the broader retail environment over the past decade — and the implications of those shifts on the industry — and she shared insight on how SAF is evolving to better meet the needs of forward-thinking floral professionals.
Educational session handouts
2020 Floral Trends Forecast
Sponsor: Ball SB
The IFD Flower Trends Forecast 2020 is underwritten by the Produce Marketing Association, International Floral Distributors, Accent Décor, Ball SB, Candle Artisans, Design Master, Dummen Orange, Elite Flower, Equiflor, Knud Nielsen, Pete Garcia, Rosa Flora, Smithers-Oasis, Sun Valley Flower Farm, Syndicate Sales and Wm F Puckett.
Speakers: Derek Woodruff, AIFD, PFCI, CF; Helen Miller, AIFD
Style constantly evolves, with consumers’ color and textural preferences subtly and subconsciously taking shape in response to the images they see in daily life — including clothes, accessories and makeup in fashion magazines, decor ideas on home improvement shows and even current events dominating the news. Since 2009, International Floral Distributors have tapped cutting edge florists to study these influences and curate their findings into distinct wedding and event styles for its annual Flower Trends Forecast. In this highly anticipated program, Derek Woodruff, AIFD, PFCI, CF, and Helen Miller, AIFD, offered an exclusive sneak peak of the months-long research.
Be the Business Worth Buying
Speakers: Shirley Lyons, AAF, PFCI, S. Lyons Consulting, Paul L. Goodman, CPA, PFCI, Floral Finance Business Services
Dreaming about retirement? Before putting your feet up, you’ll want to do a little homework so you can fetch the highest price for your business — and thus enjoy your golden years to the fullest. Take it from former SAF President Shirley Lyons, who, last summer, sold Dandelions Flowers & Gifts, the Eugene, Oregon shop she and her husband founded in 1974. “The idea is to be turnkey ready,” she said. “Prospective buyers want to step into a business that’s already functioning well and that doesn’t require them to invent processes.” In this guide to succession planning, she joined with expert Paul Goodman, MBA, CPA, PFCI, to offer a blueprint on how to get your financial affairs in order, with specific examples that boost your business’s value to buyers (and their lenders).
Company Culture: Walk the Talk
Speaker: Barry Gottlieb, Coaching the Winner’s Edge
Many companies have written mission statements touting admirable values and principles — edicts that, unfortunately, seldom match their day-to-day reality. That disconnect explains why roughly 70 to 85 percent of the workforce is disengaged and seeking other opportunities, says business consultant and author Barry Gottlieb, who has helped hundreds of companies develop an enviable culture. “It’s not about having a cushy breakroom with a ping pong table or nap pods,” he says. “It’s about promoting a common purpose, putting your employees first, listening to their concerns and celebrating their achievements. Regardless of their size or industry, the most successful companies share this mindset.” In this riveting session, Gottlieb shared examples from the bastions of corporate culture (three words: Eat Mor Chikin), as well as his own experience, which you can use to nurture a loyal, passionate team.
Experience Zone: Photo Editing Made Simple
Speakers: Lacee and Lenzee Bilke, Madeline’s Flower Shop
Your shop? Gorgeous. Your floral designs? Top notch. Your team? A bunch of smiling, happy (welcoming) people. So why are the photos on your social media pages and website so lackluster? In an engaging, informal session, Millennial sisters Lenzee and Lacee Bilke of Madeline’s Flower Shop in Edmond, Oklahoma, broke out their bag of photo editing tricks and showed how to take your smartphone shots from “meh?” to “WOW!” using apps and techniques that anyone — from shutterbug to photo novice — can master.
Experience Zone: Quick Tips for Better Videos
Speaker: Donald Yim, AIFD, PFCI
It’s a fact: Video is good for business. On social media and online, video is a successful marketing tool, one that can showcase your company’s personality, while enticing users to engage more with your brand. Donald Yim, AIFD, CFD, PFCI, the creative director of West Van Florist in Vancouver, Canada, and an education specialist at Floriology Institute is known for sharing his passion for flowers, design ideas and industry knowledge through popular social media videos. During this hands-on session, he shared practical advice on how you can create memorable, effective videos with simple tools and resources — many of which you already have on hand.
Experience Zone: Time-Management Tools
Speaker: Alejandro Perez, Komet Sales
Does it seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day? How do you keep on track with your work and home schedules? With effective time management, you can take control of your time and achieve more. Alejandro Perez is the CEO of Komet Sales and is absolutely crazy about technology and loves to experiment with it on a daily basis. He talked about his favorite time-management apps and tools and showed how to use them to increase productivity, check things off your to-do lists, and be more organized and efficient.
Forecasting Amidst Expansion, Trade Wars and a Looming Downturn
Sponsor: Syndicate Sales
Speaker: Charlie Hall, Ph.D., Texas A&M University
Your business does not exist in a vacuum. Political events in Washington, D.C., and around the world have a profound effect on the global economy, which in turn impact floral industry professionals’ operating costs, hiring ability, access to product and more. The current economic expansion has been one of the longest in our country’s history, but we know that bright skies can’t last forever. So how soon will things start to decline? And how will floral consumers respond to changing economic conditions? History tells us that short-term corrections had limited impact, but the last recession was a game-changer. Will the next downturn be that bad? Dr. Charlie Hall, the Ellison Chair in International Floriculture at Texas A&M University and a noted economist cited by Bloomberg News, CNN and numerous agricultural publications, offered answers to these questions, along with a breakdown of major issues facing the floral industry today and in the near future.
Speakers: Skip Paal, Brian Collins, Tom Addalia, Rutland Beard Florist Group
Filling a high volume of incoming orders can be profitable with the right set-up — and the model isn’t just for large florists. The team at Rutland Beard pulled back the curtain on their process and explained how it can work for shops of all sizes.
Monday Morning Quarterbacking: 20 Years from a Retailer’s Playbook
Speaker: Clara Gonzales, Fleurish Consulting
You have a game plan for your business. But how do you turn that plan into a reality? Sometimes, identifying specific goals can be the biggest challenge. In this detailed and engaging session, newly retired Clara Gonzales imparted wisdom gained over the 23 years she ran Tiger Lily Florist in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Manny. She shared secrets of some of the shop’s greatest successes, such as forecasting sales and implementing a performance-based compensation plan — moves that slashed costs, boosted profitability and made it possible to open a second branch. She also got candid about some of the couple’s initial mistakes and the lessons that came out of them.
New Products Showcase
Speakers: Jenny Behlings, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, SDCF, Jenny’s Floral; Vincenzo Butera, AAF, AIFD, PFCI;, Butera the Florist; Theresa Colucci, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, Meadowscent; D Damon Samuel, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, NAFD, NMF, Bill Doran Company; Jenny Thomasson, AIFD, EMC, PFCI, Stems Florist; J. Robbin Yelverton, AAF, AIFD, CF, MCF, PFCI, Blumz by…JRDesigns
Get ready for a deep dive into the inspiring new products the industry’s leading manufacturers have developed to make your designs more electrifying and your operations more efficient. Join a high-energy crew from Professional Floral Communicators – International as they unearthed all sorts of buried treasure.
Online Shopping Through Your Customers’ Eyes
Panel: Jennifer Barnard, Tillie’s Flower Shop; Bill Bobulinski, Miss Daisy’s Flowers & Gifts; Kaitlin Radebaugh, AAF, Radebaugh Florist & Greenhouses
No doubt about it: these days, your website matters just as much as your brick and mortar storefront. Currently valued at $3.5 trillion, the e-commerce industry has tripled in size over the past decade, as consumers have grown increasingly comfortable shopping online for everything from luxury goods to groceries. These days, simply having a URL and a cyber shopping cart won’t cut it. To beat the competition, you need to a site that loads quickly, looks sharp, answers customers’ pressing questions and functions seamlessly, whether it’s accessed by phone, tablet or desktop — and one that appears prominently in search results. Hear from a panel of the industry’s technological leaders to pick up best practices for elevating your online presence and your customers’ virtual shopping experience.
Rebooting a Dysfunctional Team
Speaker: Glenna Hecht, Humanistic Consulting
In many ways, the workplace isn’t wildly different than the family home, places of worship, social clubs or even the playground. It’s built on people and relationships — relationships that go through phases (some nice, some less so) in response to individuals’ emotions and insecurities. During low points, when colleagues form cliques, engage in gossip or refuse to collaborate, everyone suffers — and so does your bottom line. The truth is, most organizations fall into these dysfunctional valleys at some point, but they don’t have to stay there, says Glenna Hecht, a human resources expert who has counselled countless companies, from mom and pop shops to major corporations, including Starbucks and Marshall Field’s. “Conflict is universal, but it shouldn’t be permanent,” she said. In this empowering session, Hecht presented owners and managers with real-life scenarios and solutions, before inviting attendees to volunteer their businesses’ struggles to discuss with the group.
Social Savvy: Instagram Tips to Build Your Brand, Increase Engagement and Generate Sales
Speaker: Glenna Hecht, Humanistic Consulting
With 77-plus million users and the highest brand engagement rate of all social media platforms, Instagram is increasingly the place for small-business owners to connect with customers. What’s more the site is made for florists: It’s highly visual, centered on stories and emotions (just like flowers!), and it provides an opportunity to personalize your business and build a dedicated following. So, how do you break through the noise of other businesses clamoring for customers’ attention? What tools and metrics should you be using to make sure your time on the site is well spent? Once you attract people to your page, how do you keep them engaged and convert them to customers? Jackie Levine, the manager at Central Square Florist in Cambridge, Massachusetts — and a fourth-generation, millennial industry member — shed light on what’s new at Instagram right now, and how you can use the site to generate sales, not just likes.