I read the floral gossip sites, but don’t really participate because it seems like a lot of complaining and no action. I hear hoopla about the government passing bills to protect flower prices or organizing hundreds of florists to stand against the free market. The bad news is that none of this will ever actually happen.

The good news is there are some proven tactics and practices that are helping florists not only stay in business, but thrive and grow! Here they are:

Showcase What the Big Box Cannot

You’re going down a slippery slope if your price point is “competitive.” You have talent and access to quality flowers that the big box retailers do not. I’m friends with some of the top buyers at the retailers in question and it’s simply not in their budget to buy the flowers that make customers go “WOW!” Moreover, it’s not their prerogative to make custom orders or specialize in high-end events. Sell the QUALITY of your work and CUSTOMER SERVICE (this is often overlooked) and charge accordingly.

Location, Location, Location

It’s hard to change if you’ve been in business for years, but if you’re just starting out, go where the money is. Work in high-income areas because they’re more willing to pay for your quality work. Wealthy don’t nit pick about a few dollars here and there, and they typically appreciate art more than the average person. If you can’t afford living in the area, then set up shop and commute as cheaply as possible. It’s hard to make money if the people around you don’t have money to spend. If you’re stuck in a middle/low-income location, then number 4 is even more important for you.

Learn to Say NO

If you receive an order that can’t pay the bills, then say no. You don’t want the reputation in town for being the one willing to settle. This goes for wire-orders as well. In fact, florists who have followed these tactics have been thriving and growing without any help from wire-services.

Work Where People Shop

The shopping experience is changing, and it doesn’t do any good complaining about it. The internet is here to stay, and most buyers are here first before walking into a shop. 10 minutes of playing will make you proficient. Check out Pinterest, Facebook, The Knot, Wedding Wire, and LinkedIn. You can serve the big city, high-income customers here even if your local customers don’t fit that profile. Go on these sites or make your own and offer to make high-end custom bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, wreaths, or centerpieces that can be shipped overnight. Nowadays you can serve any and everyone, you just have to be smart about it. Etsy.com is a great starting point and easy to work with.

Conclusion

You must stand from out from your competitors to thrive within this industry. Follow these 4 steps to be successful!

Which tactics do you use to compete against big box retailers?