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How To Survive As An Off-Line Florist In An Online World

As the internet becomes increasingly expansive, the place for small neighborhood flower businesses seems to be growing smaller. In fact, between the years 2000 and 2011, the number of local independent flower shops declined by 37% across the nation. One of the biggest reasons for the decline is due to huge corporate online florists. Unfortunately, most people find it easier to send Aunt Edna flowers with a few clicks than going into a flower shop and purchasing their bouquets in person. The florists that do make their businesses work have learned a few tricks. If you own or are employed by a neighborhood florist, you may want to try these handy tips to keep your business in the black, and the flowers in the green.

Make the Most of Every Sale

Barring an electronic disaster, you will never have the foot traffic enjoyed by florists a decade ago, so it is important to make the most of every sale. Raising prices is one way, but that can backfire and send even your loyalest customer to the cheaper online flowers. The trick, therefore, is to get your customer to buy more items with each purchase. You do this by creating less expensive add-ons to the larger sale. One great add-on sale example is selling high quality bulk salt water taffy. You can buy this delectable treat, wrap it in lovely bags of netting and ribbon and keep a display near the till. Who wouldn’t want to add on this sweet little gift when buying flowers? It is inexpensive way to add a little oomph to the gift.

Team-Up with Complementary Businesses

There are a number of businesses that are perfect partners for flower shops. Jewelry stores and wedding boutiques are perfect examples. Find other independents such as yourself and offer an advertising trade-off. They will recommend your services and display your business card in their store and you will return the favor. You can also give a 10% off card and have them include it in every bag, and you return the favor with every flower you sell. This will help create new customers, as well as creating loyalty with your current customers. Who doesn’t appreciate a discount?

Become Active in your Community

People cannot buy your flowers if they don’t know you exist. It used to be you could put ads in the paper or on the radio, but the internet has dampened the effect of those types of media, so you have to rely on good old-fashioned word of mouth. The best way to do this is make yourself known in your community. This is done through many avenues. You can teach a flower-arranging course at the local community center, you can join your local business improvement council or you can volunteer for a charity drive. The increasingly involved you are, the greater word of mouth will spread, and the busier you will get. Why wouldn’t someone buy their flowers from the nice lady or gentlemen who helped with the high school musical or raised money for the animal shelter? The great thing about this method is that the people who work with you on these projects are not just more likely to visit your shop, but they will also tell their friends about it.

It is challenging to be an offline success in a society so controlled by the internet, but it is not impossible. Utilize the above tactics and you just might find yourself thriving. Certainly, you will make many friends and enjoy a lot of delicious taffy along the way.

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