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Floral pros learn ‘next steps’ to adapt to a changing market

It’s too easy to get caught up in the daily grind of business — and that’s why florists who gathered in Denver for the Society of American Florists’ 1-Day Profit Blast say they valued the opportunity to step away to connect with peers and share ideas.

About 75 floral professionals left the October 11 event inspired, recharged, and equipped with new skills to be more creative, profitable, and productive in a changing market.

“I’ve enjoyed being around with other people and networking,” said Amber Micciche of Main Street Flower Market in Parker, Colorado. “We are brand new to the industry — we’ve only been in six months. It’s our first time being around other florists. We enjoyed brainstorming and talking with everyone, things that we don’t normally get to do on a daily basis.”

Taylor McBride of Arapahoe Floral in Greenville Village, Colorado, agreed and said it was especially helpful because much of the educational sessions focused on how to adapt to the changes in the market, especially when it comes to delivery charges and substitutions for fresh products.

“You can get in your bubble about how you do things, and it’s nice to hear others’ perspectives on how to adjust to a changing market,” she said.

Underwritten by Denver Wholesale Florist, SAF’s 1-Day Profit Blast featured three education sessions designed to help florists work around supply chain issues, save time on marketing, and make deliveries more profitable. (See pictures of the event here). It also featured 16 vendors at a supplier showcase and time for networking, which many attendees found valuable.

In “Make It Work,” Derek Woodruff, AIFD, CF, PFCI, of Floral Underground in Traverse City, Michigan, focused on how florists can get creative to make do when fresh or hard products aren’t available. He showed the audience several different types of flower arrangements that he created with limited resources.

Jane Avila of Family Flowers in Alpharetta, Georgia, plans to use what she learned from Woodruff’s session, including tips on using sphagnum moss as a water source in place of foam and keeping the look and feel of an arrangement when specific flowers aren’t available.

“I really enjoyed his presentation because we have a lot of supply chain issues, and we often do make mistakes when ordering flowers, but you still need to pull off the event or wedding,” she said.

During “New Ways of Thinking About Delivery,” Paul Goodman, MBA, CPA, PFCI, of Floral Finance Business Services, showed attendees how to set delivery zones and charges based on actual costs, track drivers’ productivity, find seasonal drivers — and even guard against accepting orders that are too far away to deliver profitably.

“What I really appreciated was learning [how to] properly charge for deliveries,” said Frencesco Micciche of Main Street Flower Market.

In another educational session, “Automate Your Email and Social Media Marketing,” Melanie Spilbeler of FreshPath Marketing taught attendees how to streamline their promotional planning process, automate email marketing, and use content calendars for social media posts.

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