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Predict sales and control costs with SAF's forecasting your future course series

Inflation is hitting record highs, and experts warn of a looming recession, which makes sales more difficult to predict. The Society of American Florists is helping retailers focus on profitability with the Forecasting Your Future course series. The second course in the series, Controlling Cost of Goods Sold, is available now and focuses on ways business owners can cut costs to achieve their profit goals.   

The courses are both presented by Manny and Clara Gonzales. 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. They borrowed business strategies from their corporate experience and saved the business. They retired early in 2018 when they sold the shop to their former manager.

Kate Delaney, AAF, who became SAF's director of career development after a 20-year career running a flower shop in the Mid-Atlantic, worked with the Gonzaleses to develop the series of courses.

"SAF members have asked for tools and resources they can use to be more profitable," Delaney says. "The Forecasting Your Future series gives florists the tools to accomplish just that through the Sales Forecasting course, this latest course on Cost of Goods Sold, and in the upcoming Wage Control course."

The first course, "Sales Forecasting," has been praised for its practical approach and application in creating a sales forecast for floral businesses. 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 instructions.

"I have learned a lot about how to manage sale 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 second course, "Cost of Goods Sold," builds on sales forecasting using videos, worksheets, and reading assignments. Participants will learn how to decide markup, tips, and tricks for labor charges and cost outs; how product offering affects your profit goals; the importance of using a sales forecast for ordering; the impact of care and handling on profit margins; and the importance of communicating your sales goals with staff.

"Cost of goods sold will generally take up about 30 percent or more of your overall expenses, and next to controlling wages and overhead, it needs to be top of mind in order to achieve your profit dreams," Clara says. "We aren't here to tell you to control COGS, raise prices or buy less;  we will show you our step-by-step fingertip control system and detail our simple yet in-depth process to help you take the guesswork out of buying."

Learn more about the courses here. Both are available now on SAF's learning hub for a fee.

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