From the moment you can talk, basically everyone asks you what you want to do when you grow up. What do you want to be? Find something you are passionate about, they say. If you have passion, you will always go above and beyond what is expected and success will come.
What they don’t tell you is that sometimes it can be a looooong, bumpy road to success, and if you checked out The Mentor on Channel 7 on Monday night you will know exactly what I mean.
Florist, Kim Key owns and runs a small business based in Cronulla in the South of Sydney. She is an extremely experienced florist, hard working, and you know what, even when her business was floundering, her passion was palpable. She still absolutely loved the flowers, and what she did.
Like many passionate florists, she is not a trained business person. She simply wanted to turn her passion into a flourishing business. It is a situation that is pretty common in this industry actually. Whether you have learnt on the job whilst employed, or decided to jump in head first, many florists have no business or marketing background, but instead rely on their love of flowers to propel their business upwards.
It takes a special kind of person to be a florist: the kind of person that can listen to your ramblings and create something that ticks all the boxes that you didn’t know you had. It is someone who understands the ‘look’ you want to create, and how to achieve it sometimes without being able to show you exactly what that is beforehand.
Mark Bouris served up a fairly hefty dose of tough love, and although emotional, Kim was steadfast in her mission. This is a mother, wife, daughter and friend giving her everything, and sacrificing so much of her own life and happiness in an attempt to build her dream. It was hard to watch at times as Bouris used large online businesses to illustrate what she could do better. In many ways, what a small business has on offer is the fact that it is so unlike a large faceless online business; the old fashioned experience of knowing the shop owner and talking to someone in person, and seeing what they have in store. BUT Bouris also illustrated just how hard the flower business is and how the margins on flowers alone, just aren’t large enough to have a successful business.
The episode served as a great reminder for me on a couple of points:
- You don’t know if you don’t ask. Getting into the habit of asking each and every customer if they would like a vase, chocolates, balloons, toys etc, is not only good for business, but enhances the whole customer experience. Happy customers = A better business.
- If you don’t exist on Social Media, then you don’t exist. Social Media presence is ESSENTIAL in today’s marketplace. Invite your customers into your world and give them an insight into your everyday. Building loyalty these days looks different, but it is still based on the concept of connecting.
A big thank you to Kim for being so transparent and honest about her business and the struggles of all small business owners. Whilst I think many of our hearts broke with hers there were a lot of lessons in there for everyone. And as a side note Kim, I think having a friendly personality creates a relaxed and inviting shop environment, without that feeling people are less likely to come in 😉
With Mother’s Day coming up next weekend, remember to patronise your local small businesses, otherwise they will cease to exist 💔 You can check out what we have on offer this year here.
And if you missed the episode of The Mentor, and are interested, you can check it out here.