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Small Business = Big Love

This week a story has emerged that details alleged abuse of former employees by a heavyweight in the floristry industry. The former employees allege that they were subjected to constant bullying and intimidation, and were not able to stand up for themselves for fear of losing their jobs. The story suggests that workplace safety was depriortised to increase productivity, pressuring staff (largely foreign nationals) to work in an unsafe environment simply to get the quantity of work done that was required.

What this story highlighted most for me was the strengths in a small business like Florist With Flowers. Whether we like it or not, small florist businesses like ours, need to compete with bigger businesses, and what the supermarkets have on offer.  There is certainly no comparison in terms of quality and artistry, however we will forever be subjected to comparisons in price, and that’s just business.

Small business BIG dreams
Florist with Flowers is a small business with BIG dreams

What you need to know when comparing supermarket flowers to you local florist’s bouquets:

  • The reason the prices are so low is because they are made to a ‘recipe’. There is no freedom in being inspired to create, and no freedom to add to an arrangement even when necessary.
  • Shortcuts. Flowers are not conditioned adequately to save time. Foliage may not be stripped carefully, thorns are mechanically smashed, however not completely removed from the stem.
  • Gift wrapping is basic, and incomplete. It is easy to spot a supermarket bunch a mile off right? The stems of the bouquets are always left unwrapped, although you are given the option on a bag to attach. It lacks the finish and finesse of a florist bought bouquet.
  • Flowers are delivered infrequently (usually weekly) with little or no care between deliveries. Older bouquets are usually discounted or disposed of at the end of the week.

What will your local florist offer you?

  • Your local florist will take time to listen to what you want, who the gift is for and will lovingly create the fresh flower arrangement for you.
  • The materials for your fresh flower bouquet will be carefully prepared (stripped, dethroned, worked if required) and then constructed. You will have the option to add a little more if you like, or to add another colour.
  • Your florist can package your bouquet ready for travel if it will be out of water for a length of time, or may suggest creating a self contained arrangement if more appropriate.
  • Your flowers will be fresher. The local florist will be replenished with fresh flowers regularly and the vases and buckets will be washed and filled with fresh water.
Florist with Flowers has amazing staff
Facebook post by Richard Branson March 27, 2014.

In a local florist, staff matter- your staff look after your customers when you can not be there. Looking after them, ensures they look after you and your business. Richard Branson advocates for looking after staff, acknowledging that although businesses differ it is vitally important to look after the staff you have and show them how valuable their efforts are to you.

If reading stories like this one in the news bothers you, the decision is yours. Rather than being just another number to a big business, support a small business. Every bouquet you buy, every bunch of flowers you take home, means that this little family business gets to keep our dream alive, and for that, we will be forever thankful.

Fwf x

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Order with Us and Support a Local Family Business

Well, in case you missed it, it’s Mother’s Day THIS WEEKEND people! And whilst things are heating up to be another busy year, we are still accepting orders.

Yesterday the Australia Flower Association warned customers to be sure who is supplying their Mother’s Day flowers after the an increase in the amount of complaints stemming from online orders. This is particularly the case where a company is set up to look like a local florist, but it simply an ‘order gatherer’. Whilst some companies are honest and upfront about the structure and purpose of their business, others are using somewhat underhanded tricks and techniques, and increase their marketing reach to ensure they are attracting a large share of the business, without following through on customer orders, and effectively managing customer expectations or resolving complaints. Instead, hidden commissions and fees make it impossible for the executing florists to adequately fulfill the order. In addition to tha,t orders were sent out incorrectly, or not at all, and were reported to be poor value for money.

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Cyclamen Plants are a classic Mother’s Day choice

An order gatherer exclusively has an online presence- there is no bricks and mortar store, although many have been found to be claiming to be based in a particular suburb at a particular address, although no florist exists there at all. This is not a problem that is exclusive to florists, many industries have similar bodies collecting orders in a similar way.

What is the result? Whilst the order gatherer makes a tidy profit from you, an ever increasing percentage of the market is left UNHAPPY, blaming the small business who executes the order, which is often undervalue. In some cases undisclosed commission rates of up to 65%  were inbuilt in the products being ordered. This obviously misleads the consumers who would expect to get the full value from their order.

“The Association is warning consumers prior to Mother’s Day to ensure they can make their flower purchasing decisions from an informed position”, said Mr Holborn, The Flower Association Executive Officer.

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Would mum love this ‘Petite Surprise Box’

So what do you do to avoid getting stung? Order from your local florist. That may sound simple, and if you know the email address, go straight there…. BUT some sneaky businesses also buy domain names close to the name of reputable businesses or using a suburb name + florist to intentionally confuse customers. Walk into the shop and speak to your customer service member.

Our regular customers know that we are a small business. Florist with Flowers is a single site florist providing a fabulous selection of fresh cut flowers, indoor plants and gift ware. You can come in store and select the item you want to send, knowing that it will arrive looking as you had imagined. You can also order online knowing that we will fulfill the order as envisaged. And where you leave us to be creative, you can be assured a high quality product will be produced using premium fresh cut flowers.

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Send mum this ‘Honouring Mum’ bouquet

Florist with Flowers do also provide assistance with relay services, and we will guide you in how to best get something lovely delivered to your loved one interstate or overseas when we can not fulfill the order ourselves. This includes sticking to simple colour schemes where the florist is free to use what is the season’s best in their location, or by sending one variety of flowers en masse. This takes the risk out of cheap filler flowers being used or unnecessary substitutions, and still makes a statement by ‘wow’-ing the recipient with a full and generous display.

We pride ourselves on offering a variety of products at different price points to suit each and every mum, and budget. Our Mother’s Day menu this year features gift ideas from $45 that can be delivered. We will also have a selection of cash and carry items available in store over the weekend.

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A Native display like ‘Wild at Heart’ will have mum enjoying flowers long after Mother’s Day has come and gone. Win!

Fwf x

 

 

 

 

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