A New Standard for Sustainable Agriculture

If you’re in the floral industry, or if you’re a "stakeholder" when it comes to sustainability in agriculture of any kind, you’ll want to know about a meeting coming up on October 29.  (This meeting is not open to the general public, but to  "companies, organizations, scientists, regulators and others working on sustainable agriculture issues for food, floral, fiber, and biofuel crops." ...

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Why Stop at Twelve?

After hearing from several florists who wanted to talk more about the benefits of buying from a local florist, I’ve spent the last twelve days listing a dozen reasons to buy flowers from a florist.  Thanks to all of you who have posted comments or sent e-mails.  But why stop there? I’m sure I left a few out!  Send me your reasons and I’ll post them on my blog and work them into the next talk I give to a floral...

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Why Shop at a Local Florist: #12

12.  We have more fun. Highlight your special events, promotions, and crazy sense of humor. "Is it your birthday?  Come in for a free flower.   And don’t forget to watch our sign out front.  Every Monday we pick a name at random, and if we put your name on the sign, you get a free flower.  What can we say?  We’re florists.  We like giving flowers to people. Especially on...

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Why Shop at a Local Florist: #11

11.  We’re affordable. Okay, can I just say one thing here?  We each have our own definition of "affordable."  Let’s say you have to buy a gift for your neighbor’s daughter’s baby shower. You don’t know this person very well, but they picked up your mail last time you were out of town, and now you’re on the hook to go to this baby shower.  What are you going to spend? 10...

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Why Shop at a Local Florist: #10

10.  We’re artists. Everybody thinks they can arrange flowers, right?  Remind them of your fabulous talents without putting off the do-it-yourselfers. "We hate cookie-cutter designs as much as you do.  You won’t find any boring, fern-and-baby’s breath mixed bouquets in our shop." "We want our flowers to take your breath away, not put you to sleep.  We are known for our lush, botanical...

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Why Shop at a Local Florist: #9

9.  We go the extra mile. I’m talking mainly about deliveries here, but go ahead and broaden the concept to talk about other ways you go the extra mile.  I’ve heard lots of great stories from florists, and I wonder why they don’t turn those stories into advertisements or local news articles. For instance: "Look for our shiny Flower Power vans delivering flowers all over Springfield." "Ask about our...

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Why Shop at a Local Florist: #8

8.  We care about the environment. The floral industry is the ultimate green business.  I won’t bore you with the facts and figures that demonstrate what a large percentage of your customers care about this issue.  It’s obvious to everybody that 2007 has been the Year of Green.   The truth is that some of the supermarkets may be ahead of you on this one.  Even Wal-Mart is asking its vendors what they are...

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Why Shop at a Local Florist: #7

7.  We Give Back. Florists probably get more requests for charitable donations than just about any other kind of business.  Remind the community about everything you do for them.   Put somebody in charge of charitable giving, and have them keep track of the results. "Last year, we donated over 10,000 flowers and 1,000 volunteer hours for local charities and events." "We’re proud to participate in the...

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Why Shop at a Local Florist: #6

6.  We’re part of your community. Buying local is the new buzzword. Get involved in your Local First  (here’s another list, or just google "Local First" and your city) or downtown merchant’s association.  Learn about how local merchants are promoting small, locally-owned businesses over big boxes.  Remind your customers, and your city council members, that studies show that spending $100 at a local...

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Why Shop at a Local Florist: #5

5.  We’ll handle your long-distance orders. Your customers have probably had a bad experience with order gatherers, without even really knowing what an order gatherer is. But you can be sure they don’t like the idea of dealing with a call center. "Sending flowers out of town?  Call us and we’ll get the order to the right florist, anywhere in the world.  No more dealing with call centers or fraudulent...

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