- Written by Caroline Marshall-Foster
- April 27, 2017
- Category: Editor’s Blog
An American florist started a thread on Facebook as to what had caused the demise/deterioration of florists. Almost instantly the replies flooded in. It was all because of the relays, the big box stores, the online order gatherers, Brexit, home workers, the weather, the price of flowers, cheap offers on other gift lines, lack of promotion … the list went on and on.
Given I was in a fairly feisty mode that day I declined to enter the fray because I feared I might go over the top (who moi!) so was mighty relieved when the florist came back and challenged people to think closer to home. Did they not think they too had a part to play in the problem. Could they hand on heart say they were doing everything they could to generate more business in their area or was it easier to sit there moaning on a computer than get out there and kick butt/hand out leaflets/give away free flowers/market themselves.
And they were right. It is natural instinct to blame everyone and everything for one’s problems… heck, as my darling husband reminds me, I have a tendency do it myself. However, the reality is that the only person responsible for the success or failure of their business is the owner. Yes, there can be circumstances beyond your control – like the weather or customers going elsewhere – but that should be part of a business strategy these days as much as the falling pound and higher flower prices
Having spent the last two months reading 68 years’ worth of The Florist in preparation of our special edition I can tell you categorically flower selling is not as easy as it was and that even the biggest players face challenges every day. What’s more these days there is even more competition out there …you only have to read our news section to see that. However, there are still loads of independent florists who are doing OK and growing. Maybe not as much as the heady days of the 80’s and early noughties — when quite frankly it was easy and so much fun — but still seeing year on year growth. Not because they have a magic wand but because they are getting off their butts each and every day with the mission to do better based on their own efforts, not relying on someone or something else to get money into the till.