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Avoid The Scams


As a business owner, it’s your job to protect your business in every way–especially toward scams.

Scams come in many different forms, such as phone calls, emails, and even through “snail mail.” Here are a couple of things you should know to protect yourself against scams.

Phone Calls

In a lot of cases, scammers are very sneaky and really make you think they are real. They can say they are from a reputable company like Google or Yahoo, and most of the time they know some information about you and your business, like your full name. So, it’s easy to mistake scammers for the real thing. Here are some ways to weed out those scammers:

  1. Request a signed copy of any promotional materials you allegedly agreed to be faxed to you.
  2. Request a copy of any recording of any phone conversation where you might have agreed to anything.
  3. Request an email with links or further documentation where you would have agreed to anything.


Scam emails are easier to weed out–especially since your own email provider will have a scam filter. Yet, a couple of these sometimes make it to your main inbox. Here is how to determine if it is a scam:

  1. Broken English- Many of these scams originate outside of the U.S., and the messages can be very choppy. Sometimes, it looks like a fill-in-the-blanks type of text that was copied from a template.
  2. Shipper Agent- This is a tell-tale sign that it is a scam. Why are they paying an outside shipper instead of having you deliver them yourself?

Snail Mail

While paper mail scams may be less common, they do still occur. If you have a website, chances are you have received a solicitation to list your website on search engines. These scams confuse business owners because they come in the form of an invoice. Here are some ways to determine if it is a scam:

  1. Read the fine print. Such scams, like from Web Listings Inc., say in small print that this is not a bill but a solicitation.
  2. Don’t send money to a company you don’t recognize. If you are unsure about the “bill,” give the company a call. Sometimes you will find, like with Web Listings Inc., they don’t have a phone number listed.
  3. Fear of losing visibility on search engines can drive people to pay without questions. Search engines have no problem finding websites new and old, so there is no need to pull out your checkbook without doing some research first.

Information is your best protection against scammers. So stay informed and question everything before you agree to send a check.

Suggest an Article: Car Wrapping

HollyHock2Not too long ago, we asked our member florists to submit any ideas they had to use in future blog posts. We intentionally didn’t specify what kind of ideas we were looking for, and as a result, we received suggestions encompassing all aspects of the business. This will be the first in a series of articles wherein I take those tips and present them to you!

Car Wrapping Tastefully

As a business owner, effective and affordable advertising can be difficult to find. For Heather Aleksonis, the owner of HollyHock Flowers in Weare, New Hampshire, one solution came in the form of car wrapping. The process involved taking her vehicle to a local professional and having it covered in stickers advertising her business. This effectively turned her car into a moving billboard.

Heather says that it’s the best thing she’s done as far as advertising:HollyHock Stickers

“Forget the newspapers. You can do your car for the price of 2 ads in the newspaper. When your customers see your car all the time, they think you are busy. And then they want to do business with you also.”

Looking at her beautifully decorated ride, I can see why it works! That looks awesome Heather!

Come back soon for even more Suggest an Article tips! And if you missed the first opportunity to suggest an article, leave some ideas in the comments below. You never know, you might find your idea in the next Suggest an Article!

Treat Ghosts & Goblins on Halloween.. and Their Parents!

With Halloween coming up, the streets will be full of masked marauders and fairy princesses. On Halloween and even the weekend before, parents will be dressing their kids up in scary, funny, cute or just plain weird costumes to celebrate the holiday kids love most! Consider opening your flower shop up to the Halloween tradition of trick-or-treating. Not only can it be a lot of fun to see kids in their costumes but sharing your business with the community means that parents will take notice.

Flower Shop HalloweenLet Traditions Be A Way To Reach Out

Build up foot traffic by offering some sweets for the kiddos and simple carnations tied with black and orange ribbon for adults. A small gesture can make a big impression on potential customers. Put a few mums and pumpkins outside (let’s be honest, they are probably out anyway.) and put “Trick-or-Treat With Us!” on your sign. That’s all it takes to have a steady flow of costumed kids and adults dropping in on their way to spooky fun activities.

Encourage your employees to dress up for the day. This adds to the fun atmosphere of your shop. Be sure to take a group photo!

Up The Candy Ante

Put your social media outlets to work. Announce a costume contest online where the winner gets a free arrangement. Ask customers to enter your giveaway by posting this year’s costumes to your shop’s Facebook timeline or create your own unique hashtag for multiple platforms like Twitter and Instagram. When you announce, be sure to include a start and end time for submissions.

Then share share share to get the word out. Post signs in your shop and tell your customers how they can participate. Hosting a fun holiday activity creates buzz for your shop and will always bring more awareness for your business.

After your deadline rolls around, have your employees vote for their favorite or pick a winner based on your shop’s style. If you find yourself with a huge variety of submissions, try breaking the entries into categories. This will let you make multiple “Honorable Mention” announcements like which costume was “Cutest,” “Scariest,” and “Funniest.” All of these posts and picture shares will boost your page’s involvement.  And finally you can announce the “Best Costume” award as your top prize winner.

Enjoy this brisk autumn holiday tradition and use it as a chance to connect one-on-one with your community. With very little planning you can make this Halloween be a stand out day for your flower shop! Bring on the ghosts and goblins!



Quick Tips: Sanitizing Those Old Vases

If there’s one thing with which every florist is more than familiar, it’s a dirty vase that seems impossible to get clean. Most of the time, they come to you as part of a vase recycling or re-purposing program, and we all know how important it is to get those vases completely disinfected and sanitized. The bacteria and mildew growing in an old vase can wreak havoc on anything you might wish to place in it! But regardless of its origins, nothing is more annoying than a disgusting vase that just will not come clean!

A Cleaning “Solution”

Crystal Flower Vase

Well, no need to fret. Amy Bishop of Amy’s Flower Basket in Albion, NE has found a brilliant solution! The next time you find yourself with a vase that resists the ministrations of soap and water, just fill it to the brim with hot water and drop in a couple of denture cleaning tablets. Give it a full 24 hours to soak, and then simply clean as normal. The end result will be a bright and sparkling vase, completely sanitized of any residual mildew or bacteria and ready for use!

Thanks Amy, that’s a fantastic idea!

Amateur Application

Of course, this will also work at home. So for any of you non-professionals out there, go grab that old vase from under the sink or off the top of the refrigerator and give this tip a try! Or, if you’d prefer not to reuse your old vase, you should definitely check with your local florists to see if they have a recycling/re-purposing program available in your area. Some even offer a discount on your next flower purchase, so you can get rid of the old, empty and busted to make way for some new hotness!

Do you have an idea or tip that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you! Just leave your idea in the comments below, and who knows, it might be the subject of our next blog post! Also, if you’d like more information on creative ways to use vases, check out this previous post!

Flowers, Florists, and Random Acts of Joy

Bouquet on a Park BenchAll florists face the challenge of getting people to visit their shop outside of traditional flower-giving holidays. It’s standing room only on Valentine’s and Mother’s Day, but at other times of the year, manning the counter is akin to running the second most popular hotel in a ghost town. It’s not that flowers become any less beautiful, delicate and amazing, it’s just that, without the commercialized holidays or traditional events to remind them, people tend to forget.

It’s not hard to see why. In this world of hurly-burly hustle and bustle, it takes a rare person to stop what they’re doing and smell the roses. And yet, that’s what is being promoted in a new movement. People are being asked to not only smell the roses, but pass them on to others!

The Lonely Bouquet – Spreading The Love of Flowers

This movement, with roots sunk deep in the soil of the Netherlands, is called the Lonely Bouquet. The original idea was to leave a bouquet of flowers on a park bench, or any other public area, with a visible note attached saying, “Take me.” The point is to spread joy and happiness to some unknown stranger through the anonymous gift of flowers. This idea has gained traction quickly and is now grown into an international event! If you want to leave a lonely bouquet of your own, any day is good, but June 30th is the official day all across the globe!

Although not intended as marketing for florists, the awareness raised by anonymous bouquets found around town has proven very beneficial. In fact, many newspapers, blogs and television stations covered the event this past year, spotlighting individuals who organized groups to place bouquets in public. As you know, anything that puts flowers in the spotlight is valuable to everyone. Florists get much needed business, and more people get to open their doors to a vase full of fresh and beautiful blooms.

Even so, this event only happens once a year, and though annual events are nice, they are limiting. So what can florists do to make an idea like this work for them?

Spreading JoyBouquet on a Table

Leaves Floral Design and Gift Boutique in Greendale, WI chose to place multiple gorgeous and well-arranged bouquets around the city, but instead of the single note that says, “Take Me,” she added a second note encouraging the finder to take a photo and share his experience of finding the bouquet on the florist’s Facebook page. Excellent idea!

For each person who posts on her page, she gets a photo of her arrangement and a touching story of how the finding of it improved the recipient’s day in some fun way. She knew that whoever found the bouquet would be thrilled because flowers are alluring, peaceful and offer she who holds them a chance to reconnect with the natural world. Something that is increasingly more difficult to do every day. Those testimonials are guaranteed to be interesting and touching to both the florist and her readers.

On the business side, quality content on her site will ensure more and frequent traffic. Also, each of the poster’s friends see the post and have the opportunity to like and/or share it. Not all will of course, but of those that do, all of THEIR friends now have the same access. This florist was lucky enough to have a newspaper article published about her campaign. Because it was original, the local paper was interested in the concept. For the cost of a handful of bouquets, she has brightened the day of the few people who found her flowers and the multitudes who read about them after the fact. Her business has been advertised far and wide, and the potential results can be significant.

This same idea is already being implemented by multiple florists across the country, including MaryJane’s Flowers & Gifts in Berlin, NJ who was kind enough to submit all the photos you see in this post. Thanks MaryJane’s!

Letting Joy Spread ItselfBouquet on a City Bench

Another florist chose to use Twitter for his marketing campaign. His idea was to give away a bouquet with the stipulation that the person he gave it to could only keep it for one hour. Once the time had passed, and that person had now had time to be seduced by the intoxicating aroma of flowers in her work space, she had to then pass the flowers on to another person with the same stipulation. She would then post about the experience on Twitter using the hashtag #passthepetals.

Again, this florist chose to use the awesome power of flowers to do his marketing for him. He didn’t have to mount a large campaign, he just had to give someone a bouquet of flowers. Everyone who received the bouquet was overjoyed, took pictures of the flowers and had a wonderful time doing so. Receiving flowers is special; it shows that someone cares about you and wants to bring you joy. If you’re curious what kind of response this florist received, go to twitter and type #passthepetals in the search box to see the results!

Ideas of this nature are excellent grass roots marketing campaigns, and the incorporation of social media offers even more potential exposure. Don’t forget, Instagram also uses hashtags and Pinterest is a visual format as well, giving you the opportunity to share photos of your creations.

It’s not necessary to duplicate what the people above have done, feel free to explore your own ideas and use all that social media has to offer. And there’s no need to limit this kind of outside-the-box thinking to one day a year. If you’ve been in business for long at all, you know when your downtimes are. Don’t be afraid to generate some buzz with a well thought-out and fun event when things are moving slow.

But it’s not all about business. We know that though florists deal with flowers, they’re real business is that of making people happy. Flowers are as much a tool to accomplish that end as they are a source of revenue for the men and women who choose to operate in this industry. The giving and receiving of flowers is a long-held tradition for a reason, it never gets old. If you’re not a florist, but want to spread the joy of flowers to those you love or maybe as a random act of kindness, partner with your local florist to see what’s available.

It’s a concrete jungle out there. So much of life is lived away from nature and its wondrous bounty. Sometimes people need to be reminded that flowers are available and that the local florist is still there, offering fragile beauty and contagious smiles with each purchase.


Florist Friday Recap 6/15 – 6/21: Unique Style

Wow, what a collection we’ve got going today. Truly unique designs tailored to fit their client’s needs perfectly. Everything, from fairy wands, to peace signs to 7ft tall arrangements! We love the variety in today’s post, and know you will too!

Unique Floral Design

Flower Wands by Treehouse Florist, New Freedom PA

Flower Wands by Treehouse Florist, New Freedom PA

“Princess wands for sale at the Dance production”

Candy bouquet by Baker Florist, Spencer NY

Candy bouquet by Baker Florist, Spencer NY

Candy bouquets. Great presentation gift for the graduating guys!”

Rainbow floral design by West End Florist, Rome GA

Rainbow tribute floral design by West End Florist, Rome GA

[Read more…]

Florists Helping Oklahoma City

Florists, here is how you can help.

The tragedy of yesterday’s storm has left several families in the position of planning their child’s funeral with little to no resources. Realizing the need these families have, Kimbra from Enchanted Florist (Amarillo TX) is spearheading an effort to help the families and the Oklahoma City florists provide a loving tribute for each child.

Kimbra shared this information with us this morning.

“I have contacted the Oklahoma Governor’s office and we will be working with Channel 9 in Oklahoma to get the word out to the community about these special gifts for the children. I cannot bare the thought of any family not being able to have one last final memory without everything they need to do so. I am in the process of learning best how to set up this special account. If we all give some then these families will know their families have a place in our hearts. A loss of any type is a part of life, the loss of child is a special gift to God!”

She is working with a funeral home in Amarillo and others to help provide some of the services and items needed. As soon as she can make contact with the FSN members in Oklahoma City*, she will help them coordinate the effort to provide casket sprays for each of the children lost.

For those of you who want to help, contact Kimbra at 806-322-2878 or enchantedflorist_6913@yahoo.com.

*At this time, we have not been able to reach any of our members. Please keep them in your prayers.

Social Management Tools

In our growing, high-tech world, companies using social media are seeing big benefits. However, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Businesses are told they need to be on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram and many others, with more popping up every day. By using social management tools, you can streamline your social efforts into a routine that works for you.

Built-in Social Management

Facebook allows you to schedule posts, pictures, and more right from your Business Page. The next time you are posting a status or photo to your Page’s wall, click the little clock icon to schedule it to post at a later time. By scheduling a weeks worth of posts, you can take a lot of time out of your social media routine.

Scheduling Facebook Posts

Unfortunately Twitter does not have a way to schedule posts from the website, but there are many social media management tools that will let you do this. (Keep reading for more.)

Email Notifications

Another great way to cut down your time on social media sites is by having all important notifications sent to your email. Instead of needing to check each day for notifications, you can simply check your email and determine if anything requires your attention without having to login to the social networking site.

[Read more…]

Instagram & Florists

What is Instagram??

Instagram is a popular smartphone app and social tool that allows you to easily create beautiful photos and share them to many different social networks with just a few clicks.

IG Photo ExampleFrom florists:

“I like the fact I can push pictures right to FB in a hurry…since I have so little time to do anything anymore!!!!”MaryJane’s Flowers & Gifts, Berlin NJ

“We love Instagram! We use it to show off currents wedding samples. It’s great because it connects right to Facebook and allows us to show our work to our fans. An online portfolio, if you will”Perfect Rose Floral Design, East Islip NY

“I like using it to take quick little teasers of bouquets, centerpieces etc that I can post on Facebook and twitter to show my followers what I’m currently working on. Pictures always get me the most activity on my Facebook page, so using Instagram is a quick + easy way to keep my Facebook page interesting.”cattleya chic inc., Red Deer AB

Almost like Twitter, but with photos instead of messages, Instagram allows people everywhere to share their daily lives with the world. You can share these photos with most other social networks, but Instagram also creates a beautiful stream of your photos for others to follow. It’s sort of like a photo journal.

Why Instagram?

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Valuable Lessons In Time For Mother’s Day

It’s no secret, flowers are big business during Valentine’s Day. It and Mother’s Day are two of the biggest floral holidays florists look forward to every year. Except..

… things are changing in the floral industry: The price of roses practically doubles during major holidays, cutting into profits. There are groups that advertise heavily for $19.99 flowers, which are drop-shipped in a box. There are even those out there that have stooped low enough to buy fake Google Ads in a local florists’ name saying ‘Sold Out For Valentines Day’ without the florist being aware of it.

And then we have the big floral networks who say they support local florists, but instead advertise exceedingly low prices and take a large cut for each arrangement passed to florists, on top of large annual membership fees.

Mothers Day FlowersCan you imagine owning your own business only to have someone else dictate what your prices and overhead must be?

Shops do have the option to reject orders and ask for more money, but often they are penalized with fees that range from $10-$100, in addition to time busy florists do not have to spare.

Why do shops participate in these draining networks?

Many multi-generational florists see these big, e-commerce groups as something they cannot survive without (before the internet, this was probably true). Some see it as a way to reach customers they might not be able to on their own.

From the article, Why florists now dread Valentine’s Day (CNNMoney):

“Half the florists don’t realize they’re losing money with this stuff,” said Steve Juiffre, a florist in South Burlington, Vt. who is part of Florists for Change, a group formed to educate fellow shop owners about the potential pitfalls.

“I was able to get new customers. But you can’t make any money. They make all the money,” said David Rohr, a florist in Cathedral City, CA. He quit Teleflora after Valentine’s Day in 2002, when he lost more than $2,000 that day as business costs and network fees overtook his revenue from delivery orders.

What’s most bothersome to Betsy Hall, a florist just outside Atlanta, Ga., is what happens to customers. “[Wire services] take such a huge cut. The money you spend isn’t in flowers,” she said. “You spend $70 on a $26 bouquet.” She also said customers who use e-commerce sites pay more and receive less than if they’d simply contact the local florist in the city where they’d want the flowers delivered.

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