When was the last time you received an arrangement of fresh flowers? Would it be safe to say Valentine’s or Mother’s Day? What did you think about it? Did it make you feel happy? Loved? Remembered?
Fresh flowers have a way of reminding us to literally stop and smell the roses. The beauty of them is captivating and make a room seem fresher and put together.
Kevin Swain is the successful co-founder of the multi-billion dollar company Lucidchart and the founder of a new company called tiled.co. He opens up and shares what his next great business idea would be if he weren’t currently working where he is now.
He says it all started with his wife. Her mantra is:
“A home is not a home unless there are flowers.”
Flowers make a home suddenly come vibrantly to life. He and his wife prefer to always have a fresh arrangement on their table.
And why wouldn’t they? According to Teleflora.com, there are several benefits to having fresh flowers in your home. Besides beautifying a space, they can:
-improve emotional health
-aid in memory and concentration
-aid in relaxation
-help you to feel better faster
With benefits like these, who wouldn’t want a fresh bouquet of flowers in their home on a regular basis?
Chances are you have felt the same way at some point in your life. And you aren’t the only one. The flower industry deals billions of dollars a year in fresh flowers. It’s a serious business.
The problem is that people have such limited time. Picking a florist, choosing flowers, scheduling delivery or transporting them home yourself, all take precious time. Especially if you want to keep a fresh bouquet, ordering about every 2 weeks. All of these steps are deterrents to people having flowers as often as they might like.
Swain has a solution to this and it may just be your next great business idea.
The suggestion is a scheduled delivery service for flowers. Think netflix or a cable type of subscription, but with flowers to beautify a space and inspire creativity and positive energy in your home.
Swain also suggests how he might go about getting this business started. He suggests:
-Validate your business
-Sign up for subscription services
-Partner with local florists
-Arrange an efficient delivery system
-Create a cross-forum website and app for expansion
Validate your business
Any business should be effectively validated before they get too far invested into a business that could potentially fail. Validating your business also helps you to work out the kinks and better the systems you have in place on a smaller scale that will benefit you as you expand.
Swain says all you need to begin are $100 worth of flowers, some butcher paper, twine, and a car.
Sticking to a specific geographical location, he suggests knocking on each door and presenting those who choose to talk with you with a single stem or small arrangement of flowers as a ‘taste’ of what you could provide. (The beauty of these flowers may also keep more doors from being slammed in your face.)
A typical day for a salesman might include talking to a mere 30-35 % of homes you knock on for the day. If you can get an actual sale from at least 10% of those homes then you have been successful.
Sign up for subscription services
An effective way to maintain revenue is to create a subscription service. You could offer a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly delivery system.
Ensuring that revenue is coming in repeatedly will enable you to expand further in a shorter amount of time as you know what revenue is coming in based on subscriptions rather than one-time buyers.
When explaining this to potential customers, it might be effective to establish some scenarios. Who might benefit from a scheduled delivery service? Someone in a nursing home? A widow still living at home? A mother-in-law you want to be on the good side of? A receptionist’s desk at their office?
Describing the scenarios where this delivery system could be beneficial is the key to helping your customers to see the vision you see and the service it could provide.
Partner with local florists
Swain urges that partnering with local florists is beneficial to the company. Offering flowers that highlight the local flora will not only decrease your costs, but also benefit the local community.
Not only should the flowers be local, but they should also be in season or as close to in season as possible to help to alleviate your costs as the business owner.
Arrange an efficient delivery service
A fundamental part of this business also involves an efficient delivery service. If one isn’t careful with their time and their routes it could be costly for the company. Finding a group of homes in the same general location and creating a ‘delivery day’ for that specific area helps keep costs of driving and time delivering to a minimum.
Create a cross-forum website and app for expansion
Once you have validated your business and have a good target group defined with revenue coming in, hiring a website developer is a crucial step to expansion. Hiring someone who can make your website as user friendly as possible while also creating an app to correspond with the website will really help your business to succeed.
A website gives people a place to go to see what you have to offer and the cost of your services. Word of mouth will spread and you will want somewhere to collect and gain on those interests. This website and app is where your group will find its best opportunities to expand.
Word of Caution
One tricky area of this business is getting people to trust you with their credit card information for a scheduled delivery system. Some are absolutely willing to share, but a larger part of your group will likely be hesitant to share that information.
A couple of recommendations and solutions to this problem could be:
-Money back guarantee
The idea that the first order is free when signing up for a subscription service ensures that funds will come in but also gives the buyer the idea that they are getting a good deal.
The drawback to this is what happens when a client calls you after their first paid delivery angry because they forgot they signed up for a subscription service and that their card was charged? This decreases your validity especially at the beginning of your business.
A money back guarantee doesn’t give your buyer the feeling that they are getting a great deal, but it does give them some peace of mind that if you don’t deliver as you say you will that you’ll give their money back. It helps to ensure a level of trust so they are more willingly to share with you their valuable credit information in order to obtain a new level of joy in their home.
Do you have $100 to invest in your next company? Two legs to go find your clientele? Creating a flower delivery service may just be your next great business idea!
Teleflora. (2016, July 11). The Health Benefits of Flowers. Retrieved from https://www.teleflora.com/blog/health-benefits-flowers/