Moving our store was a huge decision. There were many considerations, some obvious like cost and how it might affect our clients. Others were less so like how would we fit into the new community we were becoming a part of, which of our systems would need to be changed or eliminated, what new systems would have to be put in place?
The changes our little business went through in the first year or so were many. New location, new space, new website, and the list goes on and on. We let go of some of the old ways of doing business, such as our toll free number, a relic from a time when long distance calling was expensive and international plans weren’t the norm. We eliminated the wire services we were part of, something the internet has made obsolete and instead help client's find local florists where ever they want to send, from Australia to Germany, made possible by things like Google Translate when there is a language barrier.
It was a challenge getting the word out that we were and are still fully independent. Changing our store’s address was….interesting. Besides getting the word out to our clients that we had moved from our old location, where a flower shop had been in existence for close to 40 years, there seemed to be a never ending list of places that we needed to update and navigate. From the old school phone book to online sites such as Google, it was almost daily that we learned about one place or another that we had overlooked. This may seem like a small thing, but inconsistency of any kind in a business can be harmful, especially so if your clients cannot find you!
The website was its own animal altogether. Like our physical address, our new website had to be mapped by all the major players before it could be easily found. Small glitches popped up all the time, from the self populating address search to delivery dates not always coming through to us on the order. Small problems to be sure, but as someone who strives every day to serve our clients to the best of our abilities those small problems picked at me and I was always wondering how to get those fixed as soon as possible. Like our move though, the website was a huge positive. Every flower design on there is now ours, designed by Trish and our staff, whereas before many were generic pictures created by another company, allowing us to showcase their true creativity. The new website also allowed us to introduce BloomClub, a floral subscription service that had been requested by many over the years but just wasn’t possible with our old website.
While the website is a showcase of our business and what we are about, in the background we also upgraded to a new point of sale. I won’t bore you with details, but it has been a huge improvement. It does some amazing things and has allowed us to implement some programs that we’ve always wanted, such as BloomBux, a way to reward our repeat clients, and a system that let’s us easily remind people yearly of important dates such as birthdays or anniversaries. Small things for sure, but those small things add up and moved us forward to our goal of always providing great service.
If you’re still with me thank you for following our journey so far. All of the big changes in the past few years are starting to show the positives we knew they would. From collaborations with other local businesses to put on events in our own back yard, to multiple sounding boards for our “good” ideas, three years later we are still excited by the possibilities we have yet to explore. Bernie and the crew at the Green Spot have been great to work with, and while there have (and likely will always be!) some challenges, we all work well together. Like most things, its much easier to accomplish your goals if you have a team working towards those same goals and celebrate the achievements, or work through together why something didn’t work out. It’s truly been a fun ride so far, and we thank everyone who has cheered on this unique collaboration to succeed and can’t wait to see where it goes next!