Last week we discussed the McFlorists Model whereby systems are put in place to grow your business in replicable, consistent ways that do not rely on you and your skills to continue to function.
Today I want to talk about the other end of the spectrum: the Rock Star Florist model.
2016 UPDATE: RockStar Florists is now Australia’s #1 Floristry competition! Check it out
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In this case we flip it over and ask:
- What if your work was entirely a reflection of your own talent and skills, if each piece were custom designed by you?
- What if your business was so reliant on your personal input that it would fall over if you didn’t show up to work?
- What if instead of cookie-cutter bouquets and smooth, calculated systems, you somehow muddled through despite your own barely-adequate organisational skills to produce one-off pieces of art, each one so unique and inspired that you know you could never do it the same way again?
- What if you poured so much care and attention into customer service that you genuinely surprised and delighted each and every customer, even though, on paper, this surely couldn’t be a profitable way to run a business?
I think this is a perfectly reasonable way to approach your business. In all kinds of creative industries we see successful people doing just this and thriving. Musicians, writers, life coaches, furniture makers, leadlight window designers, whatever – this model works over and over and again and while I am new to the world of florists, I have already seen this at play within your industry. (Tell me if I am wrong, but apparently when you decide to become a Rock Star Florist you get to call yourself a “floral designer”, no?)
Sounds Good in Theory
I can see your ‘To Do’ list now:
1. Become Rock Star florist
2. Charge bucket-loads per job
3. Buy dream house
The trouble, is how do you make it so? Well, this is up to you but here’s my number one suggestion:
If you want to stand out from the herd, I suggest you pick up a copy of Purple Cow by Seth Godin. It’s one of my favourite books ever. A short, snappy read, its premise is simple:
In order to attract favourable attention in a crowded marketplace make products and services that are so uniquely wonderful that they are truly remarkable – as in “worth remarking on”.
Think about it: how often do you come across a product or service that is so great that you feel compelled to rave about it to someone you know? Not that often really, considering how much “stuff” is being pushed at us.
That’s what makes being remarkable so powerful – because when our family or friends go out of their way to “word up” a product or service, we listen. Why? Because we know that everybody else is as jaded as us and that no-body would bother mention something unless it really, truly moves them.
We all intrinsically need to be regularly moved by wonderful things, so you listen to your friend and then you go and you check out their recommendation. That’s what you want your business to inspire in others.
Some Humble Suggestions for Being Remarkable:
- Don’t just sell product, create powerful art.
- Treat every customer or potential customer (or human being while you’re at it) exactly how you would love to be treated by another business or person. Wow them with kindness, attention and passion.
- Create a Blue Ocean (another great book). In case you never read it, here’s the skinny: make the competition irrelevant by combining elements of your industry with elements of other industries. Meanwhile do away with certain elements of your own industry, the stuff that people just do because that’s how it’s always been done. Create a new category that you get to dominate.
- Realise that you are a brand and live it. Decide on your “brand values” and personify them.
- Fake it ’till you make it (hey it worked for Lady Gaga). The old saying goes something like: Act like a Rock Star for long enough and pretty soon people will start believing you are one. Just don’t act like a rock star in the wrong way or it’ll backfire in your face.
- Dream Big: OK that sounds like a cliché with extra cheese I know, but think of it like this: at every major sporting event, theatre show, backstage at big concerts, at cultural festivals, political rallies, big business conferences, weddings for the upper-class and whatever other major, well-funded event you’ll always see high-end displays of floral work integrated into the ambiance of the occasion. Who are the florists who get these gigs? Why can’t it be you?
- Think Small: maybe one way to stand out could be differentiating yourself by spurning high-end work while still creating amazing one-off art. Who says that when a man purchases a $100 bouquet for his wife to celebrate a wedding anniversary that it can’t be a work of art he receives? If “everyday” flower purchases are your market, you have two choices: you can either serve up yet another bunch like all the rest or you can pour your heart and soul into every creation and blow your customer’s minds.
- I understand that it’s where the demand is, but nevertheless, every second florist is a “wedding specialist” but I am yet to see a single funeral, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, “sorry”, wedding anniversary, or “get well“ specialist. Why not?
Of course if you do successfully become a Rock Star Florist, then ironically perhaps, some of the problems that the McFlorists Model aims to overcome (like being too busy to cope) may become a real challenge for you! Maybe the sensible approach would be to incorporate systems into your business without descending into the robot flower factory abyss.
After all, every rock star needs her manager, stylist and a personal assistant right?
Written by Seamus – Tesselaar’s website manager and marketing nerd.Photo by Mollypop
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