YOUR FLOWER SHOP IN 2011
By Domenic Rinaldi
It is no secret that 2009 and 2010 were tough years for
a lot of florists. However, 2011 is setting up to be a year of growth
for many businesses, and there is no reason your shop cannot be a part
of that. Here are five straightforward but important steps you can take
to help reinvigorate your business’s performance and get it on track to
achieve your long-term goals.
1. Clarify your
Initially, it is critical to clearly understand where your business is
headed. Look at your current situation with a fresh set of eyes, and
then establish goals for where you would like it to be. Do not be
constrained by what you think is likely to happen. Consider what you
want — what you
want — first.
Of course, every owner wants to become successful and build a profitable
business. But this year, start with realistic “stretch” goals. For
example, you might make it a goal to increase the time you spend with
customers or take more time to beautify your shop. Push yourself just a
little, and then break your goals down into pieces while designating
milestones to measure progress.
Once you have decided on your goals, it is crucial to build in
accountability for yourself. How will you ensure that your goals are
achieved? What systems, processes or people are you going to put in
place to drive them to completion?
If you are not willing to put such checks and balances on your own
actions, re-examine your goals. Without true accountability you may be
setting yourself up for mediocre results. However, if you are able to
create these assurances with meaningful deadlines, you have taken an
important step to improving your business.
3. Open up.
When you run a flower shop, it is easy to get stuck by yourself at the
top. With no one to talk to about the business, your own blind spots,
knowledge gaps and shortcomings can get in the way of success. Let’s
face it: Nobody does everything well. The problem is that many business
owners prefer not to rely on others; they have an urge to try to do it
Open yourself to accepting help. First, while it might not seem to make
sense right away, consider hiring to fill the roles that take you away
from performing the most critical functions. Owners often do not take
this step and lose out on the opportunity to serve their own “highest
and best use.” Doing so might be another significant step to building
Second, look for support organizations in your area. Peer-to-peer
advisory groups are a great way to harness the experiences of other
business owners who are facing the same or similar problems. Groups like
this can help you identify solutions to your business problems while
strengthening your skills as an owner and the leader of your company.
Third, if you already have the staff to support some of this effort,
move past fears of delegating. Putting trust in someone else with the
vital elements of running your company is a critical rite of passage for
building a business. Thus, if you truly want growth, this step is
necessary and unavoidable. Doing so will afford you the time to lead the
initiatives that really drive success and stop turning you into the
chokepoint to progress.
4. Monitor your work /
Running your own business is complex, and the strain it puts on your
personal life can be counterproductive for the business in the long run.
All too often, business owners become so consumed in their businesses
that they forget to enjoy important events and everyday moments in their
Letting life pass you by can have a huge impact on how you run your
business. An unhappy business owner has greater difficulties becoming a
successful business owner because a person’s mental outlook can
negatively or positively affect how everything else falls into place.
This year, take some time to examine your business life and your
personal life to identify those areas that are not working as well as
you would like. Understand that sometimes you need to let go of control,
trust in others and, importantly, trust in yourself. Also, be mindful of
your stress levels. Just because you own a business does not mean you
need to be there 24 hours a day.
5. Get excited about
your business again.
The fact is that 2009 and 2010 were among the most challenging times
businesses have ever seen. But, you have weathered the storm, and you
can take pride in that accomplishment.
To capitalize on that in 2011, get yourself excited about your business
again. Consider the possibilities, and let yourself dream just a bit.
Remember the energy and enthusiasm you had when you first started as a
florist, then reinject that vigor into your business today.
With just the right kind of extra effort, you can make 2011 your best
About the Author
Domenic Rinaldi is the president and managing partner of Sun Affiliates,
which operates Inner Circle of Chicago. Mr. Rinaldi has more than 25
years of business experience in sales, marketing, operations, strategy,
and mergers and acquisitions.
An Inner Circle is a group of eight to 12 noncompeting business owners
who act as one another’s advisors and serve to accelerate the learning
curve associated with managing and growing a company.
To learn more about Inner Circle of Chicago, visit