The EU Referendum, Boris Johnson’s battle bus, the Jeremy Corbyn leadership challenge, the football, our politicians, terrorism abroad, Team GB … meanwhile a person is trying to keep calm and carry on with her flowers!
June running into July this year has been mad, hasn’t it?
Small businesses like mine are little boats afloat on a wide sea and always subject to the tides of fortune, but a small to medium sized enterprise is a bit like a coracle (and versions like it the world over), watertight, lightweight, low running costs, and easy to steer. In other words, in among a sea of change, small can alter course easily and respond quickly to new situations.
Meanwhile life goes on, births, deaths and marriages continue and the people caught up in these eternal journeys are still ordering flowers to mark the occasion, so in many ways, it’s business as usual. In terms of changes, yes, the price of flowers has gone up as the exchange rate has affected the power of the pound against the euro, but there are still so many unknowns, I’m not allowing this to affect the day-to-day. We’re the same as every other industry waiting to see what happens. Transport costs may rise, we just don’t know at this point in time.
So I shall carry on fulfilling orders (referrals by word of mouth are up, which is great news!), continue with my usual promotional activities, learning important lessons from experience as I go along. Advertising is expensive and the results uncertain, so now that my business is moving into the next stage of the cycle, I will probably scale that aspect of my marketing back, good sense tells me it is always the first thing to go. For example, wedding fayres are fun, and help get the business name out there, but it is hard to say how many ‘stop and chats’ turn into commissions. Photo-shoots, likewise, great fun and good for the profile (some beautiful pictures too, as you can see over on my gallery here), but most of my local clients seem to come by word of mouth.
Skills workshops, however, are worth every penny, as keeping one’s skills honed and learning new techniques is really how to win repeat and referral business. This weekend of the 24th & 25th July, I attended one such event with Simon Nickell Designs at Boconnoc Estate. Wonderful. The team of which I was part made the wedding arch for the church entrance. It’s amazing being part of a large event like this with a top notch wedding planner involved. What an incredible result – have a look, it’s on my weddings page here.
And for out-of-county contacts, I have to say, my website is working well. Cornwall is a great location for celebrations and people only need to do a quick Google and a few clicks from there to find flowers for the occasion courtesy of Floralcreations St Austell.
Anyway, if you are in need of a moment of calm in this stormy summer sea, have a look at some of the latest styles and colours in floral design (always works wonders for me!) from the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, during which was hosted ‘Florist of the Year’. The results of the awards are already up on the RHS website here, and they are full of colourful and innovative surprises.