CSES2013: Boosting Your Profitability

Profit – at the end of the day that is what running a business is all about.  If you aren’t making money doing what you love, then eventually you won’t be able to do it any more because money will run out.  This is always a timely subject matter, but as most of you are getting ready to close out your year and have been planning for 2014, this article will contain some ideas that we hope you can incorporate into your floral business plan.

At Catersource & EventSolutions (2013), Matt Alan of MMD Events gave a run down of how to boost your profitability.  Here are some highlights from his session:

  • How do you instinctively read your client before anything is said or done? You can’t, but by marketing and defining your ideal client then you have a much better idea.  Strive to pinpoint where you are profitable and target those specific customers.
  • Good blogs/websites/books/etc. on marketing, being profitable, etc.:
  • Market to clients and tell them what you do.
  • What your clients want to buy is largely shaped by what you are selling, which is done by marketing.
  • Are you managing your clients expectations?
    • Tell them what you do, what their average client spends, and how the first and rest of client meetings will go.
  • Do your clients trust you?…
    • Often times, this is their first time doing this so be sure to take the time to explain the whole process and be sure to get the hard conversations out of the way.
    • Your clients deserve transparency.  Provide that by answering their big questions: what’s this worth, will my guests notice, what is the bottom line?
  • Educate your clients to your advantage
    • It seems like you are reading their minds
    • Educate why they need to achieve their desired look …
  • Sometimes the clients don’t follow your advice, but they will remember that and tell referrals to follow your advice.
  • Most clients will book based on price:
    • You need to connect with your clients emotions and they need to like you.
    • If you prequalify then price isn’t the issue.
    • If you focus connecting emotionally, then your business will grow exponentially.
    • Know what you are good at and figure out what your niche is.
  • Be sure you know how to diversify and stay relevant because the world is ever changing:
    • Remaining educated about your business and different fields within your industry.  One way of doing this is attending industry shows, like Catersource/Event Solutions.
    • For example, knowing how videography style has changed.  You don’t want an old style video on your website because then you look outdated to potential clients.  The same goes for photography.
      • Photographers really embrace this model as they have to change their photo style and move on to the next one as well as upgrading equipment and software.
    • Change should be a part of your biz model
    • Watching for the new trend so they can build a profitable business based on that trend.  Answering the question “What is going to sell today and tomorrow?”
  • You need partners:
    • You can’t be profitable if you buy everything yourself.  MMD knew when starting their company that they didn’t want to get into chiavari chairs, linens, and charges because there was so much of that inventory available all ready.
    • MMD decided to partner up with other like minded companies to increase options in their market.
  • You need to make a profit and there is nothing wrong with that.
  • Your client doesn’t need to reap the benefit of the hundreds of transactions that you do with your vendors.
    • When you pass on professional discounts, you are loosing money.

 

Tools for Profitability

  • Photo shoots are great to figure out if your clients like it …
    • Make sure people want it before investing in it.
  • 3D rendering program: employing a CAD artist is expensive.  For MMD it was a waste of profits and found that training internally worked best for their business.
  • Before investing in expensive technology make sure it will really works for your business.  For example, an inventory managing system with bar codes sounds great, but how do you bar code clear glass?
  • Better client management – don’t’’ forget that clients are buying you.
  • Stay nimble and agile so that you can deal with inevitable changes.
  • There is no profit in owning everything.
  • Keep the money you earn.
  • Consider new tech and products carefully:
    • E.g. Go to your tent company and say i have sold this type of tent ten times this year, will you buy it?

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