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    7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 8, 2008 8:30 PM by sbedge24

    New Entrepreneur needs help

    ladyslipper Newbie
      Hi everyone!

      I design high quality, very innovative, permanent botanical arrangements. (aka: silk floral arrangements)
      My target market will be businesses. Those in the hospitality industry, home stagers, interior designers and the like. My website is almost complete, my logo design is amazing and my biz cards will be here tomorrow. What, in your opinion is the best way to just get out there. Should I mail out an introduction to businesses and follow up with a cold call? One company who recently had me create an arrangement for their hair solon suggested I simply walk into other such salons and show them a sampling of my work but that just doesn't seem very professional. Since I have taken "failure" out of the equation, this is going to happen for me but good advice is always nice to have.

        • Re: New Entrepreneur needs help
          Iwrite Pioneer
          I think you are going to get the best results by face to face right now. The suggestion of walking in is great but I would take a small arrangement as an example and a leave behind. Use it to get you talking to the decision maker and leave it with them as a thank you gift. It doesn't have to be a huge arrangement, something small but nice with your business name and contact information artfully included. Even if they don't want to talk, leave the gift as a thank you anyway.

          There is a men's clothing store that I shop that has the most beautiful flowers on display. The grower was a old customer who was trying to get his flower business going. The store owner said customers were contacting and buying flowers at such a great rate all from just seeing the flowers in his store.

          Get creative, look at some furniture stores to buy your product. What about churches? Think of places that would need flowers and start knocking - law firms, accountants, doctors, and advertising agencies.

          Hope this helps.
          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: New Entrepreneur needs help
            LUCKIEST Guide
            New Entrepreneur needs help, Welcome to this website.
            We are here to help. On your last post, you said you visited SCORE
            and was not happy with that SCORE Counselor.
            There are many more SCORE Counselors out there, both in person and on line.
            YES I am a SCORE Counselor and also do email counseling.
            Think "outside the box". Where are you located (like City and State)
            As "Iwrite" wrote walking in is great but leaving a small arrangement behind is a great idea.
            There are always flowers at the entrance to our local gym with a business card attached.
            You need to work on a Marketing Plan.
            A newspaper story is also FREE advertising if you can find a local reporter and have a
            good charity or club to support.
            Good luck, LUCKIEST
            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: New Entrepreneur needs help
              Wingman Adventurer
              Hi ladyslipper,

              You may also want to tough bases with real estate agents and other companies that send out welcome packages to new homeowners.

              A pitch you can use for the RE agents is that they could give these arrangements as a homecoming gift for the new homeowner and a thank you to the seller.

              Another possibility are the companies that send welcome packets out to new homeowners. You can include a certificate for a free arrangement.

              Good Luck
              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: New Entrepreneur needs help
                ladyslipper Newbie
                Thank you so much for the ideas! Keep it coming!
                • Re: New Entrepreneur needs help
                  Lighthouse24 Ranger

                  I'd try to start with some leads . . . ask friends, family, former co-workers, any local vendors from whom you buy supplies, and your business banker for the names of people and organizations that might be interested. It is much better to be able to say, "Ms. Smith suggested I call you," rather than just hitting a potential client cold.

                  If/when you need to approach a business cold, I'd begin with the highest traffic locations in your area, and ask if you might place your arrangements free of charge for two weeks, with your business card attached. You could then take photos of your work "in context," which would allow you to show your arrangements on your website in settings that people would recognize. This would also give you a conversation starter or reference point when pitching to other potential clients ("Have you seen the arrangements I did for the lobby of the Smith Building?") Finally, a place that has had flowers for two weeks suddenly looks very empty when they're gone -- so they may decide they want to keep the arrangements permanently.

                  Speaking of that, do you intend to maintain and update "permanently" placed arrangements (perhaps to reflect seasonal changes or holiday themes)? I'd think this would be a key feature to preserving your clientele for the long term.

                  Hope this helps. Welcome to the community and best wishes.
                    • Re: New Entrepreneur needs help
                      ladyslipper Newbie

                      Hello and Thank you!

                      When working out my plan, I knew that I needed a value add as an edge over competition. (not that there is much, the floral shops in my area all work with fresh and of course they market for various occasions mostly) My thought was as a value add I would offer complimentary in house consutation and that yes, when seasons change as well as during holiday times, I would be right there with another arrangement for them, before they had to call and request it.


                      I have spoken with business with whom I do business and would like to think that in turn, they would allow me to create an arrangement for their existing business with which I would place my biz card.


                      My banker and I are meeting early next week as she has requested biz cards from me as well.


                      Thanks again!

                    • Re: New Entrepreneur needs help
                      sbedge24 Wayfarer

                      We just wrote an article on a company doing something very similar in your industry. If you send me your email address, I will send you the article.