19 Softwares We Use To Run Our Floral Studio, by StemCounter

Hi Flower Friends, today we are sharing a post by our friends Ryan & Rachel over at StemCounter. They are sharing 19 Softwares they use to run their floral studio –

Four years ago my wife, Rachael, and I (Ryan) started Twisted Willow Design, a St. Louis wedding florist, from the ground up. Most people just think of me as the Stemcounter guy, but Stemcounter would have never existed had we not been so frustrated with some of the difficulties of running a floral company. One of the coolest things we hear from other florists is how much they appreciate us being candid about our shop in St. Louis and sharing our ups and downs in our blog, The Business of Flowers. In keeping with that, we wanted to share some of the softwares and apps that help make us more effective in our business and save us countless headaches.

General Business Management

  • Pandora – Yes, this takes the top place on our list. Having music on while designing, or even while doing the more mundane tasks like accounting, sets the mood for a great day at work. On our Pandora you’ll find Brandon Heath Radio and Tauren Wells Radio.
  • Google Drive – We keep our files in Drive so all of our team members can access them when needed. We have everything from our marketing materials to employee/freelancer contracts to our client contract templates in Drive.
  • Gravity Forms – We use Gravity Forms to power our Budget Calculator and Check My Date tools on our website and to collect additional information from our clients. Gravity forms is a plugin for wordpress.
  • WordPress – Our website, TwistedWillow.co, runs on WordPress. It makes managing the site a whole lot easier and the fact that we can integrate Gravity Forms with ease is a win for us. Here are a few tips for the florist website that dramatically increased our conversions.
  • Google Forms – We use google forms to get a more detailed questionnaire from our clients. Not sure what to include in your client questionnaire? We’re sharing ours with you as a free, downloadable template!

Download Our Client Questionnaire Template

  • Stemcounter Forms – We’ll keep our budget calculator on gravity forms but soon there will be a new forms tool in Stemcounter Studio that will eliminate the need for Gravity Forms and Google forms. We’re SUPER excited to have this seamless integration coming so clients can put inquiries directly into our system.

Finances and Payments

  • Wave – Wave is a free accounting software. While we don’t subscribe to the theory that everything free is better, in this case Wave is far simpler to understand than other softwares. Some other tools that we know florists use for their accounting are Quickbooks and Freshbooks.
  • Wave Receipts App – With the Wave Receipts App, it’s easy to keep track of business-related receipts by simply taking a picture of them and uploading them to Wave. It can then even automatically match up the receipt to our bookkeeping record.
  • Stripe – We accept credit card payments through Stripe. It’s integrated into Stemcounter, which makes life much easier for us. We do know other florists who use Square and Paypal.
  • Banking App – Some clients still prefer sending in hard copy checks, and that’s okay. Our bank has an app that allows us to take a picture and deposit the check immediately. Unfortunately there is a limit to how much so we have to literally go to the bank with our checks. (We sound so helpless without our tech, don’t we??)
  • Stemcounter Invoices and Payments- We utilize Stemcounter for our proposals and our invoices. Because of how it’s set up, the proposal actually doubles for the invoice for most of our clients. When clients (especially businesses) need to see the word “invoice”, we just use a separate link that is the invoice link. Stemcounter also sets up the payment schedule for our clients to follow and with Stemcounter Studio we have the ability to generate a payments report to keep up with when certain payments are due.

Marketing

  • Instagram – Because of the visual nature of this social platform, this is a great way for us to show off our work while giving our best wishes to newlyweds. It serves as inspiration for brides around the globe and gives potential clients a taste of Twisted Willow Design’s style. For the most part, Instagram is a ancillary tools because most of our clients only use our services us once. So we treat it as additional proof for clients who are already looking into us. (Though…we have gotten a client or two from it.)
  • Facebook – Similar to Instagram, Facebook allows us to share our unique style with potential clients but because our Facebook profile has room for more information about us, potential clients are often quicker to initially reach out to us through this platform.
  • The Knot – The Knot has been the best online tool we’ve used to gain clients. I’ve spoken with thousands of florists and from those conversations it seems this is really a decision that varies depending on region and tier of the market. Other tools that florists use are WeddingWire and Thumbtack. One of the keys to finding new clients is to have a completed profile on The Knot with reviews that sing high praises of our work.
  • Wedding Shows – Okay, so this one isn’t really a florist software we use but it is a very important part of our marketing plan because it gives a chance to personally connect with brides and employ Rachael’s genius trick for getting more leads.

Booking Clients

  • Stemcounter – We use only one app for booking clients (often on-the-spot in a consultation). It allows us to create beautiful proposals that include our contract on them, which clients can sign directly from the proposal. We can also send a digital link to the proposal that’s accessible on any device they’re using. With that, they can view the proposal, view the inspiration photos full screen, sign, and pay from the same screen.
  • Contracts – We now use Stemcounter for contracts. We used to use to just mail our contract or email a pdf and have them mail it to us signed. We’ve tried Docusign but didn’t use it that much before we shifted to Stemcounter.

Communicating with clients

  • Gmail – Our business email addresses are powered by Gmail and google apps. Our custom email addresses come off as more professional than having a standard “@gmail.com” address, which is an important thing for us. Not only that, we have full access to all of Google’s tools.
  • Google Voice – Rachael and I aren’t from the St. Louis area. We knew that we needed a local number to help earn clients’ trust but didn’t really want to change our phone numbers. Google voice solved our problem by giving us a free local business number where we can get texts and calls. As an added bonus, because clients don’t have our personal numbers, we’ve been able to put a line between our business and personal lives.
  • Streak Snippets – Streak is a CRM software but we only really use Snippets, which allows us to create and use template responses easily, rather than having to write the same “Thank you for contacting us” email over and over again. We do plan on introducing some email template tools in Stemcounter before long!
  • Pinterest – Some florists may use Pinterest as a marketing tool. We actually don’t do many boards ourselves. We use it to access to our clients’ boards and then we use Pinterest Drag and Drop directly to Stemcounter.

Execution

  • Awesome Note – There are ten million things that need to be done the week of an event and Awesome Note helps us keep track of them all, even syncing time-sensitive tasks to our calendar if we’d like.
  • Word – With our list of tasks in hand, we develop a game plan for the week to give to our team members that includes what needs to get done and who is responsible for each task.
  • Stemcounter – We use Stemcounter to create our wholesale lists a couple weeks ahead of time. This saves us HOURS in itself. Probably our biggest time saving feature. We also can generate out our recipes for our freelancers to have access too.

I hope these help!

-Ryan with Twisted Willow Design

P.S. You’d also love our blog that focuses on The Business of Flowers, where we give away advice on cool topics on anything from what makes an awesome florist logo to great wedding florists websites and give-a-ways like a free wedding florist contract template.

Introduction to the floral software Stem Counter

Things were looking up. Bianca was a proud momma of an infant just a few months old and she was weeks away from her biggest wedding season ever. Bianca’s wedding floral company in Australia had just secured a contract with an island resort to be their exclusive florist. That’s when two of her employees quit. In a matter of days, she moved from having the time to invest in accurate proposals and actually managing the shop – to personally being involved in everything from design to tear-down and feeling like all her work was coming apart. Then the quotes from her exclusive contract started piling up. She literally had 40 quotes on backorder – just staring at her like a post-party kitchen in the house of a dog-tired mom with a bad case of OCD. Bianca would wake up in the morning and just start to cry. She was so discouraged that she would sit at home and binge watch movies to avoid coming to grips with the time-consuming proposals. Finally, her sister and business partner Alex determined that something had to change. Alex came across several florist softwares but none of them saved enough time to be worth the investment. None, that is, until she came across the florist app Stemcounter. After a couple months of using the software, here’s the email I received from Bianca:
“I was about to say “you have no idea how this software has changed my life” but I’m sure you actually do! I was honestly losing my mind. I’m really looking forward to the next few months when everything is finally transitioned into this new system. I can’t believe how much better it is, I didn’t even think this was possible.”
Le Sorelle florist - wedding reception table decor

Le Sorelle Florist

Bianca is an INCREDIBLE florist and still needed a little extra help to run her business efficiently. You’re probably not in the exact same boat as Bianca. However, if you’re a professional florist, you can relate to being up way past bed time putting together a wholesaler order and wondering why nobody had created a system that works how florists do.
In fact, that’s exactly why Stemcounter.com was created. Before we started our wedding florals company, my wife was a year into being the lead designer at a shop when ownership changed. She would come home in tears after dealing with new under-prepared management who thought owning a flower shop would be a breeze. So we started our St. Louis wedding florals company: Twisted Willow Design. We were growing but we had issues keeping up with the brides that wanted proposals. We normally told them to give us a week to get their proposal back. Around day 6 of one particular client, Rachael had just finished up spending an hour and a half on her proposal. Right as she was about to email the bride, we received an email saying that she had gone with someone else. Including consultation, Rachael had just spent 2.5 hours of her time…for nothing. Zilch. Nada. That was the moment we first knew that there had to be a better way to accurately and beautifully create wedding flower proposals. 
At that point, I created an extremely well-formatted excel sheet for my wife to cost out designs. That was still taking way more time than we had in a day and we still had to stem count AGAIN when creating our shopping list and designer sheets. So, we created Stemcounter.com. Since then, we’ve seen our on-the-spot booking rate increase dramatically, we’ve tripled our average wedding size from $1,500 to $4,500, and we literally have our stem count done in the consultation. We’ve grown enough that we bought our own floral shop (you might have seen us on House Hunters!) and just a couple days ago booked our first $10,000+ wedding! (woot woot!) Obviously it takes more than a software to grow your business (it definitely doesn’t wash buckets for us), but having a software freed up our time from the nagging stuff that can totally be automated and allowed us to focus on the big stuff that’s required to function as a professional florist.

 

Twisted Willow Floral Design Heather Roth Fine Art Photography

Twisted Willow Floral Design
Heather Roth Fine Art Photography

So, what exactly is Stemcounter.com? It’s a floral design software created specifically for professional florists that allows you to do stem counts extremely fast, accurately price out your weddings, book more brides, and even finally delegate some critical tasks to employees. No more worries that someone is going to do the math wrong on your wholesaler order or book a wedding with a -17% profit margin.
It’s humbling to hear that we’re the highest rated floral software online but we love making florists lives easier because we’re florists ourselves. Here are some of the ways that stem counter will make your weddings / events easier:
  1. Automated stem counting with your own floral library.
  2. Create your entire proposal (WITH stem count) from a single screen. You see your tools. Your clients only see a beautiful finished proposal.
  3. Mobile-friendly proposal for your clients to see a beautiful proposal and full-resolution photos from their desktop, iPad, or mobile phone.
  4. Clients can view, sign, and pay from the same screen.
  5. Quickbooks Integration to keep your accountant happier than a trip to a tax loophole conference.
  6. Add multiple photos on every line item.
  7. Multiple recipes on each item for King Tables or triplets.
  8. Drag and Drop photos from Pinterest.
  9. Have all of your weddings and events organized in a single place.
  10. Combine multiple event shopping lists together in seconds
Interested in seeing if the software is right for you? You can start immediately and we have an industry-best 60 day money back guarantee.

"Start

If you prefer a personalized demo to see how it would work with your company before you jump in (and even get a discount), here’s a link to our demo:
"Set
P.S. You’d also love our blog that focuses on The Business of Flowers, where we give away advice on cool topics from everything like what makes an awesome florist logo to great wedding florists websites and give-a-ways like a free wedding florist contract template.


 

Tips on keeping customer service on-point for Valentine’s day with Alison Ellis

Tips on keeping customer service on-point for Valentine’s day with Alison Ellis

Holidays are a time when florists find out what we’re really made of.
We have to have systems in place to survive the hurried pace and high volume of orders, yet throughout all of the hustle and bustle, we cannot lose sight of the fact that how we treat our customers matters.

Valentine’s day is a time when florists are accused of being “overpriced” which is why we must remember that our excellent customer service is one of most important ways we provide value to our clients.

You can’t compare my business to a grocery store; they don’t do what I do.

In short, our systems and processes aren’t effective without good people who follow through.

Check out my video (perhaps watch it with your employees, too!).
Thanks so much for taking a few minutes to watch!

Find out more about Alison here: http://realflowerbusiness.com/about

Floral Design Institute to Award Student Scholarships

Floral Design Institute Portland Oregon - Green bridal bouquet

FLORAL DESIGN INSTITUTE TO AWARD $30,000 IN STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS

David and Leanne Kesler, co-owners of Floral Design Institute in Portland, Ore., are pleased to announce that they will be offering student scholarships to state and allied floral organizations throughout the United States in 2017. 

Says David Kesler, “As we approach the 50th anniversary of Floral Design Institute, we wanted to make a significant and lasting contribution to floral design education.” 
 
“The community of floral organizations and their support of floral design education in America has been critical to the success of the floral industry,” states Leanne Kesler. “Through the creation of this scholarship program, we seek to support floral organizations in their offerings of educational opportunities for their members and their member employees.” 

Floral Design Institute Portland Oregon - bridal bouquet classes

Floral Design Institute was founded in 1969. In 1986, Leanne began teaching at the school, and she purchased the school in 1988. Her husband, David, joined her in the business in 1994, and together they have built Floral Design Institute into one of the most respected floral design schools in the world. Through their classroom and online certification programs plus advanced seminars and workshops, they now train hundreds of students each year. Their online floral design training videos are viewed by over 1.5 million viewers each year.

“It is so wonderful to be able to do this.” says Leanne. “Like so many floral designers, my career path hasn’t always been easy, and I know how hard it is for some students to come up with the tuition for school. When I bought the school, I was training only 45 students a year. I had to supplement my income with freelance design work and odd jobs. I lived in a single-wide trailer, ate a lot of ramen noodles and did all of my shopping at thrift shops. When times were hard, I used to tell myself, ‘At least I’m Doing Something I Love’, a phrase that I still use today.”

Floral Design Institute Portland Oregon - Green bridal bouquet

Education has been a cornerstone in Leanne’s life. Her mother was an elementary school teacher for 53 years. Leanne discovered her love for floral design in a high school horticulture class and was encouraged to excel by an inspirational teacher, Dave Lambert. ”Throughout my career, his example has driven me to be the best teacher possible, to help students set and achieve their highest goals.” 

Each selected state and allied floral organization will be given a $1,000 scholarship to be awarded to a member or member’s employee of the organization’s choosing. The scholarship may be applied to any Floral Design Institute class, seminar or workshop including certification programs and online programs.

Floral Design Institute Portland Oregon - wedding floral design in compote

Contact:
Leanne Kesler, AIFD PFCI or David Kesler, AIFD PFCI
Floral Design Institute
Portland, Ore.
503-223-8089
www.floraldesigninstitute.com
leanne@floraldesigninstitute.com
david@floraldesigninstitute.com

Floral Design Institute Portland Oregon - floral design classes

A look at Branding for Floral Design Businesses

floral designer website, Betsey Brooks

Betsey Brooks website

Stationary of Florescence Flowers in North Carolina

Stationary of Florescence Flowers in North Carolina

Stationary of Florescence Flowers in North Carolina

Stationary of Florescence Flowers in North Carolina

Julia Testa floral design logo

Julia Testa floral design logo

Passion Flowers Design & Forage Florals - marketing artwork for design class series

Passion Flowers Design & Forage Florals – marketing artwork for design class series

Online Social Media Class Starts January 16th!!

flirty fleurs online class - social media class for floral designers starts january 2017

I’m excited to announce our next class specifically for Floral Designers looking to increase the online presence of their Floral Design Business. This e-course will be held online via a private, password protected forum. Class assignments will be posted weekly with hints, tricks and feedback from myself and other class participants. The class lasts for 3 weeks, and the forum will remain active for an additional 4 weeks should you need to access any of the information while working on your newly implemented marketing plans and to connect with other class participants.

Class Starts: January 16, 2017
Class Ends: February 3, 2017
Investment: $299
Sign Up Here

What we will cover in class:
*Week 1 – Critique of your current website and blog with suggestions on how to improve
*Week 2 – All about Instagram!!
*Week 3 – In-depth look at using Facebook for your business. We’ll also cover Pinterest & Twitter this week.

FAQs:
*There will be no refunds or transfers once you have registered & paid for this class.
*Information from this class will not be shared with others outside of this class. Immediate cancellation of your membership will be enforced if you are caught distributing information.
*As the saying goes “what you put into it, is what you get out of it”, full participation is the best way to gain the most success possible.

2016 Annual Review for YOU!

2016-reflections
Hello flower friends!
Well, it is that time of year, that inevitable time when we reflect on the previous year and set goals for the upcoming year. So here we go – print this out or save a copy of it to your computer, do some pondering and jot down some thoughts about 2016 and set your goals for 2017:

Accomplishments I am most proud of from 2016:

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The 3 Best Lessons that I learned in 2016:

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The 3 Smartest Decisions that I made in 2016 are:

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The 3 Biggest Risks that I took in 2016 were:

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The 3 Biggest challenges I faced in 2016 were:

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Upon Reflection, if I could re-do 3 things from 2016, what would they be?
(What would you do differently?)

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Jot down 3 things I’d like to do more of in 2017:

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What 3 things do I need to do less of in 2017?

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When I think of 2017 the 3 words that come to mind are…?:

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What are my 3 biggest goals for 2017:

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Flower Business Logos

Featuring Midori Ribbons

“MIDORI is a quality brand that inspires, enchants and immerses Ribbonistas in the vibrant world of MIDORI with every ribbon and design.”

Today we are featuring luxurious ribbons & gift wrap from MIDORI, styled by Amy of GATHER.

This was my first experience working with MIDORI’s gift wrap, it is very thick paper and with beautiful print. The ribbons are quite luxurious, I absolutely love the double faced satin ones! The Dupioni Silk is also very enchanting.

Midori Ribbon featured on Flirty Fleurs 2

Pink Floral Lace Paper with Quince Double Faced Satin Ribbon, Mint Organdy Ribbon, Spa Double Faced Satin, and Cameo Dupioni Silk.

Midori Ribbon featured on Flirty Fleurs 1

Pink Floral Lace Paper

Midori Ribbon featured on Flirty Fleurs 3

Navy Whale Paper with Navy Dupioni Silk Ribbon, Navy & Cream Ascot Ribbon, Navy & Cream Checked Taffeta, and White Rayon Trimming.

Midori Ribbon featured on Flirty Fleurs 4

Magnolia Jolie Ribbon

Midori Ribbon featured on Flirty Fleurs 4

Yellow Organdy Ribbon

Midori Ribbon featured on Flirty Fleurs 4

Burnt Sienna Dupioni Silk Ribbon & Carrot Organdy Ribbon.

Midori Ribbon featured on Flirty Fleurs 4

Burnt Sienna Dupioni Silk Ribbon & Carrot Organdy Ribbon.

Midori Ribbon featured on Flirty Fleurs 4

Pink Flamingo Paper with Spa Double Faced Satin Ribbon.

Midori Ribbon featured on Flirty Fleurs 4

Peach & Navy Pigs Paper with Cameo Dupioni Silk Ribbon.

Midori Ribbon featured on Flirty Fleurs 4

Cherries Paper with Quince Double Faced Satin Ribbon.

Midori Ribbon featured on Flirty Fleurs 4

Bouquet with Mint Organdy and Cameo Dupioni Silk Ribbons.

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days 2017

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days 2017

 

For more information and registration please visit:
http://www.florabundance.com/