Hello Flower Friends,
I have a question for all of you today from a business owner. Please leave your suggestions, comments, thoughts and advice in the comments section of the blog.
Thank you in advance!
I purchased a small flower shop in a small rural community (the county has a population of approximately 17,000 people) in September and have been open since October. The community is great, but also hosts the highest unemployment rate in the state, so there isn’t a whole lot of extra spending that happens here, as you may find in an urban community. I’m the only florist, so folks have to drive over an hour to find another florist. According to the previous owner’s records, the business made less than $100,000 a year with a profit of only $20,000. I’m working hard to reduce overhead and increase profits through quality, with some success so far (it’s really too early to tell). Needless to say, it’s tough doing business in this town.
My shop is next to the town’s grocery store, who frequently gets fresh flowers and plants in stock. Much like other grocery stores, they sell the flowers super cheap, making it hard for me to compete with them. I’ve been trying to figure out who they get their flowers and plants from and just realized today that they receive them from my primary supplier. The other tough part about running a flower shop up here is that there isn’t a marketplace to purchase flowers and only 2 distributors deliver up here. Recently, I’ve been ordering flowers from growers online, but shipping is pricey, so I limit my orders and try to offset costs by ordering from the distributors. I’m tempted to eliminate my business relations with this particular distributor altogether and go strictly online and only order flowers from the other distributor on an as-needed-basis.
What would you do? Confront the grocery store and/or the distributor and tell them that they’re making it harder for my business to succeed? Or am I being selfish and should roll with the punches…. chock it up as a part of doing business?
Thanks for any input.