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.


 

Lobiloo

For many florists like myself, everyday computer work can bog us down and take away important creative time. Tasks such as creating/revising estimates, wholesale order forms, design recipes, and tracking client payment can be very time consuming and prevents us from being able to do what we want to do – design, be creative and ensure our clients happiness!

But, this problem has now been solved with Lobiloo – the first image-based estimate management solution made for florists, by a florist!

lobiloo

At a price you can afford, Lobiloo allows you to easily create visually inspired estimates for your clients. It has a drag-and-drop interface where you can easily include beautiful images of flowers and hard goods (you can either upload your own or use from the existing database), along with pricing (that can be saved for future estimates), providing your clients with a visually appealing estimate that took you only a fraction of the time to create.

Below are just some of the features of Lobiloo:

-Only $19/month (no contract)
-Saves price per stem as well as prices for hardgoods and rental items
-Compiles wholesale order forms and streamlines cost-outs that ensure profit margins
-Compiles design recipes for you
-Tracks client payments within the estimate
-Creates image-based beautiful estimates

With all of these features, plus great customer service, Lobiloo can save you time and improve your business. Start your free one month trial today!

Watch our introduction video for more details about the platform, how it works and how it can help transform your business:

Intro to Lobiloo from Freeport Metrics on Vimeo.

http://www.lobiloo.com

Lobiloo Software

Hello Flower Friends!

Last year we introduced a new software product called Lobiloo (read the post here). I’ve been talking with its creator Emily and she and her team are interested in hearing more from designers using it as they are constantly working to improve the program. If you have a moment can you please fill out a survey for Emily and her team – Survey Link

floral industry software

PS – Fill out the survey and receive 3 free months of Lobiloo!

Introducing Lobiloo Software for Floral Designers

floral industry software

Have you heard of Lobiloo? I recently learned of this product from its creator, Emily Carter. Emily is a floral designer like the rest of us – she’s been in the floral industry for the past 17 years. Four years ago Emily set out with a programmer friend of hers to create a software program for floral designers with the intention of creating a better way to provide Wedding Estimates for brides. After spending a good amount of time testing out the software product and speaking with Emily I would have to say she has succeeded.

What exactly is Lobiloo? It is a software program that creates beautiful, fast and accurate image-based price estimates for clients. It offers a library of over 2,500 floral images provided by Florabundance with unique finder tools (by season, color, etc.), as well as the capability for florists to upload their own gallery of images of flowers and rental items. The back-end of the software offers a more efficient way to price out each floral design and calculates the final cost. Plus, it calculates the number of stems needed of each flower and creates an order form for your wholesaler. The added option to send the order directly to Florabundance is included with the click of one button!

Also included in the software is the option for your clients to browse the floral images and save their favorites to their Pinterest board which they can share with you during consultations. The clients can only see the floral images in the browse section, your pricing is safely hidden away behind the password protected site.

Lobiloo is hosted online and Emily and her team offer ongoing support for the product should you run into any questions while creating estimates. I would suggest giving the program a try, she is offering a 30 day free trial and after that the price is $29.00 per month.

florist industry software

(this is a product review, it is not a paid advertisement)