Monday, March 30, 2009

UPFA Members at the Design Show

UPFA members Callister imports hosted a design show with Hitomi Gilliam on March 29, 2009. Here are a few of our members who were in attendance:

Monday, March 2, 2009

March 2009 President's Message

Valentines has come and gone, with it there have been several positive reviews about sales and some a little less encouraging. I feel that many of you took to heart the current financial situation and planned accordingly. By doing so you were prepared and fared well. Those of you who did not prepare, I hear have a very grim out look. At times like this I think it's better to prepare and fight then to sit and sink. Take some time today to look at 4 areas of your business that can always be improved and must always be monitored for success.

Make it Sparkle: Get into the showroom and clean it up. Products that have not sold and are showing wear, discount and get them out. Use some elbow grease and give your showroom a good cleaning, like your mother would do. When customers come in things will look fresh, and clean, creating a positive image for your store.

Make it Sell: Look at your current buying patterns and eliminate things you "love" that are not selling. Whether its plants, gifts or fresh flowers, now is the time to keep your inventory moving so you have cash flow. Purchase only those things that move regularly or that you can use in multiple ways. Are you planning your flower purchases against actual flower sales to minimize waste? Do you have policies in place that encourage your sales staff to sell the flowers you have available, and do they know what they should be selling?

Make some Sales: Take a look at all those business cards of people you said you would contact or would like to do business with and do it. You never know what will become of that relationship until you try. Networking is a great FREE way to get the word out about your shop. Also call your member wholesalers and see what unique special you can offer. And then be sure to give people a reason to buy. My sign is going to read: Recession Free Bouquet 9.99. Return on Investment: Beauty=100%, Joy=100% Smiles=100%.

Trim the Fat: Are there some things, services or staff positions you can cut? Could you have the windows washed every other month? Are there phone lines that could be eliminated? Is the really "fun" designer producing enough to make money? Each shop is different and each has unique areas which may be in need of improvement. As you examine your shop, consider the annual savings that a combination of small improvements will provide. Sometimes these changes and cuts may require you to do a little bit more work personally, but it could mean the difference in you being here in 6 months or not.

I have found that little changes can have big results. If you are not sure how or where to start, call me or another talented board member. I always come away from board meetings with new ways that I can improve. I know any one of the board members would be willing to share their wisdom with you.

Warm Regards,
Tracy Barlow AIFD, UPFA President