Please allow me to be personal for a moment: Choice and flexibility are ideals that are near and dear to my heart. As a business owner I always try to position our companies to be nimble and agile (at the risk of borrowing an over-abused term). As a husband and father I always want to be able to change course to benefit my family. As a web guy, I know the need is ever-present to investigate the latest technology options and operational best practices.
The ideal of Choice is one of the key aspects of Florists for Change that first gave me confidence that this venture might have some staying power, and wasn’t just another group of self-sympathizers seeking to point fingers or define a limited conformist view on how to be successful. On the first day of the first meetings, it was clearly stated that FFC was about providing the best options to florists and allowing each business owner to operate in the manner that suited them best. Some 100% independent, some retaining a degree of Wire Service affiliation, some relying on the WSs for the majority of their tech and marketing. If it’s profitable for you, then you as the business owner have the right to choose without condemnation or ridicule.
Of course, we are all finite beings: limited hours in a day, days in a life, limited resources, budgets and manpower. Part of exercising choice is deciding what not to do, and what not to pursue.
For example, you can choose to place new emphasis on a portion of your business that is already a small slice of revenue and continuing to decline. Or, you can focus on new tools to give your customers what they actually want while further defining your brand.
You can choose to make impulsive decisions to acquire new gadgets or tech because they sound cool to you in the moment… or, you can focus on making sure your website is primed for the 30-50% of your web traffic that already comes from mobile devices by adopting proven tactics like Responsive Design.
You can add new features to your business that may or may not provide some incremental revenue – just be sure to consider the operational costs and the opportunity costs, as you can only upsell so much with each order.
You can add an unending stream of marginally useful and slow loading features to your website, or, you can choose to emphasize speed, efficiency and user experience for the majority of your current and future customers. (Remember, your problems are not their problems; remember who pays your bills.)
At Florist 2.0, we have chosen to emphasize the following:
- Responsive Design for the absolute best mobile experience (30-50% of your web traffic)
- Custom website design to reinforce your brand
- Overbuying on server resources to avoid the holiday slowdown
- Constant optimization of code, design, images and hosting
- Building features that Real Florists need and will use
- Placing retail customer experience ahead of personal agendas
- Expanding our range of marketing services with options that will benefit the majority of florists
- Focus on our core competencies, and not try to be experts at things like POS systems and florist-to-florist networks
In the end, this means we won’t be selling or supporting fancy wireless printers, we won’t be building you an all-Flash website, won’t be aggregating products from out of town third-party websites, we won’t be cranking out national OG sites, and we will miss out on some sales to florists who are content to purchase unbrandable template sites.
And I’m ok with that.
Cross-posted from the Florist 2.0 blog.