September 7, 2019

List Making for the Greater Good

I have been thinking quite a lot this week about the direction I want to take my business. There are so many options out there—particularly as a Farmer Florist—and so far I feel like I have trying a little bit of several different things. However, I think for my business to grow and really take off, I need to get very specific with my vision for it. Where I want it to go, what I want to specialize in—find my niche and put all my efforts toward making it work. 

Hence, the list making. Yesterday I sat down and wrote out several Pros and Cons lists, regarding different areas I could focus on. Do you want to know the titles?

Okay, here they are:

Every Day Flowers

Wedding Flowers (floral design)

Farming Flowers (in general)

Wholesale Flowers (me growing them and selling them to florists wholesale)

U-pick Flowers

Landscape Design

* * *

To start with, I’m trying to figure out where I am on the Farmer-Florist spectrum. Mostly a grower who does floral design to support my plant habit? Or mostly a designer who grows my own flowers to give my designs that special something? The past year and a half I’ve been trying to just do both—all of everything. To be really honest, I feel like a lot of things have fallen through the cracks that way.

So another list I need to make is one that includes all the things that need to be done for this business to run well. I’m talking everything from seed starting to Instagram posts, from sending out invoices to refreshing my booth at the Morgan Mercantile. (The booth is actually a whole list of its own right there. I feel like it’s sort of a separate beast and I need to figure out how best to use it as a support and marketing tool for my flowers.)

Then with that list in hand, figure out which stuff is the best use of my time and then…what to do about the rest of it. Hire it out if I can, or narrow my focus, or possibly hire an employee.

I am only one person, doing this part time while also mothering 4 kids. I am realizing more and more that this business I have taken on is really 2 separate full-time jobs, and trying to figure out how to mesh them together has been a challenge for me at times. For instance, last month when I was working on wedding flowers, most of my outside chores pretty much got put on hold. I did the very basics, but most of my free time was spent doing wedding flowers—planning, pricing, purchasing, prepping, creating, etc. This month I have spent more time outside in this first week than I did all last month.

Another consideration along those lines: farming is very seasonal—around here it’s April to September. So if I am going to focus on mostly farming, then that has got to be my go time, with some rest/slow down throughout the winter months. The problem is that summers are also when all of my children are home from school and need supervision, outings, refereeing, attention, all the food, etc. As a floral designer, however, most of the bigger events that people want flowers for are in the winter months: school dances, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, etc. Floral design goes all year, but tends to slow down in the summer—if you’re not doing weddings.

So, a lot to think about. Once I make a few decisions along these lines, I need to update my business plan and narrow in on my ideal client, then make my marketing and day-to-day use of time follow suit.

Do you write lists to help you figure things out? Tell me about a recent list you’ve made!

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