Performance Reviews & Goal Setting For Florists Part 2
Last week on the blog, I talked about taking a good look back and celebrating the wins in your business. For me, it’s an energizing and motivating step as I begin a new year.
I like to follow up this exercise with something that helps set the foundation for the new year: performance review and goal setting. This has made a BIG difference in my business, and helps me ensure that I follow up one good year with another great one!
Performance reviews are all about looking at our successes and our failures, our strengths, and our weaknesses, and contemplating the impact they have on our business. Goal setting is about addressing them by setting specific, realistic, and measurable benchmarks to help us improve or modify our performance!
I already started addressing the why of performance review and goal setting, how to work through it without shame, and how to get started with your staff and a self-assessment in part one of this series. If you haven’t checked it out, I recommend starting there!
Today, we’re going to wrap up the topic by discussing the performance of and goals for our product, our network, and our business health.
As I said last time, these are just recommendations! Your business will look different from mine and require different areas of focus. It’s about the practice of performance review and goal setting so customizing for your business reaps the greatest effect.
Additionally, I offer you a lot of examples per topic. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or discouraged, I recommend setting only one goal per category and reminding yourself you have a whole year to work towards meeting it!
So, back to the task at hand. Let’s set some goals!!!
The Performance Review
When assessing your product, think both big picture and in detail. Also, consider the fact that you don’t just sell flower designs, you sell an experience! Ask yourself:
How often did your designs feel successful? Did they look how you envisioned or did you feel disappointed or uncertain when finished? Are you still struggling to master the hand-tie bouquet (hint hint, my new course Bouquet Essentials can help! 😉) installations, the airy centerpiece, and standing sprays?
Did your staff and freelancers create work that represents your brand and business? Are they sufficiently trained in your design style?
Were you frustrated with the quality or selection from your wholesaler? Your work was consistently beautiful, but the product repeatedly had quality issues or lacked inspiration.
Do your vessels, candles, and other inventory match recent trends?
Your design work hits the mark! But do you need to polish other areas such as contracting, email communication, or delivery and set-up?
The Goal Setting
Give yourself a deadline to complete your very specific goal and put it on the calendar with follow up reminders. Having a deadline will help you stay on target. Miss the deadline? That’s ok! Add it to next quarter’s to-do. Here are some good goal examples for 2023:
Schedule quarterly design days for your staff, come up with weekly design challenges + critiques or schedule a team training session to develop your team’s design skills.
Invest in education that works for both you and your team! Consider what will make the highest impact win for the best time investment. Maybe the Bouquet Essentials® course I’m launching this week?
I know this is a challenging time for sourcing but maybe it’s time to try new vendors! Research new wholesalers, farm-direct flowers, and local flower farmers and establish connections before the busy seasons kick off. Alternatively, reconnect with your wholesaler. Maybe your sales representative is not the right fit and there’s someone within the company that better understands your needs and can make more aligned recommendations and substitutions.
Hold an inventory sale and use the $$$$ to buy new containers! Order well in advance to have what you need on hand while avoiding shipping delays.
Invest in new software for contracts/recipe writing, develop email templates for clients, or buy fresh aprons, branded t-shirts, or tools for your team.
The Performance Review
With changing times, our network is truly our net worth! The health of your business may be more dependent on your network than you even realize. Your community can provide you with opportunity, support, and education and it doesn’t just happen naturally, it takes intention to build. Consider:
Do you feel like you get passed over for local opportunities because your name isn’t out there enough?
Do you have healthy, collaborative relationships with other vendors in your local market?
Do you have other designers that you can seek industry-specific advice from?
Do you want to attend industry-wide conferences or events, but never made time for them?
The Goal Setting
It can be easier than you think to build up your network with a little bit of work and if you can’t get away (although I highly recommend face-to-face networking!), a lot of opportunities can be found from the comfort of your home. Here are some ideas to get your started:
Regularly engage and support other vendors on social media! Build relationships with likes, comments, shares and messages. It’s a valid way of getting to know each other and it’s a free way to help other small businesses out!
Participate in free Facebook florist forums or even a subscription-based community. Share your knowledge, and learn even more from others! Start to build relationships with designers across the nation and world.
Drop the competitiveness with the other local designers. Let’s be real, if you’re in a crisis, who better to help you than the florist in your backyard? Go in together on an Accent Decor haul, making it easier to reach that minimum or afford that freight! Invite them out for coffee and commiserate over flower prices. Build up some good rapport that way when you need an extra Harlow stand, you know who to call! And, be sure to return the favor. You also never know when you may need to call on emergency design help…this community connection, even small, can be a lifesaver.
Host (or even co-host!) a casual mixer at your house/studio or schedule quarterly coffee/cocktail hours and invite other florists or local professionals you would like to work with! If only two people show up, even better! Starting small and making an effort in your community can reap major rewards for all involved.
Attend AIFD or SAF events in your area or local state organization events (like the Texas State Floral Expo which I’ll be teaching at this year). Meet designers in a variety of floral design fields and skill levels. Seek out new ideas, new education, and new products. The relationships you make might afford you new opportunities you hadn’t even considered!
Your Business Health
It’s kind of funny to extract this as its own component. I mean, the whole thing is about your business, right? Well, as I’ve said, you can organize your goals any which way you please! While it’s worth acknowledging that all goal setting is to the benefit of our business, I find it helpful to make the distinction in order to focus on the success of an overall business.
Here is where to sort out the big-picture vision for a business, whether that’s financial, values, or a growth benchmark.
The Performance Review
Is your business growing or has it plateaued? Is a bigger business even right for you with your life and lifestyle? Maybe scaling down is the right move or even closing up and considering that full-time freelance life?
Are you meeting your revenue goals? Heck – have you even set any??? And are they aligned with how much you actually want to work? Do you really need to take that NYE wedding or do you need to go away with your family?
The BIG QUESTION: is your business aligned with your goals and your values? If not, you can change it. Start today.
The Goal Setting
Schedule a chat with a business coach, or even with your family, your business partner, your staff, or another small-business owner. Determine what kind of business is right for your life, your family, and in your community. Hold that front and center in your decision-making this year.
Leverage social media, collaborations, and email-marketing to grow your business. Take time to take pictures of your beautiful designs and put them out there! Circle back with photographers, get those photos, and update your portfolio and website to attract clientele. This is so often overlooked but is often what is needed to meet those bigger goals. It deserves the time and attention needed!
Review your financials from the last few years and set a realistic revenue goal for 2023 based on what makes sense for you and your family.
It can be hard to take that look in the mirror and see where we need to make strides and changes but, in doing so, we ensure that we reshape our performance to be more aligned with what is right for us! Performance review and goal setting help us build an intentional and healthy business, one that serves the people we employ, the customers we design for, the community we participate in, and ourselves. I’m so proud of you for engaging in this hard work! If you need a cheerleader, feel free to reach out @thefloralcoach or here in the comments! I’d love to hear your goals for 2023.