Red, White & Bloom

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Florist Business Plan

Strategy and Implementation Summary

According to the first American Express/RoperASW Global Affluent Study (October 2003), about half of high-income consumers around the world would choose to have more time in their lives than more money. Red White & Bloom's goal is to facilitate this desire by creating marketing messages that emphasize being able to spend more time with love ones by: automating the flower arrangement buying process, fostering romance with the consistent delivery of flowers, and eliminating the worry of ever missing a loved one's special day. The company's intention is to gain market share with niche positioning, high quality products and, eventually, a unique shopping experience in an arts gallery district. The following sections review the various strategies that will support this effort.

5.1 Competitive Edge

Red White & Bloom will differ from traditional florists by creating customer intimacy based on personalized relationships that will save its male customers time and reduce anxiety often associated with the gift buying process. The company will achieve this goal by:

  • Using technology to make the floral buying experience easy for customers and, at the same time, enable the company to identify and track its customer base.
  • Creating a new fresh flower arrangement buying experience for customers - Atlanta's first floral art gallery.
  • Offering exquisite, artistic arrangements.
  • Offering additional self-indulging products, including original artwork and gourmet chocolates.
  • Building a customer database that identifies contact information as well as preferences (colors, vases, frequency, allergies, pets, children/spouse, birthday, anniversary, etc.).
  • Adopting proactive customer service policies, for example, contacting each Frequent Flower Gift Program Member by phone call or e-mail within 48 hours of a scheduled delivery, and calling commercial clients after each delivery to ensure satisfaction.

As part of the definition process, it's important to outline what Red White & Bloom is not. Unlike traditional florists, the company will not offer:

  • FTD or Teleflora wire services. By recreating arrangements defined by another organization, this approach limits creativity.
  • Weddings. Floral services for weddings are a specialty area. To remain focused on its Frequent Flower Gift Program objectives, Red White & Bloom may choose to refer potential wedding clients to other Atlanta florists.
  • Funerals. Floral services for funerals are a specialty area. To remain focused on its Frequent Flower Gift Program objectives, Red White & Bloom may choose to refer potential funeral clients to other Atlanta florists.
  • Balloons or stuffed animals.
  • Atlanta-wide delivery services. Red White & Bloom will cater to Midtown and Downtown businesses, residents and workers.

5.2 Marketing Strategy

Overall Strategy
It's a widely-held thought that there are not too many florists in this country - there are too many florists who are the same. A florist with a well-defined niche business can thrive. Red White & Bloom's marketing strategy is to develop a specialized, independent niche business that centers around Frequent Flower Gift Programs and features quality products, custom designs and outstanding personalized customer service.

Marketing Objectives
Red White & Bloom needs to establish a reputation as an automatic, easy way to buy flowers and foster romance with loved ones, specifically with affluent men who work in Midtown and Downtown Atlanta. A measurable and specific objective includes initiating marketing efforts in the fall of 2004, and having a minimum of 25 male clients in a Frequent Flower Gift Program at the time of the store's opening in March 2005.

Red White & Bloom needs to establish itself as a creative source for retail and office tenants in Midtown and Downtown Atlanta that need weekly flower arrangements. Measurable and specific objectives are to have five offices signed up for weekly deliveries by the time of the store's opening.

Red White & Bloom needs to establish brand recognition to attract local shoppers who will eventually visit Castleberry Hill as a destination shopping area. Given the district's art galleries, a measurable and specific objective includes having a least one local gallery as a client within one month of the store's opening.

Positioning
Red White & Bloom offers an upscale Frequent Flower Gift Program targeted to affluent businessmen, featuring custom, high-quality floral arrangements and personalized service. Additionally, the company plans to create a unique shopping experience with its floral design gallery, which is located in an up-and-coming arts district area.

Marketing Mix
As outlined previously in this business plan, Red White & Bloom plans to serve three markets:

  1. Primary: Businessmen who work in Midtown and Downtown Atlanta.
  2. Secondary: Businesses in the same area.
  3. Tertiary: Residents of Castleberry Hill.

The company's marketing efforts will focus on targeting men, and as a by-product of deliveries and promotional giveaway programs, the company plans to secure commercial accounts. Residential clients will stem from word of mouth and visibility of Red White & Bloom to neighborhood pedestrian and automotive traffic. The overall market approach involves creating brand awareness through targeted advertising, public relations and a website; and generating leads through co-marketing efforts with select venues, traditional direct mail/e-mail and events.

Primary Market: Businessmen Who Work in Midtown & Downtown Atlanta

Why should men subscribe to a frequent delivery program from Red White & Bloom?

  • To foster romance with regular floral gifts for spouse/significant others.
  • To eliminate "forgetting" about birthdays, anniversaries and other special dates.
  • To be able to spend more time with loved ones and less time shopping for loved ones.
  • Personalized service.
  • Easy and convenient.
  • Quality flowers and unique floral arrangements.
  • One-of-a-kind gourmet chocolate available in addition to flowers.
  • Free deliveries.

Other Markets

Why should commercial tenants buy from Red White & Bloom?

  • Easy and convenient.
  • Custom floral plan for each business.
  • Quality flowers and unique floral arrangements.
  • Frequent delivery program available.
  • Free in-office/store consulting service available.
  • Gourmet chocolate available as corporate gifts (for delivery).

Why should local residents buy from Red White & Bloom?

  • Easy and convenient.
  • Unique shopping experience.
  • Quality flowers and unique floral arrangements.
  • Frequent delivery program available.
  • In home consulting available.
  • Free neighborhood deliveries - discount for pickups.
  • GOURMET chocolate.
  • Event floral services (parties) available to local residents only.
  • Support a local merchant.

Strategy
For businessmen who work in Midtown & Downtown Atlanta in select industries, Red White & Bloom will emphasize services (Forget-Me-Not Club) to keep romance and love alive.

Tactics

  1. Make giving flowers to loved ones an effortless, automatic process.
  2. Make the flower buying experience fun and easy.
  3. Make flowers a habit by encouraging men to take flowers home routinely, not just for special occasions.
  4. Shift the flower buying responsibility from women to men.

Programs

Public Relations
While the company will primarily target men with its advertising efforts, it will target women in an effort to educate women about the Frequent Buyer Program, and the women may encourage their spouses/fiancées/significant others to participate.

  • Announce the store's Grand Opening and the availability of services.
  • Issue at least one press release per quarter to local newspapers.
  • Target Atlanta publications for possible feature stores (one per story per quarter).
  • Press List: Around the Rings, Atlanta Downtown, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Atlanta Intown & The Studio Arts/Culture, Atlanta Jewish Life, Atlanta Jewish Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Home/Living Sections, Business Section), Atlanta Magazine, Atlanta Press, Atlanta Woman, Communities Magazine, Creative Loafing - Atlanta Edition, David Atlanta, Designer's Handbook, Dixie Living, Hotlanta Buzz, Jezebel Magazine, Northside Newspaper, Peachtree's Symbol of the South, The Piedmont Review, Post Notes, Southern Changes, Southern Lifestyles, Southern Living, Veranda, Westside Atlanta, Where Atlanta, Zoom.

Advertising
The advertising program will explicitly target men.

  • Develop a 1/8 page, one-color ad for routine insertions in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the sports page and/or the business page of The Atlanta Journal & Constitution.
  • Start ads in the fall of 2004 to build awareness and to generate business (in the form of gift certificates) for Christmas and Hanukkah.

Co-marketing Efforts

  • Investigate contacting Peachtree Center Athletic Club, located in Downtown Atlanta, as a possible business partner. Offer free bi-monthly  floral arrangements in exchange for the opportunity to market to club members (which includes businessmen).

Direct Mail/Postcards

  • Develop a list of potential clients for routine communications about holiday specials and frequent buyer/gift programs.
  • Push users to a website that will enable them to see sample designs, read about the Forget-Me-Not Club, and complete a form to request a free phone consultation.

E-Mail

  • Buy/develop an e-mail list for routine communications about holiday specials and frequent buyer programs.
  • Push users to a website that will enable them to sign-up for a free phone consultation.

Marketing Materials
Develop a consistent look and feel for all corporate collateral, including:

  • Comment cards - collect name, addresses, e-mail, plus feedback on services.
  • One-page brochure describing Frequent Flower Buyer Programs.
  • Stationery - business cards, letterhead, envelopes.
  • Gift cards.
  • Packaging - develop no-spill packaging to make it easy to transport flowers and use all packaging for branding opportunities for Red White & Bloom logo and website.

Website

  • Highlight frequent flower program (for individuals and businesses), enable visitors to schedule a free phone consultation, spotlight the floral design gallery and any local gallery events. Photos will change monthly.

For Commercial Accounts:
Identify 20 initial top retail and office prospects, especially new businesses in Centennial Park. Identify the primary buyer at each location, and deliver a free arrangement as a way of introduction.

  • Network with store and office managers by researching and joining three key local business groups. 

For Local Residents

  • Grand Opening Reception (April 2005).
  • Hold Floral Design Gallery Shows in conjunction with other Gallery Openings in the neighborhood.

To keep costs down, events will be promoted using in-store signs (three-month forward-looking Calendar of Events), press releases and the company website.

5.3 Sales Strategy

Direct Sales

Today, over 90% of Americans cite word-of-mouth as one of the best sources of ideas and information. Word-of-mouth is rated as important as advertising or editorial content, and Americans place one-and-a-half times more value on it today than they did 25 years ago. (Source: RoperASW, 2003). Red White & Bloom plans to foster direct sales by offering an exceptional level of personalized service to male executives in order to build loyalty, and ultimately, word-of-mouth referrals to their peers:

  • The company will keep a database of customer names, addresses, e-mail addresses and preferences. This information will be used for e-mail and direct mail efforts to build customer loyalty.

  • The company will offer a 24-hour return/exchange policy to build trust with our customers and maintain retention and loyalty.

Indirect Sales/Partner Opportunities

With its strategy of not offering special event or funeral arrangements, Red White & Bloom has an opportunity establish a referral service and partner with several key florists who can provide such floral services. The company would collect a flat percentage of each referral sale, with the sum payable at the end of each month.

5.3.1 Sales Forecast

2005 SALES FORECAST ASSUMPTIONS (MARCH 1 OPENING)

Type

Frequency 

Per Year

Retail

$150 (x 44 weeks)

$6,600

Commercial Accounts

$750 (x 44 weeks)

$33,000

Frequent Flower Gift Program

$600 x 50 customers

$30,000

Holidays/Events

Christmas

$10,000

 

 

$79,600

The estimates above equate to approximately six deliveries per week for the Frequent Flower Gift Program, and five deliveries per week for Commercial Accounts.  

2006 SALES FORECAST ASSUMPTIONS

Type

Frequency 

Per Year

Retail

$200 per week

$9,600

Commercial Accounts

$1200 per week

$57,600

Frequent Flower Gift Program

$600 x 75 customers

$45,000

Holidays/Events

Christmas/Valentine's Day/Mother's Day/Easter

$25,000

 

 

$137,200

The estimates above equate to approximately nine deliveries per week for the Frequent Flower Gift Program, and eight deliveries per week for Commercial Accounts. 

2007 SALES FORECAST ASSUMPTIONS

Type

Frequency 

Per Year

Retail

$200 per week

$9,600

Commercial Accounts

$1500 per week

$72,000

Frequent Flower Gift Program

$600 x 100 customers

$60,000

Holidays/Events

Christmas/Valentine's Day/Mother's Day/Easter

$25,000

 

 

$173,600

The estimates above equate to approximately twelve deliveries per week for the Frequent Flower Gift Program, and ten deliveries per week for Commercial Accounts. This sales activity level represents the maximum amount of clients that Red White & Bloom can handle without adding another full-time floral designer and a full-time driver. 

Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Sales
Retail Sales $6,600 $9,600 $9,600
Commercial Accounts $33,000 $57,600 $72,000
Frequent Buyer Programs $30,000 $45,000 $60,000
Holidays/Events $10,000 $25,000 $25,000
Total Sales $79,600 $137,200 $166,600
Direct Cost of Sales Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Flowers & Materials $23,880 $41,160 $49,830
Other $0 $0 $0
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $23,880 $41,160 $49,830

5.4 Milestones

The following table lists important store milestones, with dates, implementation duty, and budgets for each. The milestone schedule emphasizes the timeliness for implementation per the sales and marketing targets listed in the detail in the previous topics.

Milestones
Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Define Marketing Programs & Collateral 5/1/2004 7/31/2004 $3,500 Jamie Web
Locate & Secure Retail Space 1/1/2004 10/1/2004 $500 Jamie Marketing
Finalize Marketing Materials 7/31/2004 10/1/2004 $2,500 Jamie Department
Secure Additional Funding 9/1/2003 12/1/2004 $0 Jamie Web
Begin Retail Space Buildout Process 1/15/2005 3/1/2005 $18,000 Jamie Department
Finalize Media Plan 8/30/2004 3/1/2005 $0 Jamie Marketing
Release Press Announcements 10/15/2004 3/15/2005 $0 Jamie Marketing
Purchase Inventory & Supplies 3/1/2005 3/15/2005 $1,500 Jamie Marketing
Launch Website 10/1/2004 4/15/2005 $0 Jamie Department
Grand Opening 4/15/2005 4/15/2005 Part of Mktg Jamie Marketing
Kickoff Advertising Program 11/1/2004 6/1/2005 $5,000 Jamie Marketing
Totals $31,000