Red, White & Bloom
“If, at any time, it comes into my head, that a present is due from me to somebody, I am puzzled what to give, until the opportunity is gone.” Ralph Waldo Emerson “Gifts,” Essays, Second Series (1844).
In the 160 years since Emerson made this statement, certain things haven’t changed: some of the most successful businessmen still have trouble purchasing gifts – especially flowers – for their wives, fiancées or girl friends. While some things don’t change, fortunately others – such as technology that can make the gift-giving process easier – do.
Red White & Bloom believes there is an opportunity to use technology to make it simple for male executives to easily purchase custom flower arrangements, with delivery on days they determine in advance, for their loved ones. The company plans to approach its goal short term by targeting affluent executive businessmen in Midtown and Downtown Atlanta for a very upscale, Frequent Flower Gift Program and, long term, to debut the city’s first floral art gallery in a neighborhood that is building its name as the next major arts community in Atlanta. Red White & Bloom will differ from traditional florists by cultivating personal relationships through the use of technology and marketing, offering a gift program that makes purchasing flowers easy (and forgetting special dates a thing of the past), and delivering exceptional customer service. Ideally the company plans to open its gallery in March in Castleberry Hill, one of Atlanta’s historic loft neighborhoods that is less than one mile from Downtown Atlanta.
The company anticipates modest first year total revenue with the opportunity to increase Year Two revenue dramatically because of Valentine’s Day sales (excluded in Year One due to a March opening). Additional revenue growth should stem from the maturing Castleberry Hill area as a destination shopping district. At the time of opening the Castleberry Hill area will have approximately 1,500 residents. Studies indicate that a population of 10,000 is necessary to support a traditional retail florist; therefore, it is important to point out that Red White & Bloom will not be a typical retail florist. In Years One to Three of Red White & Bloom’s development, the company will not depend on retail traffic, but will instead use technology and savvy marketing programs to target ideal, repeat buyers (individuals and commercial accounts) in the more than 1,500 targeted businesses in Midtown and Downtown Atlanta office buildings.
With the anticipated expansion of Castleberry Hill as an arts district for leading Atlanta galleries, along with continued projected commercial and residential growth for the downtown area by Central Atlanta Progress, the Castleberry Hill location presents steady growth opportunities for Red White & Bloom. The company is forecasting conservative, yet healthy, revenue projections for Years Two and Three. If the company manages to this plan, revenues should consistently reach over $170,000 each additional year.
Red White & Bloom is an S-Corporation started by Jamie Muir, who is the majority owner.
Red White & Bloom will use technology to identify and serve an ideal target audience within a five-mile radius of Castleberry Hill. The company will use sophisticated marketing techniques to secure a core clientele of executive businessmen and corporate accounts, and will differentiate from other traditional retail and on-line florists by offering Frequent Flower Gift Programs with personalized service (e.g., customers can select the specific delivery dates) and custom floral designs (e.g., customers can specify flowers, colors, scents, etc.).
Red White & Bloom is dedicated to operating with a constant enthusiasm for learning, being open to implementing new ideas, and maintaining a willingness to adapt to evolving market conditions.
1.2 Keys to Success
- Using technology to develop loyal, frequently-buying male clients instead of traditional, walk-in retail shoppers.
- Designing and selling innovative, high quality fresh flower arrangements using a variety of design styles, flowers, and containers.
- Creating a storefront that resembles an art gallery, with fresh, avant-garde floral arrangements displayed like art (and always for sale).
- Offering additional products, including gourmet chocolates and original artwork from local artists.
- Communicating with potential customers through direct mail, print advertising and an easy-to-use website.
- Offering complimentary in-store events, such as book signings, cheese tastings, and art showings, that coincide with other neighborhood gallery openings.
- Generate healthy total revenue of $79,600 in Year One.
- Maintain an average direct cost of sales 40% or lower, and a high gross margin.
- Build pricing programs based on the assumption of 10% profit.
- Increase sales approximately 72% in Year Two and 21% in Year Three.*
*Note: Red White & Bloom will open after Valentine’s Day and Easter/Passover in Year One. The large percentage increase in Year Two reflects a full 12-months of revenue (versus 10 months in Year One), the benefit of one year of marketing, and the inclusion of Valentine’s Day and Easter/Passover. Valentine’s Day alone typically accounts for one third of a florist’s yearly revenue.