Red White & Bloom will initially target two key audiences within one geographic market:
Affluent businessmen who work in Midtown and Downtown Atlanta: They are ideal candidates for an automatic, fresh flower delivery program that will help them keep romance alive with their spouses or significant others. The concept involves establishing flower arrangements as a way to foster romance, and the company will target men with higher levels of discretionary income who are more accustomed to spending money on loved ones. With Red White & Bloom's floral delivery program, these men will never have to worry about missing a loved one's special day (anniversary, birthday, holiday) and fresh flowers will also be promoted as a way to say "I Love You" on any day of the year. Also, instead of delivering flowers to a woman at home, Red White & Bloom will deliver flowers to the man who works in Midtown/Downtown Atlanta, and let him reap the benefits of delivering the flowers to his loved one in person. To address the inconvenience of transporting flower arrangements from work to home, Red White & Bloom will develop special packaging to keep containers upright and spillproof. This packaging will be well branded with the company's logo, and will serve as an additional marketing vehicle once delivered to a customer's workplace (office building).
Midtown and Downtown Atlanta: These are prime areas from which to attract a handful of commercial accounts that require weekly floral arrangements. Downtown Atlanta alone, defined as a four-square mile area centered near the intersection of Peachtree Street and Andrew Young International Blvd, is home to more than 136,000 employees daily. Almost half of the dozen Fortune 500 firms headquartered in Atlanta are either headquartered downtown or have a major office presence downtown. More than 6,500 banks, hotels, large corporations, law firms, upscale restaurants, and consulate/foreign trade offices are located in this defined area, and these businesses are prime candidate for weekly floral arrangements for their lobbies and/or reception areas.
The main selling points for buyers will be twofold: peace of mind for the male customer, that is, never worrying about missing a loved one's special day, and customized services for commercial accounts, including long-lasting arrangements designed to accent a specific business' decor and delivered routinely based on an established frequency (weekly, bi-monthly).
Because Red White & Bloom will not seek traditional retail customers, the company plans to locate in an area of Atlanta close to its downtown clients, but without the price tag of downtown retail space. Red White & Bloom plans to open a small gallery with warehouse workspace in Castleberry Hill, an up-and-coming arts district located approximately one mile from downtown Atlanta. The Castleberry Hill Arts District is currently home to several distinctive galleries, included Skot Forman Fine Art, the Marcia Wood Gallery, the Ty Stokes Gallery, 3TEN Haustudio, and the Wolf Fisher Gallery. In addition, the well-established Atlanta-based speciality furniture store, No Mas! Productions, plans to relocate its main store to the Castleberry Hill area, and create a distinctive destination shopping area for metro Atlanta shoppers. As a floral design gallery, Red White & Bloom will blend perfectly into this neighborhood, and can possibly secure some of the art galleries and stores - and their customers - as its own clients. During the first five years of operation, the company does not anticipate enough retail neighborhood foot traffic to generate desired revenue, but Red White & Bloom would be open to the public six days a week, and would offer a frequent buying program for residents.
Red White & Bloom plans to open in March, occupying approximately 600 square feet. Approximately one-third of the space would be allocated for retail use, and the other two-thirds would be used for workspace and storage. At this time, there are no other planned florists in the Castleberry Hill area.
Free parking is available for the shoppers who visit the area; however, the majority of Red White & Bloom's revenue will come from routinely delivered floral arrangements outside of the Castleberry Hill area.
Atlanta is served by a large international airport, and access to imported flowers is excellent. Several of the city's largest floral warehouses are located nearby: Hall's (less than three miles); Cutflower Warehouse (less than six miles); and Floral Park (less than three miles). Red White & Bloom will also use the Internet to purchase from wholesalers throughout the country who offer a wide variety of flowers throughout the year and can drop ship directly to a retail florist.
The exterior of a florist shop is estimated to account for the attraction of 35% of all customers. While short term the company will not have a large amount of retail walk-in traffic, Red White & Bloom will still create an inviting storefront, one designed to be distinctive and inviting, including:
Red White & Bloom will be open for operation Monday - Saturday, and closed on Sunday and on major holidays. Hours of operation will be 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday, and from noon - 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Hours may be extended during the holidays.
Owner Jamie Muir, who has more than 14 years of experience in corporate marketing and has trained as a florist, will create floral arrangements and run the business (manage operations, inventories, marketing and sales). She will engage the services of a part-time delivery person, and, for certain floral-intensive holidays, may employ temporary staffing.
The company will invest in customer relationship management software (CRM) and a simple point of sales (POS) system to track sales and collect customer information, including names, address, e-mail address and other pertinent information (pets, flower likes/dislikes, color preferences, allergies, birthday, anniversary). This information will be used with e-mail and direct mail efforts to build custom marketing programs, establish customer loyalty and drive revenue. The company will offer a 24-hour return/exchange policy to build trust with customers and to maintain retention and loyalty.
Working capital, cash sufficient to cover build out costs in the second month, and long-term assets (such as refrigeration units) will make up the majority of the start-up requirements. Start-up expenses, which are detailed in this section, comprise the remaining 12% at $11,600.
As detailed in Sources and Uses of Funds, Red White & Bloom requires $95,000 to soundly begin operations and have suitable cash reserves for a start-up company. Jamie Muir has secured a loan for $45,000, and is seeking additional funding.
Sources & Uses of Funds
The following chart recaps the sources and uses of funds for Red White & Bloom:
|Jamie Muir: Loan (secured)|
|Other Sources (unsecured)|
|Credit for Build out|
*Description of Asset
2-Line Phone System
POS System & Software
Laptop PC Computer
Accounting & Credit Card Software
5 ft x10 ft Walk-In Cooler
Red White & Bloom is an S-corporation, and is majority-owned by Jamie Muir.