If you followed me on Instagram for a while you probably know I love nature, plants, and flowers. My tiny office has 5 house plants at the moment and I almost always have some fresh flowers on my desk.
When I came across Beards & Daisies I knew I had to follow them. I love the combination of pretty flower bouquets and plants, I bought a bouquet for myself the week I first went full-time in my business and it lasted for so much longer than the bouquets I usually get from the supermarket or a local wholesale place. The only other time my flowers have lasted this long has been when I went to Covent Garden flower market super early one morning a few years ago.
Plants are a fairly new addition to the Beards & Daisies offering and the range of pots to go with the plants has really grown over the last few months and therefore I wanted to hear from Jo how she finds her suppliers and if she has some tips for you all.
How do you find new suppliers?
Instagram has been an awesome place for finding new suppliers of plant pots for our collection of indoor house plants and chocolate and other gift options to accompany our letterbox and hand-tied bouquets. I generally follow their accounts for quite some time and then make a purchase or two for myself so I'm certain I'm a fan first. I visit a couple of trade shows per year along with visiting some smaller creative Indy markets hoping to find new and less discovered makers.
What makes you say yes to a new supplier?
Turnaround time and the ability to produce larger volumes are important as we have huge peaks for Valentine's Day and Mother's Day that is actually far bigger than Christmas for our industry. Margin and pricing are so important as our suppliers are always providing us with an 'add-on' to accompany the plant or flowers so whilst we're trying to increase the AOV (average order value) it needs to not be excessive or we'll alienate the customer and lose the order.
What makes a supplier a good supplier?
Building a relationship always makes it easier to having a successful business relationship so getting an opportunity to meet face to face is fab. It makes the feedback process of what's working and what's not along more simple and it's always wonderful catching up with other small business owners, isn't it!
What do you find the most challenging being a small business owner?
Oh, the loneliness! I came from a relatively large corporate structure with all the support from finance, marketing, planning, etc, and a host of peers to bounce ideas off and ask for their feedback. Not to mention the opportunity to receive so much investment in my own personal growth and development... And then you go solo... Networking has been quite revolutionary for me. You need to try a few to find the right ones to be honest but I've found them to be so supportive and inspiring being surrounded by like-minded women. I only wish I had done it sooner.
Do you have any advice for someone who's thinking about wholesale?
Build a relationship first with potential suppliers which is always easier with natural engagement on social media which can take weeks. You're much more likely to get a response to your first email this way rather than cold calling/emailing. I've been amazed by the opportunities networking has brought which I didn't expect, the contacts of someone who knows someone... Whether it's something simple like a good photographer or putting you in touch with a supplier that is perfect for your brand.
I found it so interesting to read Jo's tip on using social media to engage with potential stockists before getting in touch as this is the topic of my next blog post for the Small and Mighty Co coming in March. UPDATE: Link here
For your next plant or flower purchase go and have a look at the Beards & Daisies range and support a fellow small business in building their dream. Jo also runs a competition on Instagram on Wednesdays called "Guess the Plant" it's really fun and I always try to enter.
If you're interested in working with me, send me an email to discover how I can help you. If you have any feedback or any topic you would like me to cover please also get in touch. I also share tips every week on my Instagram account.
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