What is a key to a successful business? Entrepreneurs have different ideas, good and bad and a most of them try to figure out how to sell their idea. The key question is: Does target client actually need what you’re trying to sell?
I have been asked to choose a traditional business model and discuss what would need to change in order to innovate. I was not sure what to pick, initially thinking about big companies and structures. Afterwards, I thought about the visit I made to my sister last week and our conversation about her current business struggles and ideas. I was sure that would be a perfect example for this task.
My sister and her friend decided to open their own floral design company, they started a couple of months ago. For now, they are a home-based business in Nuneaton, England, which distributes handcrafted work to their clients.
Firstly, what is a business model?
‘A business model describes the rationale of how an organisation creates, delivers and captures value’ A. Osterwalder, Y Pigneur (p.14)
Simply saying, it’s an explanation of how a business delivers value to their customers at an appropriate cost!
The value of our products is the key to success. I started to wonder, what kind of problems can we solve through flowers, if any? This is what I find the most difficult when it comes to promoting and selling arts, whether it’s dance, paintings or flowers. It seems like we can live without them, therefore it’s not a basic need and they usually are at the bottom of our shopping lists. Then I took myself as an example, how often do I buy fresh flowers or flower compositions? The answer is disappointing – almost never. I would if I had my own house and I wanted to make it look beautiful and original. After a while I realised there are fresh flowers in my house quite often. Who buys them then? My boyfriend!
To understand how business operates, I created the business model canvas with current services that they offer and I applied some changes they could incorporate in order to achieve a more successful business.
One of the struggles the Moresque Floral Design is currently facing is lack of marketing. People simply don’t know they exist. I thought it would be a good idea to organise DIY workshops where people could come to make their own compositions with a professional help and be given the experience to become a florist themselves. Customers would pay a fee to join the workshops and at the end they would leave with their own
handmade work! On the top of that, Moresque Floral Design would also prepare some compositions for sale. Another idea to broaden the service would be to recycle the old flower composition (an idea for artificial compositions), for clients who have old flower arrangement and would like to have is renewed for lower price. I think it adds a freshness and a bit of a twist to the services provided and it’s environmentally friendly!
I dug a little deeper in the flower world. I found an article about a ‘blooming start-up that is disturbing the flower industry’, Farmgirls Flowers founded by Christina Stembel. She recognised that every flower room suffers from wastage of fresh materials. ‘Flower shops have to subsidize the 40% of flowers that are brought into the store and never sold’. – says Christina in the interview for Forbes magazine. She did a focus group and asked customers if they would care about having a limited option of fresh flowers, 86% said they wouldn’t. She based her idea on quality rather that quantity. ‘I figured if it worked with the burgers at In-and-Out it could work for flowers’
As the business of Moresque Floral Design is based mainly on artificial flowers, perhaps that’s the example to follow. Instead of avoiding fresh flowers arrangements, caused by the fear of losing money, they could offer a small base of flowers of the best quality for their client. That idea worked in San Francisco, so why not in the UK?
I believe that the business mentioned has a big potential however it needs improvements in the business model, focusing more in marketing and education of their clients. Revising the value prepositions and understanding the customer segment are the key activities that need to be undertaken, for business to thrive.
Here are some examples of their work !
Osterwalder.A,Pigneur.Y,(2010) Business Model Generation a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers.
John Wiley &Sons. Hoboken, New Jersey
Business Model Canvas. Available at: https://strategyzer.com/canvas/business-model-canvas (Accessed: Oct 11 2018).
Decker.V.(2010) Flowers: A Blooming Start-up That Is Disrupting The Flower Industry
https://www.forbes.com/sites/viviennedecker/2015/12/22/farmgirl-flowers-a-blooming-startup-thats-disrupting-the-flower-industry/#5a752c566385 (Accessed: Oct 11 2018)
Moresque Floral Design