So, my name is Hayley and I am the owner of Little Boho Flower Co, a florist located in Dulwich, east of the Adelaide city. I am 34 now, and when I started my business journey I was 30.
4 years might not seem like a long time to some who’ve been in business for many years, but in my case it’s been such a concentrated and compacted time where so much has happened that I feel confident that others could benefit from reading my account of some errors- some that are self inflicted due to lack of education on some subjects, others from peer pressure and also pressure on myself to withhold certain expectations from the business before me.
No 1 Trying to maintain the business I took over from instead of focusing on my own.
When I bought my business, I essentially bought the shop’s location and the lease and stock, but the business name and brand was my own.
Because the person before me was also a florist, I put incredibly unrealistic expectations on myself to uphold her reputation and please her clientele and ideals, but they were so different to mine and I got lost in the process.
It wasn’t until I realised what the hell I was doing here that I started paving my own way and brick-by-brick (so to speak) at that!
The business hours was one of them. My line of work requires early mornings anyway, but I was trying to juggle 3 kids breakfasts, drop offs etc and be at the shop and open by 9am everyday except Sunday, and completely ran myself ragged.
It wasn’t until I listened to a podcast about the 9-5 business day where the women speaking were like “why do we even do these hours anyway?” and essentially the answer to that was ‘because everyone else does’.
It made me realise I was struggling to hold up someone else’s values once again, and from that point on I opened from 10-5 three days a week because that was more manageable for me.
No 2. Having no idea about marketing…
Anyone’s who’s done a business plan knows how long winded they are and the marketing section is no exception!
Somehow I managed to scrape through that with a few flailing paragraphs about how I’d use FB and Insta to post my pretty photos.
Well now I cringe at that thought because not only is marketing incredibly crucial but because of the online world it’s also cryptic, an ever-changing algorithm especially among those particular platforms.
I’ve had to educate myself and to do this I’ve enlisted (paid) help quite a few times now and I’ve taken valuable new knowledge from each of those steps.
Some helpful things to educate yourself on are:
- Google AdWords
- Not only what to post on social media but also key times and days to post for your industry.
- Differing your content between each platform
- Identifying who your target market is
No 3. Not having systems in place, especially for when I can’t be here…
Back in my 2nd year of owning the shop, the dreaded daycare came up on my screen again.
Whenever that happens, anxiety instantly peaks because it’s only ever 2 reasons they’re calling, 1. Your child’s had an accident and there’ll be an incident report to sign when you pick them up, or 2. Your child has a fever/is sick and you need to come and get them straight away.
Now my husband works away and for some reason, these occurrences only ever occur when he’s away!!
So the old ‘one-man-band’ (me) has to kick into overdrive when this happened.
On this day my middle child split her lip open at daycare by falling on a log and from that moment of the phonecall ending I had to stop everything in its tracks and apart from lugging the 3 month old and 6 year old along with the injured child on a hospital ward hopping expedition with no baby formula or spare clothes or food for the older ones, I had no idea what I was going to do with all the orders I had, there were other people relying solely on me too to get their flowers delivered!
It was so stressful and I was completely inundated and overwhelmed as the business calls and emails kept on coming, and all I wanted to do was be there 100% for my kids but I had no fallback plan.
That’s what prompted me to simply sit down and write a list. It’s not the most extensive list in the world and it still needs to be built upon but it’s a guide and that’s now there to avoid that complete overwhelm from happening again.
Other things I’ve mistaken in business or struggled with:
I really could be here all day listing out each of my mistakes in business that I have made, but to be practical (and adhere to the blog wordcount) I’m just going to list them in the hope that if you see something on the list that you’re struggling or have struggled with, then you’re not alone, and there’s definitely plenty to say on each topic:
- Not understanding cash-flow
- Prioritising and planning
- Imposter syndrome
- Not looking after myself
- Time management
- Personal insecurities and taking things personally
- Adjusting mindset as a whole towards business
So I hope that this has been able to resonate with some of you in some ways and hopefully hearing someone else’s experience of these issues can help to get your issues in order, all the things I’ve listed I’ve experienced, and I wanted to talk about something that businesses as a whole can potentially resonate with instead of just my industry.
Thanks for reading!
Hayley Ball, Little Boho Flower Co