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Wedding Magazine Jan - Feb Flower info

Wedding Flowers and Accessories Magazine

Seasonal Flower Selection.

 

As you'll know we at the BFA for the last year have been selecting the seasonal flowers to be featured in this very popular part of the magazine.

We are pleased to use our knowledge and expertise to ensure the list of flowers and plant materials shared with Brides-to-be is not only seasonal, but interesting and practical - that they are available through the duration of the season/time period promoted, so all brides seaonal flower expectations can be achieved.

 

January and February Seasonal Selection.

The 14th December has seen the launch of the next issue of the magazine, whilst strictly still winter, we know as florist we have a great selection of spring flowers at our finger tips and for brides too, the lure of spring in these early months of the year is irresistable to brides and florist alike!

Tulips, Hyacinths, Narcissus, Ranunculus, Muscari, Mimosa, Anemones and Genista will be featured in this issue that cover the months of January and February.

With a new editor at the helm the page has been given a new look and the information we'll share will be developing to share more interesting facts and stats! CLICK HERE to read an interview with Katie the Editor, where she shares her thoughts on wedding flowers and the developement of the magazine.

Wedding Magazine Editor Interview

Getting to know the Wedding Flowers and Accessories Editor

It has now been over a year that the BFA has worked with the very popular Wedding Flowers and Accessories Magazine, one of the few magazines that still sees increase in news stand sales. Whilst Pinterest and instagram maybe huge for brides-to-be, be under no misconception a glossy magazine is still very appealing as sales of this no. 1 Wedding Flower Magazine illustrate.

This most recent issue has seen a new Editor take the lead, we spoke to Katie to find out her thoughts and plans for the magazine and what she sees as the trends for future.

Do you have new ideas for the magazine? 

Yes, lots! It's such a gorgeous title and I've already had a lot of fun pulling together my first issue (January/February 2018, on-sale December 14).

How do you feel about having the British Florist Association on hand to give advice etc.?

It's great to have such a body of expertise available to share their vast expertise and insights.

What are your thoughts on the Seasonal Flower selection pages of the magazine?

I think it's always useful for brides to get an accurate idea of what is (or isn't!) in flower around the time of their wedding. It helps with expectation and is a great way to discover blooms you might not have considered otherwise. I also think it's interesting to find out a bit more about the flowers, too. 

What changes have you seen in wedding flowers since working on the magazine?

Whilst I've only recently started the mag side of things, I've edited the WEDDING website for over five years and am all over our social media, meaning I see a lot of flowers. The biggest change I've noticed in this time has probably been the move towards freer, less-structured flowers. Personally, I adore this style: it's messy, romantic and wild. What's not to love? 

One of the question we sometime get asked by our members is whether the magazines has plans to illustrate and promote the wider selection of bridal designs available to brides, rather than just handtied bouquets?

We pride ourselves on always showcasing the freshest, most exciting floral ideas. Every page of the mag is brimming over with beautiful florals that will delight and inspire! I love to be surprised by amazing new styles - and we're always open to suggestion here. 

Boost your Poinsettia sales

Poinsettias - It's Time to Take a Different Approach?

Let's take back control of our Poinsettia sales! We have a sure-fire way to make that happen!....

Poinsettias are just so well known as THE plant of Christmas - their sales have topped a staggering six million plants sold in the UK alone.  
We all know that they are available for sale in so many retailers, so whilst the sales of the plant are staggering, gone are the days where florists would be the first choice for most consumers! However, let's not role over and accept this, let's fight back...

There are two easy ways of ensuring we have good Poinsettia sales:

1.  Let's set ourselves apart from the other sellers - the large retailers don't have the skills we do, they don't have the creativity or know-how to take a plant and with some expertise and the designer touch, turn a poinsettia into a work of art that consumer will be desperate to take home.   There so many different varieties too - why not stock some of the varieties that you know will be hard for your customers to buy else where! 

CLICK HERE to view the breathtaking and newer varieities available.

2.  Use Poinsettia's as a stunning cut flower! - Yes, you read correctly, Poinsettias can make an ideal cut flower

CLICK HERE and read how to condition Poinsettias to make them a great addition to your Christmas designs as a cut flower!

 

POSTERS FOR YOU TO GENERATE SALES

CLICK HERE or on the images to DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY.

CUT FLOWER POINSETTIAS, A MUST FOR  2018 CLICK HERE

to get a full understanding of how and why you should use poinsettias as a cut flower

POINSETTIA VARIETIES FOR 2018 CLICK HERE
See the wonderful selection available to us, so much more than red!

ESSENTIAL INFO EVERY FLORIST SHOULD KNOW CLICK HERE 
and read the essential information on Poinsettas to share with the team and your clients

 

Poinsettia varieties for 2018

Amazing varieties of Poinsettias

Which is your favourite?

We know that there is an incredible range of poinsettias available, not just the usual red, however, we must not take this for granted, we must shout about this to our clients... not all consumer know the varieties we have to hand.  It's another way we professional florists can shine leaving other retailers in the shade.

Flecking in the bracs is called glitter
This Variety: 'Feeling Glitter'

A stunning salmon/pink Variety
This Variety: 'Feelings Pink'

Known as white but a beautiful cream
This Variety: 'Feelings White'

This beautiful Bicolour is known as marbeling.  This Variety: 'Ice Crystals'

A true barbie pink variety.
This Variety: 'Luv U Pink'

Delicate colour of this apricot this Variety is called:
'Premium Apricot'

The red Poinsettia, still the best seller
This Variety: 'Feelings Red'

With the bracs pointing upwards this  Poinsettia variety is very aptley called: 'Jester'

A subtle but stunning bicolour
This Variety: 'Marble'

 

 

FREE POSTERS TO INCREASE POINSETTIA SALES HERE CLICK HERE 
See a wonderful selection of Poinsettia Poster you can download and use in your business for free.

CUT FLOWER POINSETTIAS, A MUST FOR  2018 CLICK HERE
to get a full understanding of how and why you should use poinsettias as a cut flower

ESSENTIAL INFO EVERY FLORIST SHOULD KNOW CLICK HERE 
and read the essential information on Poinsettas to share with the team and your clients

Cut Flower Poinsettias

Cut Flower Poinsettias

yes, you read it correctly Poinsettias as a cut flower, but you don't have to just take our word for it do your own test, it might be the best thing you'll do this month.... take a plant this week, condition it as explained below and do your own vase life test - this could be an excellent cut flower for you to use.  With the correct buying it could be a good cost effective flower too.

Correct conditioning of cut Poinsettias

  1. Cut the stem from the plant, if necessary re-cut to get a good clean angle and the length you want to keep the flower.
  2. Then continue with the hot water treatment; dip the cut ends in boiling water for 20 seconds or until all air bubble are expelled from the stem.
  3. Immediately transfer the stem into cold water, this will seal in the milk sap
  4. Done... your cut poinsettia will last at least a week in water. 

This treatment supersedes any quartrising with a flame that was the previous conditioning suggestion for using poinsettias as a cut flower.

Cut poinsettia looked stunning in handites, single bud vases or arranged with other flowers and foliages straight into a vase for orders, impulse purchases or corporate work.

 

FREE POSTERS TO INCREASE POINSETTIA SALES HERE CLICK HERE 
See a wonderful selection of Poinsettia Poster you can download and use in your business for free.

POINSETTIA VARIETIES FOR 2018 CLICK HERE
See the wonderful selection available to us, so much more than red!

ESSENTIAL INFO EVERY FLORIST SHOULD KNOW CLICK HERE 
and read the essential information on Poinsettas to share with the team and your clients

Poinsettia care tips

POINSETTIAS, Why Florists are the best retailers for them!

We Care - pass the message on!

With the plants being the undisputed stars of the festive season we must highlight the reasons why florist should be the number one choice for consumers, we are the expert retailers lets share this.

We all know that with the wrong care they can be 'tricky' or to put it another way; can drop ever leaf or droop and callapse!   So, make sure everyone in your shop is clued up on the care tips they must give to customers, share them as necessary and of course, follow them yourselves!

Care guide - Temperature

Poinsettias need warmth and light and must be kept away from draughts. That means they must be kept away from fireplaces, doorways, open windows, and breezy hallways.  Poinsettias originate from Mexico, hence their sensitivity to the cold and wind.  Share this with your customers and make sure they Just keep it somewhere that has some natural daylight.  They're most happy in temperature between 15 and 20°C, so it will be completely at home in most living rooms.

Pass on the essential buying tips…

We should share the message that If the retailer hasn’t handled your poinsettia correctly, it may well not last at home.  No doubt we've all had customer explain the disasters they've had with Poinsettias - enquire a little, explain; you should never buy a poinsettia that’s been sitting next to a set of automatic doors that open every 30 seconds, because it will have been damaged by chilly winter draughts, they don't appreciate the cold blast of air, then a hot blast from air heaters!

Care guide - Watering

Poinsettias don’t like a lot of water. The plant’s root ball should neither dry out nor be drenched. Overwatering can quickly lead to waterlogging, which in turn causes the roots to rot and leaves you with a dead plant.

The easiest way to care for them is to either immerse the whole pot and root ball in water once a week in tepid water and let it drain before popping it back in the pot.  Similar to how you would a phalanenopsis orchid.  The alternative is to give it a small amount of water every few days. 

Pass on the essential buying tips…

Plants shouldn't be too light or heavy - it should be neither soaking wet nor totally dry before being bought.  Other information worth sharing is how you can spot how healthy a plant is feeling by just looking carefully at it; dense foliage and yellow-green budding flowers in between the coloured bracts are sure signs of quality. 

Safe Journey Home…

Finally, make sure poinsettias are all wrapped up to protect it from the cold on the journey home.  Don't let any Poinsettia's leave your shop without adequate protection - and explain to your clients why you insist on doing this!

FREE POSTERS TO INCREASE POINSETTIA SALES HERE CLICK HERE 
See a wonderful selection of Poinsettia Poster you can download and use in your business for free.

CUT FLOWER POINSETTIAS, A MUST FOR  2018 CLICK HERE
to get a full understanding of how and why you should use poinsettias as a cut flower

POINSETTIA VARIETIES FOR 2018 CLICK HERE
See the wonderful selection available to us, so much more than red!

10 Top Tips

Top Tips in the Christmas Countdown

We appreciate your plans for the Christmas rush are well underway, if not the rush its self.  You've planned and organised yourself and your business, but here are a few extra reminders that we thought might be helpful.

1.  GIVE YOUR PREMISES A DAILY SPRUCE.  
Your premises say a lot about your business.  Make sure they're looking at their very best and reflect you well.

2. BEAT THE BIG BOYS.  
Great customer service becomes even more important during the Christmas period.  Give fantastic customer service now and its giving shopper a great reason to come back throughout the year.

3.  SHOUT YOU'RE OPEN!
Are you open this Sunday? Later or earlier next week? Do your customers know this.  Have you decorated your A-Board to get new clients through the door.  Don't forget to publish your Christmas and New Year opening times.

 

 

 

 

4.   XMAS ELVES.  
Do you have a helper to hand? There are so many jobs a helper can do; out on deliveries 'Runners' for your drivers can cut the delivery run time in half.  A helper to keep the shop tiptop, sweep floors, keep the tea flowing, blowing up balloons, writing cards, fill up handties with water, attach the bows, cards etc., helping carry items to customers cars - the list goes on, and that's even without them going near the flowers, phones or customers!

5.   CROSS-SELL.  
The festive season presents some extra important opportunities for up-selling.  There are many 'easy wins' to be had and its a good chance to show what you sell (that customers maynot be aware of).

6.   REARRANGE THE LAYOUT.  
Think about the way your shop is laid out.  Have a great display of your impulse purchases and those gift cards and small impulse buys by the till.

7.   REVIEW YOUR WEBSITE.
Online sales are still rising, make sure your website is fighting fit, we're confident your Christmas collections are up and your home page has a collect of the festive best sellers or the banner links to them. But have you got everything covered? are the prices for 12 red roses correct, especially if they're ordered for Christmas week? Have you arranged the online ordering non delivery closure days? Don't get caught out, do another quick review and ensure it's in the best shape possible

8.   UNDERLINE YOUR INDEPENDENCE.  
Don't think that consumers other than your will just show loyalty to local retailers on small business Saturday (that was on the 2nd of December.) Make sure you highlight the fact that yours is an independent business.

9.   PLAN YOUR DELIVERIES.  
Planning your deliveries is an important art-form in its own right.  Block Deliveries, use bright post it's to indicate AM deliveries or important notes.  Have a driver/training pack ready for helpers, including extra chocolates, spare cards as well as all the usual essentials.

10.  TAKE CARE OF YOU AND YOURS.  
Make sure you and your team are well fed, warm and enjoying work (we know its hard work) but keep the spirits up (not that kind!) If you're having fun your customers will know it and everything will be better.

We're behind you all the way, thinking of you and wishing you well.... go get em'

Autumn Budget 2017: what will affect you

Autumn Budget 2017: what small business owners need to know

 

After his last Budget backfired, it seems Chancellor Philip Hammond has gone all out to woo Britain's small and medium-sized business in the Autumn Budget.

Action on rates, investment, roads and maintaining VAT thresholds have given firms reasons to be - a bit - cheerful in sluggish and uncertain times.

SMEs are the backbone of the UK economy and helping them is seen as imperative as Britain prepares itself for life outside the European Union.

After last March's Budget was seen as an attack on small firms and the self-employed, this budget was chance to win them back over.

 

Business tax

  • The VAT threshold will be frozen at £85,000 for at least two years
  • Business rates will be indexed to CPI from next year, which could see a rates reduction of around one per cent

More details on the VAT threshold freeze:

The threshold below which firms don't need to register will remain at £85,000 until at least 2020. It remains one of the highest in the world, except for Singapore and dwarfs the EU average of £20,000.

Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: 'It was good to see the Chancellor’s speech acknowledge our concerns about the VAT threshold.

'Dragging thousands of more small firms into the hugely complex VAT regime would have caused a significant drag on output at an already challenging time for businesses.' 

More details on Business rates news:

Chancellor Hammond heeded to calls to scrap the near four per cent rise in business rates due next April by announcing a switch in the inflation measure used to calculate the rates each year from the RPI to CPI from April 2018 - two years earlier than originally planned. 

  • After the next revaluation, business rates revaluations will occur every three years.

To avoid a repeat of the turmoil caused by the first business rate revaluation in seven years early this year, the Chancellor announced a cut in revaluation periods from five to three years. This change will come into effect after the next revision.

Wages

  • The National Living Wage will increase by 4.4 per cent to £7.83 from April 2018.

More details on The National Living Wage:

The National Living Wage will rise from £7.50 to £7.83 for those aged 25 and over, the Chancellor confirmed in the Budget. 

The 33p-an-hour rise will be introduced in April. The increase will see a £600-a-year pay rise to full-time workers currently on the minimum wage who do a 38-hour week.

After the National Living Wage and minimum wage were aligned earlier this year the National Living Wage is the amount of money all employees aged over 25 are legally entitled to.

The National Living Wage was increased earlier this year from £7.20 to £7.50 an hour in Philip Hammond's Spring Budget 2017.

Personal taxation

  • The tax-free personal allowance will increase to £11,850 from April 2018.
  • The threshold at which taxpayers pay the higher rate will rise to £46,350 from next year.

Vehicle tax

  • Excise duty for older diesel cars will rise from April 2018, but van owners will be exempt.
  • The scheduled April 2018 fuel duty rise for both petrol and diesel cars has been scrapped.

Overall economic outlook

  • The UK’s growth forecast has been cut to 1.5 per cent from two per cent.
  • GDP forecasts have been cut to 1.4 per cent, 1.3 per cent, and 1.5 per cent for the following years.
  • The annual CPI rate is forecast to fall to two per cent later this year.
  • The UK will set aside £3 billion for possible Brexit outcomes.
  • Borrowing is forecast to fall from this year on.
  • Debt will hit a peak of 86.5 per cent of GDP this year, and will fall in following years.

Business investment

  • The British Business Bank will receive a funding boost, unlocking £13 billion to fund UK SMEs.
  • The government has set aside £2.3 billion for investment in R&D.
  • The Chancellor confirmed the introduction of a national retraining scheme focusing on digital skills and construction.
  • It is thought the Enterprise Investment Scheme will be expanded to make investment in scalable tech business easier.

Infrastructure investment

  • There is a new £500 million fund for 5G mobile and fibre broadband.
  • A further £540 million will be invested in electric cars and charging points.
  • £1.7 billion has been set aside for transport in city regions.

Read more: 
www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/articles/2017/11/autumn-budget-2017-what-it-means-for-small-businesses
www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/smallbusiness/article-5107743/What-Autumn-Budget-means-small-business.
 

Business rates - action by BFA on your behalf.

Business rates - action by BFA on your behalf.

At the time of writing we're just had the Autumn Budget where chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed plans for business rates, as explained below. However, we at the BFA are always working to ensure the best outcome for our members and Brian (BFA Chairman) wrote to Phillip Hammond prior to this budget urging him to consider our welfare, please see the letter and the reply from the Treasury below.

Plans for business rates following the Autumn Budget:

The inflation measure used to calculate how much UK business rates rise each year will switch to the consumer price index (CPI), the CPI will replace the retail price index (RPI) in April 2018, two years ahead of the planned introduction in April 2020.  Hammond claimed that the early move to new indexation would save businesses £2.3bn over the next three years. Business rates rises next year will be tied to September’s CPI rate of three per cent.

According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the switch to the CPI meant owners of small firms would see almost one per cent taken off their business rates bills.  It was previously estimated by property tax specialists CVS that maintaining the RPI over the next two years would put an additional £781m onto business rates bills, due to the way RPI is calculated. The CPI is calculated through consumer measures such as housing costs.

Letter from BFA Chairman to the  Chancellor of the Exchequer

Reply from the Treasury

Prior to the spring budget a letter was also sent to Phillip Hammond the Chancellor of the Exchequer more details on that can be found HERE

Small Business Saturday - Get involved.

Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots campaign, now in its 5th year, it exists to support, inspire and promote small business. 

7 Top ideas on how to get involved.

We, at the BFA feel this is an excellent opportunities for all florist businesses around the UK.  To help you get started we have compiled a document with 7 top marketing tips for Small Business Saturday and Christmas sales, click on the link below to download it, we hope you find it useful. 

 CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD '7 Marketing Tips for Small Business Saturday & Christmas on a Limited Budget.'

Posters for members to download and use.

We have created a range of posters for you to print and use in your businesses this is available in our member area 
CLICK HERE to enter the page and download the poster.

Press release for members to download and use.

A press release template is also available, simply fill in details of your business in the highlighted areas and in less that one minute you'll have a document to send your local papers, publications and community websites.  We have been pleased to do this to assist you to market your business and have increased trade on Small business Saturday.
CLICK HERE to enter the page and download the document.

Other ways to promote your business and get involved

More about Small Business Saturday

The first Saturday in December each year is designated Small Business Saturday and it encourages consumers to swap their shop from a large business to a small, independent one.  The campaign encourages businesses to promote themselves and work with other small businesses, and consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities. The first Small Business Saturday UK took place in 2013 and each year has grown in popularity.

British consumers spent 717m with companies throughout the UK as part of Small Business Saturday in 2016, an increase from £623m in 2015 according to analysis.

Small Business Saturday organiser Michelle Ovens, has promised the event will be bigger and better this year. “The purpose of Small Business Saturday is not just to raise awareness of our diverse and innovative small business sector, but also to create a campaign from which they can derive tangible benefit,” she said.

“The fact that spend with small businesses on the day demonstrates that this is happening, and I am confident it will carry forward.”

This year the day falls on 2nd December, the initiative, is now in its 5th year. 

With the day gaining in popularity year on year the signs are very promising for your business if you take the steps to get involved.  The BFA are pleased to have provided business suggestions and material to boost your trading on this day - please see the links above.

The Small Business Saturday UK initiative has attracted the support of leading business organisations including the Federation of Small Businesses, Association of City and Town Management, Association of Convenience Stores and Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association. It has received wide support from all political parties and a number of large corporations.  

The initiative doesn’t just apply to bricks-and-mortar retailers but also online firms and businesses that sell to other companies as well as consumers.

American Express founded the successful Small Business Saturday initiative in the U.S. in 2010 and is a principal supporter of Small Business Saturday UK.

There is a designated website www. smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com which explains - "We want all kinds of small businesses to get involved, so know that whether you are a family business, local shop, online business, wholesaler, business service or small manufacturer, Small Business Saturday is supporting you!"

They offer ideas and tools for ways you can get involved, go onto their website and check out the links, as well as enjoying the posters, press releases and document of marketing ideas we've created to help you make the most of this event and boost business.

Tools from Small Business Saturday Website:

My Small Business Finder

Register and advertise your business on the Small Business Finder for free!

Logos

Download the logos to use on your website or social media!

Marketing Pack

Send off for, or download (and print at home) their free marketing pack 

Social Media

If you’ve got any plans for the day, be sure to tell us about it & we’ll give you a shout out via FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Black Friday 2017

BLACK FRIDAY & FLORISTRY DO THEY MIX?

Should or could florists get involved with Black Friday... we think with careful planning it's an excellent opportunity!

Black Friday is usually linked to large retail chains who can afford to offer mighty discounts to eager customers. But is it possible for small independent shops to get in on the act - and if so how?

When is Black Friday?

Friday November 24th 2017

What is Black Friday?

It began in the United States and is the day following Thanksgiving Day (the fourth Thursday of November). Since 1932, it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S., and most major retailers open very early (and more recently during overnight hours) and offer promotional sales.

Why should I get involved?

Last year, British consumers spent £5.8bn over the epic sales weekend – up 15 per cent from £3.3bn on 2015. So there’s no doubt that this is a profitable trading period for large retailers, but what about small businesses – how could we florists get involved?

What I could simply do?

  • Use Black Friday as an opportunity to communicate with the local community and your customer base.
  • Use social media for free promotion
  • Email marketing is another free way to target your clients
  • Offer a free box of chocolates with your Christmas range that's ordered on Black Friday.*
  • Offer a buy one get one free on plants or other items.*
  • Give out invitation to mulled wine and mince pies on 'Small Business Saturdays' 
  • Offer a buy one get the other half price ticket on an evening wreath making course.*

* Price any offers wisely - do the calculations to ensure this benefits your business as well as your clients!

So is it worth while, should small businesses get involved with Black Friday?

Well the answer could be a resounding yes!  There are some strong benefits to taking part in Black Friday for small businesses – consumers are in the mindset to shop; they have the intention so let’s use that intent to drive footfall towards your business.

Gareth Poppleton Managing director of Retail Merchant Services Explains “Small retailers should make the most of the hype around Black Friday and promote the convenience of local shopping, showing customers that they can still get great discounts in local stores while supporting regional and independent businesses.”

Independent shops can not only offer the feel good factor of shopping local but we can offer better customer service as well as competitive prices, this is a message that will be further strengthened as Small Business Saturday falls just a week after Black Friday - more on this later.