We don’t just get the numbers, we get advice on how they think we should grow, and what they feel is working and not working.
The Flower Project
What does your business do?
The Flower Project is an online business. People subscribe, and we deliver fresh flowers to your home or workplace at a frequency that you choose.
How’s it going?
Extremely well. When you’re first starting out it takes a bit of time to get traction, especially when you’re an online business and you don’t have the footfall. We’re two years in and it’s been incredibly positive. We have people who subscribed in the beginning and they’re still subscribing, and we have new customers joining every week. We’re really pleased with how it’s going and the feedback we’re getting.
What goals do you have for the business?
Our current goal is to expand. Now that we’ve got our systems in place, we’ve structured everything so we’ve got the capacity to expand even further. Our current goal is to accelerate the growth of the business.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
With an online business, getting people to know about us and what we do, to know that we’ve got our services out there. That’s been our biggest challenge. I’ve got a retail background so the whole online business took a lot of research, and getting to know what our sweet spot was in terms of marketing.
(Laughs) I started the business up with my brother. He founded it with me but has now become more of a silent partner. He was the I.T. wiz and had the real skills in the online side of things. He’s still doing all the online marketing, but he’s not involved with operations anymore. Together we make what I call the Flower Project dream team. We’ve also got four staff working for us, helping package the flowers and deliver them.
How did you overcome your key challenge?
With a lot of training. My brother did a course in online marketing, for Facebook in particular. Obviously we also learn as we go, like any business, through trial and error. We’re still a work in progress, getting ourselves into the position where we know exactly how to reach new customers. But we feel as time goes on the message is getting out there and people are becoming more aware. Recently we put a video of us and our story up on Facebook, which has been hugely positive. People are really attracted to video now, it’s the new photograph. That’s been working really well for us.
How important is good planning to your business success?
It’s really important. Budgeting, cash flow, we need to plan a lot really. I guess we learned that through previous businesses, so when we started this business we knew that every dollar spent needed to be planned out and budgeted for. That’s been a really helpful tool.
What about you - why did you want to own your own business?
I have five children and wanted my own business so my hours could be flexible. So it’s worked out well, because I want to spend time with my children while they’re awake, but I do a lot of work when they’re asleep, so early in the morning and late at night. Being able to alter my working hours to suit their schedules has been really, really critical for me. Family’s the most important thing.
How do you find the challenge of balancing work and life?
It’s a real challenge. People who aren’t self-employed have that challenge, as well as people who are self employed. When it’s your business, and especially when it’s a new business, you are determined to see it grow, so you might end up spending a lot more hours than desired on seeing it come to life and reach its true potential. It’s something you have to work on daily, really. It’s almost easier to work than to concentrate on kids who have got demands of their own.
How did you start working with RightWay, and how do you find them?
I started working with RightWay because they had a really good reputation. We’d been with another accounting firm and weren’t very impressed. My brother had been on the scout for an accounting firm who didn’t just do the numbers but also helped you as a business mentor. With RightWay we found a really good fit. We don’t just get the numbers, we get advice on how they think we should grow, and what they feel is working and not working. We’ve had a really successful and nice relationship with them since we started. It’s been good.
How’s your relationship with your business partner?
I catch up with my Business Partner a couple of times a year. I like her as a person as well as an accountant. She’s wonderful, I love her. She’s extremely driven. She’s got the same sort of work ethic as me, she won’t stop until she gets the job done. I think we’ve got a lot in common, so the relationship has been really easy. RightWay have got a young and fresh approach to accounting, which is what we wanted. Our two businesses fit really well together.
RightWay have got a young and fresh approach to accounting, which is what we wanted. Our two businesses fit really well together.