Now that I’ve shared my own story, we’re going to shine a spotlight on some other business owners. At one time or another, my business looked a lot like theirs. Maybe you can see yourself in their story, too!
Make sure you read ‘til the end of each email in this series, because I’m going to offer some personalized advice for each struggling business owner!
Want to know a secret to getting dream clients? Treat the clients you currently have really well, be kind, and most important be honest with them. People respect honesty. People trust honest people. Word will spread that they love working with you.
Do you really want a floral business? It’s okay to have a hobby and for it to be simply a hobby. My greatest passion is travel, but I wouldn’t enjoy it as much if every time I traveled, I also had to write a feature about it.
I think it’ really important to know that owning your own floral business doesn’t mean you are doing flowers all day. There is a reason only 5% of small businesses succeed. The business-side of it takes up the majority of your day.
I used to think checking my email first thing meant I was working hard. It meant I was being productive! I think most of us think this way. We have clients or coworkers or bosses who need to hear from us. Sound familiar?
You know the phrase, Ignorance is bliss - well it’s especially true when it comes to email! When I became ignorant to what was going on in my inbox - guess what happened? I actually had time to focus on my own to do list which led to productivity which led to profitability. I’m not denying the fact that, yes, it is important to check my email.
Yesterday, my assistant Emma said to me, "You're almost there!"
I said, "What do you mean?"
She responded, "I remember in January you said to me that your schedule is basically jam-packed from now until June 3rd. If you can just make it to June 3rd then you'll be good. Well, you're almost there. You have less than a month to go!"
Four years ago, I wrote down where I wanted to be in five years. Here's a little snippet from the six page entry:
"I hope to be in a place where I am able to choose which clients I want to work with. I hope to be in a place where my clients trust me to execute their vision and give me creative freedom to do so. I hope to be in a place where I only have to do a handful of weddings a year and still exceed my sales goal. I hope to be in a place where I can blend my love of travel with my work."
Ordering flowers was always my least favorite thing to do. I hated writing recipes and counting how many stems I needed. I would put off ordering until the last possible minute.
Having three small children, I really value my time, so anything that takes way longer than I think it should, I dread. Ordering flowers took me at the very least an entire work day (sometimes it took me two or three!) to complete. I
Boutonnières are not my favorite to make simply because there always seems to be a large number of them to produce and monotony is not my strength. I get bored after the second one. I do, however, adore how they look when they are all completed, when we line them up on a beautiful backdrop and photograph them.
I’ve been hinting at it for a while now, but I think it’s time to officially announce...
I’M STARTING A PODCAST!
Yupp, the Zimmerman Podcast is coming your way November 2019. Six months ago, I could have sworn I would never start a podcast. (One day, I’m going to learn to never say never. Whenever I do, I end up doing the very thing I swore I’d never do!)
Every year, I make a vision board of things I want to accomplish in the next 365 days. This year, on day 177, I got to cross off a BIG goal!
Ever since I started my business in 2014, I’ve dreamed of being featured in Forbes. I saw Forbes as the pinnacle of the business world. Being featured there would mean that my business advice and acumen was validated in a way that only recognition from a major publication could provide.
It was August of 2014 and I didn't have a portfolio of work I was proud to show. I had planned a vacation with my husband and, at the time, one year old daughter to Seaside, FL. I thought, what if I took one day out of our seven day vacation and made a bouquet and found someone to photograph it? Maybe that could be the beginning of turning around this business of mine. Maybe that could be the beginning of a portfolio of work I was proud to show. I literally googled "wedding planner Seaside FL" because I had less than 3 weeks and I didn't know any vendors in the area to help pull together everything that goes into a shoot.
We all want to know how to master the art of the “and.”
What do I mean by that? I think if we all only had one role to fill, we’d be great at it, right? But that’s never reality. We’re all something and something else. We’re teachers and fathers. Children and students. Mothers and entrepreneurs.
Today was one of those weird days where everything that I thought would take me an hour to do ended up taking twice as long. I pride myself on being efficient so when I'm not, I get frustrated. I had a few deadlines to meet and I missed the boys' swim lesson to get my work done. Anytime I have to miss one of their activities I feel a like I've failed. Not that I've failed them, they are great. They don't care if I miss one practice here and there. I feel like I've failed because the whole reason I started down the path of business ownership was so I wouldn't miss any of those moments. But then two things happened:
I still remember the day (It was only 3.5 years ago!) that I walked into the bank, sat down in front of a loan officer, and filled with embarrassment handed him my financial paperwork. I knew I was meant to do this business. I knew I COULD do this business.
My goal is to be at the studio at 8am. I don’t put anything on my calendar until 9am because I know I need a full hour to get settled in and prep for my day. KNOW THYSELF. If I schedule a meeting at 8:30am, I’ll feel rushed and frantic and it won’t go well. KNOW THYSELF!
My 9am meeting time slots are for people on my team: Kellie (admin!), book keeping, Danae (second designer), etc. These people know me. They know my heart and my intentions. They also understand if I text them and say something like, “I’m running 15 minutes behind! Zeke figured out how to open his sippy cup and poured milk all over the car.”
It really is amazing what can be accomplished with a team of people. The past two weeks have been full of meetings. I'm working with six different people from all over on one main project. As the leader, I get the blessing and curse of making the final decision, but I'm glad the people I work with are passionate, bring their own ideas to the table, and believe so strongly in their vision.
This juicy, colorful Sunstone Winery Wedding is featured in Style Me Pretty!
What are they saying about this wedding??
“This gorgeous shoot from Heather Payne Photography at Sunstone Winery (aka the dreamiest venue ever) proves exactly why it's so important to incorporate texture into your wedding day. From the elegant pink and orange color scheme to the ceremony's floral-adorned mantle by Jessica Zimmerman to the DRESS - there's texture at every turn.”
Have you ever been really, really sick? And in those dark moments when you’ve got your head in a bucket, or a pile of tissues the size of Mt. Everest beside you, or you’re counting the number of days you’ve been taking cough medicine just to make sure you haven’t surpassed the legal limit, you think to yourself…
“I will never take another healthy day for granted. I will never stop rejoicing when I wake up and don’t need to vomit, or sneeze, or cough, or run to the bathroom. Every day is a gift! If I ever feel normal again, I won’t waste another second!”
Inevitably, after a few weeks of healthy days, we totally forget that feeling.
“I’m a floral designer turned online educator, and when I’m not teaching creatives how to run profitable businesses that support a thriving personal life, I’m mothering my three kids. I’m an unabashed entrepreneur in all aspects of life, always seeking to improve and evolve, whether it’s helping a wedding planner improve her client intake system or making the pick up line at my daughter’s preschool more efficient. I believe that with the right tools, no business owner has to sacrifice his or her personal life or work gains.
Isn't it much more interesting when things don't all perfectly match? I believe this to be true in vessels, floral arrangements, candles, bouquets, and boutonnières. I remember the first time I told a mother of the bride that the boutonnières wouldn’t all be the same, but yet a collection of different flowers that complimented each other.