***This is the eighteenth article ina series of 100 article on floral design and running a flower shop.
It is very important for a florist and a business person to stay abreast of new trade and industry trends and news. There are several ways a florist can do this. One of the methods is to subscribe to trade publications and become a member of trade organizations. Below is a list of the top trade journals, magazines and organizations with which you should be involved. This compilation serves as a support for growers, wholesalers, florists, students, and manufacturers of floral products. These publications will keep you informed on a weekly, monthly, bimonthly or quarterly basis. Some of them are free to members, while you can subscribe to others. Research each one of these and select a handful. Begin to educate yourself and stay informed. You do not want your customers filling you in on new trends such as color, styles and new products related to your business. You are the professional! By subscribing to trade publications and trade associations you will not only keep yourself and employees informed, but you will spark your creativity and challenge yourself as a unique member of the floral industry.
The Publications and Trade Organization:
Professional Floral Designer
Florist and Grower
Floral Mass Marketing
AFS – American Floral Services
FTD – Florists Transworld Delivery
The Retail Florist and Floral Finance
Gift Basket Review
The Cut Flower Quarterly
Floral and Nursery Times
American Floral Marketing Council
American Institute of Floral Designers
Society of American Florists
American Academy of Floraculture
Professional Floral Commentators International
Allied and Florists’ Associations
As with any industry it is best to strive for excellence in your field in order to be successful. You must improve yourself by gaining new skills and experience. The purpose of new knowledge is to challenge a florist visually and creativity and to compete with peers. Education helps to unlock your full potential. Learning new ideas and concepts is not enough; one has to put them into practice. One has to build upon old skills, with implementing new styles and conceptions.
Trade organizations and associations are a group of like-minded people. This includes growers, wholesalers, retailers, florists, and students. It is advantageous to belong to at least one or two floral organizations. Belonging to these groups are a chance for us to learn about specific needs of our business. Specific is the key word here. You can learn about bookkeeping practices and tax information “specific” to the floral business. You can learn about “specific” business trends. These organizations allow you to stay on top of the sale and promotion of flowers and floral products. By being a member, you will belong to an elite group of professionals and have the chance to further your know how. AIFD, American Institute of Floral Designers offers wonderful certification opportunities that will enhance your expertise in the floral field, which will also add to the perceived value of your shop.