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From Chaos to Control: The Importance of Organizing Your Wood Flower Inventory Like a Pro

Updated: Mar 25





As a wood flower florist, you understand the importance of creating beautiful arrangements that delight your customers. However, behind the scenes, efficient inventory management plays a critical role in ensuring smooth operations and maximizing profitability. It took me four years to actually realize this, so flower friend, I am not letting you wait that long! In this blog post, we'll explore how you can transform your wood flower inventory from chaos to control with practical tips and strategies. I SO could have used this when I started. So let's get started TODAY with an overview of the importance of all of this and what you need to be considering:


The Importance of Organized Inventory for Wood Flower Florists



Effective inventory management is the backbone of any successful business, and the same holds true for even us small makers. Don't ever think that you aren't as "important" as a large retail store, or a "real" company of more than one person. Organized inventory not only streamlines your workflow but also reduces waste, improves customer satisfaction, and ultimately increases profitability - which is WHY WE ARE IN BUSINESS! We are here to make money. If you are not, then you have a hobby and there is no need to be worrying about any of this.




Without proper organization, you may find yourself facing moments of panic when you realize that you are out of that piece of greenery you really need and of course, it is now out of season. You could also run into timing issues when you can't wait for the shipping time to source those specific flowers, so you pay waaaaay too much for expedited shipping. (I am guilty of this a time or two!) This can totally hinder your ability to serve your customers effectively - which can lead to poor reviews and more customer service than you'd like to mitigate the changes and expectations of order fulfillment.


Not only does inventory help with helping you work smarter and not harder (or more expensively) it also helps you with PRICING YOUR CREATIONS! If you didn't know how much your cost of goods was when you ordered it, how are you going to know what to price it at!? What if a specialty flower cost you $10 and you assumed it was $0.50? That would eat your profitability without you even knowing, and eventually you would be asking "Where is all of my money going?". You want to be ahead of the game and know exactly how much you spent on each flower of each size, from which suppliers, and when! (Yes, it's a lot of info, but welcome to business!) That bit of tough love is there to remind you that you are a CEO of a company of one (or more) and it's just as important to run your company of one (or a few more) like a huge corporation. You will be thankful in the long run, I promise.


Assessing Your Current Inventory System




Before you can improve your inventory management practices, it's essential to assess your current system. Do you have one? Let me guess, it's a "It looks pretty full" or a "I need more" type situation based on how stocked your shelf is. (Been there!)


Take a close look at how you store and track your wood flower inventory. Are items haphazardly piled on shelves, or do you have a structured system in place? Are the arranged by style? Do you know how many sprigs you can get from a bush? How do you process it? How do you create with it? Identify any pain points or inefficiencies in your current approach, as these will serve as the starting point for improvement. My guess is that you may not have one in place yet - or that you tried something and aren't very happy with it.



Developing a Systematic Approach to Inventory Organization



The key to effective inventory organization is establishing a systematic approach. YES. I said it - systematic. As in, organized - not creative, and probably using the left side of your brain more than your right - which can hurt a little as a creative entrepreneur. But until you can hire a left brained analyst for this job, it's all on you! You got this.


Start by categorizing your wood flower inventory based on factors such as type, size, and color or use. Invest in suitable storage solutions that keep your blooms, stems, and arrangements safe and accessible. Implement clear labeling and tracking systems to ensure that every item is accounted for and easy to locate when needed. This is where we have a quick heart to heart flower friend........ You may not need all of those varieties that you think you do. Because this is a very detailed approach - you may not want a ton of different types of things to keep track of. If you do, consider creating a "bucket" approach where the eucalyptus bundles are all counted as eucalyptus, regardless of if it is spiral, willow or silver dollar. Does that make sense!? It will help you consolidate the amount of work ahead. You've really got this! Don't leave me now....


Streamlining Inventory Processes

Streamlining your inventory processes is essential for maintaining order and efficiency. Develop standardized procedures for receiving, storing, and handling wood flower inventory. Consider adopting inventory management software or tools that can automate repetitive tasks and provide real-time visibility into your stock levels. By streamlining your inventory processes, you'll save time and reduce the risk of errors or oversights.


Inventory systems you can invest in:

Paper and Spark

Craftybase

Quickbooks

and so many more you can find through a quick Google search!




Maintaining Order and Consistency




Once you've organized your wood flower inventory, it's crucial to maintain order and consistency. Schedule regular inventory maintenance activities, such as audits and stock checks, to ensure that everything remains in its rightful place. I highly suggest weekly if you are a full time business - but if you are doing this on the side, consider it a great way to end your month or start your month. Implement strategies for inventory rotation and expiration management to minimize waste and ensure that you're always working with items you want to rotate first.


I do a "first in first out" system where I try to use up all of my stock of my flowers in the order I receive them - this way I can keep track of where the batch of flowers was ordered from, and what the cost of those flowers were. More on this in my detailed blog post about my specific process here.


Tips for Effective Inventory Forecasting

Inventory forecasting is a critical aspect of inventory management, especially in the seasonal world of wood flower floristry for our greenery. By analyzing historical sales data and previous trends, you can anticipate future demand and adjust your inventory levels accordingly. This is the best option for big floral holidays like Valentine's Day or Mother's Day as well as seasonal sales like Christmas or certain markets you may be a vendor at year after year. Keep an eye on upcoming events or holidays that may drive increased demand for certain products and plan your inventory orders accordingly. The best tip I have is to start planning all of your year 3-6 months in advance. Start thinking like a big box store - you will be happier because of it in the long run!



Organizing your wood flower inventory is essential for maintaining control and efficiency in your floristry business. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this blog post, you can transform your inventory management practices from chaos to control. Remember, effective inventory organization lays the foundation for success in every aspect of your wood flower business, from customer satisfaction to profitability. Start implementing these strategies today, and watch as your business thrives with streamlined operations and satisfied customers. It all starts at the beginning of the process, and that beginning is when you get your materials!


Now, I'd love to hear from you! Share your own experiences and tips for organizing wood flower inventory in the comments below!

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