Operating a small business is no small task for Box Of Rain Floral Owner, Pam Marshall.
“It’s very labor-intensive work, a lot more than people think. You have to have heart and you have to want to do it,” Marshall.
Marshall must answer to rising material prices.
“The cost of product, the cost of flowers, has gone up tremendously along with the petroleum costs on deliveries and shipping,” Marshall said.
She also must make sure the finances of her flowers remain stable.
“Keep a balance on what goes in with what goes out. When you have weddings and large events you have a large amount of money coming in. You’ve got to be able to keep that money on tap,” Marshall said.
Small Business Expert, Susan Solovic, weighed in.
“Women business owners is a fast growing market segment of the small business sector. One of the things that we’re finding, Chase and NFIB, found that about 43% of women-owned businesses are cutting expenses in order to survive in this recession,” Solovic said. “They’re embracing technology as a way to keep themselves untethered to their desks and out there building their businesses. I can practically run my business from the palm of my hand. That’s amazing to me and includes anything from sales force to expenses.”
Marshall said she uses technology to connect with customers.
“I love giving my cell phone number out to my brides a couple of days before their wedding. That way they can call if they need anything and they have that comfort factor,” Marshall said.
Solovic said another avenue to boost small business success isn’t surprising. It's the internet.
“We’re seeing a lot of social media use. Over 50% reported they’re using social media to market their business. It’s a great way to get the word out there and build brand awareness, to make connections, to find employees, to build report and to connect with your customers and clients,” Solovic said.
“Facebook is a great media. We need to utilize it more than what we do. We’ve been kind of slow getting in there but we’re trying to get in there more now. I would like to have more pictures on it and that’s what we’re really working on. That’s what our customers keep asking for, is more pictures and more pictures,” Marshall said.
However, Marshall said her most important business tactics are maintaining a quality product and customer service.
“That’s part of what keeps us here late at night and working to make everything perfect for our customers,” Marshall said.
She said that’s what keeps customers coming in and business blooming.