Magazine article Working Mother

A Team in Bloom

Magazine article Working Mother

A Team in Bloom

Article excerpt

My story: Acting was my first passion, so working in floral shops used to be my survival job. I loved the flexible schedule, which allowed me to go on auditions and do theater gigs at night. But this pay-the-rent work ultimately left me dissatisfied: Though the creativity of arranging flowers nurtured that side of me, I just didn't like being told what to do. So in 1993,1 started a home business, offering event consultations in my dining room and arranging flowers on top of the washing machine in the basement. Word spread like wildflowers, and before long, my business was my new passion.

I founded Botanicals Inc. officially in 1995, thinking I'd spend my days designing events and creating one-of-a-kind floral displays. What I didn't realize was that the more my business grew, the further away it would take me from doing what I love. I was neck-deep in operational tasks instead of creative ones. I realized I had to hire help and start delegating, or the business would swallow every hour of my day.

Letting go and trusting others was a huge challenge for me, since I saw myself as the heart and soul of what made my business successful. No one could relate to customers, find pristine flowers or bargain with vendors like I did. Or could they? My first step was to accept the fact that because I was trying to do everything, I wasn't doing anything well. I needed a management team.

To figure out where I needed the most help, I considered the business tasks I love and the tasks that I, well, hate. The goal was to delegate the less-than-favorite stuff that just ate away at my time. At the top of my list was managing the office. Paying bills, overseeing payroll, paying sales tax-it was exhausting. To help with these tasks, I hired an office manager. Of course, there were tasks I absolutely had to be involved with (like them or not) .So I began to bring on others who could eventually chip in once I had trained them. For example, it was hard to meet with each and every potential customer face-to-face. So I hired a team of four design/sales consultants to handle meetings.

Along the way, I have also hired a hard-goods manager, who is in charge of supplies like vases and props, a logistics manager, who figures out who and what is going where and in which truck, and a flower purchasing and processing manager, who finds the highest-quality flowers at the best price. …

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