Mark has spent more than two decades in retail floral The first twelve years were spent actually working in shops – not just visiting or selling to them but actually working in them. It was this experience that led to the creation of FloristWare, a software system tailored to the unique needs of the flower business.
His first two years in the industry were spent working with a floral franchisor who at that point had more than 100 stores. Working with that many owners, many new to the business, provided great insight into best systems and practices, what worked and what doesn't.
That was a crazy introduction to the flower business - helping people open stores and get them through their first holidays! Watching that many different people try and do the same things (take and fill orders, make sales, etc.) really showed me where automation could improve things, and helped devise practices that led to the launch of two family stores.
The next decade was spent opening and running two brick and mortar retail flower shops with his family. One of these shops quickly grew quite large (more than one million dollars in yearly sales). The other one was smaller (less than $200K in annual sales).
That first-hand experience was invaluable because it let me participate in two completely different kinds of operations every day. At the busy store you had a dedicated manager/expediter, designers, order takers, and more. Each needed a system that kept them focussed on the few tasks that they performed countless times each day, and let them perform those tasks quickly. At the smaller store you had one person doing all those different things, and they needed a system that would make it easy even if they only used certain features once or twice a week. It was a great reminder than every shop is different, and for a system to work for different operations it needs a lot of different configuration options.
Upon release FloristWare quickly became the fastest growing independent software system for florists and has remained the most popular system of its kind for the last several years. It is the highest rated floral POS system on the review site Software Advice, and the choice of progressive, independent and successful slower shops – including the 2015 Retail Florist of the Year, Lilium Floral Design.
FloristWare is powerful, affordable and easy-to-use. The goal is to help get florists back in control of their own businesses and give them the tools to be successful while maintaining their independence. We want to help them increase sales and profits while saving time and money.
Development is ongoing and involves close collaboration with clients and industry experts and thought leaders like Tim Huckabee of FloralStrategies and Rick Rivers of Florist Bootcamp.