Doug Writes

Pencil Pusher for Hire

Display Flowers to Increase the Visibility of Your Business

Planter of Marigolds

Ask any business owner and they will tell you that regardless of how long they have been at the same location new customers say, “I didn’t even know you were here!”

Micro-businesses often have a difficult time getting noticed, even in small towns.  This is especially true of retail shops located  in strips of near identical stores fronted by cement sidewalks and parking lots.

An Inexpensive Solution to Increasing Visibility

It took me twenty years to discover an inexpensive solution to the problem – flowers.

Every year I plant tubs of bright flowers in half-barrel planters in front of my store and the flowerbed along the side of the building facing my parking lot. As soon as they begin to bloom, my business (selling books) increases by between 10 and 33 percent. It actually gets even better as the season continues.

There Are Two Basic Approaches to Getting Flowers For Display.

  1. Buying potting plants from a local greenhouse.
  2. Starting your own plants at home, and then transplanting.

The first choice is easiest, but most expensive. When I have done this it usually costs me about $300 for the plants, a couple of hours to shop for the plant, and another couple of hours to transplant everything.

The second choice is less expensive, but more time consuming. Maybe $20 for seeds, total!

Starting your plants indoors at home will require about an hour to plant, followed by approximately thirty minutes a weed for watering, transplanting, moving for sun, and general care per week. Schedule at least 12 weeks before you want to plant them at your business, as many annual flowers have slow germination speeds.

Keep in mind that while starting your own is inexpensive, there is added expense at the beginning because you will need to buy or build seed trays, get potting soil, and arrange lighting, even if it is just a sunny spot on your windowsill. You can use old yogurt containers or Styrofoam cups for when they get big enough to transplant. Figure on an additional $40.00 all totaled, but consider next year – you will already have most of what you need and can skip the extra expense.

Either way, once you transplant them at your business  it’s just a matter of watering twice a week and the occasional deadheading (i.e. cutting off the spend flower heads to encourage more blooms) or weed pulling. Because the flowers are growing in tubs, weeding is fifteen minutes work for the whole growing season. Depending on the type of flowers grown, deadheading  may be required and take about thirty minutes a week.

The Best Flowers to Display for Business Visibility.

Some flowers are better suited than others. Above all you want flowers that bloom for the full season and have blossoms close together to create the greatest impact.  Business displays are not the place for subtlety – glorious extravagance is called for.

Annuals are perfect for business display because they are inexpensive, can be changed every year, and require minimum care. I live in a very cold part of the world (Northern Canada)  so my choices are as limited as my growing season is short. Still, if I can grow them here, you should be able to grow them in any temperate climate.

  • Petunia Display for increase Visibilty

    Creative Commons Licence: Miguel A. Vera León, @ Flicr

    For ease of growing, both from seed and from purchased potting plants, nothing is better than petunias. They bloom early, last all season, and are very showy. Nor do they need deadheading, unless you are a neatness fanatic who can not stand the sight of a few shriveled spend blossoms. Their only real fault is that towards fall they do become straggly, and lose some of their appeal.

  • Marigold display for increased visibility of your business

    by turtlemom 4bacon @flickr

    If bright eye appeal is most important, display marigolds. The larger sizes are best as their bright blooms are easiest to see at a distance. These flowers, however, do need deadheading to be at their best for the whole season.

Flowers Not to Display at Your Business

The worst flowers to grow for display are roses. Most do not bloom for long, will not winter over where I live, cost $25.00 EACH, and have thorns that stag customers’ clothing. I thought they were a good idea last year – was I wrong! The worst thing is, because of my short growing season, I have only one chance per year to get it right, and when I fail it costs me a lost opportunity.

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17 May 2011 - Posted by | Micro-Business | ,

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