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Ryan and Amy bloom in the flower business

Ryan and Amy bloom in the flower business

Management skills and a gifted florist ensure Ryan and Amy bloom in the flower business.

Chillers in the backyard, babies and toddlers underfoot, a garden shed as a workroom, and the family lounge converted into an office…

Welcome to Amy’s Flowers of five years ago. In its bloom days of today things are a tad different for this business, owned by Ryan and Amy Henwood and started in 2010.

Today staff numbers sit at 13 with more needed, the business’ turnover is ranking highly in the floristry sector according to a recent NZ business benchmarking survey, and expansion into other provincial cities is planned. Plus, home base is now exactly that, with the business operating from a State Highway One location in Frankton’s industrial area, where it is attracting plenty of attention.

Ryan says the past five years can only be described as a “total roller-coaster”. “It has been phenomenal, our business grew so fast we just had to hang on for the ride. “Since our first year turnover has increased 12 times. “Managing growth has been the big challenge, with the need for policies, processes and systems in place. Management skills and a gifted florist ensure Ryan and Amy bloom in the flower business In its bud days the working environment was less than ideal for a now-thriving Hamilton florist business.

“We have been in growth mode for five years with zero sign of a slowdown.” Acceleration, rather than slowdown, is part of this achieving couple’s vernacular. Their business plan includes the intention to become a nation-wide brand with outlets throughout the country. Ryan puts the success of Amy’s Flowers down to fantastic product and service – and a wife whom he describes as a “truly gifted” florist and teacher of trainee florists. Before setting up Amy’s Flowers Ryan was a supermarket manager and Amy a florist with big city experience behind her. Ryan felt Amy’s talent and his business background provided a strong grounding for success.

Within their first year they had two staff working with them in their home, a growing base of big-name clients, and a growing family – the couple has three young children. “We got to the stage where we felt we had no home anymore and with three staff in a tiny shed it was all just getting messy. “But, we held onto this for as long as possible in order to keep overheads to a minimum and enabling us to grow our market share through digital marketing investment. “In the early days almost all profit was reinvested into marketing,” Ryan says.

Marketing has involved a strong focus on social media. These days one staff member is dedicated solely to that, plus wedding consultations. All forms of visual social media such as Facebook, Google plus, Instagram and Pinterest are utilised. “Social media has been huge for us. “We have more than 10,000 likes on facebook. We have also developed a strong database over the years,” Ryan says. The business also uses social media to go the extra mile in terms of customer service.

Customers placing an order with Amy’s Flowers have the option of being emailed a free photo of their order. They then have the opportunity to provide feedback on line. Ryan says “networking, networking and more networking” has also aided the growth and success of Amy’s Flowers. For example, from day one he has been actively involved with Business Network International and has held all the leadership roles within his chapter.

While Ryan says the past five years have been “one hell of a ride” he’s energised and ready for more growth. “Going to work is pure fun.” he says.

From the Waikato Business News August 2015


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