SAF Wednesday E-Brief
July 29, 2009

New PR Pitch: Flowers Are Perfect Gift for Unsung Heroes

You may be sweating it out now, but it’s not too early to think about the holiday season and warm up your PR muscles. That’s what SAF is doing in a new PR campaign that positions flowers as the way to recognize unsung heroes this holiday season. Launched last week, the Holiday Acts of Flowers campaign is designed to put flowers at the top of holiday shopping lists by scoring national magazine coverage in November and December. More

House, Senate Tackle their Versions of Health Care Reform — After Recess

Prodded by President Obama’s deadline of passing a House bill by the August congressional recess, lawmakers in both houses have spent months knocking out broad parameters of health care legislation and negotiating the details. Passing a bill before the August recess is not going to happen. SAF has an analysis of the current status of House and Senate bills. More

What Higher Wages Mean for Small Business
from SmartMoney's Small Biz
Thanks to a three-tiered federal minimum wage-hike that Congress approved two years ago, as of last Friday, employers are required to pay hourly workers at least $7.25 per hour. This third and final rate hike represents a 70-cent jump from $6.55 per hour. Here's the good news and the bad news for small business owners facing a new higher minimum wage. Need more minimum wage info? Visit this Dept. of Labor Web site for more information by state. Don’t forget that employers must display the new minimum wage requirements in all business locations. The Department of Labor has free, printer-friendly posters online. For more information, contact Jeanne Ramsay, 800-336-4743, jramsay@safnow.org. More

1-800-FLOWERS.COM Sets Up Shop Inside Facebook
from The Washington Post
In another testament to the notion that Facebook is quietly turning into the Internet on top of the Internet, online flower retailer 1-800-Flowers.com has launched an e-commerce store inside its Facebook Page. Registered users can now order all kinds of floral products from the popular florist and gift shop without ever leaving the social network. More

How Long is Your Customer E-Mail List?

For how many of your customers do you have an e-mail address? Take the poll here. More

Another Florist Takes the Flowery Language to Funeral Director

While attending the funeral of a family member, Karl Wirth of Wirth Florist spoke to his local funeral director about the role of flowers in the service. The director had "no awareness of the sensitivity [of the use of the 'in lieu of' phrase],” Wirth said, but after seeing her preside over the funeral, he knew she shared his commitment to giving the family as much comfort as possible. More

Summer School is ‘Awesome’ for Calif. Florist/Teacher

Back-to-school time came early in Lancaster, Calif., but it’s not the kiddos armed with Hello Kitty notebooks racing into class who got schooled in July. About eight students grabbed their fresh supplies and got busy learning about floral design, during Antelope Valley Florist’s Awesome Blossom workshop. Presented in conjunction with Lancaster’s Park and Recreation Department, the four-week class has introduced students to the basics of flower design and the 56-year-old, three-generation flower shop to new customers for the past three years. More

Choosing a Business Credit Card
from BusinessWeek
As small business lending has dried up, small business owners are increasingly relying on business—and personal—credit cards to finance their operations. The issuance of new credit cards was also down early this year over last year, but if you have established credit cards, make your payments on time, and have a decent personal credit score, you should not have difficulty getting a business credit card. More

Ga. Wholesaler Takes On ‘Phantom Florists,’ Talks Up Customers in Article

When the local newspaper called Georgia State Floral Distributors Inc., to interview the owners for the weekly business spotlight, they did what they always do: thought of their customers. While they made sure to highlight the wholesaler’s 55 years in business and their ability to satisfy “90 percent of all florist’s needs,” they turned the interview toward their customers and what readers should know about supporting local businesses. More

SAF Member Says High-tech is the Secret to a Blooming Business
from the HeraldNet
Strategic use of technology at SAF members Cheryl and Spark VanWinkle, of Stadium Flowers Florist, got the attention of the HeraldNet, in Everett, Wash. More

Efficient Web Site Redesigns: Tactics to Guide Your Process
from Marketing Sherpa
A Web site redesign is a heavy load for a marketing team, especially if you don’t have much wiggle room in your budget or schedule. The solution is to make the process as efficient and effective as possible. See how a marketer in charge of redesigning the Web sites of dozens of his company’s brands streamlined the process. More

9 Rules of Facebook Promotion
from All Facebook
You’re the owner of a local small business and you are trying to figure out the best steps to get on to Facebook to drive new customers. It can be a daunting task: With little extra time in the day, how can you be expected to spend time promoting your business on Facebook? The author spoke to several small businesses, including florists, and compiled a list of strategies that should help ease the process. More

Remind Customers: Cupid Doesn’t take a VacationAug. 14 is to the halfway point to Valentine’s Day and the perfect time to remind your once and future cupids how romantic an unexpected expression of affection can be. Pull out this year’s Valentine’s Day customer list and drop the hint in an email or postcard. Couple the research of the Power of Giving Flowers

Aug. 14 is to the halfway point to Valentine’s Day and the perfect time to remind your once and future cupids how romantic an unexpected expression of affection can be. Pull out this year’s Valentine’s Day customer list and drop the hint in an email or postcard. Couple the research of the Power of Giving Flowers results with a “just because” message. More

Learn to Monetize that Socializing at SAF Phoenix 2009Relationship-based online marketing is an exciting new avenue in business communication, and members of SAF’s Technology Committee are going to show you just how easy it is to get started. You’ll learn why social networking is invaluable, how others are using it and what you you need to do to build lasting online relationships that bring in customers. You’ll leave knowing how to set up your Facebook, MySpace or Twitter page. If getting new customers is on your “to do” list, then this session must be on your calendar. Every segment of the industry can benefit. Bring your laptop and get ready to sit down and tackle Facebook, Twitter and MySpace on the spot — with a little hands-on help from your friends at SAF. Register now for SAF Phoenix 2009

Relationship-based online marketing is an exciting new avenue in business communication, and members of SAF’s Technology Committee are going to show you just how easy it is to get started. You’ll learn why social networking is invaluable, how others are using it and what you you need to do to build lasting online relationships that bring in customers. You’ll leave knowing how to set up your Facebook, MySpace or Twitter page. If getting new customers is on your “to do” list, then this session must be on your calendar. Every segment of the industry can benefit. Bring your laptop and get ready to sit down and tackle Facebook, Twitter and MySpace on the spot — with a little hands-on help from your friends at SAF. Register now for SAF Phoenix 2009, 125th Annual Convention, Sept. 23-26. Questions? Contact Laura Weaver at (800) 336-4743, lweaver@safnow.org More

On the Horizon SAF PHOENIX 2009

SAF PHOENIX 2009 125th Annual Convention Sept. 23-26 Sheraton Wild Horse Pass, Phoenix Don't miss these important deadlines! Aug. 3: Sylvia Cup Competition entries Premier Product Showcase entries Aug. 20: Early-Bird Registration discount Aug. 22: Hotel Reservations Proflora 2009 Sept. 30-Oct.2, Bogota, Colombia. More



An SAF member commented on “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” the feature story in the latest issue of Floral Trend Tracker, reader commented on our article “Members Rally ‘Round Buy-Local Campaign." More

Product Spotlight: SAF Business MasterCard with WorldPointsSwipe your card, hype your product and fill up on reward points with the SAF Business MasterCard. Earn points on all your business expenses — inventory, payroll, daily costs — and redeem them whenever you choose. There is no annual limit on the points, which can be redeemed for rewards such as airline travel, hotel stays and gift certificates. For more information click here

Swipe your card, hype your product and fill up on reward points with the SAF Business MasterCard. Earn points on all your business expenses — inventory, payroll, daily costs — and redeem them whenever you choose. There is no annual limit on the points, which can be redeemed for rewards such as airline travel, hotel stays and gift certificates. For more information click here or call SAF Member Services at (800) 336-4743. Or call Bank of America at (800) 570-1601 and mention priority code UAATCU to apply for the SAF Business Card with WorldPoints Rewards. More



More than 80 percent of last-week’s e-poll respondents said customers ask about organic products "once in a blue moon." More