Diverse Paths of Revenue - Event Driven Podcast

By Jason McIntosh

 

In this episode of the Event Driven podcast, we talk to Rachel Gang from Helen Olivia who discusses how she and her husband purchased an existing floral event business. She explains many unique paths of revenue that sustain her company and make running the business a bit less stressful.

 

Rachel Gang and her husband acquired Helen Olivia, a floral studio in Washington, D.C., over 10 years ago. Initially, the studio primarily focused on walk-in retail and had a few corporate clients but not many weddings.

Recognizing the potential for growth in the corporate sector, Rachel and her husband shifted their focus. They developed relationships with caterers, hotels, universities, and embassies, which resulted in repeat business and significant growth.

Before acquiring Helen Olivia, Rachel and her husband gained valuable experience by running a large event company in D.C. for several years. When they acquired Helen Olivia, the business was cashflow positive and had a good reputation with a loyal customer base.

At the time of acquisition, the revenue streams were approximately 5-10% from workshops, 10-15% from corporate clients, and the rest from e-commerce, walk-in retail, and small events.

Topics within this episode:

 

Full Transcript Below

Ryan O'Neil: [00:00:00] Hey, everybody. Welcome to the next episode of the event driven podcast. It's a podcast delivered to event professionals who want to master different metrics that matter in their business. And we want to bring real world stories from professionals like florist and caters and industry experts.

Ryan O'Neil: Who can share their secrets on really growing their business and transform their business. And, and one of those experts we're super excited today to have is Rachel gang from Helen Olivia. We're super excited to have you here, Rachel.

Rachel Gang: Thanks. Yeah. Thanks for the invitation. It's always fun to connect with other industry friends.

Ryan O'Neil: As we were chatting the other day it came up to my mind, like, how unique of a business model that you all have. And for us, we're just really excited to kind of share, like, different perspectives. One of the topics for today for us is to talk about revenue streams and looking at, Kind of the breakdown within your company of where your different revenues coming from and, and the decisions that are involved in that.

Ryan O'Neil: My wife [00:01:00] and I, we owned a wedding and event flower studio and that's all we did. We didn't do e commerce. We didn't do valentine's day. We didn't partner with corporate. We just solely did weddings and for us, you know, you live or you die on that, right? Like it's kind of a question. So your story, Was incredible and I would love to tell you could you tell us a little bit about Helen and Olivia Tell us a little bit about your story.

Ryan O'Neil: How you got into the topic that we're talking about today

Rachel Gang: Yeah, so my husband and I have owned Helen Olivia for a little over 10 years, and we're a Washington, D. C. based studio right outside of D. C. in a little town called Alexandria. We're about two miles outside of D. C. And We bought 10 years ago, and when we bought the shop, it was in a quaint, historic, very affluent part of D. C. That did a lot of walk in retail, like, brick and mortar style of floral work. And the studio had a couple of corporate clients, but not a ton, and dabbled [00:02:00] in weddings, but again, not a ton. The studio did in the high six figures. So like right under a million dollars a year. So still a good volume, but we have since kind of grown in many different areas.


Rachel Gang:
We have really grown in the corporate space in particular. I think very early on, we got a taste of corporate work and realized that it was really easy. So And, and, you know, easy in the sense that you're working with really short turnaround times. So oftentimes your clients are calling you with two days notice, five days notice, two weeks notice.

Rachel Gang: So, you know, you're, you're not dealing with somebody for months and months and months on end. We also find that our corporate clients you know, they, they definitely want good looking floral, but they're not so emotionally attached to their floral like brides are. So it's a lot easier from the planning backend process.

Rachel Gang: And we realized also that our corporate clients were repeat clients. And that was really a cool thing for us to realize as business owners, like, Hey, if we get [00:03:00] one good client and they book us 20 times a year, like that's a hell of a lot better than you know, working with just one bride. So we developed relationships with caterers in DC caterers have been huge for the growth of our business.

Rachel Gang: They will book us, one company might book us 20 times a week and then hotels. Universities, embassies, all of these are repeat residual business. And I know for us, it's unique being in DC. It's a city, unlike many others and not like any other in the country. But we have been very, very lucky to grow that side of our business.

Ryan O'Neil: That's super, super cool. And you all, I'm sure took a kind of a long road to get there. My wife and I, we had started our own company, so I don't have a lot of experience acquiring you know, we acquired it with the software companies in my role. The software and curate, but not necessarily as a small business owner, you know, when we were a design company, like what went into that decision for you all?

Ryan O'Neil: You know, when you looked at the, you know, the books in that process [00:04:00] of acquiring Helen Olivia, like what, what was that kind of those initial first days? What did those look like for you all?

Rachel Gang: Well, we I should add, my husband and I work together running Pretty large event company in DC for four or five years beforehand.

Rachel Gang: And during that time I had grown into the general manager role. He had grown into the sales manager role. So we were really hands on running somebody else's business. Which, you know, for anyone who's thinking about jumping into business ownership, if you have the opportunity to run somebody else's business and figure it out and make mistakes on their dime, like that's absolutely the way to do it.

Rachel Gang: So we were very, very lucky to have, you know, a couple of years under our belts. We looked at buying that business, but for one reason or another, it wasn't going to work out. And so we started searching for other businesses to buy. Helen Olivia kind of just fell into our lap saw the listing and we were immediately like, yes, this makes sense.

Rachel Gang: You know, my husband felt like he could have, you know, the, the business to manage. And I liked the idea that it was a little bit [00:05:00] creative. The numbers made sense. It was. Cashflow positive, the owners that we bought from ran a really tight, clean business with you know, not taking on debts and meeting all of their responsibilities.

Rachel Gang: So we felt like we were you know, starting out with a good paycheck on day one. And, you know, we'd never in a million years thought that we would grow to the size that we've grown to, but you know, we started with such a good foundation and good brand recognition in DC. We, you know, obviously part of what we paid for was just a really good, loyal customer base,

Ryan O'Neil: right?

Ryan O'Neil: You know, that's phenomenal when you have that opportunity to find a local business that you can be able to kind of take to the next level.

Ryan O'Neil: I've, I've just so enjoyed seeing y'all story over the years. When, when you initially acquired, acquired the company, was it really heavy on the retail side? Did they do a lot of events? Did they do a lot of corporate? What, what did those revenue streams look like for Helen Olivia when you first acquired the company?

Rachel Gang: Sure. So when [00:06:00] we first bought the business we, you know, with our accountant did an audit of the books, and we had a pretty good handle on what the revenue streams were I would say between 5 to 10 percent was workshop revenue, and that has been consistent as we've scaled, where we probably hover around 5 percent workshop revenue Now they did, I would guess maybe 10 to 15 percent corporate and then the rest of that was either e commerce or, you know, walk in or phone in retail orders or very small events.

Rachel Gang: So, you know, somebody's hosting a baby shower in their backyard type of event. They had a handful of larger corporate clients, but not a ton of them.

Ryan O'Neil: Yeah, that makes sense. And so I guess in there's so many stories here. So don't feel bad about jumping into any of these stories. I love hearing your story and learning more.

Ryan O'Neil: At what points do you all see kind of like opportunities and different? It sounds like the workshops has just stayed consistent, but those other different revenue streams have probably gone up down, you know, [00:07:00] we added. You know, if you start in 2012 and you go through COVID, you know, you're post COVID, you've got all these different changes.

Ryan O'Neil: What were, what were those times that you knew that it was the right time to grow or maybe to shrink in different areas of the company?

Rachel Gang: So we have not really experienced a shrinking. You know, we, Are starting to have conversations about what it looks like to shrink or scale back in certain areas.

Rachel Gang: So that's on the horizon for us. But we have definitely seen big growth in certain areas and corporate has just been a big boom for us. So, year over year, over year, corporate is really. A profit center for our business and is really what keeps the lights on around here on. And when I say corporate within the corporate umbrella for Helen, Olivia is lobby contracts and hotel contracts.


Rachel Gang:
So we have subscriptions, so to speak of people who are getting arrangements every single Monday, every single Friday. Corporate gifting [00:08:00] also falls under that umbrella. You know, we have real estate brokerages who every single time they meet with a client, they are sending an arrangement. We have, yeah, we have we do floral concierge services.

Rachel Gang: So we have a couple of really big law firm clients in DC who, you know, may need to send flowers to Hong Kong one day, or to a small town in Alabama. And we facilitate that and we bill for that. You know, we've got the D. C. Sports teams also take advantage of that service. What else? We do corporate events.

Rachel Gang: We do corporate team building. Believe it or not. Floral workshops are really successful going downtown into the offices like employee appreciation week. We are booked. So yeah, corporate has grown and grown and grown. We do tiny corporate events that might be five bud vases and a single buffet arrangement on a Tuesday all the way up to you know, big political fundraisers in DC that may be 150.

Rachel Gang: So it runs the gamut. A lot of that corporate business comes [00:09:00] through our caterers who are referring their clients to us through hotels, venues. So it's, it's all word of mouth. We do no advertising as a business. It's just word of mouth being really easy to work with are like one of the pillars of our business.

Rachel Gang: And we. You know, tell this to every single person we hire is we want to be kind and be easy to work with. And that has carried our business really, really far over the years.

Ryan O'Neil: So you just listed off, this is so cool. Cause you listed off like six different, like by themselves, they're their own concept.

Ryan O'Neil: Of a kind of a revenue stream and so do you all I guess let me let me start because i'm trying to go through The list in my mind, you know floral subscriptions Do you all break that out between does it fall under corporate if it's for a personal floral subscription? Do you all do personal floral subscription or is that primarily like corporate subscriptions?

Rachel Gang: So I would say corporate subscription is a lobby. So, you know a reception desk [00:10:00] arrangement Some of our corporate clients are ordering, like, I have one very large company that's ordering five pieces at 300 a pop every single Monday. So that's, like, it's great business for us on Mondays to know that before 10 a. m. we're already pushing out the door, you know, the equivalent of a large wedding. Right. You know, I would, I would consider anyone who's getting a lobby arrangement to be under the corporate subscription umbrella. And then we have, I don't know, I'd have to count, but a whole lot of private home subscriptions.

Rachel Gang: So that's going to be somebody who signs up for a weekly, bi weekly, monthly, or quarterly subscription to their home. So, you know, a husband who's gifting a year's worth of flowers to his wife, or we actually have a lot of folks who send subscriptions to retirement communities. That's been really good to us.

Rachel Gang: So, you know, flowers for grandma. So you know, those I wouldn't put under the corporate umbrella, but still a subscription.

Ryan O'Neil: Yeah, that's great. So I'm sure [00:11:00] every single one of these kind of has a story to it, right? Like hey, how did we get into this side of it? But what I love about what you've described is so many people in the event world it's it's easy to get focused like my wife and I did on one particular area and we loved it We lived did love that area but our core reasoning for becoming, you know, starting our own company was to have a You know Freedom and flexibility to own our own company to make their own schedules and everything that you're describing It falls under this realm of like you know, it sounds like you all have a wonderful business You have maybe still some walk in traffic But we that wasn't kind of our direction.

Ryan O'Neil: We love this concept of an event driven company I mean, the things that you're describing are things that we also could have done. So tell me about like, how did you, let's just, let's start with maybe the lobby. Like what was that, those first few, what did those look like? What seemed to open up the door to more of those lobby arrangements?

Ryan O'Neil: Like the example you gave, like we [00:12:00] just, you have one great client who's doing 1, 500 a week and you're, you're taking care of all of that legwork for them.

Rachel Gang: Yeah well, I, we started off really small. A lot of it again was word of mouth. So when we first bought the shop, we had I think, The two or three lobby clients one of them we still laugh about this.

Rachel Gang: They're no longer a client, but it was a sex shop was one of the lobby clients that we inherited and we used to do like corset wrapped ribbon and like, it was really ridiculous. So we had a handful of lobby clients and it started growing because we delivered good looking lobby arrangements and the other two Clients were in high rise buildings.

Rachel Gang: And so folks who had fleets would ask for business cards. So we picked up another couple of lobby contracts in those buildings, and then it kind of grew from there. So yeah, a lot of word of mouth. You know, every time we land a new corporate lobby client or any type of [00:13:00] corporate client, we like to give them like a one page tear sheet from Canva that says, hey, these are the services we offer to our corporate clients.

Rachel Gang: And that's something that has really Been really great for us is having at the ready like marketing material to just email over to someone Hey, did you know we have floral concierge service where you can order flowers around the world? Did you know that we do client gifting here in dc? You know, did you know that we do?

Rachel Gang: on site events and that's Turned into more and more bookings.

Ryan O'Neil: That's really awesome. What about workshops? So like the the corporate workshops when you're you know We've done this at curate We've had our actually our team like one of the team building activities was just like doing a floral workshop And there's particular team members who enjoy more full arrangements than others.

Ryan O'Neil: Let me say it that way but Ie they have a 300 bouquet when everybody's supposed to have 80 bouquets. But But we have a great time. Do we had a great time doing it? Like how did that grow out of your [00:14:00] workshop business? Like well, how has that evolved through through kind of the years of this corporate side?

Rachel Gang: Yeah, so earlier you asked me if there was an area that we're scaling back and I said we're thinking about it workshops That's not true. We are scaling back our workshop program the workshop program is the one part of our business where We get so many requests and so many inquiries that we just cannot keep up.

Rachel Gang: So I we, I think started doing workshops before they were cool. So I have to give all the credit owner of Helen Olivia. She had a weekly workshop program that had a wait list out the wazoo. She had a signup book. It was in a spiral notebook and it used to make me crazy. Cause it was like scratched out highlight marks everywhere, but there was, you know, a list of.


Rachel Gang:
30 or 40 people on the wait list for every single class. It was crazy. So we've continued with the workshop program. They sell out every time. And you know, we got just an enormous number of requests for private workshops in studio. And then a lot of people want [00:15:00] offsite workshops. So at their home, in their office we probably get, I don't know, a hundred or 200 workshop inquiries a year that we just can't, we don't have the bandwidth to So we try to reserve the onsite workshops for our good, regular corporate clients.

Ryan O'Neil: That makes sense. One that I that I found really, really interesting is, you know, you're building partnerships with people who are already, you Finding weddings and events. My, my wife and I, we spent a lot of time building together, like our, our SEO, right? And so that was kind of our marketing thing and it's, and it worked great.

Ryan O'Neil: Like we did spend a lot of time getting on one of the front pages, but that was how we got more clients, but all of them. To your point, were clients who came and we really enjoyed working with them, but it was the only time we ever were going to work with that client, unless there was a whole bunch of siblings that were going to be coming, you know, in the next few years.

Ryan O'Neil: Sometimes

Rachel Gang: that happens. It's true.

Ryan O'Neil: It's true. And you're having to pull up the old proposal on Curate all the time. We're like, all right, let's go find this old proposal and let's try to remember all what we did previously. [00:16:00] But what you said was really interesting, which was you've started to build relationships with caterers who are doing all sorts of events.

Ryan O'Neil: They're already finding these weddings and events that, that needs someone to do the work for them. What, what has that looked like? How has that grown? How did that start?

Rachel Gang: Yeah. So when we bought the shop, we had one catering company that worked with the shop and we still work with that catering company all the time.

Rachel Gang: I think we did. 7 or 8 events for them this week. So they're really good partners for our business. The caterers, if you're in a major metro area are, you know, such a wonderful you know, person to partner with. They have all of the clients, they do all of the heavy lifting for you. They, in our city, at least they function a lot like a wedding or an event planner, but just with more clients.


Rachel Gang:
You know, they are easy to work with. They almost, it feels like an extension of our own business when we work with them, because we work so frequently with these people and the booking process usually is as simple [00:17:00] as just firing off a quick email saying, you know, Hey, team, Helen, Olivia, we've got 19 tables at portrait gallery tomorrow nights, or not tomorrow night, hopefully not tomorrow night, but two weeks from now and You know, we've got green linen and ghost chairs and load is 3 p. m. We'll see you then. So it's really. Easy working with them effortless.

Ryan O'Neil: That's really cool. And because again, so many times like these, I've been on so many calls like this, where those relationships have really mattered, where you've kind of been able to like have conversations, build those relationships and those opportunities.

Ryan O'Neil: How many, how many caterers would you say on the average month or year that you all work with in that kind of relationship?

Rachel Gang: So we've got four that we work with regularly, meaning like, at least once or twice a week some of them, you know, on a busy week, we might be working with 10 plus times. And then we've got another probably three or four caterers that [00:18:00] Use us at least a couple of times a month.

Rachel Gang: And that's, you know, the same with the hotels and country clubs in the area.

Ryan O'Neil: That makes sense. And then in terms of the flow of that, like the expectations there to to the caterers, do they charge a particular amount and then they take a portion of that and they stay allocated that to their costing, which is what they turn and pay you.

Ryan O'Neil: What does, what does that flow look like? Even though you're not working with that in client, if someone were to get into this, what was, what was the expectation? Of that, that flow look like for them? Yeah,

Rachel Gang: well, I can give Curate a big plug here because we use Curate a lot in this process. So you know, 50 percent of the time the clients don't care to see a vision board or, you know, proposal beforehand, but some of the time they do.


Rachel Gang:
So a caterer will put an inquiry through, we'll take the Curate proposal. Oftentimes we're using the function where we can send a proposal without showing pricing. We use that all the time. So when we're working. Caterer or a hotel, we are exporting a PDF of a proposal with no [00:19:00] pricing, sending it off to the end client for approval or for edits.

Rachel Gang: Most of the caterers are paying, actually all of the caterers and hotels are paying us full price and then they are marking up to their client. So, you know, the way. The way that I would look at this is the same way that a wedding or event planner is charging a design fee, or, you know, their rates and the caterers are kind of doing the same thing in major metro areas.

Rachel Gang: So they are you know, billing a 20 percent or 30 percent commission on booking of the floral. So it doesn't eat into our profit margins at all. It's just like a regular person we're booking flowers.

Ryan O'Neil: Yeah, I love that. And so in that relationship, there's what I'm hearing is you know, you typically will, you know, leave any Pricing conversation between the caterer and the client.

Ryan O'Neil: You know, if you're doing a vision board or something like that, you're just kind of using the settings. There's two or three ways to get prices removed and curate, but you're using either the link without prices or the sections where you're [00:20:00] hiding the prices. And but, but then, but in the end. That your customer is that caterer and they're the person who's going to pay you.

Rachel Gang: Yeah, exactly.

Ryan O'Neil: Okay. That makes sense. And then I I'm super curious around the, the flow of payments. Do they, do they pay the same that a client would pay? Are there kind of unique terms? What does that look like?


Rachel Gang:
Yeah, so the one significant thing that we learned very early on with corporate, and actually the old owners cautioned us, they said, because they knew we came from a corporate events background, they said, if you're going to do this, you need to be ready to float soon.

Rachel Gang: You know, accounts receivable you know, for these clients and some of the clients, you know, if you're lucky enough to get big events, it's, you know, a big amount of money that you're floating. So corporate seldom pays on time. Maybe 25 percent of our corporate clients are paying before the events, which if you're a wedding florist listening to this, you're probably screaming at your computer like no way I would never do this.

Rachel Gang: But [00:21:00] it's just industry standard in corporate. You know, I would never allow a private client or, you know, Joe Schmo calling me for their kid's, you know, graduation party to not pay in full. But these larger corporate clients, the hotels you know, fortune 500 companies, they are paying you net 30, net 60.

Rachel Gang: So you have to float on an ongoing basis. So for us, you know, when we look at our books at the end of the year, we keep capital in our business. To do this,

Ryan O'Neil: cover that, right. Well, everybody else does too. I, I hear the same story with florist who are like, you know, your taxes or whatever. They're like, Hey, if I've, if I've charged you already, I'm gonna go ahead and pull a chunk out because I don't wanna mess up there.

Ryan O'Neil: The same, same conversation here. My wife and I in our business, we always had a primary account and then we had the secondary account. We would just pull money out and stick it on the secondary account. For situations like this, where we have it. Do you, do you, what does a conversation look like with a caterer?

Ryan O'Neil: When a caterer says, Hey, we want to do this. Do you, do you set those terms up front? Do you say, Hey, we're going to do [00:22:00] net 30 terms or, or what does that look like in that kind of the nuts and bolts conversation that you have when you're opening up a different revenue stream like this?

Rachel Gang: Yeah. So it's definitely a conversation that we'll have.

Rachel Gang: You know, a lot of it is just, you know, Like kind of going with your gut instinct, you know, we've had clients over the years who have sketched us out a little bit or don't look like they're very well established and you know, we've asked them or we've insisted that they mail a check beforehand. We can always do that.

Rachel Gang: You know, it's, it's at our discretion and at our level of comfort. So you know, there have definitely been times that we've put our foot down or after a conversation felt, Not good. And we've insisted on a credit card beforehand or a check to be mailed. But for most of our clients who are paying net 30, not 60, they will tell you their terms very clearly.

Rachel Gang: A lot of times, you know, they connect us with their accounting departments and, you know, they can give you a payroll schedule. You just have a level of comfort, you know, and when you're dealing with a, a large household name company, you know, you know, they're good for it. You know, you know, [00:23:00] Nordstrom's is not.

Ryan O'Neil: Yeah, I've, I have, I was debating whether or not I should bring up the story and so generally that the answer should be no, but I'm going to do it anyways. There's another florist that I've talked with that was on, there was almost like a national situation. Like Spotify was literally doing a story about this, this event scammer, right?

Ryan O'Neil: They, they were this caterer and they were doing this, they were specifically in this accounts payable side of things. They just. They were kind of paying, but they weren't fully paying. And it was kind of like this weird process. So what I'm hearing you're saying is the companies you could trust are going to have process in place.

Ryan O'Neil: They're going to, you know, they're not gonna be like, yeah, we'll get it to you. Like you're gonna, you're gonna see the signs that, Hey, they've got a process. They've got a department that handles this. Anything else like on your side that when you're trying to avoid, Getting in a situation where someone's asking me for for a product, but they haven't been that great on their bills How do you like?

Ryan O'Neil: What [00:24:00] other clues do you think of and hear of when, whenever you're trying to process, especially for this new florist out, the florist who's listening to this saying, Hey, maybe I should open this up. What should they be looking for to make sure that this company is, is, is a great, you know, sound company?


Rachel Gang:
Yeah. I mean, always, always have clients sign your contract. So if God forbid something goes wrong, you can fall back on a contract. And you know, I, I would say in D. C. at least, we're all pretty friendly, all of the florists who operate in this area, and there's probably five of us who compete for the corporate work most commonly, and, you know, I'm lucky, knock, I'm knocking on wood right now, I have never been burned by a corporate account in ten years.

Rachel Gang: That's incredible. I've been burned by individual people, but not by corporate. You know, I would say we all look out for each other. If somebody ever were to burn me, I would, you know, send out an email to everybody else saying like, Hey, steer clear of this guy. This is not good. So yeah, we've been really lucky over the years and I guess [00:25:00] operating this way.

Rachel Gang: You know, I, I think if you're not used to working in the corporate space, you'd probably, you know, have a lot of anxiety just, you know, somebody that they're going to mail you a check 30, 30 days from now. But for us, it's very normal.

Ryan O'Neil: Yeah. The, and that makes sense. And we do hear that we've got, we've got customer of ours, customers of ours who do work for Netflix, they're doing work for large companies and you're having to deal with accounting departments and that, that, that flows.

Ryan O'Neil: So it makes a lot of sense that you're building these relationships and growing these sides of your business as, as, as the opportunity presents itself. So that makes sense on in terms of the the catering relationship how to be able to build those Do you have a couple stories about how more of those relationships have opened up?

Ryan O'Neil: Did they just was it just an introduction from another catering company or did they reach out to you directly? Like how are those relationships? How have they opened up over the course of the years?

Rachel Gang: Well a lot of times we've just been on site with catering companies and, you know, we always try to be friendly, [00:26:00] say hello we, one of the best things actually that we ever did for our business we have an awesome operations manager whose job it is is to confirm events.


Rachel Gang:
the week of the event. And if you're not doing this, you should be doing this because it is like a, just such a customer friendly way to operate. So every single event that is within 72 hours of the event date, we are sending an email out to the caterer or the hotel or whatever introducing ourselves what time we'll be there.

Rachel Gang: Do you have a preferred, you know, loading doc or a door that were to come through confirming that our loadout time is 11 PM. If you need us, this is the manager on duty for the nights. This is a cell phone number. And your crew lead is X person. And I've heard over and over again that the catering companies and hotels are just blown away by this.

Rachel Gang: Nobody else is doing it. crazy to me that nobody else is doing it, but, you know, I think if you Have a great team. You run a tight ship on site. You're easy to work with you know the the bookings just come like these [00:27:00] catering companies want to work with you And you deliver a good product.

Ryan O'Neil: So one of the areas I want to dive back into that I think is a really great place for us to kind of wrap up the call is around pulling back on areas of the business you have listed off this huge list of places, and I don't know how you keep up with it all, but you've got all this list of places that, that you're Engaging and offering services.

Ryan O'Neil: But at some point it sounds like there are kind of pros and cons around different revenue streams and what are we making off of it? But, but then the flip side of that is like, Hey, what impact does it have on our brand and who we are as a company? Like what are those decisions that go in that are currently going into that, that workshop conversation about, it doesn't sound, it doesn't sound like you're eliminating it, but you're asking that question of like, do we need to pull this back a little?

Rachel Gang: Yeah, well, I just want to address one thing you said. You don't know how I do it. I, I want to give credit to my team. We have a full time team of 15 or so people who are year round employees [00:28:00] and, you know, who are incredibly dedicated and talented and that's how we do it. It is definitely not just me running Helen Olivia and also a really great network of freelancers that we use regularly.


Rachel Gang:
So we're lucky in that respect. And it took a long time to cultivate and grow that team. So how do I know when it's time to scale back in an area? Well a couple of different factors when it starts to feel painful to do something is usually like the, the big sign. And I hired a business coach last year who really opened my eyes, you know, in this area in particular, she's like, what are the things that you just hate doing, or that take a lot of time for you to do?

Rachel Gang: And so we've been able to identify, you know, a couple of those, you know, it also if you look at like the cost benefit analysis, I guess, of doing certain things like workshops, for example, we have we have a great studio. We moved into this studio space five years ago. It's huge. We have a dedicated workshop room in our studio.

Rachel Gang: But the workshop room is also where we do a lot of our like [00:29:00] receiving drops. So when our wholesalers drop a thousand boxes, it's coming into our workshop room. And, you know, we've decided that the agony of. Moving all the boxes, cleaning all the boxes, setting for workshop is too much sometimes. So you know, we're having conversations right now about how frequently we want to do workshop.

Rachel Gang: So instead of weekly, maybe we're going to scale to biweekly and we're going to take half. So you know, we've. Started having those conversations, but usually it's just when somebody on our team says that they feel stretched too thin in that area, or it starts to feel like a pain rather than an exciting thing, that's when those conversations start to occur.

Ryan O'Neil: I love how principled that answer was. You know, it's, there's, there's so many different, I'm a, I'm a big metrics guy, so I'm like, well, I want this data and that data, but I love how simple that is to be able to say, when it starts to feel painful. And I think that's a it's kind of one of those hard, emotional things as a whole because you may love something and it may mean a lot to you.

Ryan O'Neil: But I still remember back [00:30:00] when, when my wife and I were looking at selling our company, you know, we had just found out that she had Crohn's. We were going through a lot of like medical situations and things like that. And we realized like we, we, you know, it's hard, but we couldn't keep up with it at that point.

Ryan O'Neil: Yeah. And I think that's a very principled answer in, in something that is really strong as, as, as, as people are always considering, it's so easy for us to, to just say, well, I'll add something else to my plate, I'll add something else to my plate, but at some point, at some point the plate's full, you know, you can't add anything else to it.

Rachel Gang: Yeah. And for us, like the, the big thing that we focus on and we have weekly staff meetings and we, you know, this is how we start every single staff meeting is like, are we maintaining our standards of excellence? And that's something that's been really. At the center of our brand all of these years, and we're fanatical about if we're going to do something, we are going to do it, you know, as close to perfection as we can do.

Rachel Gang: And, you know if we feel like we're not able to execute on that level Then we're just not going to do it So even though we have all of [00:31:00] these revenue streams and all of these different, you know channels to our business We really have focused on growing in a way that we're able to maintain our quality.

Ryan O'Neil: That's phenomenal Well, thank you for coming on the show You have blown my mind with all the different unique paths of revenue and approaches that you have for this industry And i'm i'm excited to continue, cheering cheering from the sidelines

Rachel Gang: Thanks so much. Fun to chat with you.

Ryan O'Neil: Talk to you later, Rachel.

Tags: business, florists

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