How to Define Unique Value in Your Business

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How to Define Unique Value in Your Business

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What solution does your business bring to your clients? All businesses can fall into a certain industry category, but what sets your business apart? What makes the solutions you bring unique from any other business in your industry? Today I am chatting with Joe Vega, Co-CEO of Lovingly all about how to stand out in your industry, utilize technology to drive the experience and break free of the ordinary.


  • The importance of the customer journey
  • How to level up the technology your business utilizes
  • How to break free of  the ordinary and grow your business


Don't accept the status quo, prioritize innovation

Remove the guesswork with clear direction

Provide value past the connection point


When it comes to growing a business, Florists who feel lost trying to do it all have turned to order gatherers and wire services to help pick up the slack, but still struggled financially. I co-founded Lovingly to help guide florists to highly-profitable orders by increasing their online presence, giving them the freedom and independence to unleash their creativity and grow their businesses.

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  • To check out Joe's Tiktok Click HERE


I'm back for another episode of business unveiled. And today we have a very, very special guest. He is a wonderful friend of mine. And we met a couple years ago at an industry conference for 1000s of creatives. And right before that conference him and his business partner will let's be honest, probably their assistant reached out to me and said, Hey, we're gonna be at this conference. Like, let's meet up and then I sent them this long video, which you guys know how I do it. I like to show my face on video, and let people know what we're all about here at GSD. Continue Reading

That's getting shit done. And so Joe vago Welcome to the show. Thank you for having me, Angela. It's been, it's been a long time coming. I have been trying to get on your show forever. So I'm glad you're, you're finally having me on. It's been it's gonna be fun. Yeah. And so Joe, I've been asking them for has it been a few years now, like you guys need to come on the show and like, share what you do, because I've actually gotten to work inside of their company and meet a lot of their team members. They're based in New York, but they really, really helped so many people really all over the world. And so I'm excited for you guys to hear Joe's journey. And this Yeah, it's been a long time coming. But Joe's coming out with podcast. And so we'll talk about that in a little bit. You guys will have to stick around and hear about that. But before we jump in and talk about your company and how you guys are helping so many people tell us about your journey. How in the hell did you get to where you are today? Well, first of all, I had no idea while I was going to college or any point in my life that I would end up in the in the floral industry, right? It's been a it's been quite the journey. But um, you know, I got started in the flooring industry, when I got a job working for a major wire service. And my job there was to get on a plane every single Sunday and fly anywhere in North America. You know, I've been to places I couldn't even pronounce at the time like Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, for example. Like I had to learn, like how do you say, How do you pronounce that. So, um, so my job was to go there to a flower shop and installed the point of sale system and train the florists and then I would, you know get close to them a little bit talking about their business. And by the fourth day, I noticed there was a pattern. And I must have done like 70 or 80 installs. And on almost all every single install, on the last day the pattern was the same. And that is flow is kind of like decided to confine in me exactly how tough they have. And in terms of, you know, the financial stress the fact that they're not getting a lot of profitable orders anymore, like they used to do in the good old days, right. And that kind of stuck with me a little while and I didn't want to get a nine to five job once I stopped working for the wire service. I just couldn't go back to a regular nine to five. And I started thinking of like, what should I do next in my career. But those stories, those florists really struck something in me because I couldn't forget about what they had said and how much how much they were struggling. So I decided to give a few of them a call. And lucky for me tool to florists actually gave me an opportunity to do their SEO, and some online marketing. Now. I say that and I'm smiling because at the time I made the offer, but I had no idea how to do SEO. I had no idea how to do online marketing. But I knew you know, I knew about computers. I knew how to get around. I have a growth mindset. So I'm not when you don't know something. It's just a matter
of time, like, I can just learn it, you know, or anybody can do that if you have a growth mindset. So that's the approach I took. So I, you know, to to florists gave me an opportunity. And I ended up doing really well for them.
I had no idea this was going to become a, you know, the business it has become, I think after about a year and a half of doing this, there was a light bulb moment, which I'll go into in a little bit. But that's how I got started in the floor industry. So before we jump off to the light bulb, I want to back up and for those of you listening, I want you to know a few things. Number one, this isn't just for florist, because there is a huge entrepreneurial story here where florists are business owners, they're entrepreneurs. And most importantly, they are creatives like me, and like Joe and probably most of you listening are creatives. And so if you don't know what a wire service is, because when I first met Joe and his business partner, I was like, What the hell's the wire. But when you think about it, and it now if you own a retail store, you probably understand this terminology that somebody comes in, you take their money. And that's the old school way that it happened that we would like go in and buy someone a gift or buy someone flowers, because that's how we did it in the olden days. But then all this digital technology started to come out. And search engine optimization, SEO. It's really like a dog eat dog world. Basically, if you go and type in a Google search, I want to order flowers for my mom, or I want to send flowers. Then in SEO, Search Engine Optimization, Google is going to pull up usually a few ads. Joe, can you just tell for everybody who's listening? Because I guarantee you they probably don't know, because I didn't know any of this? What does that mean? So like, what was the straw? Because you mentioned the financial struggle of running, being a creative and running a business. First off, let's be honest, it's hard as hell. And so when you've got all these things coming at you and and we're changing paths of like, hey, people aren't coming in anymore, they want to place their order online. basically taking profit away from the local shop simply means a fake florists meaning
it's a it's a cold room somewhere where a lot of people are accompanies taking floral orders, only to turn around and put them through the wire service network.
And then that order would end up in a in a location near the recipients address. And then they would actually create the arrangement and deliver the flowers themselves, the actual florist. And guess what, there's these pictures of arrangements? And it's like, do you want a, b, c? Or d? And how much do you want to pay? And so the creativity is completely lost, right? Because that person has to make that picture that that person paid for? Is that how it used to work? Well, yes, that's another thing is, you know, when a florist receives a lot, most of their orders from the wire services or order gathers, they're basically creating the same cookie cutter arrangements. So their creativity, yeah, that creativity just goes out the window, you know,
you know, when you're making this is, you'll become almost like, you're just part of a bigger assembly line, you know, type of work. So
people, like, again, my family had been you for 35 years, they were very cookie cutter. And there's nothing wrong with that. And there's great profit in it. And it's a great business model. But if you're a true creative, your brain does not work that way, we need to be challenged, we need to keep up with the trends, we need to make sure that the the clientele that we want in our community is actually saying like, Oh, I know that arrangement that came from so and so because it's so freakin creative. And you can't go buy that anywhere. You can't go to Sam's or Costco and like, get that. And so I just want everybody to listen to understand because, Joe, I want you to tell them like what you guys created for the florist and for the creatives and for the entrepreneurs, because connecting them with their consumer, and taking the middleman out of it has completely transformed people's lives. And again, I know this and I'm close to it, I get like so excited to talk about it. Because I've seen Joe go out and talk to some of these people in some of the different states and cities and countries. And I mean, these people literally are like, Oh my god, you're one of the owners of what like they're in tears, because it really has made such an impact on some of their lives. So okay, the light bulb went off. And then how did you meet Ken, your business partner. Um, I met Ken
right before I got the job.
With the wire service, I was working alongside him, we work for an investment bank in New York City. I was only there for about eight months. He was there for about two years or so. But that's how that's how I met Ken.
We, I left the investment bank, and I went to work for the wire service. And he actually, he stood there for a couple of more years. And then he quit to do his own web development company. And I was still in the wire service and working with local florists. And then this light bulb went off and you're like, Oh, my God, I can do something about this. And you went to Ken and told him the idea. And he's like, that sounds great. And then the rest is history, like, talk yet journey? How much? Well, the the light bulb moment came from me, it was, it was a February 10 2007 when a florist that I was helping in Edmonton, Alberta gave me a call around 7am, which, as you know, that they're two hours behind. So it's like 5am, and their time, and she, she called me on the phone, and she's, too, I just got up, I was sleeping, I just got up and she's just crying on the phone. And she's like, Joe, you need to make it stop. And I said, just look at the phone. 780 area code. So I'm like, that's Edmonton. I'm the Karen, what's wrong? And she was like, please, you need to make a stop. They're going to yell at me. I'm like, what, who's gonna? Who's gonna yell at you? What's happening? Like, do you I'm gonna call the police. I don't know what's wrong, like she's, and and she's crying. She couldn't get a word in.
And then she finally got around to tell me exactly what happened. And this is what happened. She she had come in that morning. And, you know, every time it flows, gets an order, it physically gets printed out on a piece of paper. So when she came in that morning, the printer was actually out of paper, because it had printed all of this orders, right. And I was doing the SEO for her at the time. And then she got happy about that. And she went off, she went to the cooler, she went to go do something else. And then from the coolest, she heard the printer beeping again, asking for more papers. So there was another stack of orders. And that's when she freaked out. She actually told me like, she actually told me recently, this is what she said to herself. She was like, who is doing this to me? A Joe. Joe is doing this to me. Let me call him and tell him to stop. She actually told me on the phone, she's like, Joe, you need to make Google, you need to turn Google off. And I'm like, you can't turn Google? Yeah, it does. Not, you can't turn Google off, you have to call your Sir, you have to call your wire service, tell him to disable the days, she could have done that on her. She just she just like was freaking out. Because she was, here's the thing, she didn't buy enough flowers. She didn't buy enough, she wasn't expecting these orders. There were hundreds of orders. And like, none of these guys are going to be understanding of the fact that you know, you run out of flowers, they they paid for it, they were expecting those arrangements to be delivered, delivered to their significant others. So that she was already envisioning in her head, her getting yelled at from all from these men who, who, you know who ordered, but she wasn't going to be able to actually fulfill those orders. So but the thing is you that's that's a real moment, there are people I mean, how many of us, and how many of you listening would be like, Oh, my God, please let that come to me. I want all those leads. But the bottom line is, sometimes you're not prepared for it. And in this circumstance, and again, this is back in 2007. There I mean, SEO is so much more difficult, in my opinion, these days. And there's so much competition, but you guys have built this awesome process for your clients. So when they come to you, you actually educate them, you set them up, you take them on a customer journey, to make sure that they're actually going to be set up. But I mean, to me, that was an actual good problem to have. But I could see where she's like, Oh my god, I'm running out of flowers. What am I going to do? Everyone's going to scream at me. But once you create a process, which to me that brings opportunity. It's like First off, I would say, let's get rid of the paper and the printer. And let's have a CRM, and let's have all of our stuff come into some type of a database, so that we know in the future, how much how many flowers we're going to have to order and how many bulks and how many boxes and so it's just like with a grocery store. And I mean, I order my groceries online now. So if Whole Foods is out of it. Now Amazon plugs in to a third party. So if Whole Foods is out of it, they'll send a third party to go get all these things and then drop them at my front door. I don't care where they come from, to be frank with you. But Amazon is the middleman that is making all that stuff happen. And so I don't know how their systems know and it's all a computer generated. I mean, that that's where technology is beautiful. And that's what
Your company created you created a technology system that would help the creatives really streamline their business processes, and help them do their passion. Because we're all creators. We love what we do, typically, unless we're getting yelled at by people, and then we're actually, we're actually able to make money and be profitable. Because I mean, we used to do weddings, and we stood help with flowers, just because you know how to do it doesn't mean you should. But my uncle was a florist for 35 years. And so I grew up around it. And flowers are like children, you have to feed them and trim them and pay attention to them and put them I was like, I don't ever want to do flowers ever. So that's why I stuck with like, we'll do the design. And then we'll actually hire somebody to come in and do it and outsource it to execute it. Because it is a lot of work. This is not like going to Costco and picking up. Okay. There's a lot of design that goes in behind the scenes, there's a lot of caretaking, there's a lot of labor. And that generally people don't understand like that's what they're paying for. So tell everyone about lovingly and which is what their company is called. And they have these Navy shirts with their logo, and it is absolutely a conversation starter. Everywhere we go. Everyone says what is lovingly? And so did you guys do that on purpose when you decided to brand the company and call it that?
No, not at all. Actually, it was we almost call this something else. We actually slept on the name lovingly. While we were waiting for it, we use one of these services that basically sells a website and a brand and everything else we didn't use, we didn't end that we were just interested in the website.
And we but we had a couple of
requirements to choose a name first we had to be it had to have been a real word. It had to use as many as the, the lower the number of syllables, the better.
And if I tell you I don't think I told this story, but we almost named the company paied which is Playa de Yeah, I've ever had. Yeah, we actually it was between pied and lovingly Oh boy, I'm so glad that we chose the right name.
Because that's one syllable. And it's a real word. I didn't even know what it meant Pite is actually some sort of pita bread, which I had no idea what it was. But I'm so happy that we went with lovingly
and no, so this to answer your questions, this was not done by design. So the you know, the heart the logo, it's, it's, it all works seamlessly together, we have you know, people always stop us on the street and like, what is it just I don't know what it is it in. It triggers curiosity. And people because lovingly can mean?
Like anything, it can mean so many things. Good, bad, and everything in between, right? Like, it's just, you know, so it was not done by design, it kind of just happened. it sparks to me when I saw it. Because I'll never forget when you guys were like walking up to this booth that I was like working in doing some geo fencing, some technology stuff I was doing. And I'm like, lovingly, that's the lovingly guys. But to me, it sparks like a happy emotion. And you don't really see too many guys wearing a pink logo. And something like that has to mean something. I'm like, What is the meaning behind this? And you guys are awesome business partners. And so I know that for everybody listening, you hear good, bad things about having business partners. And, you know, my uncle was like, Oh, wait, never have a business partner, remember, but like, I have multiple online companies, and I have business partners without those business partners. Because and y'all know, I'm gonna bring up your colors. Joe and I are both very orange and true colors. Yes. And our business partners, especially in an online business, they're very green. And so they're more driven by the research and the analytics where Joe and I are, we make decisions off of intuition. And we are the creative ones that are coming up with like batshit crazy ideas. And then the green business partner, they're like, what the hell you're you were here, and now you're here. And so it is a great balance when you learn to be business partners, and you respect how each what each other brings to the table because it's never a competition between the two of you ever, and I've been around you guys a lot. And so it's always like, you know, Ken, and his brain works one way and Joe's brain works another and then you guys the way that you've run your teams and the way that you hire people, and the way that you build your leaders. It all really is seamless now, but Has it always been that way like it from from the time that you and Ken said hey, let's try this thing and let's start it. What are some of the growing
pains that you guys have experienced as a technology company.
So we've experienced, obviously growing pains. But in terms of Ken's my relationship with Ken, we is actually been smooth sailing, believe it or not. there's a there's a couple of reasons why I would say the first reason would be like, none of this was planned, right? We, the way we ended up working together was we actually work together as, as co workers at this investment bank. But there was there was a period of two years where we just saw each other at the bar for happy hour, for example, in New York City.
And so I was doing my own thing with with floral and with florists and Ken was doing his own thing. And one day he calls me up, he has he asked me if I can go with him to these new plant these new co working spaces. You know, this was way before we work and all these other companies are everyone's doing it now. Right. But like in 2008, that was just a brand new thing people were doing. And when we ended up at the CO working space, the way it worked is you rented the desk, and there was two desks per one cubicle, and they would just sit you with a stranger with anybody.
And we decided to take it, but under one condition if because I have my own business can had his own business. So we decided to take it, but only if we could sit next to each other because I didn't want to sit next to a stranger. So it took about two weeks, till we till we figure out he didn't want to sit next to a stranger either. So we were like sitting next to each other. I was doing my thing. He was doing his thing. And we were just talking going to lunch together. And it kind of happened organically. That's the thing, it just kind of like it just makes too much sense. Like, like you were saying like we're almost opposites of each other. He's got the, you know, he's a quarter of a designer, and designers and engineers have quarters, they just go hand in hand, right? He's his, he's got a very analytical mind, I have a very creative mind. So it's like we complement each other significantly. And I would say we haven't had personally struggles where we're similar in age, we're similar in, you know, we have young families. There's a lot of cohesiveness there, there's a lot of synergy. I just wish you would like a little bit more sports, but then that's it, you know, like, he just doesn't like sports. But other than that, it hasn't You know what, at the end of the day, Angela, it's all about not having an ego. That's really what it's all about. I think the ego is the number one killer of any relationship.
And to us, you know, we set a few rules when we first started, because we kind of said, Wait, are we talking about working together when it became kind of like a reality? We were like, okay, but there's, we're gonna have to establish some rules. And we did and ever since, and we've been following those rules from day one. And because of those rules were already established. We have not had, I think we've had like two
verbal fights or disagreements, and both of them had nothing to do with work they had to do with guy stuff. Like which side of the road should you drive in? If you're in that like, like stupid stuff, like not real, not real stuff. But when it comes to work, I don't think we've really ever had an argument. And the reason why that is, is because I don't, I don't care if I'm right, or he doesn't care if he's right, we just want to get it right. And at the end of the day, that's what matters. getting it right. Not being right is what matters. I love that. And so when you guys started off, I know that you already had relationships with people. And so and a few people gave you guys an opportunity. And that's really what sparked this company. And I know that you guys have launched all different types of programs, and you're constantly adding service lines, basically, not because you're like, Hey, we need to add more should, it's like, when there is a need. If it makes sense, you guys will create it so that you can make sure that you are maximizing that client journey and the customer journey for the lovingly florist and then also helping them I mean, it helps them run their business. And so I know one thing that you guys launched was it's called marketplace. And so can you tell us a little bit about where did the idea come? And how did you guys launch marketplace.
So we've had a soft launch.
But we're planning on having redesigning the site as it is right now. I'm planning on relaunching it January of 2021.
And the idea from that came from, you know, you were just talking about journeys, right. And I think that's a that's a really important keyword, because very few people understand the gifters journey, right? Everyone on the stand or semi understands the customer journey. But there's no such thing as a gift. There's journey. So when in terms of so the gift is journey, so so here's why. You know, it's something that we we've always has always gotten
And that is having a clear and full understanding of what's happening with the sender and the recipient, the journey that someone wanting to connect to another human being in a special way to celebrate a moment, and then having that recipient be, you know, happy that they were sent a gift. Having that journey complete in everyone in between who's part of that is incredibly important. And very few companies actually understand that most companies in the in the floor industry are just worrying about the transaction aspect of it. It's like all they're worrying about is getting the order and delivering the flowers. And that's it. Next, there's what's Where's, where's the next transaction? So it's a never ending thing, right? We try to understand the entire gift, his journey and the entire gift. His journey consists of, obviously a gift, in this case, the flowers, it consists of a delivery day, a timing delivery date, because if you, you know, somebody forgets your birthday, and sends, sends you flowers the next day that those flowers ain't gonna be that special, right? But so timing is incredibly important. You want to be able to deliver those flowers just before she's about to get on that plane and leave you forever. Right, like, so. Things like that. So there's also, there's also the card message or the you know, the sentiment, I think I would say this is the number one florist Miss overall, flowers are the key, right? They're the tool that makes everything go. But having the ability for someone to express themselves in a in a way that's going to move and connect with the recipient is incredibly important and shouldn't be ignored. I mean, that's the reason why Hallmark exists, right? Like hallmark, it's, it's when you need a card, how many times have you gone to CVS or any of these pharmacies, and you see people just in the card aisle, just reading the card message, because they're trying to find the best thing because this is difficult for us to express ourselves. So that's the third thing. expressing yourself is part of the, or helping users or customers express themselves is really huge. The next one is
having the recipient get back to the sender in a timely manner. You know, a lot of florists believe like their job is done once they deliver the flowers, your job is not done. Right, because one of the things that happens right now is that florists get a lot of calls from customers asking, Hey, did they get the flowers yet? And they're like, yeah, they got the flowers. It was Mark delivered. Oh, but she hasn't called. What does she say? Like, what, how does she react like they're curious. They're, you know, they have anxiety, they send the perfect, they sent a great gift with a great message. And they want to know what happened. So if we facilitate the actions of the recipients to actually get back to the, to the center in a timely manner, which we have, through our innovative services that we have, and products that we have, that is incredibly important. And lastly, it's also all about the celebration, because after two people connect with each other, and they share the special moment, there's nothing better than to actually show the world how special that moment really was. So understanding the full journey is incredibly important is not just about moving product.
And so whenever I was there, a couple trips ago, and they started to talk about this. So I want to break this down for you guys in like a real life scenario. So basically, you know, let's say it is my mom's birthday. And shit, I got busy. And it was actually yesterday. I mean, not for real, but I'm just saying like, let's say was like yesterday, I was like, Oh my god, you know, and I texted her and I marked Marco Polo, Polo her, but there is nothing like an unexpected driver, like showing up at your door and ringing the bell and you open the door. And they're standing there with like this beautiful arrangement. And then, so I want you to imagine that. So on the gift or side, you know, I'm wondering like, Oh, my God is my mom gonna be pissed at me because I forgot her birthday. And, you know, she knows I'm busy. She knows that. I'm like running businesses, and she probably isn't ever going to say anything to me. But she definitely is going to say something to me. And because of like potty trained by mom correctly in terms of technology, the first thing she would do now is she would take a picture, and she or she would Marco Polo me and like text it to me. And then eventually she might put it on Facebook for like her friends to see it. And so I'm not really worried about it. But at the end of the day, I'm like, Oh my god, should my mom get the flowers like does she like them? And then it's like, I have to go contact her. But that's not how this works at all. So it's like you got to put you have really thought through every single step of how is the sender feeling and how is the recipient feeling and then making sure that the communication
between the two, it's not a choice anymore. It's like it's happening. And so then Didn't you all do something where on it has a little card on it like so it has a custom message. And by the way, if you don't have the time to like, think of a custom message, don't you guys have like a generator where you can like, answer a series of questions, and then it generates a special message like for each person?
Yes, something like that. So we have we have,
we developed two things that that can help customers with that problem. So first of all, you got to understand that throughout the entire floral ordering process, the number one issue for all customers across the board. In the 12 years, I have been doing this and looking at like literally hundreds of surveys and looking analytics and looking at video and creating a B split test creating all these things. There's a constant issue that is true for everyone. And that is people have difficulty expressing how they feel in a card message. So with that said,
we have card message suggestions, so that that's okay. But you also don't want to sound like anybody else. Right? So what we have on the marketplace is something called memory triggers where, you know, you we would ask them, a, take a look at these memory triggers in order to get to nudge you to writing a better card message. So we ask questions, like, my favorite thing about you is blank, and they're supposed to finish it, or I remember last summer, it was really special when we did blank. So because it's the feeling is in there, it's in the center, everyone has the feeling, they just don't know how to express it. I don't know how to it's it's tough. It's like, you know, we don't know how to say it.
And it's. So that's one of the things that the memory
triggers. The other thing that we have is with a guided gifting experience on the marketplace, we actually attempt to emulate what's happening in the real shop. So instead of, you know, when you right now, when you go to an e commerce site, you go to, you know, your homepage, and then a category page, like, let's say your birthday, and then you have to, you know, you're shown about 20 products for birthday, and then you have to pick one, and it's very transactional, right?
For those that decide to use a guided gifting experience, we don't we don't you don't go through any of that, what we do is we ask you a series of questions like, who would you like to send flowers to? Then you use you say, Okay, my wife. So now we know that relationship. And now we know that it's a, that is a person's wife. And now we just keep the train moving. From there, we ask questions like, Well, how do you want to make them feel?
What's it? Where's it going, that's it gets a little bit more transactional towards the end. But then you're giving a you're shown a product page, which consists of a florist choice product, a florist choice product is basically when you pay a florist for their creativity, you say, hey, I want to spend $80, just send beautiful, send a beautiful arrangement containing daisies, for example, just be as creative as possible. And floors love those kinds of orders. Because those are the orders that they're allowed to be creative. You know, those are the orders that you know, they're no longer being creating cookie cutter arrangements. So we ask a series of questions to be able to extract
the sentiment from the sender. And, and people love it. People love it. Absolutely. I just I love it. And so if people and also to I just want to note,
because we have this year one time 2020. And so we're not just talking about flowers, you guys. So think about like, I mean, we haven't been nurses, I mean, we send stuff to them, they send stuff to us. It's like we'll get cookies shipped when COVID happened. I was getting like drink mix, like in the mail, you know, from different people. And I'm like, Do I seem like I need to drink like, okay, but this is cool, thanks. But like we're set, we've been sending stuff so much to keep that connection with people. And so it's so I want you to think about this journey. When you're sending anything to anybody that's being delivered to their front door. I mean, you know, taking Amazon out of it, and groceries because there's just no sentimental thing there. It's like, I just need to have groceries and I don't want to go out. And so but when you're actually giving a gift or sending somebody something, it's really amazing the way that lovingly has really gone through and you guys have done so much testing and you have so much data. When I came to their company, I was so impressed by the amount of team members. It was very balanced. So you know in true colors, you got to have all four colors to make the company go round and so
It was very impressive to know that everything they were building, yes, they had a hunch. And yes, you had an intuition, but you actually have the data to back it up, that you know that there is a need, and you guys were filling that need. So that's, that's amazing. And then you also have another program, what is the AARP program that you guys have?
So the our program is a is basically a program that we're testing, and it has proven, like you said, we test everything we just, you know, gotta test people. Yeah, let the data the data always wins. That's why Actually, we almost never have an online, there's, there's definitely debates in the design process. But whenever there's a design process that we're just not sure, or like, the the team members are sort of like, you know, they just go to their corners, and they think this way is going to work better. And that way, no, the other team member says no, that was gonna work better, what we do is just we create a test and create both pages are both things and we just pin them against each other, and let the best one when you know, and that's how we make decisions. So the program fixes a real problem that creatives have,
especially in the floors, flow industry, and that is, you know, to in order you need to in order to grow your business, you need to be able to compete in all environments. What I mean by that is when you go to Google right now you do orange, or Bing, or Yahoo, I don't know, Yahoo still around. But like, when you go to a search engine, you go to, you know, you put in a keyword, and you get a list of businesses, the first three or four listings, that's page search, then there's a local pack, which includes the
only businesses that are in that area, local in that area, and then the organic search results. Well, florist, or creatives or any business need to be able to compete in all of those three areas. And lovingly, moment makers right now, they actually do compete, we do extremely well in SEO extremely well in the local pack. But the paid search only works if you're paying Google, right. Like that's how Google makes most of their money. 90% of their revenue comes from paid ads. So the only way to really compete if you have a big enough budget to be able to compete in that arena. Unfortunately, these small businesses don't always have that type of budget. So we were able to figure out ways in which we can be
a little exploratory and innovative in nature where we would,
where the florist would charge a service fee for the on the checkout a small service fee on the checkout, and therefore creating
a revenue stream in order for for them to actually now be able to afford a marketing budget. So we had a we have about, we have about 200 shops with it not using it. And it's been it's been crazy, it has been nuts, because a lot of them were afraid of like, well, we're not a wire service, why are you charging service fees, and we're like, just give it just give it a chance. And now they're telling us You better not turn this off? So it's kind of like, it's, it's, it's an interesting ride. You know, florists are creative people is an emotional business, I have a ton of respect for them. Because, you know, one minute, someone can walk into the shop, or call them on the phone, and they could be talking about celebrating a special moment, the next minute, someone could be walking into the shop in tears because their mom just passed away, right? They deal with, like, it's a rollercoaster of emotions. And it's it is insane with all the all the emotions that these florists deal with. And you need to be able to almost like match the emotional state of the customer that you're speaking with. So imagine what that does for your own emotion. It's like you're so it's been a it's been a wild ride. So you mentioned moment makers. Now I know what a moment maker is, and I know what it means. But for everybody that's listening. What is a moment maker? Well, a moment maker is a creative, who is who's aware of the fact that it's, it's a creative in the gifting industry, right? It's it's anybody who's involved in making moments happen, right? Because like I said, it's not enough for a florist to deliver the flowers. You have to help the recipient in the sender. Create a special moment. And then you have to get them to celebrate that moment on social media or anywhere else. And a moment maker to us is someone who understands that florists understand that it's not just about pushing pedals. They're not pedal pushers, right, right. They're about creating the moment it's about strengthening relationships. It's not just about the flowers. Now, you know that
Not, you know, a popular thing to say in the florist industry. Because you know, when you ask most florists Hey, why are you doing what you're doing? And they usually say something well, I'm a creative and it's about
creating these, uh, you know, these beautifully arrangements. And yes, that's important. But that's permission to play stuff. If you're not already creating beautiful arrangements, then why are we talking about like, you shouldn't be a float, like you have to that's permission to play. But it's so much more than that. It's about celebrating those moments. It's about facilitating those moments, it's about helping the sender express themselves. So it's, it's about all those things. And that's what creates a lovely moment maker. And so moment makers, this is a community that lovingly has put together, it's something that you all started, and just what is what is the biggest takeaway, because I remember when you guys first started it, and you wanted to pull together a community of people that would understand each other? And I also want to mention, like, yes, you're dealing with so many emotions, but then on top of those emotions, imagine being an entrepreneur, and having to run your business, and having to do all this stuff that every or every business owner has to do every day. It's it's overwhelming. Like, it's simply overwhelming. And so how can so if someone is working with a wire service, like how can they break free? Like, what are the what is the first step to like, if you're, if you're hooked into a wire service, you're like, it's working, it's fine. But like, they really stop and think about it, like, what's the first step to breaking free?
So the first step is to look at your numbers fully understand that just because you're busy, doesn't mean that you're going to be profitable. I think that that's the number one mistake that florists make, especially when they're first starting out, because they, you know, wire services will send them a ton of orders, but also discounted orders. And they will be busy. Absolutely. But the money is not going to be there at the end. And usually, this is a problem, because a lot of times even when when florists reject those orders, they get on the phone and almost pretend to be the customer and placing those orders on the phone. So there's a lot of
things in that world that you know, that are not good for the industry. But in terms of like, what do they need to do to break free, they need to first understand their numbers, okay. Because at the end of the day, you need to limit those number of orders from why services if not eliminate them, if you can. Another thing you could do is make sure that there there are a lot of things the florist can do that are low effort, but high impact. I'll give you an example. Like we notice, and we have the data to back this up that if you just increase the hour of so every floor is has a delivery cutoff time where they just cannot accept any new orders for the same day. Because you know, they don't have the time to create the arrangement and delivery, the delivery drivers already gone for the date. And they're out delivering flowers. That's usually around one o'clock to two o'clock.
But if they can just increase that by one hour, to you know, three o'clock, four o'clock, that alone, now you're competing, you're the only person still competing for same day delivery and about 60% of all orders offer same day delivery, so you increase the chances of you getting the orders directly. By doing that. Another thing would be to make sure that your website is as optimized as possible. Now, I'm going to try to do this without going into the technical mumbo jumbo. But they talk about speed. Yeah, yeah. How important is the speed of your website? It's incredibly important. So I've never, I don't think anybody's ever complained that their website was too fast, right ever, like who likes to stand online? No one, right. Oh, so yeah, speed is so important. All right. So check this out. Google is a very secretive company, when it comes to their algorithm, they do not want you to know how their algorithm works. Because if you know how their algorithm works, then they lose money, because then everybody else does it. So Google literally hires the world's smartest people in tech to make sure that you do not know how the algorithm works. Okay. Now, speed is so important to Google to customers to everyone that they actually came out in 2017. And said, Listen, guys, we know that we've never said we're never gonna say anything about the algorithm. But we're telling you that if your website is fast, we're gonna bump you up in the algorithm. So it is so important to them that they actually flat out set it. So your website has to be fast and I'm not just talking about the homepage I'm talking about throughout the entire page.
Google actually gives you the tools to be able to verify your own speed, you know, you can just simply go to, and just search for Google PageSpeed. And they actually provide you a tool where anybody can go there and put in their domain, their website, and Google will just simply give you a score low, medium, or high. And you want to be on the high side, and they'll give you a score for both mobile and desktop. And you want to be on the high side, because for every, for every second that you're off, Google also has a calculator that basically calculates for every second that your, that your website is slow, you lose this much of this, you know, X amount of revenue, you have to put in your revenue for you to do the calculation. But like, that's how important speed is.
So how can if if somebody's not, I know a lot of you guys are listening to this podcast and driving, but if somebody's like, at their computer, and they're like, Oh, my God, how fast is my website? Like, and if it is slow? What do you recommend? Like, what are they supposed to do? I mean, get with your IT person, right? Yeah, yeah, well, you know, the florist job is to create art, creatives should be worrying about how to create not how to, you know, develop or design or engineer or code that is your their service providers job. So what I would do is the either demand that they're, you know, they get their shit together and create a fast website for you. Because there's no excuse for having it, as a matter of fact, that Google PageSpeed test that I just told you about tells you what is wrong with a website, and why is it slow. So you can literally just print, print that out or email it to your web host, your service provider, and you say, look at all these errors while these errors are here.
And they can switch to a faster provider. But there's, there's, there's no excuse why you should have a slow website. No excuse, no excuse. So and and like even some of our clients, we were doing a digital event recently, and people were mentioning it like in the emails, they were like, Hey, I'm trying to click on here, but it's just, I'm patient, because like, they really want to see the videos, but it's slow. And so we as business owners, like we don't even take the time to like, go on our own website. And I'm not just talking on Chrome and Safari. And if you still I still know people that use Firefox, Internet Explorer, and like do it on all your computers and do it on all your phones and do it in an incognito window. So you can test and make sure I mean, we do it the first of every month, we like have this insane checklist that one of my team members who's gold goes through and makes sure that all of our web forms are working that because y'all shit breaks. And the more you automate, which I'm all about automation, and the more you try to make sure that everything is talking to each other. If there's one update, and you don't know to check that box to make sure it's all going to talk to each other shit breaks, and you don't know until somebody tells you. And so you have to take it upon yourself to check out these things yourself. And so for Joe, anybody that's listening, like florists, creatives, anybody that is in that delivery service, like what is one thing that they can do to really grow their business.
Become aware, you know, don't ignore your website, don't ignore what's happening online, there's a there's a bunch of easy things you can do as well, you can go that you can set up Google alerts for your brand as an example. You can take the speed test demand, if you're paying for a if you're paying a service provider to host your your website demand a better service.
Most of these errors are on you know, they're just they just haven't updated their stuff in like years. So the number one thing I would say is awareness and having a growth mindset and not be afraid of technology. You know, a lot of people are afraid of technology. And a lot of times they'll they'll use an excuse like, Well, I didn't grow up with it. You know, I didn't grew up with it. So I you know, it's not my thing. And you know, they didn't grew up learning, you know, driving either, but they learned. So it's a matter of putting in the effort, I would say is having a growth mindset
will be the number one key. Love it all. Never stop learning, always learning always learn always grow. Absolutely. So as we close it out, I want you to tell them your new exciting adventure that you're going to well you've already launched it, but it's really in launch phase. So tell them about your podcast. What is it called? Where can they listen? And why did you decide to do a podcast? Sure. So the name of the podcast is flowershop secrets and
We believe that it Phil is going to fit quite nicely with how the florists perceive the entire customer journey or in this case, to get this journey. We have throughout our research, we have
a lot of data, we've analyzed millions of orders, we understand the process, we, we, we get it, right. So in this podcast, we're going to be able to talk about all those solutions, we're going to, you know, bring awareness to the creatives and florists or anybody in the floor industry, specifically to, to let them know that the reason they're struggling, it's not all their fault is actually, because they just are using the wrong tool, or they just simply not aware of it. So this is a podcast is going to be a way for us to bring awareness to these topics. And we're also going to be interviewing flower shops, or flower shop owners, and basically, you know, give them a platform to tell their stories, because it's been a struggle for most of them. And you know, we actually interviewed someone this morning, and the entire topic was about how they just they just broke free from the three wire services they were members have, and it feels liberating. So it's important to be able to share those stories with the rest of the community. And we can and florists can start taking their their their industry back. I love it. So if somebody wants to connect with you, what's your favorite platform that you want them to connect on? Well, connect Well, I'm really into Tic Tac right now. But that's not really
the cutest dog and the cutest kids and like, his wife is awesome. Like, I love your family. Like there's so much fun to hang out with. Now you didn't have the dog The last time I was there. But this dog is so perfect, like precious. You're partly responsible for me getting that dog every from day one. When I met you, you were like, do you have a dog? Why not? You know what, why don't you have a dog and then just kept at it. And we're I'm so happy you did because we couldn't be happier with blue. They needed a mascot. And these kids, the kids like, I just saw this dog. And I'm like, you guys don't have a mascot dog. I'm like, I have dogs, like in people when they like people I don't even know like will come up at conferences and stuff. And they're like, Oh my god, how silly and peppy. I'm like, this is weird, like, but now I'm used to it, you know, because we put them on stories and like, especially ever since COVID. It's like, my dogs are always next to me. I mean, right now, like they're on the left and the right of me and you guys can't see it. But I've got like both dogs. And so I'm just like, you guys have to get a dog and like your kids need a dog. And so definitely give him a fourth child now. Oh, definitely. Yeah, he's definitely a big kid. And he's pretty large, you know, we
he's, he's not, he's about 10 months old. And he's like 75 pounds already. So he's a big puppy, but Tick Tock handle.
Well, the best place to contact me would be through flowershop But if you want to check out those funny videos, it'll be a tick slash Joe Vega 030.
Got it awesome. And we'll put all of these links in the show notes. And if you also want to connect with Joe on LinkedIn, and Twitter, again, we'll put all that in the show notes. And then also go over especially if you're a creative, you're if you're in the floral industry, you have to be part of this moment maker community that they have created, because it is literally life changing. And I can say that as an outsider, because I've watched it over the few years that you guys have been focusing on this, like, I've seen it all come to life. And I remember the day when I'm like you guys have to get a GoPro, and you got to put it in your car. And when you go talk to people and like you're capturing all of this wonderful things that you guys are doing. It's amazing what you're doing in the tech industry for the creatives and for the floor. So thank you for that. And everybody listening, I hope that you got a ton of stuff out of this because I know you did. And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. Be sure to share this episode. If you're not in the creative industry and you know someone who needs to hear this share this episode because again, you can be changing not only businesses but lives personally and professionally. So thank you, Joe, for being on the show today. Oh, thank you for having me. Awesome. Finally, and everyone that's listening. Be sure to tune in next week for another episode of business unveiled. Have a great day. Bye.
That's it for this week's episode of business unveiled. Now that you have all the tools that you need to conquer the world and GSD get shit done. Would you share this with your friends and fellow business leaders? One thing that
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