Kelly Finley: Business in Bloom

As seen in Focus Magazine.

Kelly Finley has been running Flowers on First in Sawtell for 3 years, while raising her two small children. She talks to Mel about the joys and challenges of business ownership.

You worked at the shop for 4 years before becoming an owner. It’s a big leap to go from employee to business owner; do you enjoy being in charge?

I enjoy the creative freedom of being in charge: ordering new stock and building exciting displays. I love rearranging the shop when a pallet of new stock arrives.

It’s nice having a bit more control over what we stock. We’ve expanded into nursery plants and pots. We’re more than just a flower shop. I think of it as “nursery lite”.

And, of course, being in charge gives me flexibility to work around family and school hours – which is a huge advantage for a Mum with young kids.

What have been some of your successes since you took ownership?

The expansion into nursery items has been great. We’ve really focused our offering on what we do best: flowers, pots and plants.

We’ve made a real effort to attract passing trade – bringing stock out onto the street and extending our Saturday trading hours. This has worked really well. We’re getting a lot more impulse buys.

I love the marketing side. We get a great response when we post specials on our Facebook page, and we’ve done some advertising in Focus magazine. We have a frequent flowers card and have hundreds of members who buy flowers every week.

That sounds exciting. What about the challenges of being a small business owner?

I suppose the most difficult thing is time management. I’m at the shop during school hours and on weekends. And then I have to find the time to do all the extra things like Facebook posts, invoicing and organising wedding deliveries.

And I must admit that I’m more focused on the creative side than I am on the numbers and the business side. Those areas are a bit more of a challenge.

What are you doing to overcome these challenges?

We brought in Kristy from MJ Accountants to do the bookkeeping every fortnight. That’s been a big help. And we’ve just signed up for some business coaching.

What are you hoping to get out of business coaching?

I want to enhance my business skills so that I can grow our business for the future. I’m looking for advice on financial management and a sounding board for marketing and promotional planning ideas. A coach will help me with the really challenging aspects of running a small family business.


Could You Use a Coach?

The day you become a small business owner you are suddenly expected to be all things to all people. But there’s nothing in the rulebook that says you have to do this on your own. Coaching helps business owners face challenges, overcome weaknesses and build the skills they need to achieve business success without personal burnout.

MJ Accountants offers 100% personalized coaching programs. Call us today for a FREE in-depth business review and coaching plan.

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