Apple Creek Florist... Now Wire Service FREE!

Guest Blog: The Answer to Exiting the Wire Services by Elizabeth Crisp, REAL Florist!

Apple Creek Flowers... Now Wire Service FREE!

Exiting the wire services is no easy task. I found it to be a frustrating, scary and intimidating process. There are different cutoff dates for different companies and different cutoff dates for different divisions within those companies. Take my advice, check everything and make sure you get everything dated, in writing and sent certified. If you miss something you will be in the next directory, whether you want to be or not.  There are a million reasons they will give you to stay. A great deal, free this, free that, etc.  It is ultimately up to you to decide what is going to work for your individual business.  I found that it wasn’t working for Apple Creek Flowers anymore, and I had to do something about it.My “AH HA” moment came at Christmas, 2010.  Incoming wires were down by half.  We were pretty slow and I was panicking. Then it hit me.  No need to fill orders I wasn’t making money on. Wow. I started to REALLY analyze my business.  How much I was spending for web hosting, technology fees and advertising?  What about WS containers?  The list went on. How much was too much? I was on a mission and started doing my research.

I started asking questions. How can I get web hosting?  Who will build a website that is MINE? How will I process credit cards? What will life without a Wire Service POS system look like? How can I process transactions with delivery information seamlessly? How will my employees react to the change?

Apple Creek Flowers... Making Money Again!!!

Most importantly I needed to find a system that was easy to use and would do what my current system did.

After I looked at five different systems, I chose IRIS by IFN.  The system was a fraction of the cost of the system I had been using and it offered everything I needed in one place.  And when I say everything, I mean just that.  For one monthly fee, I get a website, a user friendly POS with cc processing, florist-to-florist network and mobile technology.  This was a deciding factor for me.  I really didn’t want to have to pay three, even four different companies to get everything I needed.

The website has all the necessary features including website design, hosting, domain name, and email accounts.  Even search engine optimization is included.  The backend easily allows me to check my incoming orders.  There are tons of alert options and they are very user friendly. Complete control over product and pricing, posting changes, adding and deleting is a breeze. When my website was done, I started appearing on top of Google searches within a few weeks.  At that point, business began to take off and it was then that I realized I CAN make it on my own.

Just from my own experience, IFN takes their relationships with their members very seriously.  They really go above and beyond to please every florist, and the best part is, it comes with the package. More importantly, they LISTEN.  Hundreds of florists including myself, are currently using Version 1 of their POS, and we haven’t been shy about telling them what they need to improve on.  They’ve obviously been taking careful notes, as the new Version 2.0 release has answered all of my prayers.  The system offers just about every feature you might need to run your flower shop.  Best of all, the new design is bringing me into a whole new modern world. Touch Screens? Who knew?

Best of all, everything in their network is strictly florist-to-florist.  Sending and receiving orders at 100% with no extra fees sounded good from the beginning.   I found a system I could work with and that’s easy for my staff to use.  It has enabled me to run a smooth, profitable business. When I found IRIS, I knew I HAD to have it.

Elizabeth Crisp: Real Florist!

Part 6 of a 6 Part Guest Blog from Elizabeth Crisp owner of Apple Creek Flowers. Stay tuned for Part Four of this REAL Life Flower Success Story!