Lisa Berlin-Solberg opened her first flower shop in San Francisco in 2010, where the first Urban Botanica sits nestled in the financial district. After moving out of the city, Lisa opened her second florist studio, Urban Botanica Menlo Park, residing 30 miles South.
Operating a flower shop in 2018 has dramatically changed versus ten years ago, as consumers are ordering online, expecting faster delivery, and digitally native startups have emerged that service dozens of US markets at once. We caught up with Lisa recently to discuss how she has adjusted her business for the modern age and how her partnership with Deliv has helped her do so. Here are a few highlights from our talk.
- Challenge: Lisa owned a rapidly growing floral studio in Menlo Park and needed a way to be able to efficiently fulfill delivery demand. There was too much variability in her volume and on-time delivery was too important to manage drivers in house.
- Solution: Lisa leveraged Deliv’s small business offering to offer her customers same day delivery and grew her business 3x.
“Half of the business is designing beautiful floral bouquets. The other half is ensuring bouquets end up with the right recipient, at the right time, fresh. Deliv solves the later, so we can focus on the former.” — Lisa, Urban Botanica Owner
At its most fundamental level, List highlighted that owning and operating a flower shop comes down to two main variables:
- Designing beautiful floral bouquets
- Delivering flowers to where they need to be on time, and as fresh as possible
Lisa’s passion is the former; Urban Botanica’s intricate and illustrious bouquets are known all around Northern California for their beauty and freshness. While the actual floral arrangements that are given to friends, family, and loved ones often take the credit for being the product of a successful florist, the business is a little more complicated than that. The difficulty faced by any popular flower shop is that delivering those bouquets—the other half of the business—requires a completely different set of skills.
When Lisa first forayed into the florist industry, she would manage most of the delivery herself, waking up before the sun rose to begin arranging her bouquets, only to spend hours each day hand delivering them. Similar to any retail upstart, handling the end-to-end processes in your business in-house may prove advantageous, but when Urban Botanica’s flowers were suddenly sought after across the San Jose and Menlo Park’s districts, she found in-house delivery difficult to scale.
Partnering with Deliv allowed her to focus on the side of the business she was passionate about, designing beautiful bouquets, and letting Deliv handle the rest.
Flexibility & Scale
With Deliv, Urban Botanica is no longer constrained by driver capacity.
They can book deliveries when the bouquets are ready vs trying to group them for driver routes. This gives Urban Botanica the ability to fulfill orders far more dynamically than a traditional company of its size.
Specific Delivery Windows
Urban Botanica has found particular value in being able to tap into the network of Deliv drivers who are able to power deliveries all around the city at different times every day.
With flowers, time is of the essence. Deliv enables Urban Botanica to book deliveries for the time their customers want. Often people want flowers for birthdays to arrive first thing in the morning vs afternoon.
Real Time Tracking
Often, flowers are gifts, and customers want to know when their flowers were delivered. With Deliv, Urban Botanica and their customers can track deliveries in real time and know when they were delivered.
Deliv’s tracking technology saves Urban Botanica a lot of time versus manually tracking packages.
Scheduling deliveries with multiple drivers
Lisa has come to rely on being able to tap into Deliv’s network of drivers who are able to power deliveries all around the city at different times every day, enabling Urban Botanica to fulfill orders far more dynamically than a traditional company their size. With the deliveries for Urban Botanica having been initially fulfilled by a sole driver—often Lisa, herself—the ability to deliver orders with Deliv’s scheduling features and driver network have proven more than helpful.
“We are able to accept 3x more orders because we outsource our deliveries”
When it came down to moving the bottom line for her business, Lisa found that outsourcing her delivery needs to Deliv allowed her to accept more orders, design more floral arrangements, and grow her business to new levels.
Urban Botanica and their team of dedicated florists is able to spend more time doing what their passionate about and less time worrying about delivery.
Businesses of all shapes and sizes can take a page from Lisa and the Urban Botanica team’s book and focus on their core competencies, whether that be arranging flowers, operating a pharmacy, or running a law firm, and let Deliv handle the logistics of moving packages from one place to another. Learn more here.