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A consistent and comprehensive approach to education and training drives business growth for owner Emily Campen
The phrase “learning is earning” is often used to describe how a business utilizes continuing education as a means for gaining higher profitability. As a former teacher, Emily Campen embraces this principle… and as the owner of three flower shops in Knoxville, Tennessee, she has put the principle to work successfully.
Emily’s business includes two shops, both called The Flower Pot and both located near the downtown area of Knoxville. Her third shop, called Betty’s Florist, is located in an outer, more suburban neighborhood of the city.
Emily purchased The Flower Pot shops in 2008 and Betty’s Florist in 2014. Among the challenges she faced early on in operating three business locations was creating a consistent approach to running all three of those shops – an approach designed to optimize the performance of her staff, and ultimately, the satisfaction of her customers.
Calling upon her background as an educator, Emily developed a comprehensive system of processes that has made a very positive difference in her three shops. “The way we were doing things previously was haphazard, almost hoping things were done right,” she says. “Our systematic approach (implemented about a year and a half ago) has eliminated the guesswork.”
Emily explains that she has streamlined and enhanced her hiring and training processes by putting specific procedures in place that are followed at each of her three shops. For example: “Every time the phone rings we want our in-store staff to answer it within three rings, and we want them to answer with the same cheerful and polite greeting. We also want our drivers, who are out in the world representing us, to make sure they are always courteous, kind and helpful. All of this puts our business in the best light, presenting the kind of image we want to convey while also raising the comfort level of our customers, helping assure that they will know what to expect when they contact us the next time… which can be instrumental in generating repeat business.” states Emily.
Working closely with her staff and utilizing their feedback and suggestions, Emily and her team have created a 3-ring binder containing guidelines about everything from maximizing the customer experience, to information about floral varieties and floral tools, to recipes for creating arrangements, and much more. The binder has become a vital go-to manual used by all staff in all three locations.
“We have culled a tremendous amount of information and included it in the binder, and we use this information as a versatile tool with both our new hires and our current staff to constantly reinforce and refine skills.” mentions Emily.
Complementing the educational and training information Emily and her team have compiled are weekly staff meetings. “We use the meetings to underscore the importance of consistency throughout our business,” she says. “And like many other flower shops, we also go over what’s coming up on the schedule, and what we are focusing on for that given week.”
All in all, the ongoing emphasis on education and training has paid important dividends at The Flower Pot and Betty’s Florist – helping to increase sales and drive growth.
Of course, as with most successful business owners, Emily has many people to thank, most notably her staff. She states: “I wouldn’t have a business without them, they are among the most dedicated and incredibly talented people I have ever known.”