I remember the first day I stepped foot into the Beneva Flowers building, the scent of flowers overcame me as I opened the door. As I walked to the customer service counter I was welcomed with stunning presentations of floral arrangements and smiling faces. It seemed as though someone had gotten something right; it was no wonder that well before I opened the doors to Beneva that I had heard of their flower shop a million times.
Fast forward to a few years later, and here I am working in the Beneva offices. I now understand the passion and perseverance that has built this organization to absorb 70% of the local market share. While working for Art Conforti is sometimes like trying to keep up with the energizer bunny, it is that energy that fuels his visions into reality.
Beneva Flowers, with the drive from a passionate owner, sets the pace for florists in Sarasota, Florida. Our flower shop is undeniably the place to shop for flowers because of the way our Beneva team understands and executes marketing and operations. I am not only speculating as a former flower buyer, but now as a present employee. Not only do we at Beneva have an amazing team with an unsurpassed fire from our owner, but we also understand the concept of change and adaptability. While most local florists that I’ve spoken to have said time and time again how busy they are and how they cant handle any additional business, I have to wonder how they expect to grow with the status quo?
Art always says that success isn’t for everyone, a pretty bold statement if you ask me. However, the truths behind that phrase are rather unforgettable. This is a phrase he obviously takes quite seriously, as I see it in our day-to-day business operations. It is evidenced through the news that was brought to my attention today, as a matter-of-fact. We have just received word that we will be, yet again, expanding our operations. Beneva Flowers is now adding an additional 1,500 square feet of showroom space that includes a real walk-in cooler so that customers are not forced to open and grab arrangements. The products we carry will be best displayed as the space allows us to open our doors to service as many people as possible. The odd thing is that when I speak with other local florists I keep hearing about how the industry isn’t what it used to be, yet here we are expanding again.
Without a doubt in my mind, a great product capped off with aggressive marketing is the difference. Most owners do not embrace marketing and operations the way Art does. Not to say he has had it right all along and he has it the best now, but he is adaptable and open. He realizes that a bigger design and delivery processing center will keep his employees happy and able to do their jobs efficiently. The motivation that he even brings to the table with his sales team is paramount. He invites all employees to tackle company-wide challenges and he rewards sales strides. It is an understanding that the value of an organization is not just customized marketing efforts, but also embracing a similar effort in another part of his business, such as this expansion.
We also never forget the value of our employees. While most shops were busy just taking orders on Mother’s Day, we had developed a sales-specific plan to execute during those busy times. Art fired up the sales team with realistic goals and incentives before each busy day during Mother’s Day week. Due to the strong sales efforts and meeting goals, Art took it upon himself to reward the team with a ‘night out’ on him. The fact that Art is willing to take the ENTIRE Beneva team out for dinner and drinks is a selfless move for a boss. It shows his team that he doesn’t just care, he truly cares.
Who knows, maybe Art will FINALLY consider a first ever open house? For the man full of clichés himself I say, there’s a first for everything!
All my best,
Beneva Solutions Marketing Director