Decades of being surrounded by flowers, their explosive colours and immersive scent has not diminished her love for them. As a matter of fact, it has only kept her passion for floristry burning since she was 7.
The Floral Designer Founder, Dianthus Goh, the second-generation florist of her family has been keeping the family’s business going in many ways, but her love for bespoke floristry is one that has only continued to grow.
“It was predestined,” she says.
Having been constantly reminded by her mother the importance of being an entrepreneur, she soon grew to run the business without formal training, rather through mere observations and her natural flair for the business.
“I worked alongside my parents since I was 7 in the day-to-day operations right before I went off to school in the afternoon. I was more interested in the administrative side of the business, but my passion soon grew to become a floral designer,” says Dianthus.
But she knew well enough that she did not want to work from a catalogue or have standardised bouquets. While the brick-and-mortar stores located in Publika and Mont Kiara catered to the everyday needs, Dianthus dabbled in the more bespoke side of the art.
The Right Flower For The Right Occasion
As a bespoke florist, Dianthus says the key to keeping her clients happy is to always ask the factors behind their requests. Be it their favourite colour, flowers they like or may dislike or even the smell they desire, Dianthus says advising them based on these factors play a huge role.
In some cases, she says, it is also important to advise them on the possible outcomes. While some clients may choose to order roses for occasions, Dianthus makes it a point to let them know if the season may not produce the best Roses and offers them other options instead.
“The flowers dictate the way I work, it’s not the other way around,” she says.
Pivoting To Survive
Running a business is no easy feat but with the desire to prove herself, Dianthus persevered and stayed true to her principles. She aims to create a personalised experience for every client that came to her, and she did so by getting the backstory of every arrangement she was requested to put together.
“It is important to understand the personal milestones and occasions my clients wanted to celebrate. You have to be sensitive to these matters and I wanted to educate them on the niche my business offered,” she says.
While she enjoyed the process, with many of her clients being generous to spend for occasions, this soon came to a halt due to the pandemic.
The realisation for the need to digitalise her business sunk in as the brick and mortar store operations took a hit. With the pandemic and the Movement Control Order, many businesses were listed as non-essentials, preventing them from opening to customers.
She soon began the process of developing a website for her business. Dianthus knew she wanted an interface that reflected her own experience with her customers and wanted to create a warm and personal experience.
“The key point is to listen to people who are fantastic in what they do. And be sure to try everything under the sun. It was a struggle, but we are trying to realise the vision I have in mind.
“I want the website to be friendly and to be more candid. I promised my clients a beautiful interface, and I wanted to make sure I can deliver that,” Dianthus says.
To Dianthus, digitising meant creating access to direct interaction with her clients. With web development being the first step towards pivoting to the current times, she is also considering digital solutions to the paperwork side of the business.
By tapping into the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) and the SME Digitalisation Grant, she was able to receive financial aid to develop the website she is currently working for the business.
This allowed Dianthus to save cost and not worry about the financial burden of having to adopt digital solutions to offer a more a seamless experience for her customers. She also urges other entrepreneurs to tap into these opportunities offered by private players.
There are multiple digital solutions for SME businesses such as cloud-based e-POS, electronic payment, digital marketing solutions and additional productivity tools such as tablets and Microsoft Office365 in the market currently.
Digital tools will also help businesses to better prepare for cyber threats and also mitigate risks that comes with the increase in ransomware cases.The right security and defence tools will enable a better customer experience and give businesses peace of mind.
Dianthus also urges other entrepreneurs to do the same, to not be afraid of changes as it may help them produce better work and surpass their limits.
“It is important to admit that you may not know everything and to always keep an open mind to changes, be it criticism or a digital solution. Change what may not be working and it’s okay to not have the answers to all your problems,” she says.
As for entrepreneurs who may doubt before digitalising, Dianthus says it is all about finding the right balance and taking the right next step for their business. Digital solutions as she points out will help to produce a more efficient workflow, allowing customers to have a more seamless experience as well particularly in these changing times.
Businesses can also digitalise their operations via small incremental steps, which will prove to be less costly. This will also allow them gauge and measure the outcome of each digital solution that is being adopted.
Dianthus is currently formulating a subscription model to a new product currently in the works and she is hoping to better understand the emotions of the market as well. “
The pandemic has taught us to really listen to the people and the small things. This extends to the price points and changes in purchasing behaviours,” she shares.
Support Dianthus Goh by visiting them at https://www.dianthus.design/. A homegrown business highlight by Celcom Business.
Looking to digitalise your business? Discover the Celcom Business range of solutions and enjoy three months of free access at https://business.celcom.com.my/sme/business-suite