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Business in Bloom: An Interview with Mark McCurry

December 2nd, 2011 | Interviews,Small Business | No Comments »

Recently, I had the opportunity of speaking with the amazing entrepreneur, Mark McCurry. Mark is a man with an impressive background; not only is he the president of the successful delivery business 1-800 Courier, but he has recently started the rapidly emerging online florist business known as Peachtree Petals. From our interview, I quickly became aware of Mark’s impressive knowledge of creating and maintaining businesses, which I want to share with others:

When and why did you decide to create Peachtree Petals?

I actually started Peachtree Petals about one month ago. At my other brand, 1-800 Courier, I noticed that we were getting a lot of delivery orders from florists. This got me to thinking that, instead of just delivering floral arrangements, maybe I could make and sell them myself. It was really easy to set up Peachtree Petals’ online store using Shopify. As of right now, we are 40 to 50 orders per day.

What was one of the biggest challenges you faced and overcame in launching Peachtree Petals?

Honestly, with my experience of launching and maintaining 1-800 Courier, I didn’t encounter a whole lot of challenges with Peachtree Petals. The one thing that I would say was most difficult was finding a designer, since I don’t really know much about flowers.

How do you advertise yourself to get more clients?

I was able to get a lot of customers out of my other business’ clientele, but I have taken a few other routes. I take advantage of Google AdWords, which is useful regardless of your business. I also set up a Peachtree Petals Facebook page, am part of a floral network, and had two billboards put up.

Have you had any trouble proving your business’ credibility and legitimacy to potential customers and website visitors?

There’s always some trouble when trying to show people that your new business can be trusted. That’s why my store uses KikScore. It’s already helped to increase by conversion by 10 percent or so.

When you’re not working on Peachtree Petals, what do you do to relax?

I have three daughters, so I spend time with them and take them to their various events. I also enjoy going out to dinner with my wife on weekends. Aside from that, I have five websites that I spend a lot of time on.

What trends do you see in the business world that you think are important for small businesses to take note of?

The biggest trend that I am seeing lately is that margins are shrinking in retail. This is due to internet-based shopping. It’s now a lot easier for people to go on line and compare prices. There’s no longer a need to get what you see at first sight.

What tools would you recommend in the small business world?

I definitely recommend Shopify for setting up your store. As I mentioned earlier, it’s really easy to do. Google Analytics is another useful tool for helping you monitor your store. Other than those two, I would suggest interconnecting through blogs. That’s a really good way to help spread the word.

If you had to pick two lessons that you’ve learned from launching and maintaining your business, what would they be?

One lesson is that you need to watch your marketing cost. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of overspending and hurting yourself more than helping yourself. My other lesson would be to make sure that you’re selling something that there’s a demand for. If there’s no demand, then who is going to buy what you’re selling? It’s best to keep watch and look out for what is in demand.

Thanks to Mark for a great interview! I hope that everyone can benefit from his business savvy and entrepreneurial spirit!

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