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Start Your Business Success Stories

Online Floral Startup Ensures You Get What You See

Online Floral Startup Ensures You Get What You See
Credit: Jan Lim for BloomNation

Entrepreneurs: David Daneshgar, Farbod Shoraka, Gregg Weisstein
Business name: BloomNation
Years in business: 2
Website address: www.bloomnation.com

Has a bad review or negative customer feedback about your company ever frustrated you? Try being an online floral broker. Disappointed customers who order from major flower delivery services often take to social media with comparison photos of the beautiful, full arrangements they were promised, and the wilted, sparse blooms they received instead.

Two years ago, entrepreneurs David Daneshgar, Farbod Shoraka and Gregg Weisstein founded BloomNation to address this problem and change the way consumers buy flowers online. The company connects customers directly with local florists based on their desired delivery location, which allows the customer to see real photos of designs that are available for delivery, rather than stock photography. Once customers place their order, the local florist will send a "BloomSnap" — an actual picture of the finished piece — before delivery to ensure that what they see is exactly what they'll get.

Originally based in Los Angeles, BloomNation recently expanded to New York City. Daneshgar and Shoraka shared how their company is using technology to improve the online flower-ordering experience for both consumers and local businesses.

Business News Daily: What problem were you hoping to solve when you started your business?

David Daneshgar: Our goal was to make the flower sending process much easier and better for both the florist and the consumer. With the floral brokerage services, florists were making little to no profit with low customer retention, and the result was cutting corners to survive. The customer was getting flowers that looked nothing like what they could have sent out if they had found the florist directly.
 
BND:
Could your business have existed 20 years ago?

D.D.: No. The emergence of Facebook and other social media tools have made florists much more tech-savvy and better able to utilize our service. 
 
BND: What technology has been the greatest help to your business?

D.D.: Yelp has been a great way for us to scout out the best florists, and it helps with the curation of our marketplace. 
 
BND: What technology can't you live without?

D.D.: Our phones. We use them to respond to email, book our calendars, stay in touch with our florists, and even map out florists we are visiting.
 
BND: If you could hire one extra employee right now, what would you have that person do?

D.D.: Sales or development, which seem to be the two parts of our company that are growing the fastest. 

BND: What technology do you wish existed that doesn't?

Farbod Shoraka: It's not wanting technology that doesn't exist, but having current technology advance further and become more widespread. We wish every florist in the country had the latest computer technology, Internet access/speed and mobile devices.

BND: What technology do you think is most overrated?

F.S.: Definitely Google Glass.

BND: Where do you see technology in your industry going over the next 3 to 5 years?

F.S.: For better or worse, wearable technology is going to be the next "new thing." With that, battery technology will be a major area of focus, as we are becoming more and more dependent on mobile technology. 

Originally published on Business News Daily

Nicole Fallon
Nicole Fallon

Nicole Fallon received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor. Reach her by email, or follow her on Twitter.