Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The Apprentice

Logging on to FB this morning I noticed nearly all our florist friends were up in arms about the TV show The Apprentice last night. Not being one to watch reality TV (except for Strictly) I didn't have a clue what was going on. It turns out that last nights task was to make a profit selling flowers and both groups had managed to make up small bouquets for £3. This prompted me to head over to bbc iplayer and have a watch myself. Now part of me can wholly understand my fellow florists being angry as there is no way to make a profit on the flowers they have in their bunches for £3, and I am sure there are many members of the general public that will watch the show and now think all of us are out to rip people off with the prices we charge. However I am not going to insult our customers by thinking them ignorant into believing what they were seeing. I would like to think that our customers have more common sense than to think it's just a case of buying an amount of flowers, and then selling them. That's where the show is at fault. In a massive way. If there are complaints to be made it is about the one sidedness of the show.

Aside from the fact that their corporate clients were already pre-arranged and set up for them (so they didn't have to do any of the groundwork involved in contract customers), those businesses would have agreed to take part as publicity for their own business. It's a great way of advertising for them.

The real problem lies in the show not showing all the other costs that need to be taken into consideration. The Team that won spent out £448 and took £912 giving them a profit of £464. In the real world out of this £464 you would then have staff wages. Even paying minimum wage at £4.92 for 16 year olds, there were 5 members of staff on this team, who worked 8 hour days for 2 day. Therefore the wage bill would have been £393.60. This then reduces their profit to £70.40. I've no idea how much it would cost for the stall they had at Spittlefields, but the cheapest pitch there is from £10 per day so we'll use that as a guide. This now means their profit has dropped to £50.40. Next you need to factor in insurance costs which would work out roughly to £1.95 per day. A small amount but it has to be taken into consideration. So now their profit is £46.50. Then you need to factor in transportation costs. If you own a vehicle you have running costs. As a rough estitmate broken down into a daily amount with an average of 20 miles per day, and including insurance and basic running costs the amount would be £11.99 per day (more obviously the more miles you cover). This now leaves their profit at £34.51. Then there is the cost for the glass vases they used. Checking on my wholesaler price list for similar to the ones they used the cost would be £8.72 each. Total £34.88. They have now made a loss of 37p. However. The contracts they had which in effect bought in the most money of £150 was in fact a one off and not part of what would be a normal daily total. So if you remove that from the equation and were just to go on their bunch sales then they would have in fact made a LOSS of £150.37. I haven't included in these figures the costings for the wrapping and bows they used. I've also not included any taxes they would need to pay to the tax man, so as you can see, had the show produced proper costings and workings out then people in the real world would have seen that it's nowhere near as easy as it looks to make money. This is why my florist friends are up in arms. People with no clue think they can go out, sell a few flowers and become rich. Sadly in the real world it is nothing like the program made it out to be. Bear in mind if you have shop premises the outgoing costs are even higher as you have rent, rates, council tax and electricity to pay. And I hadn't even considered the phone bill in the costings. That is the real world of floristry and I'm quite disappointed that this show doesn't relfect the real world at all.

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