Truth be told, I never imagined my wife’s flower shop would be the impetus for me to start what I can only call the journey of a lifetime. As a technologist and entrepreneur, flowers were the furthest thing from my mind as I searched for new opportunities to bring to market. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Let me start at the beginning…
When I first arrived in the US, over fifteen years ago, my job as a Project Manager for an employment consultancy taught me invaluable lessons on what it took to run a business in a country that is often defined by its competitiveness. Through the lens of my new job in a new country, I learnt as much as I could in every given situation to prepare myself for starting up my own business.
I subsequently went on to start two companies that focussed on staffing consulting, finance and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions. Things were going great and business was looking good. With nineteen consultants in my employ and healthy annual turnovers, the future was bright.
But something was missing; I wasn’t doing what I loved, which was to be in the thick of finding technology-based solutions to people’s problems. It was clear that the success I had achieved as a business owner didn’t provide me with the fulfillment I needed.
It was time for a new beginning
It was during this time that my wife, Shalini, opened her new flower shop – something she dreamt of doing for years. Blossom’s Florist, it seemed, couldn’t have been off to a better start; the shop was an instant favourite with local customers and once its website was up and running, business was looking even better.
But as demand increased, we soon discovered that the point of sale system we inherited from the previous owner was seriously undermining the store’s ability to keep up.
With a command prompt that reminds you of the good old days of DOS and extremely limited functionality, Shalini battled to keep track of orders. This was due to a major reliance on printing orders, many requiring specific printer and page settings that often took very long to configure.
<It was time to banish the good old DOS prompt>
To make matters worse, the system often lost key settings you’d expect to configure once and never have to worry about again – not the case. We often found ourselves having to navigate multiple screens just to make sure the settings were right.
This caused both ourselves and our customers frustration as it resulted in long queues in the store and online deliveries to be massively delayed. I couldn’t believe that a great new business venture was being threatened by outdated technology!
Needless to say, I was now firmly on a new mission…
After researching other POS systems and test driving a few options on my wife’s behalf, I came to the difficult realization that Blossom’s Florist wasn’t the only flower shop that was stuck with technology from a bygone era – it was, in fact, an entire industry.
This set me on a path to not only find a solution that would save my wife’s beloved shop from going under, but also to help countless other business owners who were going through the same nightmare.
After a few collaborations with POS system vendors and modifying an existing one to add new functionality to it, I realized that it wasn’t the technology at fault, but that POS vendors were happily pushing low-quality “solutions” out to market.
Perhaps florists dependence on vendors for support and being locked into lengthy support contracts was the motivating factor – one can only speculate. But the reality for me was that I saw how an entire industry was being hamstrung by an unwillingness to give people the tools they needed to see their businesses flourish. Something needed to be done.
It was time to shake things up
Not only was the creation of Hana an earnest attempt at saving my wife’s business, but it also had the potential to reshape an entire industry and give the little guy a leg up in an often uneven playing ground. And truth be told, I was happy to be doing what I love again, which is to empower people through the vehicle of technology.
So what is Hana florist POS?
What Hana means to me is something far more than a piece of software, it’s a solution specifically developed to help florists eliminate many of the barriers to growing the businesses they so love. The name Hana, which translates into “flower” in Japanese and “craft” in Hawaiian, embodies the industry we serve and the appreciation we have for the beautiful works that florists produce each and every day.
Created to help save my wife’s beloved flower shop from going under, Hana was designed and built with very personal stakes on the line.
News about Hana soon caught on amongst the florist community of which we were now established members. I simply couldn’t ignore the calling to take Hana to market and share this wonderful product with thousands of struggling florists looking for a way to make their lives easier.
Since its early days, we’ve developed and refined Hana to become a complete solution. Going far beyond processing in-store and wire service orders, Hana now helps flower shop owners track deliveries, plan for major catering events, keep accurate stock of goods, connect with customers via email and social media, perform accounting duties and so much more.
And we’ve had some fantastic support from the florist community from the very beginning and are proud to say that countless flower shop owners have found immeasurable value in our solutions.
Here’s what some of our customers have to say about making the switch to Hana florist POS:
‘Love the program. It makes following Wire Service orders with problems a snap. No hunting for paperwork!!” – Phil Frederick, Bangor Floral
‘This POS is very comprehensive and offers a lot of great features. It covers a lot of unique requirements from local florists” – Jeff Osterman, The Plantation Flower Shop
‘We love Hana. It has some great features, and it keeps getting better each day. They are adding tons of new features.” – Ron Vicksman, Legrues Flowers
So what’s next for us at Hana POS and the florist community we serve?
As stated, Hana’s evolution over the years have always been closely linked to the needs of the community we serve and the next few months will have some great new developments in store. We’re looking at releasing an awesome new Customer Portal that will allow Hana florists customers a login access their accounts where they can view purchase histories, Reorder, Review statements and even pay their accounts online.
Safer and more efficient transacting
We’re also developing more efficient and secure payment processing tools to help florists make light work of various payment methods and to interface more seamlessly with wire services payment systems.
We’re also going social!
Watch out for our Social Media module which extends your reach to your marketplace right from your favorite POS system! Yup, you’ll soon be able to post updates about your flower shop to keep your customers in the loop on specials, new trends, designs and events happening in and around your store. Keep a lookout for this one.
It’s time for a makeover
True to being seasoned florists ourselves, we believe in keeping things fresh and decided to spruce up our user interface with a beautiful new design. With the new customizable interface, you’ll grow to love Hana even more as you get to put your favorite tools in the places you like.
A product specifically built for and loved by a community
We managed to build a system that florists truly love. And that’s not marketing-speak, it’s a simple fact. By far, one of the best things to have come from Hana florist POS is the strong community that’s developed around it.
People are always amazed at the backstory behind Hana and it’s hard to ignore the similarities in frustrations we share when we trade war stories about other POS systems and vendors who peddle them.
The insights we get from our interactions with florists still drive every innovation we introduce to the system. We built Hana to help people like you, because just like you, we’ve seen and shared the hopes, frustrations and challenges involved in making a florist business a success. In short, Hana is every florist’s ideal store manager – and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
We built a solution that frees florists from the everyday grind of running a business. Hana truly gives you the freedom to do what you love as it alleviates so much of the pressures involved in running a successful flower shop. To learn more about how we can help you grow your budding floral business Contact Us.