Forecast sales and management costs with SAF’s Forecasting Your Future course series

ALEXANDRIA, VA. — Inflation is hitting record highs and experts are warning of an impending recession, making sales harder to predict. The Society of American Florists helps retailers focus on profitability with its Forecasting Your Future course series. The second course in the series, Controlling Cost of Goods Sold, is now available and focuses on ways business owners can cut costs to meet their profit goals.

The courses are both taught by Manny and Clara Gonzales. The couple left their corporate careers in 1996 and bought Tiger Lily, a flower shop in Charleston, South Carolina. Despite $2 million in revenue, they were close to bankruptcy when the 2008 recession hit. They borrowed business strategies from their business experience and saved the company. They retired in early 2018 when they sold the store to their former manager.

Kate Delaney, AAF, who became SAF’s director of career development after a 20-year career running a flower shop in the Mid-Atlantic, worked with the Gonzaleses to develop the series of courses.

“SAF members have been asking for tools and resources they can use to increase profits,” says Delaney. “The Forecasting Your Future series gives florists the tools to achieve just that through the Sales Forecasting course, this latest Cost of Goods Sold course and the upcoming Wage Control course.”

The first course, “Sales Forecasting”, is praised for its practical approach and application in preparing a sales forecast for flower shops. Jennifer Chastain, a studio florist at JMC Bloom in Reno, Nevada, loved the course’s easy-to-follow structure, downloadable spreadsheets, and step-by-step instructions.

“I learned a lot about managing sales expectations and making clear, reasonable estimates for future sales,” she says. “I believe [the course] will be useful to everyone who invests in it.”

The second course, “Cost of Goods Sold,” builds on sales forecasting using videos, worksheets, and reading assignments. Participants learn how to determine markup, tips and tricks for labor costs and expense reimbursements; how the product offering affects your profit goals; the importance of using a sales forecast for ordering; the impact of care and treatment on profit margins; and the importance of communicating your sales goals to staff.

“Cost of goods sold will generally make up about 30 percent or more of your total expenses, and in addition to controlling wages and overhead, it needs to be top of mind to achieve your profit dreams,” says Clara. “We are not here to tell you to control COGS, raise prices or buy less; we’ll show you our step-by-step fingertip checking system and detail our simple, yet in-depth process to help you take the guesswork out of buying.

Read more about the courses here. Both are now available for a fee on SAF’s learning hub.

About the Association of American Florists

The Society of American Florists is the association that connects and cultivates a thriving floral community through training, education, marketing resources and advocacy. Our vision: The power of flowers in every life. For more information, visit

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