Last week, I submitted Lazy Flora's application to the WeWork Creator Awards 2017. The Creator awards is a global competition run by WeWork, with prize money of $20million set aside to be shared between innovative projects and the people behind them. It's a global competition that is open to entrepreneurs, artists, startups and nonprofits - anyone who embodies WeWork's mantra of 'Create your life's work'.
Winning an award like this would make a massive difference to the future of Lazy Flora as it would help us to reach more customers and continue to build Lazy Flora into something wonderful, which would otherwise take much longer.
Lazy Flora's biggest challenge right now - like virtually all small businesses - is gaining customers and making people aware of the great products we have. I won't lie to you - the financial side of starting a company is scary. It involves personal, financial and reputational risk, and right now, funding is the main thing limiting Lazy Flora's growth.
I touch on this briefly in the clip, but to give you a bit more information on the inner workings of this business and what we aim to do in future:
- Facebook ads are working well for us at present (we have a relevancy rating on Facebook of 9/10). If we won this award, we'd be able to increase our spend on Facebook ads, and thereby increase the number of people we reach.
- We need to improve our social media presence. Facebook is generating a good rate of interest and engagement at present, and Twitter has shown promise especially with generating business leads, but we need to build on these substantially.
- A lot of our customers prefer offline contact (let's face it, who doesn't?!), so we want to build stronger relationships with them through direct face-to-face contact at workshops and events.
- We want to increase our range plant collections (e.g. introduce indoor plants, as well as outdoor plant collections with specific themes such as plant collections that are ideal for shady, or extremely sunny positions.)
- We want to introduce a (wider) range of indoor plants. We're currently working on doing this anyway - you might have seen our Facebook and Instagram feeds recently - if not, check them out and tell us what you think!.
- We want to take on more ambitious PR projects, such as plant giveaways at major transport hubs, or sponsoring of co-working venues, restaurants and bars.
- We want to partner up with brands who target similar audiences and run more competitions and giveaways.
These are all plans we have in the pipeline anyway, which I intend to execute on in due course regardless of whether Lazy Flora wins this award - so watch this space, and be sure to sign up to our newsletter to be sure you hear news about new product launches, discounts and offers before anyone else. But winning this award would enable us to move forward with our plans so much more quickly, and bring beautiful things to more nature-hungry city-dwellers sooner.
The application is - thankfully - not assessed on quality of the video. There's an unfortunate bit of background noise halfway through. Believe it or not, this was the best of ten different takes I did, and noise from the street was a feature in every one. But I guess that's the reality of urban gardens. This is the very balcony is where Lazy Flora started, so it felt right to film this clip there. Like everything in life, it isn't perfect, but it's real.
I'll keep you posted as to whether or not we get shortlisted. For now, fingers crossed!