There Might Be a Process in the Flower Business
Unlike most companies, which seek business veterans to run new branches, H.Bloom is finding recent graduates and molding them into managers. It spends three to six months training them in a SEED program, where they get one-on-one access to all of the company’s executives, marketing strategies and more. Trainees hang out with H.Bloom’s CEO on Saturdays and master technical, operational and marketing skills Monday through Friday. Upon graduating from the program, the mini managers are fully equipped to open H.Bloom in a new market.
For young professionals who are not quite ready to start their own ventures, it’s a pretty great deal. They learn how to manage a team and grow a business like it’s their own, without the financial risk. Not to mention they shoot up the corporate ladder.
The SEED program is a smart talent investment strategy for H.Bloom too — so long as it finds good people to train. Two people who went through the SEED program didn’t pan out, but the others are running H.Bloom’s New York, D.C. and San Francisco divisions.
As a process guy, I love looking for signs of good process in businesses that don’t emphasize process when they talk to the outside world. H.Bloom appears to be looking at their expansion plans, and key processes are around establishing a thriving business in each market. The key resource required to accomplish that goal is a great entrepreneurial manager to get it up and running. So the executive team is investing in amplifying their experience via intense training for new hires that will run new markets.
I can almost picture drawing the Business Model Canvas for this: Key Resources, Customer Segments, etc.
With nearly 500 clients, H.Bloom is planning to launch its subscription flower delivery service in 25 new cities soon. The new cities will be led predominately by other graduates of its SEED program.
Opening a new office in one or two markets requires process. Opening in 25 markets requires an intense process-focus. And it is so much fun (and valuable) to invest in process to support growth rather than just cost-cutting.