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Fertile Business Plan Grows Decade-Old ProFlowers to $300M

With $300 million in revenues, one local company is more than just a flower shop.

ProFlowers, an e-commerce business that ships products directly from growers to consumers, celebrated its 10th anniversary this year with a party April 4.

“We opened for Valentine’s Day in 1998 and sold 500 bouquets, and for this year’s holiday we served more than 1 million customers,” said Bill Strauss, chief executive officer for the company.

The company claims that by purchasing flowers directly from growers, it bypasses the middleman, or the florist. Turning the supply chain around means that flowers typically stay fresh longer in the consumer’s home.

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“Even if you’re ordering online, a lot of companies get flowers from florists, who get them from wholesalers, so the product has spent up to 12 days stuck in the supply chain,” Strauss said.

Strauss built his business model by pioneering the price of a dozen roses at $29.99 in 1998, and in 2008 he sells almost twice that amount of roses for that price, he said.

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Drills On Growth:

John Assaraf moved to San Diego 10 years ago to retire, but instead, the now 47-year-old entrepreneur has launched a new company.

OneCoach Inc., Assaraf’s Solana Beach-based small-business consulting franchise, has been in business since January 2006.

Four OneCoach franchise locations have opened in San Diego since January, including La Jolla, during the first week of April. The company has announced three new franchise locations in Del Mar, Encinitas and Rancho Bernardo.

With more than 200 clients in San Diego, including veterinarians, bakery owners and chiropractors, Assaraf said that franchising has been the vehicle for the company to offer business growth strategies.

According to Assaraf, about 10 percent of OneCoach’s clients own startup businesses, while 90 percent are small-business owners who are stuck in a rut.

“We reverse-engineered how we’d built past businesses of our own, and we came up with a formula for growing a company that anyone can follow,” Assaraf said.

Since the company started franchising in the last quarter of 2007, 10 OneCoach franchises have opened in the United States and Canada.

Initial franchise fees are between $35,000 and $75,000, depending on the size of the region to which the franchisee is assigned.

Client fees range from $3,500 to $25,000 per year, depending on the services requested.


Send retail news to Liz Wiedemann at

lwiedemann@sdbj.com

. She may also be reached by phone at (858) 277-6359.

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