- Mayfair Flowers
Janet Walsh is the founder and manager of ‘Mayfair Flowers’, a specialist event florist that does most of its business in the City of London. Janet started her business after being made redundant from her work as a manager in a major investment bank in the City. During her time as an accounts manager Janet was often involved in organizing Christmas events and other parties for her employer. This brought her into contact with florists who provided flowers and floral arrangements for the event. She discovered that she enjoyed picking designs and overseeing the floral arrangements. After her exit from the bank, Janet decided to start her own business specializing in events for the corporate and business sector. Using her contacts in the City she obtained her first contracts. From this small beginning Janet’s business has grown and prospered, built on repeat business from satisfied clients, and word-of-mouth that has helped her gain new clients. Thus, notwithstanding competition from other companies which provide a similar service in the London metropolitan area, Mayfair Flowers’ growth has been strong; in fact, it has been so strong that Janet has been forced to taken on an assistant to deal with increasing demand. She is also considering a move to a larger space to accommodate the volume of business, and is negotiating opening a florist shop in the West End for walk-in customers.
The operations of Mayfair Flowers are straightforward. Janet Walsh visits potential clients’ premises to discuss their requirements and evaluate the space and layout where the floral installation will be placed. Once price and terms are agreed, Janet enters the booking into her schedule. Two days before the event she makes her way to the Covent Garden flower market, the major London wholesale market where fresh cut flowers are on sale from all over the world. While selecting flowers, Janet is particularly careful to purchase flowers that will bloom on the day of the event, thereby ensuring maximum impact for the floral presentation. Walking from store to store in the market, Janet selects flowers that meet the client’s specific request, and on occasions when asked to exercise her design talents, she procures flowers that will be used in her own imaginative floral arrangements.
- What are the valuable resources and capabilities at the disposal of Mayfair Flowers?
- What kind of a leader is Janet? How could she evolve this as her organisation grows? Assume that the competition gets intense and she slowly draws in more people who have worked with other businesses (not necessarily only florists)?
What are the valuable resources and capabilities at the disposal of Mayfair Flowers?
Important networks and global supply
One of the most important resources at the disposal of Mayfair Flowers is the networks created by the founder. Even after Janet left her banking job, she relied on her networks with florists with whom she had worked before to get her first clients, who have been with her all along. These networks have not only been a source of clients and repeat business from satisfied clients and referrals, but have also been a source of important knowledge and experience which has helped her business to flourish. Its proximity to a wholesale market that sells flowers picked from all over the world also ensures that she is able to select the best flowers for her clients.
During her work organizing events at the bank, Janet realized that she really enjoyed picking designs and overseeing floral arrangements. Her expert skills and passion have played a key role in ensuring customer satisfaction. For instance, in her selection of flowers, she ensures that they are carefully selected so as to blossom, on the day of the event for the best floral presentation. She is also said to select flowers that meet her client’s specific requests. This expert skill in the selection and arrangement of flowers has been a key capability that has continued to grow her business despite stiff competition.
Excellent client relationship skills
Mayfair Flowers customers are a happy lot, generating referrals and repeat business. This is evidence of Janet’s excellent client management skills. She takes the time to understand the client’s specific requirements and ensures that the work done is just what her clients want. A large number of happy clients is proof of her excellent skills in managing client’s expectations.
Mayfair flowers have great potential for growth, which is a key capability for the business. The realization of this growth potential is what has prompted the founder to consider taking up more space and even employing an assistant. This is a valuable capability that needs to be exploited if the business is to continue to compete effectively with well-established florists. The location of the business in the premier London Metropolitan area also guarantees a large number of clients as it’s a highly populated and affluent region.
What kind of leader is Janet?
From the case study, Janet can be described as a transformational leader. According to Martindale, N (2011)., a transformational leader is one that motivates his/her team members to work towards achieving their full potential, which translates to enhanced productivity, efficiency, and achievement of overall organizational goals. Transformational leaders are therefore inspirational since they expect the best from their team members and themselves which lead to high engagement and productivity. In this type of leadership, the leader often focuses on the bigger picture for the organization, while delegating smaller tasks to other team members for collective goals.
Janet, for instance, is both self-motivated and also motivates others. She took up the challenge of starting the business and has worked hard to get to where she is at the present. How she goes about her business, is really what clearly brings out the transformational leader in her. She discusses the client’s expectations and clearly communicates her business model/processes and also does her best to ensure that clients are satisfied. Her effort has led to the growth of the business, even bringing in an assistant to help with the work. Her focus on the bigger picture and satisfaction of her clients has been key to her business growth amidst increasing competition. Her transformational leadership style would help in motivating any new team members to realize their full potential while contributing to the success of the business.
“Leadership that Gets Results”. Harvard Business Review. hbr.org. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
Martindale, N (2011). “Leadership Styles: How to handle the different personas“. Strategic Communication Management. 15 (8): 32–35.