Push your Position!
Policy-makers make policies which help society in general. But they are forced to compromise and thereby sometimes create policies which negatively affect the florist sector. Usually, these officials need to take into account so many sectors that they may not be adequately considering the florist’s needs. It’s not their fault, but you can help them by presenting your case and explaining why regulations inhibit rather than help. This can be at a local, national or European level.
Here are some steps which may help you in pushing your position:
1. Become a member of your local or national florist association
We recommend you become a member of your local or national floristry association. They are the first organisation that will be able to help you on your way to success.
Monitor the press and keep your ears open regarding the possibility of local or national authorities planning to create a policy that may affect you and your business. If the issue is already past the planning stage and actually happening, keep an eye out for any possible opportunities where officials may be open to discussions of changing those laws.
3. Collect Data
Officials want to hear plausible arguments as to why the the policy is having a negative impact on your business. Gather data from your shop as well as others. The more data you can present, the more convincing an argument you can make. Share it with your local or national association in order to see if they can validate your data and corroborate your argument: it is much easier to make a fist collectively.
Together with your florist association, write out a convincing but brief report detailing your case. The report should preferably come from the association (at least in name) as it carries more political weight that way, and the organisation can help push your case forward in other ways as well.
Get together as many florists and other businesses who may be affected by these policies as you possibly can. Again, involve your association as well as the other’s. The classic motto “all for one; one for all” is very relevant here, as that is genuinely the best way to push your case.
Once you have gathered as many affected stakeholders as you can, push your case with the policy-makers. Make a clear map of the key officials who play an important part in the development of the policy, and focus your efforts on them.
Try to hold as many meetings as possible between government officials from all parts of the process – secretaries, local council, ministries, parliamentarians, government. All of these officials are very busy, so just keep insisting. Email, email, email! Attend the meetings together with your association, who can provide them with more technical information and will have a broader and policy-based approach.
Always follow-up on your meetings and keep good relations with the people you have met; they will most likely prove to be useful in due time!