Making life easier for florists and helping their businesses thrive is the goal of StemCounter.com, an intuitive software tool that generates custom, accurate quotes for bridal clients in a matter of minutes. Ryan and Rachael O’Neil, the husband and wife team behind this innovative tool, have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the ongoing development of StemCounter.com. To date, the campaign is more than one-fifth of the way toward its goal.
“Florists face a unique set of challenges in creating quotes for bridal clients,” explained Ryan. “Unlike other specialty event planners, it’s difficult for florists to produce custom and precise quotes on the spot. Some go with approximations based on a concept, because there has never been a quick way to calculate all the numbers. I’ve spoken with florists who found out later that an estimate was off by 10% or more, which really cut into the bottom line.”
With a fundraising goal of $10,000, the Kickstarter campaign will help Ryan and Rachael take StemCounter.com beyond its current private beta phase. That means paying for servers and maintenance to support the software’s growth, along with additional software development as needed to iron out kinks and build new features. Florists who back the campaign will not only receive generous rewards, but also become bona fide stakeholders in the continuing evolution of StemCounter.com.
Private beta users have nothing but strong praise for StemCounter.com. Samantha Bates, owner of Especially For You Florist in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, is thrilled that her time-consuming “number crunching” days are behind her: “StemCounter.com has made the process of quoting and ordering weddings seamless and accurate. After customizing the initial set up, I can now quickly input information during consultations, present the bride with a professional quote and know that all of our costs are covered.”
Rachael O’Neil’s own flower shop, Twisted Willow Design, has likewise enjoyed significant benefits from the deployment of StemCounter.com. She reports that booking rates for weddings are up 25%, with 75% of those clients signing contracts at the end of the consultation. That means less nervous anticipation, waiting to learn if her energy and resources have been well spent. Instead, Rachael can spend her time working on other areas of the business or spending a little more time with family.
StemCounter.com comes pre-loaded with 50 of the most commonly used wedding flowers. Florists can update prices on any of their goods in just seconds. Automatic stem counting is a core feature of the software, which florists can apply either before the proposal or before the final order to create precision or conceptual quotes, respectively. The complete list of current features is available on the Kickstarter page.
Following the Kickstarter campaign, StemCounter.com will move to a backer beta in May, during which the development team will listen to real-time feedback and incorporate the most-requested modifications into the software. A public beta is scheduled for June. If all goes well, StemCounter Professional will be released to the public no later than August.
Ryan O’Neil set out to develop StemCounter.com after seeing the frustration that his wife, Rachael, endured when producing quotes for prospective bridal clients. He applied his software expertise and problem-solving mindset to the core functionality of StemCounter.com, while Rachael certified that the tool was practical and useful for its end users – floral designers. A professional florist herself for ten years, Rachael is the owner of Twisted Willow Design, a wedding and event floral design boutique.