I don’t think we’ve ever known such an anxious time in a florist business. Flower price hikes, electric bills, the thought you might catch the dreaded bug. At the BFA we all know what its like so here are 35 things for you to consider not just for your business over Valentines Day but also to keep you from insanity!
Working to your strengths
1, Do you create your own range of Valentines products? Be mindful not just of the pricing but the ease and cost efficiency to produce. E.g. is looping aspidistra better value than other foliage? Can you buy in bulk and get better savings still?
2, Email your customers to let them know about your valentines ranges is available to order now! Pre-order everything you dare, from your wholesaler
3, Get your website working for you! Have banner adverts on your home page linking through to the valentine’s products.
4, Make sure you have great images on all your social media channels – explain what set’s you apart! Gather wording and images now to save time later on and look out for our most popular hashtags via the BFA Instagram posts.
5, Schedule your Facebook and Instagram posts, don’t suddenly go silent on your business page just when you need to be ‘out there’ get your posts done in advance! Pop into the members area for web images and Instagram images and stories.
6, We know your window display for some businesses is still a must, but research suggests you need to change it regularly and if you’re in a studio don’t forget to display some samples as you never know who might pop round.
7, Don’t forget to show the chocolates, wine, champagne teddies, and balloons too on your website .
8, Spread the word and get customers aware and early ordering via social media posts and Facebook competitions.
9, Remember to cater for memorials – even if you have rose plants for graves, it’s an area not to be ignored.
10, Supply posters, for company staff areas that are open and leave flyers & business cards. Members can download the posters we’ve produced.
11, Call your clients that ordered last year. You’re likely to have email addresses – if you’ve never tried it you’ll be pleasantly surprised how your offer to take the hassle out of the organisation is generally very welcome. Use an EPOS system to keep the data protected.
12, Have you planned all your designs, giving them names to each design to aid sales? Go to the members area to download our 15 free images.
Getting extra staff
13, Think about where your key staff will be, and who is responsible for which tasks. Keep your fastest workers away from the hustle and bustle of the main workroom.
14, Advice for the newer florists… Block your orders together, create all the spring hand-ties together, your valentines hand-tie in one batch etc.
15, Keep your staff working on one production line and then switch them over, this way they’re focused on their task, but it doesn’t become mundane.
16, Look back at your notes from last year (or your invoices) what did you have to restock on at the last moment?
17, If you’re short of space why not consider contacting your local council for an empty shop/ pub room/ village/scout hall or source an industrial unit to rent which will give you some extra space away from the shop to make-up orders.
18, Working or storing out of the usual premises? … be aware of dropping temperatures and check your insurance covers everything! Having extra space and no interruptions could sky rocket productivity and more than pay for itself!
19, Do anything that you can do in advance now – pre-fold wrappings for hand-ties, attach care instructions to cut flower food, make bows, pre-wrap vases for arranging flowers into, gift wrap items such as teddies and chocolates ready to display.
20, Consider printing copies of recipes for each design you’ll create. Make sure every staff member has one.
Boring but necessary
21, Check your stock levels: Ink and paper for the printer, pens, helium for the balloons, tea, coffee, loo rolls! As well as balloons, teddy bears, wine and champagne, chocolates, vases, care cards, cut flower food, cellophane, gift cards, envelopes, hand tie bags.
22, Are you a member of relay? Why not make a quick reference point for all cut-off times, order and add on codes, and delivery charges.
23, For ease make one person responsible for all customer queries. This way they know exactly the circumstances of each query. You wont need to shout ‘does anybody know about this?’ !
Involve your staff
24, What else should be on this list – Let your staff look at this and encourage them to add to what can be done to get organised.
25, Have a mini meeting/get together with all your staff to discuss your & their ideas, get the timetables and preparation all set! Maybe they have some nice designs that don’t include red roses.
26, How much can you all upsell? Could you introduce a sales incentive for your staff to encourage them?
27, Could you draft in someone to handle the phones and serve customers, a quick crash course with a sensible friendly helper could take the pressure off – your staff might know just the person, if you don’t!
28, Are all your delivery charges up-to-date and up on the wall by the phone? More to the point have you updated them on your website.
Prepare your drivers
29, Have your vans serviced now before its too late!
30, Negotiate with your local taxi companies in advance if you need their support with deliveries. Find a courier company just in case your fastest driver gets Covid.
31, Make sure every driver has an emergency kit. Give them something spare of everything to avoid them having to return to the shop, from cut flower food to a box of chocolates and even a balloon. There’s always one that flies away.
What is the back up plan!
32, Always know what your plan B might will be! You know what might go wrong, just consider alternatives in those situations.
Daily to do’s
33, Don’t allow large sums of cash to build up in your till.
34, You might find the free app ‘Voyager: Route planner’ useful to work out the best delivery route.
35, Take care of you and your staff – to get the best out of them and ensure they are working at their best give them breaks, food, energy drinks… take care of your athletes.