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Flower Shops From the Holiday Season to Valentine’s Day

January 07, 2016
Happy New Year

With a sigh of relief and perhaps a celebratory glass of champagne, the holiday season is wrapped up and in the books. This season, flower shops did well, with steady business from Thanksgiving straight through to New Year’s Eve. Overall, the additional cost of extra drivers, designers and all the costs associated with delivering like gas, should have only added an additional 15-17% in costs, but easily offset by the busy season.
The six week holiday season (Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve) is a bit easier to manage than the single holiday events like Valentine’s Day, which looms on the horizon. When it is a whole season, you can order product a bit easier, and do a lot of cross utilization of flowers, as well as having consistent help through the season. For a day like Valentine’s Day, when everyone wants their flowers delivered on one day of the year, it has more challenges and needs more planning.

Cleaning Up

January is an opportunity to do a clean sweep on the shop, especially the displays and the back room. For the last six weeks, it has been crazy busy with little time for cleaning and maintaining the elegant look of your shop. Why these two areas? The displays need to be freshened for the new season, and take this time to dust and shine the window displays as well as the eye-catching merchandising arrays throughout the whole shop.

All the displays should be rearranged, and new flowers or containers can be used to bring a new look to the shop. The all important front window display needs an overhaul from Christmas/Winter scene to an all Valentine’s look with reds, pinks and purples. Use a combination of silk arrangements, plush and empty boxes of chocolates for an appealing look.

Typically, the backroom hasn’t had a full cleaning since before Thanksgiving, which means there could be rosebuds or other tidbits of clippings in nook and crannies that need to be disposed of as soon as possible. Pull all the tables out and do a full cleaning on the floors, tables and shelves.

Most importantly is your storage coolers and buckets. Of course, everyone cleans these between uses, but it is essential to use a scrub brush, bleach and hot water to get them thoroughly clean. While Mother’s Day is the biggest holiday for every florist, Valentine’s Day is the most costly for the customers and the florists. The price of red roses skyrockets, increasing by more than double its normal price. You want clean buckets for these babies!

Planning and Preparation

First and foremost, secure your flowers early. Call your wholesaler and put in an order for your red, pink and white roses by mid-January. At the very least, order the same amount you sold last Valentine’s Day, and keep in mind the prices will go up if you need more without a pre-order.

Purchase your containers and replenish your necessities like floral tape, foam, wire etc. Most wire services have their specials which include containers and such, so be sure to place those orders well in advance too. Do an inventory of your buckets, making sure you will have enough for your extra flowers. Unlike the Christmas season, where your inventory increases steadily for weeks, Valentine’s Day is a 1-3 day event, with a whole lot of product in the store for a short time.
Lastly, plan out your labor. Figure out how much you did last year, talk to your wire service reps and find out an approximation of the number of orders they will be guaranteeing you for the big day. You should be able to figure out how many designers and drivers you will need from this, plus your own increase in sales.

If your sales have been competing or over last year, calculate by what percentage and use that to predict your Valentine’s Day sales. Almost 85% of Valentine’s Day sales are delivery, so prepare for that as well. Using a route planner like MyRouteOnline will help you plan routes, saving time and gas, thereby keeping your additional costs down. This is one of the best investments you can make to keep your costs down, as well as keeping delivery drivers happy and stress-free on the road.

MyRouteOnline is a cost savings that will profit margin immensely. Before using this program, most shops used Google maps and paper maps, which don’t have a whole route planning, and do not account for creating efficiencies between deliveries. This results in using excessive amounts of gas and time, that leads to a decrease in your profit margin.

Ordering ahead, planning your labors costs, and using MyRouteOnline are three critical ways to protect your bottom line through the holiday season. Do a thorough deep cleaning between holidays and your flowers along with your business, will blossom beautifully.