A good plan makes the difference
Holiday business in the flower world accounts for a sizeable percentage of our overall sales and profit for the year. We need to be sure to capture those sales each season and leaving it up to chance is a gamble we just can't take. Having a good plan in place creates a sense of order and helps you to focus on the holiday business at hand instead of scrambling to problem solve last minute.
Although holiday sales typically happen in a 3-to-7-day window of time, the timeline for planning and preparation in order to keep things running smoothly takes place much earlier. Behind the scenes there's lots to do for flawless execution. These are some of our suggestions to get ready:
Countdown to the Holiday:
2-6 months: Pre-booking, sales planner, ads & promotions
Deciding which items you will offer, planning/placing fresh and hard goods orders, and deciding what items you might promote should be completed no later than 2 months prior to the holiday. Most suppliers offer deals and discounts for placing orders early, take advantage!
Be open to the possibility of substitutions, especially for fresh flowers and plants! Even if you place your order a year in advance, sometimes Mother Nature doesn't cooperate.
1 month: Clean & Shine / Team Training
- Deep clean and sanitize all storage, work, and display areas.
- Check equipment, tools, and supplies; be sure everything is in working order, perform any maintenance or updates needed so everything is fully functional well in advance of holiday.
- Get rid of the old stuff! Make room for incoming inventory, don't hang on to old inventory hoping you might sell it - mark it down, write it off but don't carry inventory that ties up your cash flow.
- Have a team meeting to review a couple of important points before things start getting hectic:
1. Schedule / Roles / Responsibilities
Each team member should be clear on the upcoming holiday schedule as well their individual roles and responsibilities for the approaching season, so all bases are covered.
2. Consumer Education
Review instructions for consumers when they take their purchase home, the importance of flower food and following directions to enjoy their flowers as long as possible.
3. Care & Handling Practices
Remind your team of the importance of keeping best practices alive and well even during the busy season:
- Daily cleaning & sanitation
- FIFO (First in First Out) inventory rotation
- Culling displays
- Temperature management
2 weeks: Prep
- Receive all hard goods and containers
- Stock shelves
- Make bows
1 week: Merchandising & Displays
Be sure your displays have the holiday vibe creating impulse sales and letting people know you are ready with everything they need for their holiday gift giving!
Have any holiday prep ideas that work great for you? Please share them with FloraLife! Our team of experts is always open to your suggestions!