6 Things You Can Do To Help You And Your Floral Business Survive
Updated: Feb 19
Challenging times call for creative ways to keep your business afloat. Here are six ideas that can help you stay sane during the next month.
1.) First and foremost, get a handle on your numbers. Figure out what your fixed monthly expenses are and get a handle on what you need in cash reserves to survive for the next month or two. Know your rent, expected utility expenses, phone, etc. Once you do this, figure out what you owe your vendors for product and what customers owe you. This will give you a handle on what your financial picture might look like in the next 4-8 weeks. File any loss of business claims now with your insurance so you can get in the queue for any forthcoming government relief. With 0% small business loans and lines of credit, this may be the best time to borrow to keep your business going.
2.) Eliminate overhead expenses immediately. You may need to do temporary layoffs and have employees file for temporary unemployment. If you have several delivery vehicles, suspend insurance on vehicles you won't be using. Consolidate coolers and cut down on your utility expenses. Limit your delivery schedules, as your manpower capacity decreases.
3.) Reach out to your customers and keep communication going. Promote a special during this time - offer customers a weekly pick up or drop off of flowers while they're cooped up inside. It can be a do-it yourself kit with instructions, or a finished product. Customers might be open to brightening their homes up. Parents might be home looking for a fun project to do with their kids. If you have access to Skype or Zoom, you might offer an on-line class or craft project for parents looking to keep kids occupied. Offer to plant spring pots up outside their porches, extending your services even more.
4.) While area nursing homes have limited visitation, most are still accepting flower deliveries. Driver's will be asked to sign a form and their temperatures may be taken, but most are still accepting deliveries. Contact area nursing homes to see if families would like this service, in lieu of regular visits. Even though funeral homes are eliminating services, call area funeral directors to see if they will accept plants and flowers on behalf of families. Flowers still provide much needed comfort in times of sorrow.
5.) With weddings and events being cancelled or postponed, be pro-active. Offer a Summer or Fall wedding package. If you can get brides to commit to a later date, try to secure a small deposit, so you are assured you will be asked to do the work in the future. Encourage some small, limited, at-home pre-nuptial celebrations and offer to deliver fresh flowers. As with any deliveries - take extra precautions with human contact and be mindful of recommendations regarding cleaning hands and sanitizing surfaces.
6.) Use this time to evaluate your business and make some changes. Infuse your energy into a marketing plan, now that you have time to "think" about your business. Update your logo if it needs it and rethink the "look" of your shop. Now is a good time to clean, re-organize, and update. If you don't use social media, take the time to learn Facebook and Instagram. You can also learn how to do your own website by visiting tutorials on Weebly, Wix and other website platforms.
We are already seeing signs of the flower market coming back in China - so there is hope this will be a temporary interruption in business. Got a creative idea to help snag business during this "downtime"? We'd love to share some of your ideas.