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  • Writer's pictureJan Peterson

Valentine's Day Prep List

Read, Set, Go...

The race to get through February 14th is underway. This year Valentine's Day falls on Tuesday and the President's Day holiday is the following week. This is always good news for florists, who typically do better when Valentine's Day falls in the middle of the week.

Hybrid offices continue to dominate many companies, so chances are deliveries will be evenly spread between offices and homes. This year, you can expect a busy holiday - with about the same sales as last year. Despite the economic woes, the holiday is expected to be a good one. It's wise to plan ahead, so here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Give adequate lead time to vendors. Pre-order what you would normally expect, and keep it at about what you ordered last year. To be ahead of the crowd, have your orders to vendors no later than mid-January so your product is secured.

2. Don't skimp on marketing on social media. Instagram, Facebook and other social media will keep you in front of your customers, so make sure your customers know what you're offering and how you can help them. Remember - it's a last minute holiday - so don't be discouraged if you aren't seeing any orders yet.

3. Keep pricing relatively the same as last year. While fuel pricing has come down - it hasn't necessarily translated into lower flower prices. Consumers are now used to paying more for just about everything. Pricing is driven by supply/demand and Valentine's Day is one of the highest supply challenges.

4. Don't sell yourself short on service. Remember - you deliver more value and service to a customer than a web service, so don't be afraid to charge for that. It's ok to up your delivery charge on the busiest day of the year. After all, you'll be adding an extraordinary amount of labor to make your deliveries run smoothly and some customers will wait until the last minute to order. Don't fear charging a premium delivery fee. Most of your customers will be willing to pay you to get the delivery there on time rather than face a disappointed partner.

5. Do all the physical prep-work ahead of time. Any repetitive work you can do ahead of time will make the day run smoother. Get supplies in early. Have staff green vases a week in advance so they are ready to be finished with flowers. A few days before Valentine's Day start rose arrangements so they can be tagged and ready to go out for delivery. Assemble and label your delivery boxes, fill water tubes, cut ribbons, etc. Streamlining any physical task will save you time the morning of Valentine's Day.

6. Make room in your shop. Rose arrangements take up space, so make sure you organize your workspace and cooler to accommodate additional room you'll need.

7. Keep an eye on the weather. We've had the mildest winter in years- but February in New England is always hard to predict when it comes to snow storms. Keep an eye out and plan accordingly.

8. Hire plenty of extra drivers for that day. Hire more drivers than you think you will need - because you'll want to get your deliveries out as early as possible. Colleges, restaurants, and delivery services are good sources to recruit drivers.

9. Assign one person to be your dispatcher. Make one person responsible for dispatching and managing your drivers. Set up delivery routes ahead of time and organize orders into zones in your shop. This way you will be able to expedite the delivery times and manage many more deliveries than on a normal day of business.

10. Get some emotional rest. Valentine's Day is the most stressful holiday because it all happens in one day. Before the holiday, take time for yourself and reflect on all you've accomplished. Take breaks during the day if you need them. Your emotional well-being and positive attitude will help you and your staff get through the stress. A "can do" attitude makes all the difference!

With some well thought out preparation and planning, you can get through the day without feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

“An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing.”

Dale Carnegie

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