For most florists, planning ahead is second nature. With 2019 now upon us, now is the perfect time to look ahead to the new year’s holidays and slow times.
January can be a slow month in the floral industry, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still plenty to get done. Focus this month on your shop’s marketing and organization.
- Start a blog: This is a great way to increase your SEO, write a post every now and then to boost your search engine visibility, and keep the buzz going by sharing photos and updates on your social media.
- Tip: “How to” blogs are the most-searched!
- Review 2018 Valentine’s sales: Start ordering your flowers for Valentine’s Day—the earlier you order, the more you save. Don’t forget to order add-ons either: plush, chocolate, candy, etc. are all high-margin items that sell reliably well.
- Tip: If this is your first Valentine’s day, don’t order too much. Calibrating the size of your order can be tricky, but when in doubt, start small. You can always re-up in a pinch.
- Decorate store and website for Valentine’s: Starting the second week of January (after the official end of Christmas season), make a spectacular Valentine’s display in your store and also make sure your ecommerce site is ready for early bird sales.
- Sign up for wedding sites: If you’re a wedding florist, make sure you have profiles on The Knot, Wedding Wire, and My Wedding.
February is a short month and can be slow early on, but Valentine’s Day demand will create an explosion of activity the middle two weeks of the month. It’s important to have everything ready before this rush.
- Employee management: Hire and train your holiday help, then go over all employee scheduling and responsibilities by the end of the first week of February.
- Tip: This is also a good time to also rent extra delivery vans if needed.
- Promotions: Come up with some sales promotions you can offer to attract earlier Valentine’s Day orders. Maybe you can encourage customers to choose delivery dates before the 14th. Share these promotions to your social media and on your flower shop website. Make sure they expire a few days before Valentines.
- Take care of yourself: During this busy month, it is important to rest and take time for yourself. Encourage your employees to do the same and wear comfortable clothes, comfy shoes, and make time to eat! Being organized will alleviate most of the Valentine’s day pressure, but it’s important to be well-nourished and comfortable.
- Start a holiday journal: It may sound corny or frivolous, but there’s so much even an established shop can learn by keeping some written records. You have your gross receipts, but what about mishaps or funny incidents not included in the data? It helps to reread notes from past holidays to refresh yourself.
March can be one of the most rewarding months in the floral industry. Nestled between the Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day holidays, March allows florists time to relax and get ready for new beginnings with the coming of spring.
- Finance review: With the first quarter almost over, now is a good time to get a grasp on your profit and loss for January and February. Add notes about what you may do differently next year, maybe using your shop journal.
- Spring cleaning: Customers eagerly anticipate spring, especially if you’re located in an area with cold, snowy winters. Refresh your flower shop decor and get ready for spring!
- March Sales Madness: As florists, we know March can be hit or miss with sales, so start a new marketing campaign to drive more sales.
- Order your Easter flowers and plants: Easter can fall anywhere between late March and late April, and it may vary widely from one year to the next. Start an order for your Easter flowers and plants, remember that ordering early means savings for you from your suppliers, and you’ll have the best selection.
It’s April, and Mother’s Day will be here before you know it! Use April to prepare.
- Order Mother’s Day flowers and supplies: Make sure to place your order for Mother’s Day plants, and flowers, and containers with your supplier. The best time to order is early April.
- Showcase your plants: If you’re selling flowering plants, now is a good time to showcase them! This creates a welcoming atmosphere for customers. If you’re able to move some outdoors, this could help with curb appeal.
- Promotions and marketing: Start promoting early bird Mother’s Day sales after Easter. Post on your social media and website (this will improve your SEO to boot). One great marketing tip is to offer a giveaway, maybe a gift basket, or free flowers for a few months, and have customers provide their contact information when they make a purchase.
- Employee management: It’s time again to make sure you have all your seasonal help lined up. Make sure all current employees understand their schedule and duties.
- Tip: If you or any of your employees are new to the floral industry, remember that Mother’s Day is the #1 floral business holiday. Customers order for deliveries throughout the week rather than one day. Be prepared with help, lots of flowers, and beautiful containers.
May is a great month for the floral industry! Between Mother’s Day and proms, it’s best to be well-prepared so you aren’t caught off guard.
- Take a look around: Take an honest look—does your flower shop look appealing to you? Make sure you use a critical eye and take it all in, the appearance, the sounds, and even the smells. Customers are drawn to a beautiful environment that makes them feel relaxed and comfortable.
- Employee training: The first week of May is a good time to discuss employee customer service, cross-selling, and up-selling products. Make sure your employees are polite and offer customers upgrades and add-ons with their purchase. This is an easy way to almost triple your profits.
- Offer prom promotions: Proms are a way sure to make sales. Build relationships with future long time patrons. Offer a referral discount.
- Examine your finances: After the Mother’s Day rush, now is a good time to sit down and see whether or not you made a profit, be sure to calculate all costs and include any spoilage or waste. Keep notes on what you would do different next year.
June is a lovely month. The start of summer offers a chance to organize your floral business needs. June is the most popular month for weddings, with September and October close behind. Florists are pleasantly surprised with how busy June can get with weddings and graduations.
- Refresh your floral website: Update your flower shop for some summer specials, make sure you’re wedding galleries are up to date with pertinent content and keywords.
- Offer promotions: Teacher gifts and graduation discounts are a great way to bring in traffic. Be sure to promote these on your floral website and social media.
- Order retail products: This is a great time to order some fresh new stock to get customers to flock to your flower shop. There is nothing you cannot sell, so think outside the box! What’s popular? Candles, skin care, plush, home decor, makeup, even unique greeting cards. Brand your flower shop!
We think of July as a month of organization. July can be on the slower side, so it’s very important to have your shop looking its best.
- Write a blog: With the free time that July affords you, we especially recommend writing a blog post or three. Write a how-to or write about anything that inspires you. Think about things you search for, read, and watch, and connect it to flowers.
- Social media: Take some time to focus on revamping your social media communities. Add content and images, and don’t forget hashtags where appropriate.
- Tidy up your flower shop: Time to clean, scrub, wash, organize, label, etc. Freshen up your floral space!
- Browse your floral supply stores: July is a great month to look at products in your floral supply store, for example you can often find great deals on holiday items. It’s a great time to stock up.
August can be one of the slowest months in the floral industry. If that’s the case for you, try implementing new ways to market in your flower shop.
- Newsletter: Email, snail mail, or both! Send out a newsletter to your customers offering special savings.
- Start a workshop or floral party! Get busy with hosting a floral workshop, kids floral birthday parties, and much more. This can lead to great profits and new patrons at your flower shop.
- Start preparing for fall! Get your flower shop ready for the most popular season. Create beautiful displays, order new inventory and go for it! We recommend starting this the second-to-last week of August. Don’t forget your fall marketing!
Flowers sales in September pick up rapidly by the middle of the month. Customers are now back to their normal routines with the kids back in school and a new flush of weddings.
- Order fall flowers and plants: Stock up on your seasonal flowers and plants.
- Revamp your floral website: Add the seasonal touch to your floral website with fresh new content and images. Use proper keywords, specific to the floral industry for SEO advantage.
- Launch and Adwords campaign: If your budget allows, try launching an Adwords campaign for more clicks to your ecommerce store. Be sure to set a budget and stick to it as this can get expensive. adwords.google.com
- Keep up with your blog: Now that you are a blogging pro, how about writing a seasonal blog or fall wedding blog? We cannot emphasize this enough, regular blog posts have a powerful influence on your search engine ranking.
Tip: Canadian florists, September is a good time start ordering flowers and supplies for Thanksgiving.
October offers some great sales. Now is a good time to start orders on any extra stock supplies and get them at a discount for future use.
- Prepare for the holidays: The holidays are just around the corner! Shop around for the best deals on all your flowers, and supplies for the holidays. Also, shop around for holiday products to sell at your shop.
- Employee management: Go over employee scheduling and see if you will need extra help for the holiday season.
- Host an open house: Host a holiday open house to show off your latest products and floral designs.
- Floral expo: Take some time to visit a flower expo in your area and take your employees. This is a good way to stay current with the new trends and get first dibs on new products.
Tip: October is a very popular wedding month, since most wedding proposals are made in December. Consider advertising a wedding package special on your website.
Tis the season for flower sales! November will be great month for you as customers get into the giving mood.
- Market the holidays! Add promotions to your floral website and social media!
- Start greening: Green those Thanksgiving centerpieces ahead of time, add any taper or candles and put in the cooler for a quick way to add flowers as Thanksgiving sales roll in.
- Decorate the shop for the holidays: Time for Christmas cheer. Create eye-appealing displays and make sure your flower shop is festive. If you can make a beautiful Christmas window display or storefront display to bring in curious shoppers.
- Offer incentives: Offer Black Friday or Small Business Saturday deals. “Buy ones get ones” are great offers, even if it’s just a couple hours that day. Having a great deal with a cut off time is a good way of creating hype and traffic into your flower shop.
Tip: Don’t forget to revamp your ecommerce site in advance of Christmas and update your social media!
With a number of winter holidays converging on December, many florists enjoy a huge uptick in sales in December, especially for Christmas. This can vary from place to place, but December is overall the third best month for floral retail sales after May and February, which is really saying something.
- Employee management: Set expectations for your employees—remind them to discuss upgrades and add-ons for each customer’s order. Remember to review the days you will be closed and work out a firm schedule, you don’t want to be caught shorthanded. You may also consider bringing in extra seasonal help around the holidays to keep things running smoothly.
- Christmas greens: Many customers will come to you looking to buy Christmas greenery. Be sure to place your order early so you have a sufficient stock of wreaths, garlands, etc.
- Plan your discounts: Sometimes offering a discount too early for Christmas can become forgetful to customers who may not be ready. Post Christmas discounts during this month and make sure to have an expiration time or date. Great discounts are gifts for parents, teachers, corporate and the person, who has everything. Flower still remain the perfect gift.
Tip: Don’t forget to market to businesses! holiday parties and corporate decorating can be huge, so offer incentives to entice them to book with you for their flower needs.
With all that said, florists, if you have any tips or thoughts on yearly or monthly planning, please leave them in the comments below!
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