If you’re a florist, you’re probably laughing already since you are well aware that Valentine’s Day blizzards are a probable occurrence if you’ve set up business in New England. Some of us believe that there is a long-standing curse against the flower industry where at some point we must have ticked off the “flower Gods” in some way or another to deserve this heinous punishment. It is after all our Super Sunday so to speak-I mean seriously, why can’t the weather turn incremental on a holiday like Saint Patrick’s Day or Halloween?
photo credit via Boston Globe
Valentine’s Day means that we have one day to deliver the goods, a forty eight hour time frame to get the job done so a mess of powdery white stuff can really slow things up! It’s not like we’re going to take the day off and go home or anything. We’ll still be up at four in the morning, tackling last minute orders and sending out drivers onto the icy streets while they curse us under their breath. It’s just the nature of the beast and because Valentine’s Day is the #1 flower holiday on the calendar, we must carry on and bite the brute of the New England winter.
If you’re new to the industry, you might be wondering if there is anything you can do besides biting your nails while watching the weather channel the week before the big day. Well, there is! Take it from some of the old dogs that have been through many snow challenging Valentine’s Days who have learned a trick or two on how to keep your cool in the event of a nor’easter. You can’t just lock up and try again next year-no way! By using a little forecasting in your planning, you’ll be able to have a strategy that works for your business in the case of a snowed-out February 14th. Here are some tips that industry old timers swear by and keep them from having a disappointing Valentine’s Day.
If you start seeing that scary swirl on the meteorologists map than you should always be prepared to deliver early. Offer customers an incentive such as a rebate or coupon to purchase flowers for the preceding days instead of on February 14th. By doing so, you’ll get a head start for delivery workers as well as excite patrons with a slight reduction in cost. Don’t think for a second you’ll lose too much money because of the deflated holiday profit margins -it’s way better than being stuck with thousands of roses with no place to go!
Don’t Be Overly Zealous
For some of you who are just learning about the flower biz, you might get a little too eager when buying for your first Valentine’s Day. If the weather has been choppy and there is a high likelihood of storming than play it safe and cut back your purchases from wholesalers. You won’t get stuck with dead flowers and your suppliers won’t be knocking down your door holding expensive bills you can’t pay back in March.
If You Get Stuck
It happens to everyone at some point of their floral career where they blow a holiday and are left with a lot more product than anticipated. Go easy on yourself. This is an industry where learning and experience are everything so take notes on February 15th and record what went right and what went wrong. Next year is bound to be more successful.