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  • Holiday Economics: Making Money When It Counts, Part 1

    Floral Finance®

    Holidays present great opportunities for and great dangers to your bottom line. With good information and a little determination, you can organize your operation to take advantage of the former and reduce the latter.

    Holidays are the best times to add dollars to your bottom line. All the elements for you to be efficient and productive are present.

    Give special attention to the following areas.

    Control Your Payroll

    One extra employee can easily cost $1,000 to $2,000 per month or more.

    That's lost profit.

    Make sure that you are staffed for efficiency and profit. When things get busy, the tendency is to throw people at problems. To hire more bodies to handle the work.

    You certainly need enough people to do the work. Under-staffing can prevent you from servicing your customers well. And a shop that doesn't serve its customers well won't be around long. However, proper organization can save a lot of unnecessary payroll expense.

    The best approach is to use your daily sales analysis to determine the sales volume for each day leading up to the holiday. Based upon your productivity expectations for design and sales, you can then staff correctly.

    Last year's daily staffing reports round out the picture.

    Don't overlook part-time employees. For example, a half-day person can come in to cover a peak load and save a full-day salary.

    Overtime Can Kill Profits

    Anything you can do to eliminate overtime is effort well spent. Overtime may occasionally be necessary, but it should be the exception, not the rule.

    One good policy is to have some year-round employees who work less than full-time. Mothers with small children, for example, may want fewer hours. You may already know someone who would love a part-time position.

    When you need extra help, you can often get these part-timers to add a few hours. Unlike extra hours added by full-time employees, those hours won't be at overtime wages.

    If necessary, look for other holiday help to fill the gaps. Schools are out during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Students and teachers may be looking for holiday work.

    One good thing about holiday helpers is that they are often quite flexible about the hours they can work.


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