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  • Holiday Economics: Making Money When it Counts, Part 3

    Floral Finance®

    In addition to having a good holiday plan, you must apply that plan for a profitable season.

    Keep Deliveries Humming

    There are several things you can do to save time and money in the delivery area.

    Use your daily sales analysis to determine how many deliveries you will likely have on a given day. Based upon the number of deliveries you can make each hour, determine how many drivers you will need during the day.

    Many florists rent extra vans for the holidays and hire drivers. A good idea, but there is a better way for the average florist.

    Hire drivers with their own vehicles, and pay them on a per-delivery basis. This system will accomplish several things.

    First, you won't have to pay the high expense of renting vehicles. You should, however, make certain that you have the appropriate insurance to cover these drivers.

    Second, you only have to pay for deliveries actually made.

    Third, pegging wages to delivery numbers helps your pricing. You won't have to guess at your delivery costs.

    Consider Delivery Pools

    Many florists use — and swear by — delivery pools. If you are considering joining a delivery pool in your town, make the decision well before the holidays.

    You will need to participate in the pool for awhile to get a feel for how it operates and how you should fit in.

    If you are new to the pool, ask the "old-timers" what to expect for a given holiday. You don't want to be caught unprepared.

    Check Your Listing

    Take a minute to check your Teleflora Member Directory listing. If you are at or near the top of the listing in your city, you can expect a greater volume of incoming wire orders.

    That means you may need to buy extra fresh product or holiday containers to handle that volume.

    Expect to Have Sales

    Holiday sales can be used for at least a couple of different purposes.

    There's the "offensive" strategy. You might make a special purchase of products or flowers just for a sale to promote traffic.

    Obviously, this type of sale will require a good bit of planning. You'll need enough lead time to make the necessary purchases and get the word out through appropriate advertising.

    "Defensive" sales, on the other hand, are those you put in gear after the holiday season has begun. It is a response to trends you see developing in your holiday business.

    You might need a special bargain sale halfway into the Christmas holiday to sell slow-moving merchandise.

    Plan certain checkpoints during the holiday. Gauge where you are. Decide if anything else should go on sale.

    Example? Poinsettias. Based upon last year's sales patterns, you can determine if you are behind or ahead this year. Your daily sales analysis is the perfect tool to help make this decision.

    If poinsettias are selling too slowly, a special may get them moving. You should make that decision no later than two weeks before Christmas.

    Planning Advertising

    The holiday period is crowded with advertisers. Newspaper space may be limited. Radio time slots may be scarce.

    Plan far enough in advance of the holiday to get the schedule you want.

    Finally, Think Profits

    Holidays ought to be the most profitable time of the year for retailers. And florists are no exception to this rule.

    Now is your chance to make all your work worthwhile. Don't let this holiday season pass by without an effort to make the most of your profits.

    Watch your expenses. Keep good reports and records. Plan carefully. It will all be worth it when you get your post-holiday financial statements.


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