Here are 30 things for you to consider not just for your business over Christmas period but also to keep you from insanity!
1, Email your customers to let them know your Christmas range is available to order now! Pre-order everything you dare, from your wholesaler
2, Promote pre-orders making it easier to advertise your product for longer as well as securing sales upfront.
3, Champion shopping local. Get on board with other small business’s by creating an event to warm the public mood. Warm up mince pies, hand out flyers on the high street or simply host your own little event.
4, Get your website working for you! Focus on floral gifts, merchandising them with add-ons, or picturing bundles on social media to encourage upsells.
5, Wow with your window. Go to town on your Christmas window and displays and be the first to get involved in any high street competition organised by your local community for valuable PR, and if you’re in a studio don’t forget to display some samples as you never know who might pop round.
6, Supply posters, for company staff areas that are open and leave flyers & business cards. Members can download the posters we’ve produced.
7, Remember to cater for memorials – even if you have rose plants for graves, it’s an area not to be ignored.
8, Call your clients that ordered last year. You’re likely to have email addresses – if you’ve never tried it you’ll be pleasantly surprised how your offer to take the hassle out of the organisation is generally very welcome.
Maximise your social media
9, Make sure you have great images on all your social media channels – explain what set’s you apart! Gather wording and images now to save time later on.
10,Use Instagram reels or TikTok to inspire your customers in how to style their homes with fresh Christmas florals and foliage. Don’t forget to tag product where you can.
11, Schedule your Facebook and Instagram posts, don’t suddenly go silent on your business page just when you need to be ‘out there’ get your posts done in advance! Pop into the members area for web images and Instagram images.
12, Spread the word and get customers aware and early ordering via social media posts and Facebook competitions.
Boring but necessary
13, Check your stock levels: Ink and paper for the printer, pens, helium for the balloons, tea, coffee, loo rolls! As well as balloons, teddy bears, wine and champagne, chocolates, vases, care cards, cut flower food, cellophane, gift cards, envelopes, hand tie bags.
14, Make a quick reference point for all cut-off times, add on codes, and delivery charges.
15, For ease make one person responsible for all customer queries. This way they know exactly the circumstances of each query. You wont need to shout ‘does anybody know about this?’ !
Getting extra helpers
16, Think about where your key staff and helpers will be, and who is responsible for which tasks. Keep your fastest workers away from the hustle and bustle of the main workroom.
17, Consider printing copies of recipes for each design you’ll create. Make sure every staff member has one.
18, Keep your staff working on one production line and then switch them over, this way they’re focused on their task, but it doesn’t become mundane.
19, Look back at your notes from last year (or your invoices) what did you have to restock on at the last moment?
20, If you’re short of space why not consider contacting your local council for an empty shop/ pub room/ village/scout hall or source an industrial unit to rent which will give you some extra space away from the shop to make-up orders.
21, Working or storing out of the usual premises? … be aware of dropping temperatures and check your insurance covers everything! Having extra space and no interruptions could sky rocket productivity and more than pay for itself!
22, Do anything that you can do in advance now – pre-fold wrappings for hand-ties, attach care instructions to cut flower food, make bows, pre-wrap vases for arranging flowers into, gift wrap items such as teddies and chocolates ready to display.
23, Could you draft in someone to handle the phones and serve customers, a quick crash course with a sensible friendly helper could take the pressure off – your staff might know just the person, if you don’t!
24, Are all your delivery charges up-to-date and up on the wall by the phone? More to the point have you updated them on your website.
Prepare your drivers
25, Have your vans serviced now before its too late!
26, Negotiate with your local taxi companies in advance if you need their support with deliveries. Find a courier company just in case your fastest driver gets Covid.
27, Make sure every driver has an emergency kit. Give them something spare of everything to avoid them having to return to the shop, from cut flower food to a box of chocolates and even a balloon. There’s always one that flies away.
Daily to do’s
28, You might find the free app ‘Voyager: Route planner’ useful to work out the best delivery route.
29, Take care of you and your staff and helpers – to get the best out of them and ensure they are working at their best give them breaks, food, energy drinks… take care of your athletes.
30, Don’t allow large sums of cash to build up in your till and check your credit card machine rolls if you use them.