The countdown is on! Sure, a lot of your hard work — at least in terms of sales and marketing — is mostly behind you. But there’s still time to make Valentine’s Day 2018 as successful as possible. Here are few last minute tips to try.
Create a Festive In-Store Experience: You’ve spent weeks trying to encourage customers to place their Valentine’s Day orders in advance. But inevitably, you will encounter plenty of stragglers next week. Embrace Wednesday’s walk-in customers with a dazzling in-store experience. “Remember, most of them come in with smartphones in hand,” said Rick Canale, owner of Exotic Flowers in Boston, Massachusetts.“Give them something memorable and they’ll post something on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, giving you free advertising that just might go viral.” (In past years, Canale has recruited celebrities, including Baywatch alum Traci Binham and R&B singer Michael Bivins, to help hand out flowers.) Exotic Flowers employees also wear special Valentine’s Day shirts to provide customers “a visual greeting” and puts on pop and Motown music, so they hear something upbeat and recognizable.
Make Money Off Tough Customers: A general rule for getting through a holiday
with your sanity intact is to never guarantee a timed delivery, especially for those orders that come in on February 14. But if the customer is at all insistent about receiving flowers at a certain time, by all means acquiesce —and charge a premium price for doing so. Floral Management columnist Paul Goodman, CPA, MBA, PFCI, author of “The Profit Minded Florist,” recommends tripling your delivery fee. That will compensate for your effort, plus the demanding customer will remember you as the florist who came through and saved the day. “We’ll do aerial stunts to make
the delivery,” said Nic Faitos, senior partner of Starbright Floral Design in New York City. On top of the shop’s standard delivery fee ($15), he’ll add a $30 surcharge. “That’s how we deal with exceedingly high expectations.”
Nurture Relationships With Fellow Business Owners: Yes, it’s the busiest week of the year, but if you can squeeze in a small token of affection for wedding vendors and small businesses you work with regularly, it will have a big impact. Heather Waits, owner of Bloomtastic in Columbus, Ohio, sends chocolate-covered strawberries or candy along with a Valentine card (“the cutesy, kid-themed kinds you find at the Dollar Store,” she said) to local wedding planners, DJs, caterers, bakers, etc. Waits books triple digit weddings each year, a figure she attributes largely to vendors’ referrals. “They do a lot for us, so it’s important to show our appreciation,” she said. Waits aligns her thank you gifts with Valentine’s Day to make sure they stand out. (“Most business people receive gifts in December, not mid February,” she said.) Additionally, the Valentine card serves as a subliminal reminder to go buy Valentine’s Day flowers.
Take Copious Notes: Want to increase your efficiency and profitability for Valentine’s Day 2019? Ask your employees to assess how the day goes and write down their observations during their breaks. Some questions to ask: Were freelancers productive or a pain? How many deliveries went through on the first try? Did you run out of a particular product? What promotions had the most traction? Next week, when everyone’s come down from the Valentine’s Day high, host a staff lunch or dinner and review the good, the bad and the ugly. Use the reconnaissance to strengthen your plan next year (and, for that matter, Mother’s Day).