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In The Bloom with Maria: Use Mother’s Day to make a great first impression

In the bloom with MariaImpressions are everything when it comes to business. If your customers have a good first impression when purchasing items from your establishment, they’re likely to come back again and again. After all, we’re creatures of habit. When we find something we like, we stick with it.

A great time to make a good impression in our industry is during the major holidays for the floral industry, namely Mother’s Day on May 14. Impress a customer around this holiday, and he or she will be back again.

For shops and studios, one way to make a great impression is to offer quality floral arrangements with long-lasting flowers. No one wants their flowers to wilt two days after they’re brought home.

However, offering long-lasting flowers isn’t just luck of the draw. There is some preparation on your part. Here’s why. Per the February 2017 issue of Floral Management, flowers targeted to be sold around major floral events—such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day—get different treatment than flowers available at other times of the year.

Flowers serving as inventory for the industry’s holidays have likely been stored longer by shippers and require increased attention to sanitation, cooling, and care. As a reminder, here are some things you should—and shouldn’t—be doing with your holiday flowers supply.

Holiday flower prep
The following are steps to be taken to allow for the best environment and care for your holiday flower inventory (courtesy of the Society of American Florists):

  • Clean coolers with a commercial floral-friendly product
  • Scrub flower buckets after every use
  • Clean design tables, knives, and clippers several times a day
  • Re-cut stems 1–1½ inches
  • Measure flower food accurately
  • Remove sleeves from flowers at the time of processing to keep flowers dry and minimize Botrytis
  • Use flower food solution in all arrangements
  • Provide customers with flower food sachets to make a quart of solution

We’ve provided a list of tasks you should do, and these are things you shouldn’t do:

  • Don’t leave flowers out of the cooler unless you want them to open more rapidly
  • Don’t cut flowers underwater
  • Don’t leave stems out of the solution once the stems are cut
  • Don’t allow fruits, vegetables, or other food products in the cooler
  • Don’t assume someone else is going to do the above tasks—assign them

Year-round care
Other regular duties should be done year-round to keep your inventory fresh and you’re your shop or studio looking its best.

Be sure to sweep cooler floors daily to get rid of floral debris that might carry disease spores. An added bonus when doing this regularly is you’re helping to avoid trips and falls of both employees and customers, alike.

Check cooler conditions regularly throughout the year. This is always important, but becomes even more critical during the spring rush. Increase your temperature and humidity checks to three or four times daily to help prevent product loss when you have your cooler packed to maximum capacity. Doing so can also help prevent potential flower spoilage claims.

Check your insurance, too
While your inventory and equipment should always by on the top of your mind, don’t forget about your insurance coverage. Insurance shouldn’t be a sign-on-the-dotted-line-and-forget activity for your business.

Review that your business policy includes coverage for loss of heating and cooling (spoilage), with higher seasonal limits if needed. Also, be aware that if you rent temporary refrigeration units that some policies will not extend spoilage coverage to rented coolers without an additional coverage. See our previous blog post on this topic.

If you have any questions regarding your coverage, contact your agent.