Florists Survival Guide to Making Valentines Day Your Business Day of the Year!

The rose has long been a classic symbol of romance and love, with the demand for long-stemmed roses the greatest around Valentine’s Day. This means big business for florists who sell and deliver flowers. In 2015, an estimated 200 million roses were produced for the Valentine’s Day holiday, according to the Society of American Florists. Men purchase about 75 percent of the 110 million roses sold in the U.S. at this time every year.

Top Holiday for Florists

Valentine’s Day is the number one holiday for florists, accounting for most of the industry’s fresh flower sales. 78% of the flowers consumers purchase for Valentine’s Day are cut flowers. With men being top customers, most who are buying long-stemmed roses for a Valentine’s Day gift are buying them for a wife or significant other. BOOST Your Flower Shop this Valentines Day!

Rose production although California produces 60% of the roses that are sold in the U.S. every year, most of the roses sold in the first weeks of February for Valentine’s Day are imported from South America. The U.S. buys more than 1 billion roses each year from overseas, mainly imported from Columbia. Because American producers are unable to grow enough roses in time to meet the increase in demand, the U.S. is forced to import some of the roses it needs for Valentine’s Day sales. Bad weather and shorter daylight hours during the winter season make it difficult to grow large crops of roses for retail distribution in February when the demand is high.

If you are a florist and own a flower shop, here are some tips to get you through:

Valentine’s Day is the busiest and potentially most profitable day for any flower shop, so it’s imperative that you are prepared with enough capital, to be able to purchase all the inventory you need to have the most successful day possible.

Two Weeks Before Valentine’s Day

  • Email marketing – Send out a $5 off coupon to customers
  • Codified Arrangements – Make codified or flower specific orders before designer’s choice orders to ensure you can fill orders properly
  • Pre-buy flowers – order roses early from trusted sources. Pre order 1/2 of what you think you need and get the rest as you need it from wholesalers

The Week of Valentine’s Day

  • Website Update – update your website prices!
  • Pre-Arranging – Hand tie greens for vase drop in, store in waxed boxes and spray with anti-desiccant
  • Pricing – If possible have a lower price point with 30 or 40 roses for cash and cary
  • Single Roses – Have many single roses wrapped
  • Big sellers – a single wrapped roses with box of candy attached display these in a basket at counter
  • Save Money! – Colored roses are always cheaper than red so do something to promote them
  • Promote! – Enclose an offer for March in every delivery (offer should be an inexpensive in-store pickup)
  • Delivery Manager – nominate one employee as the delivery manager
  • Prearrange delivery – route out deliveries you know already
  • Refer to last year – if you sold 800 stems of red roses you will probably need that and few more
  • Keep impeccable records – Day of week, weather, staffing, what was ordered, what was not sold, hours open.

The Day Before/On

  • Buy lunch – to keep everyone in the shop
  • Roses – when you pre-make roses in a vase before they go out, be sure to change water and also rinse the stems that have been in water.

After Valentine’s Day

  • Appreciation – Give your staff a token of appreciation for their commitment to making Valentine’s Day a success – free flowers to bring home!

How can you pull this together and make it happen? Capital Capital Capital!!! Here are some options to get the funding you need, in enough time to make Valentines Day your busiest day ever in the history of your flower shop:

Traditional Line of Credit -

The traditional line of credit is typically meant for experienced business owners with proven business models. Which makes sense since the credit maximums are sizable, the rates are lower, and the requirements demand higher credit scores and annual revenue reporting. If you’re a business owner taking out a line of credit, you’ll be spending that flexible cash on seasonal business expenses, payroll and other operational costs, insurance against emergencies and for sudden opportunities. In other words, as a capital cushion. It’s there for you when you need it.

Short Term Line of Credit -

The difference between a short-term line of credit and a traditional line of credit is more or less the same as the difference between your typical short-term loan and conventional bank or longer-term online loan  Therefore, a short-term line of credit has a higher interest rate, lower credit maximum, faster turnaround time and looser application requirements. Unlike the traditional line of credit, the short-term line of credit is generally offered by alternative lenders rather than by banks. The point isn’t that one is better or worse, they appeal to different groups of business owners. Those with lower credit scores, smaller annual revenues, or newer businesses might only qualify for a short-term line of credit. And although the short-term line of credit tends to be more expensive, its value lies in giving younger florists the opportunity to maintain a flexible pool of capital. A small business line of credit provides flexibility that a regular business loan doesn’t. With a small business line of credit, you can borrow up to $100,000 and pay interest only on the money borrowed. You then draw and repay funds as you wish, as long as you don’t exceed your credit limit. Need to manage cash flow? Buy inventory? Pay for a surprise expense? Then a business line of credit makes sense.

Cash Flow Loan -

For this type of business financing, lenders provide you funds and use your future expected cash flow as collateral for the loan. You’re essentially borrowing from cash that you expect to receive in the future by giving the lender the rights to a predetermined amount of these receivables. These are primarily used for working capital or take advantage of short-term ROI opportunities. Your credit scores will usually be checked, but they play less of a role. As the name indicates, the lender is more concerned with inspecting your cash flow (usually bank statements) to approve your application. Turnaround time is another great feature of a cash flow loan, as funding usually takes place in a matter of days.

Revenue Based Financing -

Today’s flower shop business owner is constantly on the lookout for growth opportunities and must move quickly to take advantage of them. An opportunity for an acquisition or expansion can arise suddenly and needs an immediate response and immediate cash. There’s also the need to purchase equipment or inventory. And of course, there will always be emergencies and cash flow gaps that need to be quickly managed with working capital.

That’s why revenue based financing & cash flow loans from LVRG are the fastest growing working capital solutions among small and medium-sized businesses. They’re the most prudent option for business owners needing capital to fuel or accelerate their businesses’ growth.

Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) -

An MCA can provide business borrowers with an upfront fixed amount of cash in as little as 24 hours. The funding amount is based upon a percentage of the businesses credit card receivables or daily cash balances using historical credit card receipts and bank statements to determine the initial advance. The business pays back the advance, plus a percentage, often referred to as a discount factor, from a portion of their credit card receivables or cash available plus a percentage which is often referred to as a discount factor. The remittances are drawn from the business customer on a daily, or weekly basis until the obligation has been met. MCA's are good options for floral shop owners who may not have strong credit but have lots of credit card activity and need financing quickly. One of the greatest benefits of a Merchant Cash Advance is that the funds can be used for a host of business expenses.

Our financing options are tailored to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses, and as a result, offer them distinct advantages:

  • They’re made for shorter terms, usually 6 to 18 months.
  • They require relatively little paperwork and a simple application to start.
  • The underwriting and approval process are designed to provide business owners quick answers.
  • Once approved, business owners have their funds in as little as 24 hours.
  • Payments based on a fixed percentage of sales.
  • Repayment terms are favorable.
  • Poor credit is not a deal breaker.
  • Financing that doesn’t require any equity.
  • Easy qualification process with no personal collateral required

If florists / flower shop loans, cash flow loans, revenue based loans, MCA's, or any of the funding products mentioned sound like something you wish to explore, fill out our online form to find out how much you qualify for. CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED!

Reference: FloraNext - Florist Websites & Florist Point of Sale. Florist software, Floral POS and Wedding/Event software.  Design your own website. Manage flower shop orders and customers, route deliveries, floral accounting, more.  Flower shop software built by florists, for florists.