It is hard to believe that the holiday season is coming to a close and we are starting at New Year! But as you are sweeping up the final remain of the pine needles, wiping the glitter from the shelves and collecting the remain of the artificial snow, take a few minutes to review and record this holiday season before it becomes a blur in your memory. Post holiday inventory is one of the most valuable pieces of information you can have along with your buying and selling history for next year’s planning. Having this record of history allows you to prepare for all aspects of your holiday planning for the following year. When we talk about all aspects, it becomes a thorough examination of every level of contribution. Here are a few things to help get you started. You will want to add to and supplement the list with areas of consideration that are specific to your shop operation.
Fresh Inventory: Were there enough fresh materials ordered in a timely fashion to cover all the orders or do you need to add to some areas and reduce others? Did the product maintain a steady turnover so help reduce or eliminate loss which translates to lost profits? Were the orders placed with Florabundance in a timely fashion to allow for the best pricing or were the orders more reactionary to the orders being placed by customers?
Featured Designs: Were the in-house arrangements planned well in advance to allow them to be posted to my website and allow a sufficient amount of time to place the order with your Florabundance sales person? Did I train the sales staff to sell from a ‘menu’ of featured bouquets or was each sale a custom order that took more time, effort and energy to sell and create? Did I choose wisely from the offerings available from the wire services? Could I have added another one or two items from them to potentially expand my incoming order base because of codified items or did we have the right amount and have successful sell through?
Staffing: Were all areas of staffing ( sales, design, delivery, support, office, floral processors, etc.) given equal levels of consideration or where there noticeable gaps and areas that could have used additional staffing? Were there enough hours dedicated to the right areas? IE: Did flowers and plant materials get processed in a timely fashion or did they receive the left over attention at the end of the day? Were flowers and plants rotated accurately to ensure first in, first out rotation? Did the sales floor maintain a fresh abundant look or after the first week of the holiday did it look like it was totally shopped over and the remains were all that was left? Was there someone dedicated to web-site maintenance ensuring that out of stock items were taken down and fast moving items were being promoted? Were there enough hands to package and deliver in a reasonable amount of time? Were the added holiday helpers well trained to assist in whatever departments they were to be in or was it more of a baptism by fire; learn as you go?
Customer Service: You work very hard all year long to attract and maintain your customers. Did every customer receive the high level of customer service you are known for or were there a few black eyes along the holiday road? How many thank you cards were written to let both your established customers and your new customers know how much you appreciated the opportunity to be a part of their holiday experience and that you look forward to serving them in the New Year? Hand written thank you cards make a huge impression on customers! Take the opportunity to make a lasting impression!
These are but a few ideas to get your post holiday actions started. Take the time to make next year even better by using this year’s history to plan next year’s success!