It’s every bride’s biggest fear and every florist’s biggest headache: a Hurricane forecasted to hit on the big day. As Hurricane Irma threatens Florida weddings across the state are in limbo with many being postponed altogether. Being prepared for a best case and worst scenario is key for keeping your clients calm so you can better manage your floral business.
Not in a Hurricane-prone area? Well, you should still have an action plan. When bad weather occurs it can hurt the entire floral economy. Your floral business can still be impacted by inclement weather as many major flower import companies based in South Florida are experiencing delays during storms and are unable to transport products as regularly scheduled.
Is your floral business prepared for Hurricane season? Follow these tips to better manage your floral business and hurricane preparation:
Put it in writing
Are your cancellation and refund policies for natural disasters or acts of God clearly defined in your flower proposals and signed flower contracts? Details Flowers Software makes it easy to outline these terms through our custom templates. If you live in a Hurricane prone area, it’s important to have a discussion with clients before they sign their contract and encourage them to create a backup plan far in advance, especially in the months of July thru October.
Contact your wholesaler
Even if your bride’s venue doesn’t cancel, hurricane activity can impact floral deliveries. Make sure you are in direct contact with your wholesale florist and if deliveries are questionable help your clients come up with a solution to create an alternative arrangement or request that your clients reschedule. Managing your wholesale orders and inventory through our floral arrangement design software will provide you with the best tools to make a judgement call, and our wholesale partners have been very communicative to our members when issues arrive. If you need to make an alternative arrangement try contacting organization such as American Grown Flowers, California Cut Flower Commission and Slow Flowers to find local growers in your area.
It may be difficult to judge the severity of a hurricane or its final path several days out. If there is a concern of a severe weather event, talk to your clients about options for rescheduling and encourage them to reach out to other vendors to assess the situation. Do not put yourself in a situation that compromises your safety or the safety of your employees for an event.
Control your Inventory
Flowers will not last long if the electricity goes out. Instead of letting your inventory go to waste consider offering a special floral sale prior to the storm or postpone orders so that they do not spoil if you lose power. A backup generator is also a solution for preserving your inventory. Our friends at Botanica International Florist recently delivered flowers from a cancelled event to their local police and fire stations to thank them for their service before their team hunkered down and prepared personally for the storm.
You will likely receive several inquiries from concerned clients prior to a storm. Consider sending out regular email newsletters, establishing a hurricane hotline with a detailed voicemail that includes updates on the weather or designate all calls to one employee for consistent information. Setting your email system to generate automated responses is important to let people know where you are and why you may be unable to immediately respond to their needs.
Understand that emotions will likely be running high for you and your clients. Hurricanes can be stressful and often difficult to pinpoint their final course. Remaining flexible and calm will help put your clients at ease so that you can find the best possible solution.
We are praying that everyone in the path of Hurricane Irma will be safe, and that the sunshine state will be back up and running for our flower industry friends soon enough.
Love, Your Friends at Details
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