July is the perfect time to start planning out your year! After all, your flower shop is a business, and businesses need solid plans to operate smoothly and remain profitable.
If you’re starting to panic because you don’t know where to begin, fret not! Floriology Institute has an Excel template available for download that will help you develop your monthly plan. Click the button below and fill out the form to receive your free template download!
After you download the template, follow these steps to use your template to its fullest potential. Don’t worry, we’ll help you through the process.
1. Add a calendar and list the major holidays at the top of the template.
At the top of the template, insert a month view calendar (you can manually type the dates or copy/paste a screenshot of the one on your computer). In the “Holidays” column, list the key dates and holidays of the month.
2. List your featured product
In the “Featured Products” section, list the products you will offer during that season or month. These include wire service featured products as well as your own creations, and you should think about a weekly special or your holiday line-up. For a smaller shop, a limited menu is easier to plan for. Think about the quantities you will need and indicate if the product is on hand, ordered or needs to be ordered. List the retail price of products offered and review the price points to ensure that you are offering something for everyone.
3. Recap last year’s numbers and project year’s projects/goals.
In “Actual 2010” and “Projected 2011” (rename to reflect current years), record your actual sales and projected sales. Areas to track could be inventory sales, deliveries, POS sales, and wire-out sales. Make sure you record both dollars and numbers of orders.
4. Plan your marketing and advertising efforts
In this section, budget out your various marketing efforts for each season. Though you might not have the capital to make a lot of advertising investment over the summer, you should strongly consider boosting your spending in the holiday season and during Valentine’s and Mother’s Day.
Some areas to consider for advertising are
- Spotify, Pandora, and radio ads
- online pay-per-click advertising
- email marketing
- social media ads
- newspaper and other print ads,
- TV commercials
- store sign(s)
When allocating your advertising budget to these different mediums, it’s important to remember that the emphasis of each of these mediums has to be determined on an individual level given the demographic of your target customers and local community and the amount of competition in your area. We don’t have a magic formula for marketing budget allocation, but we strongly suggest moving toward digital advertising instead of traditional channels to begin to appeal to younger generations. Don’t be afraid of changing the way you’ve always done things; the world is changing, and to remain profitable, you must change with it.
If you need help with digital marketing, Floriology Institute offers digital marketing services to help you reach your customers in the digital age. Take a look at what we offer to see how we can help you.
Further, don’t be afraid to experiment with your marketing budget. Ask customers in person or through follow-up emails where they heard about your shop to gain some insight as to which channel seems to be working for you. This may change by demographic and type of customer — brides tend to be younger and might hear about you online, and older customers will probably pay more attention to TV or radio commercials. Be flexible and willing to experiment until you figure out the best combination.
5. Rinse and repeat!
Create a sheet for each month or season of the year and repeat the process. To do this, right-click on the “Blank” sheet tab at the bottom of your screen, select “move or copy”. In the dialog box, select where to insert the sheet and check the “make a copy” option. Rename each sheet for a month or season, and repeat the process for all of your months or seasons.
6. Make it your own
Remember, this template is a work in progress. Add to it, delete items you don’t use, write comments as you go along, and when you finish the month you planned the past year, write down your results. Track your sales numbers, products that sold out as well as those that did poorly, and anything that will help you remember the month or holiday.
Keep the sheets in a three ring binder and don’t forget where you keep it!