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Holiday Scheduling & Labor Control

My last blog was about Staffing for the Holidays, and now that you have staff in place and trained to be an important member of your shop, we need to work on scheduling and controlling the cost.


Break up your scheduling in the 3 major groups

  • Sales
  • Design
  • Delivery

Schedule at least one salesperson about 30 minutes before your shop opens its doors or phones to customers. That staffer can set-up displays for the day, as well as catch up on wire orders and web orders that came in overnight. Bring in additional staff when your foot traffic or phone traffic builds. My experience was that phone traffic picks up from 10am – noon and from 2-3pm. After 4 pm you can start letting staff leave until you close the shop. Some of the sales staff only works peak time, say 10 – 2, and may stay longer if business is strong or someone else needs to leave early or call in “sick.”


If you have projected this year's business sales based on last year’s business, you have a good idea what your sales should be this year. A guide for design labor, if all the employee does is design, then 4 arrangements per hour will help you schedule and plan how many designers you need. If you projected 50 orders for today, divide by 4 per hour, equals 12.50 design hours. Or 1.5 designers based on an 8-hour day as we do not want overtime if we can avoid it.


Delivery is a little trickier because of timed deliveries. Most shops have a morning run and an afternoon run, and try very hard to stick to order cut-off times for delivery. But reality hits when that $300 rush order comes in and if you have the flowers, all-hands-on-deck and let’s get the order out! Two things have worked for me, contract drivers that take the orders at the fringe (way out) orders or in a target area the contract driver knows and runs every day for you. Second, pay staff to take one order on the way home.

In closing, it's not easy or automatic, you must plan your schedule, and work your plan.


Charley focuses on the financial aspects of being a florist in today’s environment, providing a basic understanding of sales numbers, cost of goods, labor and payroll costs, operating expenses, the cost of wire in and wire out orders, and other income such as delivery, relay fees, rebates, and commissions.

He arrived in sunny Florida from the frozen tundra of New England in 1991, to work at Kuhn Flowers in Jacksonville Florida as the controller. His prior background was construction and real estate. He also taught at the college level as Adjunct Staff for Post College and Southeastern Community College.