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How to Financially Prepare Your Shop for COVID-19

Many florists are wondering how to stay afloat during these uncertain times. Thankfully, the Society of American Florists created a COVID-19 series of webinars to help your shop plan and prepare. This includes a webinar on “Financial Planning.” If you missed it, we are here with a recap of the tips you’ll need.   

Guest speakers in this webinar Derrick Meyers, CFP, CPA, PFCI, of Crocklett, Meyers & Associates, shared tips for ways to cut back in your shop to help with operating costs during this pandemic. 

 Meyers suggests that you have a conversation with your employees to see who could handle a cut in hours, leave without pay, and those who are high-risk for contracting COVID-19. Most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, so it important to understand where employees stand financially and for elderly employees – physically.  

If you decide to cut employees’ hours, inform them of recent changes state and local governments have made to unemployment benefits. States like Texas and California have shared-work programs. These programs allow those working reduced hours during the pandemic to apply for unemployment assistance to supplement their pay with government assistance. 

Another area that Meyers suggests you focus on is the cost of goods. Check on all your standing orders. Make sure that they are all active, and everything is correct. With offices closed, some may want orders sent to the home instead. Check with all your vendors, make sure to order accordingly. With sales slowing, you don’t need to keep up the usual inventory. Try shopping sales to find the best deals that fit within your lead time. It’s very important to cut costs where possible. 

As more time passes with COVID-19, you must keep track of all your pricing and event cancellations as things proceed. Try not to focus on discounting. Discounts tend to be a bad practice; it lowers revenues and changes customer expectations to create a new norm. Free delivery could also be considered a discount. An example- offering free delivery for a $60 order would be approximately a $10-$12 discount or a discount of 20%. 

It’s very important to track the fixed costs your store will incur while business is slow. Take these early days to plan for how long your store can stay open. We wish all your shops success as we all navigate these unforeseen times.  

Watch the Society of American Florists’ “Financial Planning” webinar in its entirety here.