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While many people find themselves working from home right now, with relatively little interruption to their everyday lives, those of us in the service industry have been experiencing some monumental changes lately. You see, we are hit by this crisis twice. In addition to caring for your own family and home, we florists have a second home, our shop, and a second family, our employees that we must also care for.
In many states, businesses which are considered ‘non-essential’ have already been ordered closed by their respective governors. In other states, florists have shifted to a ‘contactless’ environment, with locked doors and delivery ordering handled entirely over the phone, via text, social media or online. Regardless of which camp you’re in right now, here’s some tips for preparing your shop for the coronavirus, and staying safe throughout this crisis.
Here’s some info from the CDC: “Businesses and employers can prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19. Employers should plan to respond in a flexible way to varying levels of disease transmission in the community and be prepared to refine their business response plans as needed.”
Flower shop owners need to consider risk factors in your employees, including underlying health conditions and age. Be ready to change on a dime right now, and communicate constantly with your employees and your customers. Now more than ever, maintaining a social media presence is key. Your business has customers who support you, who care about you and your team.
Use your social media channels to check in with them. Let them know what floral services (contactless delivery, live floral design parties, demonstrations) or inspiration you can give to them. Maybe it’s just offering them some gorgeous floral screensavers for their phones, like Connie Palazzi of Oak Farms Flower Outlet in Leamington, ON has done for her customers. We’re creative people, and we’re already seeing the inspirational floral stories being told on social media, why not be a part of that? All those photos in your phone ‘you’ve been meaning to post,’ now’s the time. Brighten people’s days with flowers, even if only digitally.
If your shop is still operating, the required social distancing will be tough to maintain in a tight design room. Thankfully our industry tends to cross-train employees more than others, and is prone to ‘dry spells’ which employees and owners alike have weathered before. Painful decisions, as always. Start by staggering shifts and move to furloughing when needed.
If an employee is sick, they must stay home. Recognize that employees with ill family members may need to stay home to care for them. If your state orders your business closed, take the time to properly shut down your store. You may need to suspend wire services, turn off coolers or give away any fresh flower stock.
No Matter What, Now’s the Time to Clean Owning a flower shop already requires a lot of regular deep-cleaning. We all must scrub our floors and counters, coolers and buckets consistently to provide the longest lasting flowers to our customers. Another leg-up for our industry, its likely you’ve already got an effective cleaner in your store… DCD.
From Floralife: “Our cleaning products are professional grade products and quite powerful. Also, customers should use latex gloves when handling them as they are much more powerful than ‘home’ cleaners, and may irritate your skin (e.g. dry out, itch, etc).
Pop on those cleaning gloves, and remember to always follow all label directions. For quick reference, the typical mix rate is 2 oz per gallon. For general cleaning, a spray bottle might be best. Spray down a surface, scrub with a hard bristle brush and wipe clean. Repeat. You can deep clean your floors by mopping with DCD.
Keep it clean, keep it safe. Hang tight flower friends. Like bulbs subjected to a prolonged spring, the blooms of this industry, bursting forth after this crisis will be hardier than ever.
Watch Laura DeLuga below for her tips on keeping your shop clean with DCD Cleaner