It's a trying time for many businesses, but especially florists. With the spread of COVID-19 on the rise, many state and local governments are taking substantial measures to keep their communities safe. This includes shutting down all non-essential businesses in certain high-risk areas, like California and New York, and even areas with lower confirmed cases. So where do florists fall in all of this? How do you keep your doors open and delivery trucks running?
Well for a short answer, you need to make your business essential. With non-essential businesses being shut down, this is the only way you will be able to stay up and running. So how do you do this?
Here are a few ideas:
Restaurants and food delivery services are considered essential businesses, especially now with most people confined to their homes. Contact local restaurants and see if they need help delivering their orders. You might even get in touch with the local grocery stores and churches and see if you can help create a program for delivering groceries to elderly members of your community.
By partnering with local restaurants and grocery stores, your business becomes essential. This allows you to continue to deliver orders and help the other businesses around you. It can also help you in the long run! It will go a long way in building a better relationship with your community.
You might consider opening a bodega in your shop. Try to include items that are sought after right now, like hand sanitizer and toilet paper. This will give members of the community access to the goods they need without having to travel to a large convenience store, especially if there's not one nearby.
Be sure to promote these new services on your social channels and link your audience to where they need to go to find more information. This will show your audience that you're still up and running and that you're lending a helping hand.
Get in touch with your local Health Department or Governor's office. Explain the precautions you've been taking, like no-contact delivery and curbside pick-up, and tell them the importance of flowers during this time. Inform them of the studies that show that the presence of flowers eases stress and depression and that the community needs that more than ever now. Ask them what actions you can take in order to stay open during this time. This is a good way to show the importance of your flower shop and how essential you are to the health and well-being of your community.
Flowers bring joy and spread cheer and florists need to stay open in order to do that. Keep up the great work you've been doing and power on! #FloristStrong
FSN puts the health and safety of our communities first. We are experiencing very uncertain times and every state is in a different stage of this crisis. Many of our florist family have turned to us for information, suggestions, and help in navigating the quickly changing landscape of business closings, shelter in place orders, shutdown orders and the definition of essential.
Every area of the country is experiencing the impact of these events differently. Some states have deemed florists as essential, while some states are granting exemptions to some florists and not others. Local health departments are being allowed to interpret the guidelines in some areas. The situation is different from community to community. Certainly, the realities in New York City are different than a town of 15,000 in rural Tennessee.
While we understand these suggestions are not an option for everyone, for some they are, especially in areas where florists can still make no contact deliveries and curbside pickup. While closing a storefront is certainly best practice in the current situation, and advised, many shops are still doing business via their website and phone in some areas of the country. Direct-to-consumer flower providers are taking orders and delivering to consumers via UPS and Fed EX without any restrictions.
Florists across the U.S. are delivering food and other needed items to the elderly, at-risk children, etc. We are being inundated with stories of compassion and generosity as florists are helping and filling needs in their community. #floriststrong.
We understand the seriousness of this pandemic. As we all navigate through this crisis we must work together, share ideas and experiences and hope that tomorrow will be a better day.
We have to flatten the curve.If people keep trying to find ways to keep their businesses running,and not abide by the rules, this will not happen.As much as I would like to continue to operate.I much prefer keeping myself my family and the community safe and healthy.
How do we avoid the people tired of being quarantined don’t turning on us and start blaming us for not closing for the continuation of them being stuck at home. I already had a comment made to me about that. Michele
Being a florist in NY, I find this email so small minded &amp; truly insulting. Every one of our jobs right now is to ensure stopping the spread of this virus. My shop is closed, my wholesalers are closed. We are not essential, despite your email. I have a call into you to cancel any further business with FSN, I’m so incredibly disappointed in your response to this crisis...really, sell toilet paper &amp; hand sanitizer, partner with someone that’s delivering already?
Awesome!! thank you for this information... #FloristStrong ...
Fill out a waiver to be approved as an essential business by stating the fact that flowers are like medicine they bring comfort and joy especially in situations of isolated loneliness and families being kept apart from one another not to mention the comfort they bring at funerals. And we can do this by having payment remotely curbside pick up and no contact delivery. You will get approved I did Monday morning end of that but able to resume business with restrictions. And I’m very happy to say people are very happy that I am open.
I’m extremely disappointed that FSN is it helping us by discounting their services or membership like Teleflora even FTD I have stood behind them over the other wire services but today I’m ashamed to say I haven’t seen anything that they’re doing for us just telling us what we need to do to keep our doors open very disappointing
This information is very helpful! I have had a few opportunities to deliver arrangements to the door with no contact. Today Indiana Governor issued a State of Emergency only Essential Business are able to work but police are not enforcing these rules at this time.
If you carry these items people have to come in your store where I’m trying to avoid
it would be nice to off sanitizer and toilet paper but there is a shortage of this product. we can't even get this our self. Where would you get this supplies?
Excellent ideas. Thanks
Thank you, is a great idea.
Our delivery vans are equipped with sanitizer and gloves -- No Contact Delivery is in place and we are taking every precaution! Thank you for your resources. This too shall pass!
Shame on FSN! This is irresponsible. Those of us that live in states with stay-at-home orders, need to cooperate, not try to find ways around the orders. Florists are not essential. Awesome, but not essential.
AS I READ THROUGH THE COMMENTS, SOME MAKE ME DISSAPPOINTED IN BUSINESS OWNERS OF FLORIST SHOPS.
YES IT IS NICE OF TF &amp; FTD TO GIVE A CREDIT ETC.
BUT HERE YOU ARE HOLDING OUT YOUR HAND TO BE GIVEN MORE. FLOWER SHOP NETWORK IS TRYING TO JUMP START YOUR CREATIVE BRAIN, TO THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX, BE CREATIVE. WE`RE FLORIST, COME UP WITH IDEAS, SHARE YOUR IDEAS, NOT JUST HOLD OUT YOUR HAND FOR A CREDIT. FLOWER SHOP NETWORK IS A SMALLER COMPANY AND THEY ARE STRUGGLING TOO.
People please do not blame FSN in thinking outside the box. It is across the floral community. I am a member of SAF and they are making similar suggestions. Essential non- Essential, no-contact delivery, curbside, there are those that will always try to find a &quot;loophole&quot;. At this point just let your morals and conscience guide your and don't pass blame or cast shame. We are using the free flowers our wholsaler is giving awy to dontate out to the healthcare workers and 1st responders. We made the news! I know other shops in my area are taking theses free flowers and still operating for profit...that is their choice, just not mine. Do what you feel is right for you and your situation. Let this current environment serve as a proof that we are all connected across this planet and now more than ever we need to be kind and compassionate.
Thank you for your positive attitude during this difficult time! I love FSN!
I really can't believe that someone would be so short sighted or bad at MATH, that they do not realize that the big wire companies (I don't have to name names) have their hand in our pockets to the point that we do not make any money at filling their orders. FSN has given us a way to connect to our customer with very reasonable web sites, and a way to connect with other florists across the nation and the world. We still believe strongly with sending flowers florist to florist, and not throwing them to the wolves by telling them to just look someone up on the internet.
While we are still doing curbside pickups and no contact deliveries, it hasn't been a big business, but the people who ask for bright and cheery flowers are doing so because they know that someone needs the comfort that flowers can bring.
I respect everyone in their own situation, and we all have to do what is right. Social distancing, hand and surface sanitizing will help, and with God's grace we will all make it thru this. we are conscious of the fluidity of the situation and will make changes as necessary.
FSN - your opening paragraph of the blog said &quot;local governments are taking substantial measures to keep their communities safe&quot;. That's exactly why we are closed!! To keep our family, friends, and community safe. We don't want to be closed, but we have to if we want the spread of this virus to slow down. If every business found a loophole to stay open, it would be detrimental to us all. I am so surprised that FSN is taking this attitude. Obviously, from some of the comments many Flower Shops are located where the pandemic hasn't spread to yet. And we hope it doesn't reach you with the affects we have seen. That's the point - if we sacrifice now and close then maybe it won't spread as badly to other parts of the country.
Can you contact me about this please.