Business Operations after COVID-19 Shut Down

This is going to be a really precarious Mother’s Day; for more than one reason. Concerns include things like how businesses are only allowed to operate at 25% capacity. This is my first Mother’s Day vending flowers by myself. Sure, I have worked several years at flower shops in Tampa. But now I am the end all be all. I order, process, design, deliver and vend flowers. It is a lot.

I think most of us are still quite apprehensive about COVID19. I ordered all the flowers for this week a few days ago. I ordered more that a typical preCOVID week because reopening just so happens to be falling on Mother’s Day week. Prebooking flowers is a gamble on a regular week without the considering a pandemic undercurrent. The balance of ordering enough but not too much is incredibly tricky.

You may know that Mother’s Day is THE BUSIEST day of the year for a flower shop; over and above Valentine’s Day. Who knew? This year is a crap shoot to a certain extent. Because some businesses will not be open. Some mother’s are at risk of getting really sick from COVID and more. There are articles that recommend avoiding the Mother’s Day staple of flowers (blah). Growers, although essential businesses (agribusiness), have been struggling. That may be because many florists have shut down instead of converting to an online model. As a result some flowers are difficult to get or not available. Some flowers are even more expensive than they normally are at this time of year.

Matters are further complicated by the fact that folks, even law enforcement are unable to accurately interpret what the executive orders are actually setting forth. There is a flurry of misinformation still out there. People are polarized instead of galvanized. This is sad but understandable. Our mental health has been compromised due to the worry.

I must adapt FlowerFive’s business model in order to survive. Adaptations include adding a local flower delivery day. Adding a drive thru option at FlowerFive HQ for Mother’s Day. If it works out well I will also add a regular drive thru day. Payment protocols will likely change because some folks seem to be afraid of cash. I fully expect more phone pay and chip card payments. That is okay. Because I have been taking Square pay for a while now and online delivery is no contact.

TeddyBox love gifts have been also added and are available for priority delivery nationwide. These high quality bears are a great inexpensive gift to show you care when you can’t be there.

I am happy to be able to be able to get out again. This week will be a bit crazy with picking up and processing eight or so boxes of flowers, designing them into curated bouquets, running several $20 flower deliveries, and running vending pop ups with the flower buggy. I will also be set up curbside Friday Saturday and Sunday at Starbuck‘s and FlowerFive HQ near Lowry Park in Tampa.

The FlowerFive buggy will be at the usual spot next to Starbucks in Seminole Heights on Friday. My intent with the flower drive thru on Saturday and Sunday is folks will feel more comfortable with the safety protocols FlowerFive is observing and the ease of drive thru service.

This is going to be an interesting experiment in how adaptable FlowerFive can be when obstacles are thrown in the path of a fledgling business. I hope that you join me in supporting small local businesses in the area who have been struggling now that we are able to open. Only now are we able to pick up the pieces and get back on track.

Stay safe and take good care.

Quinn, Chief Petal Pusher

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