Start Now and 12 More Ways to Succeed on Valentine’s Day

Have you started your plans for successful Valentine’s Day sales? This year the day for celebrating sweethearts is a Thursday. When the holiday falls mid-week it traditionally means stronger sales due to the ease of ordering a floral delivery and less competition from weekend plans or events. And of course it is the biggest holiday of the year for many florists. According to, 90 percent of adults in a relationship plan to buy gifts for their significant other. But a Valentine can be any age and anyone can have one: a sweetheart, spouse, parent, child, friend or just someone special. Flowers are the perfect gift for saying “I love you” in a beautiful way. Read on for a baker's dozen of tips along with an equal number of photos of design ideas for 2019 including some with new products.

Start planning now

The key to a successful Valentine’s Day is a well-organized plan to cope with the increased volume of work concentrated in one week of the year. Start your plans now to get ahead of the game and hopefully cut costs by concise planning. Be sure to have ready extra grab-and-go designs as walk-in traffic is usually heavier when the holiday falls on a workday. Floral deliveries are typically up as well since customers can impress their sweetheart’s co-workers by having flowers delivered to their workplace.

Order in advance for special pricing

[rev_slider alias="succeed-valentine-1"] Many manufacturers and wholesale suppliers offer special pricing for items ordered in advance. Begin planning your inventory of key supplies, including floral foam, flower food, vases and decorative accessories. Try the new red bind wire that adds visual interest to this design. Closer to the big day, you can fine-tune your Valentine prep with last minute details like cleaning, organizing and preparing the shop for ease of shopping.

Menu designs

Creating menus well in advance of February for the designs you want to feature will allow you to relax and be creative. [rev_slider alias="succeed-valentine-2"] Flower buyers are sentimental; the not-so-secret is to create designs that will appeal to their hearts. This mache heart is a traditional favorite for this holiday of love.

Red rules

Two things we know about Valentine’s day: the color red rules and roses are the holiday’s most requested flower. An estimated 250 million roses are produced for Valentine’s Day each year according to 83 percent of flower-buyers purchase roses for Valentine’s Day and 69 percent of those are red.

Budget-friendly designs

You can attract more budget-conscious clients by offering them interesting arrangements designed with fewer roses and less expensive blooms than a traditional dozen roses. Some lower-cost red flower favorites include alstroemeria, spray roses, gerbera daisies and carnations. Top off a design of baby’s breath, spray roses and alstroemeria with just a few vivid roses strategically placed to catch the eye. Scale your designs up or down by price point and for arrangements that look great and fit anyone’s budget.

Suggest on-trend color combinations

Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2019 is Living Coral. Look for arrangements featuring flowers in coral, peach and orange to be popular. [rev_slider alias="succeed-valentine-3"] This sassy design utilizes Midollino as a floral mechanic inside the glass cube. Pink is another eye-catching color that bridges the gap between red and white and makes a soft feminine arrangement really pop. [rev_slider alias="succeed-valentine-4"] Luckily, there are lots of pretty pink flowers to choose from. A few more moderately priced stems include carnations, alstroemeria and waxflower. Many other blooms come in this pastel to hot pink hue range such as peonies, garden roses and dahlias. [rev_slider alias="succeed-valentine-5"] For the last couple of years, purple has been especially popular. This can be good for budget-friendly gifts since purple flowers are not in demand like red blooms are. Purple flowers such as roses, carnations, monkshood, lisianthus, trachelium and liatris are excellent choices with hues ranging from pale lavender to dark purple. [rev_slider alias="succeed-valentine-6"] Using Midnight black floral foam inside a clear glass vase makes the vivid colors of Valentine’s designs really pop! Try using the trendy new foam for a fresh look.

Think engagement

An estimated 9 million marriage proposals will take place on Valentine’s Day, suggests Include in your list of designs a sweetheart special that offers an innovative way to present the engagement ring in a gift of flowers.

Good, better, best

Upgrades are the answer to upscaling your designs. Versatility is a big plus, as you can scale these designs up or down by price point and still have arrangements that look great. Use a varied collection of flowers from multiple price points so you can offer something for everyone. Vary your price points to include designs that are budget, average and exceptional in both design and expense.

Where to start?

  • Develop your menu of designs and set prices.
  • Prep containers with floral foam, tape grids or decorative accessories.
  • Place plants in containers or wraps along with care tags, bows or decorative accents.
  • Determine in-store specials, dress code, sales techniques, and create a list of last-minute tasks.
  • Spend time with sales teams establishing upgrades, delivery times and charges and proper flower care.
  • Plan your store’s Valentine décor to encourage walk-in customers.
  • Work with your routing director to plan your delivery program, enlist extra drivers and vehicles.
  • Give courtesy calls to valued customers offering an incentive for pre-book Valentine orders.
  • Offer a discount or bonus on social media for early orders.

Train temporary staff

Schedule a pre-holiday how-to training class to teach the basics to temporary staff who will be designing Valentine arrangements along with your usual team. If you need help instructing holiday helpers on prepping containers, here are two quick videos: Building a Foundation for Your Floral Designs and How to Soak OASIS Floral Foam. Create a clear and concise duty list for each person so they know how they can best assist the team.

Offer how-to classes

Offer hands-on classes to customers who love DIY projects.
  • Design & Dine – Hands-on flower classes and a light meal.
  • Lunch & Learn – Salads or sandwiches served to a DIY class.
  • Danish & Design – Morning class with a continental breakfast.
This allows you to create additional income from the sale of hard good products and fresh flowers plus the fee for instruction. Extra cash before the holiday begins can be helpful to floral supply bills that will soon be arriving. Incorporate decorative accents like the metallic wire or armature used to make the hearts in the above design. Create a handout of the ‘how-to’ steps and list of materials needed for return visits. Be sure to take lots of fun photos for your social media to and ask the students to post their designs on their pages and tag your shop. This will bring your shop top of mind when Valentine’s Day arrives. What ideas can you share for getting better organized for the upcoming holiday?

Roses courtesy Alexandra Farms and orchids courtesy Amy's Orchids. 

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