spring cleaning

Melt away the winter blues with a fresh look for your shop and a fresh outlook for your staff.

by Kelsey E. Smith

Spring is the season of renewal, and just as nature can turn over a new leaf, so can your floral business. Awaken your shop—and refresh your perspective—with these spring cleaning tips. If all 20 ideas seem daunting, consider tackling just a few, or delegate some tasks to your staff.

1. Color coordinate. Painting walls is a quick, easy and relatively inexpensive way to freshen and modernize a space. When choosing colors, keep in mind the image you want to portray. Consider decorator colors for a boutique atmosphere; lively colors for a perky stem shop; or quirky contrasts for a young, hip style. To appeal to a broad client base, divide the shop into theme zones, with a variety of coordinated color schemes. In areas where flowers are displayed, choose colors that showcase them naturally, such as warm or pinkish gray.

2. Revamp fixtures. Evaluate existing fixtures to determine what should stay and what should go. Those that look worn or outdated may be salvaged by refinishing, painting or making other modifications. Move standard display shelving to storage areas, and replace shelves with easy-to-move tables, stacked crates or pede-stals with glass toppers. Be sure the updated fixtures coordinate with each other as well as the merchandise to be displayed on them.

3. Redirect pathways. Think of customer convenience in the sales area and employee efficiency in the work area. Position at least one fresh flower display convenient to the shop entrance and sales counter. Tuck discount merchandise into a distant corner. Create a natural flow through the shop that encourages shoppers’ natural tendency to turn right as they enter and follow a counterclockwise loop through the store. Be sure to provide adequate space between displays for shoppers’ comfort.
Devise a strategy in the design room for efficiency, starting with the elements that are relatively fixed, such as cooler(s) and water sources. Route the traffic flow to steer nondesigners away from wet floors and floral debris. Avoid boxing anyone into a space that requires someone else to move in order for him or her to get out.

4. Take care of tools. Tools that are properly maintained will have longer lives and make the workplace safer. Gather all design tools (knives, pruners, wire snips, ribbon shears, etc.), and evaluate the condition of each. Sharpen, repair or replace those that are dull or damaged. Some hand tools may need a few drops of oil on the fulcrum area to keep them in good working order. Light machine oils, like sewing machine oil, work best.

To read the 16 other tips, check out our February issue.
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