Wow, how our business has changed over the last 10 months. It certainly hasn’t been easy for anyone. In the first weeks of the pandemic, the floristry business saw a catastrophic reduction in profits, but we were able to react fast and have adapted and changed our expectations to accommodate the ‘new normal’.
Thanks to the rise in corporate flowers for special occasions, the local florists we work with are getting a welcome boost of much needed revenue. After a tough year battling with the impact on the industry of coronavirus we believe that things are taking a positive turn with more and more people appreciating the benefit of being able to send flowers. A bunch of stunning blooms can say a thousand words and there is nothing quite like receiving a bouquet that you never expected, especially at a time when human contact is so restricted.
With the cancellation of many weddings in 2020, the floristry industry faced a tough few months but thankfully there has been an unexpected upturn in the buying of corporate bouquets that to many came as quite a surprise. The market for corporate flower giving may have changed somewhat but the good news is that it is beginning to thrive once more.
Traditional corporate flowers
This time last year the way corporate displays were bought and sold was completely different to how it is today. They were usually delivered to companies, businesses and hotels on a weekly basis and used to adorn receptions, boardrooms, offices and communal areas. Often the blooms were carefully chosen to suit the company image and the place in which they were displayed; in short they were big business. Whether they were ordered for an office, a restaurant, a club or a retail shop, every bouquet was tailored especially and many clients had an account set up so their orders were guaranteed for florists.
Working from home
The biggest change we have seen in the world of business during the course of the pandemic is the number of people now working from home. This marked change is predicted to continue, with numbers of homeworkers set to double in comparison to pre-virus levels, and this is in spite of the government making plans to get more people back into the office.
Once the crisis is over, around 37% of employees are set to be working regularly from home, compared to just 18% before lockdown. Lots of employees will continue to work on a full time basis from their home offices and this currently stands at 22%, a rise from a mere 9%.
Business flowers to stay in touch
With fewer people in the office and less need for floral decor around company buildings, bars and restaurants, you would think that, just as the demand for wedding bouquets and floral decoration has dropped off the radar since lockdown, so too would the need for corporate flowers. The good news is that this is not the case. More companies are turning to gifting a beautiful bunch of blooms to stay in touch with their dedicated and loyal employees. A seasonal bunch of fragrant blooms are the perfect way to mark a special occasion and send an individual message too.
Where once, celebrations would be honoured in the staff kitchen or with an after work drink, now they can be marked by flowers. Whether you have an employee who is leaving on a maternity break or a committed worker who is celebrating a big birthday, you can turn to flowers to show you care.
Many employers are simply sending bouquets just to remind their staff that they are thinking of them and are grateful for the continuing hard work despite the difficult circumstances. Think of the number of parents who were having to juggle homeschool and hold down their jobs and it’s easy to realise that working from home has been really hard for so many people. With no human contact, daily feedback, office chats or regular meetings, the impact of isolation has been felt, and to know your boss understands this makes it easier to accept. A fresh flower delivery means so much more in these tricky times.
It may not just be your staff that you want to reward but your customers and clients too. With the lack of face to face contact, it is easy for customers to lose touch and begin to feel distant from the service you provide. You can easily put that right by sending a bouquet or two. It will remind them of how important they are to you.
The corporate service
Just because things are done virtually doesn’t mean you can’t experience an exemplary and comprehensive service. Online platforms who work directly with local florists are set up to ensure that you are getting the first class package you are looking for and to make sure that the recipient is made to feel extra special. Flower arrangements are reliably delivered and you can rest assured that quality and longevity is a priority when delivering a bouquet to a recipient’s doorstep.
The industry recognises that you may not be ordering on the same scale as you once were so all budgets are usually catered for. That said, if you are responsible for sourcing flowers to boost morale or to massage client relationships then you might need to order a larger quantity of smaller bunches and there are an ever increasing number of arrangements to cater for a less conventional corporate requirement.
Top Tip: Zoom meetings always look better when there are a bunch of stunning, seasonal florals in the background.
Looking to the future
Purchasing your online flowers from those platforms that are committed to helping local florists sustain their businesses and survive the continuing difficulties thrown up by the coronavirus pandemic not only contributes to keeping local economies afloat, but also ensures you get the best quality. We encourage any client manager or anyone involved in human resources to think about the impact sending flowers can have. Committed staff and loyal customers are definitely worth keeping hold of, this year more than most others has taught us that!
Wendy Rea is a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Florists, and business development manager of Direct2Florist, an online platform where you can find your local florist and order from their range of bouquets and floral arrangements. From same day international delivery to superlative service and the freshest local flowers, Direct2Florist is your one-stop source for the best gift for all occasions.