Additional Services to Offer once Holiday Installs are Complete

During the winter season, installs tend to slow down with the majority of people focusing on holiday plans.

Providing holiday design, rentals, installation and such, can be a very lucrative avenue to make up for those seasonal losses. Competing with the big chain stores and the internet mega market can be next to impossible when you are a small local business. Whether your company is up against these retail giants, I believe people will spend money with companies that can save them valuable time and headaches. Taking the path of least resistance, or in other words, the easiest path to purchasing anything is the one most likely used. For me, one of my biggest holiday stress factors is buying gifts, and I don’t think I’m alone in this dilemma. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the altruistic feeling you get when giving someone an item that makes them smile. But, it’s the pressure of figuring out what to give and then finding the time to retrieve it that leaves me feeling overwhelmed. Especially now, when you want to show some sort of holiday appreciation to everyone from your child’s teacher to your boss. Some of these people you may not know much about or perhaps is perceived as the person that already has everything.

Lucky for our industry, plants are a universally loved gift appealing to a wide customer base. Over the years, I’ve found many of my corporate clients struggle to get their present list completed. So besides the commercial holiday decor services, I started to offer my customers a small selection of feminine and masculine plant arrangements. I try to come up with unique items that work well with different hobbies and taste. I like to mix in designer orchid bowls, unique bonsai, and herb containers along with a couple traditional poinsettias or amaryllis. Posting seasonal items on your website, social media pages, emails and newsletters is my preferred mode of marketing. Reminding customers and offering special discounts on twitter and instagram keeps the inexpensive promotion going.

I believe the reason many of my clients use me, instead of an internet company or box store, is the simplicity. In one sentence or less, via phone, text or email they can place their order. They don’t have to go online, scroll threw hundreds of items, make a selection, create a customer account, with yet another password and user name to remember. I have all my clients’ necessary information on file, understand what they like, and make payment simple by offering to accept credit card or just adding cost to their next invoice.

Creating different price points and options can broaden the client base. For instance, my cheapest service package includes a week long plant sitting service for local residents that are very attached to their plants and want to make sure they are well cared for while away on vacation or business.

The mid-range package provides a grouping of the more common house plants combined with economical planters such as Vista or PotLuck with full service.

My high-end package will present more of a wow factor by using more exotic plant varieties matched with modern containers like Lechuza. In order to keep the price tag within reason for the average salary, these are offered as three month rentals. Sometimes, I will only make a small profit on a package depending on other factors such as driving distance and interior light conditions. But, the three month term comes with huge benefit. It gives the customer time to enjoy the foliage while providing my company exposure to someone who may have never known interiorscape service existed. It’s well worth the effort when a short-term package turns into a long-term account.

Sherry has been part of the interiorscape industry for over fifteen years, starting at an entry level job at North Florida's largest greenhouse and currently owning two horticulture companies. At UMaine, Sherry majored in English where she worked part-time writing scripts for a local college TV studio.

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