As florists, we all share a similar purpose and passion: to bring love, joy, and happiness through the power of flowers. And that’s particularly true when it comes to sympathy flowers. Flowers can both comfort and express emotions that people can’t easily state during these times of grief. That’s why sympathy flowers are an essential part of your floral business. However, you need to ensure you have the right things in place to build a sympathy business that will sustain you for years to come. Here are five ways to do just that:
- Make Yourself Available
We listed this as the first point because you won’t be able to build a strong sympathy floral business without it. While you can plan most events in advance and work with event planners, that’s not the case for funerals or memorial services. Therefore, you need to be available at a moment’s notice and able to create the beautiful arrangements that people need. At the very least, it means being available during regular business hours, so you’re not turning away potential business. Not only is this unprofessional, but word will spread, which could damage your overall reputation.
- Ensure You Can Easily Obtain Flowers
Sympathy flowers are so important to families, and they often will want to customize their arrangements. So, having a variety of flowers available is vital to building your sympathy business. You may lose a potential sale if you only have a particular type of flower available — or whatever you have left over from weddings and other events. Therefore, ensure you have a strong relationship with your local wholesaler so you can obtain the flowers you need, when you need them, to create arrangements that will pay proper tribute to a departed loved one.
- Develop Relationships with Funeral Directors
In addition to having a solid relationship with your floral wholesaler, it’s crucial to develop good relationships with your local funeral directors. Since the sympathy business is competitive, the florist who communicates promptly, works well with the funeral director, and exceeds expectations for the bereaved is the florist who will get more business. Funeral directors have a lot to deal with, and if you can take some of the strain off them, they will appreciate you and want to work with you regularly.
- Promote Your Sympathy Floral Services
Just like you promote your wedding, event, and holiday services, promote your sympathy flowers. And it’s not enough to just have a “sympathy arrangements” page on your website. Instead, think of all the ways you can provide value to those looking for sympathy flowers, and promote this broadly on social media. For instance, you can write a blog post giving tips on how to select sympathy flowers, put it up on your website, then link to it on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest posts. You may be surprised to find out how much business you can get by making it known that you specialize in sympathy flowers.
- Design Unique Sympathy Arrangements
Now that you have your availability, inventory, marketing, and promotion taken care of, it’s time to talk about the arrangements themselves. Here’s where you can really shine, by coming up with unique designs and ideas for sympathy florals. This is particularly important because the sympathy business has changed over the past few years.
- Modern visitations and services are becoming more popular instead of the traditional church service and burial.
- As more people choose cremation over a traditional casket and burial, their loved ones are looking for arrangements designed to highlight an urn.
- Plus, it’s becoming more popular to use the floral arrangements as tribute pieces, featuring props to highlight elements of a loved one’s life.
In the past, creating these unique and custom arrangements would have been challenging to say the least. But now, products exist to solve these challenges. One such product is called Serenity, a modular cage system containing either two or three foam bricks and a solid plastic bottom. This system is designed so you can use a variety of flowers and foliage of all different sizes, which can make for a striking display.
You can also use frame stands, round risers, and rectangle risers to make many different arrangements. The round riser, for example, is the perfect size to hold a cremation urn with flowers arranged around it. The frame stands can hold floral photo frames, books, bibles, and signage. And the rectangle riser may be the ideal way to show off a craft, hobby, or special remembrance of the deceased.
With these tools and your creativity, you can provide a service that sympathy customers genuinely desire. And this can go a long way to building a sympathy floral business.
We hope these tips can help you build a strong sympathy business. And if you have any other tips to share with your fellow florists, please let us know!