“Today’s apps help manage schedules and sales
for both holiday and year-round success.”

As we move into the busy floral holiday season, it is important to have the right tools and apps in place to make each of the major sales events as financially successful as possible. This list will help you shorten the search for the best-in-class apps to help keep things on track and running efficiently.

Project Management

If you are starting new initiatives, using a good project management program will help keep things on track. Whether renovating a new store or launching a new service, keeping it organized, on time and on budget the key. We have tried many such programs over the years, and Basecamp (basecamp.com) seems to cross the bridge between being easy to use and being able to engage all parties involved. to help keep the project moving forward. Most new projects fail due to a lack of project management; don’t let that happen to you. It’s well worth the $99 monthly fee.

Employee Scheduling

When it comes to managing multiple people, even over multiple locations, few programs can beat Homebase (joinhomebase.com) in terms of features and functions. It combines both a time clock and employee scheduler all in one, to help you manage your staff and payroll budget. It even has an API to link to your POS system so you can output virtual P&L’s easily each week. And the Basic version, for single-location businesses, is free.

Specialized Contractors

For years now, people have been freelancing online, but one site takes the cake in making it easy and being able to recruit experienced professionals from our world. Upwork (upwork.com) allows you to set up a short-term job, find qualified applicants and facilitate payments in an easy way.

Brochures and Fliers

It used to be difficult to create a brochure on your own for print and required a degree in graphic design. This can be especially useful during the holiday season for promoting open houses and other special events you might host. Then along came Canva (canva.com). This program is far and away the easiest program to use for nondesign professionals. This program allows you to simply create postcards, catalogs and fliers that can be easily printed, with no need for a degree in graphic design.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Keeping track of all your sales leads can be a daunting task. Any money spent on advertising and marketing without a proper CRM program in place to manage the sales funnel process and the leads can be an enormous waste of time and money. We found HubSpot (hubspot.com) to be a great fit for small teams, and the base version is free to use. You can then upgrade to other modules as you grow.

Website Performance Tracking

While there are many good paid apps out there for tracking visitors, conversions rates and website metrics, Google Analytics (analytics.google.com) is still, by far, the most powerful program out there, and it’s still free after all these years. If you have a website and are not tracking your weekly stats, you have no idea what is going on, good or bad. Don’t be left in the dark, and sign up for your free reports.

At QuickFlora, we practice what we preach and use each of these tools in our companies every day. Feel free to reach out to me by email (alex@quickflora.com) if you have any questions.

Alex Frost has founded and operated multiple technology and marketing companies in the floral industry for more than 25 years. He has also developed unique supply-chain software for the flower industry. Contact him via email at alex@quickflora.com.