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Surviving peak trading days

"We talk to the customers individually, figure out their style, and mix it in with ours and try to create the best arrangement we can for them."
Alice, Pollon, Melbourne

#SmallBizTips

After ten years of trading in Melbourne, Nicholas Minton-Connell’s Pollon has become an institution, its creative window displays often attracting tourists and locals alike.

Manager, Alice, has overseen the running of the shop for a year and a half after working at other prominent Melbourne florists.

In the lead up to Valentine’s Day, we chatted to Alice to get her tips on surviving and thriving on event trading days.

Prepare early

All businesses have peak periods. For a florist, they don’t come busier than Valentine’s Day.

“We’re all hands on deck. Everyone who works here will be working on Valentine’s Day. We’ll start at 5am and work late into the evening.

“I started ordering flowers for Valentine’s Day two weeks ago. I’m just doing the final ordering now to ensure we get the best supplies from market and our suppliers because everyone is ordering and everyone wants the best stuff so if you don’t get your order in sooner you can miss out.”

Cultivate relationships

“The key is to be nice to everyone that you can possibly be nice to. If they look after you, you’ll keep ordering from them so they’ll give you the best quality product. Vice versa if you’re good with your ordering, suppliers will be friendly to you and it helps everyone be better prepared when you’re not ordering at the last minute.”

Be diligent

“I’ve learned to double and triple check everything. With growers and wholesalers, a lot of people forget things and it pays to be as diligent as possible to make sure orders are correct and you haven’t been overcharged.”