Is it your dream to open a flower shop?
A flower shop may not be everyone’s idea of a lucrative business, but it can be if you do it right. We celebrate everything with flowers, from Mother’s Day to weddings, birthdays, and graduations.
There are several things to consider. You need to plan the location of your business and where you’ll keep your merchandise. Logistics is essential to set up, as is having all your legal ducks in a row.
The skillsets and knowledge you’ll need to succeed as a florist should also be pretty sharp. You’ll learn more on the job, but a strong foundation is essential. The final piece of the puzzle is knowing how to grow your brand and reputation once you open.
For the ultimate guide to opening your own flower shop, read on.
Finding a Suitable Location
One of the first practical things you’ll need to do is find a suitable location for your flower shop. The vast majority of florists operate from a brick-and-mortar storefront. There are a few good reasons for this.
For starters, you need a place to store all of your flowers. The basement of your house might work when you’re very small, but you’ll quickly outgrow it. You also need space to work.
Being a florist isn’t just about procuring flowers and selling them. You need to make arrangements, both pre-made and custom to order. Thus a flower shop is equal parts storefront and workshop to accommodate this.
When selecting your location, the first thing to consider will be space, but the second will be location and accessibility. People will travel a fair bit out of the way for a large florist with a stellar reputation and huge selection. What people won’t do is drive that far for a small shop that makes 20 arrangements a day.
Plan your spot with your size and scale of business in mind.
Getting Your Wholesale Connections Set Up
Any responsible business owner has to set up their suppliers. Contrary to popular belief, most florists don’t grow their own flowers. They source the flowers wholesale from suppliers and then sell them at a mark-up.
If you wish to run a flower shop, you need to find suppliers that are reliable enough to keep flowers coming. You also need to make sure the prices are fair and that you aren’t pricing yourself out of the market.
Any costs associated with your business will get passed on to the consumer. Make sure you can afford to buy and sell your flowers without angering your customer base.
Dot Your I’s and Cross Your T’s
Starting a business requires a lot of paperwork. You need to pick a name and register it to turn your flower business into a legal entity. You’ll also have to be set up to pay your shop’s taxes and get business insurance.
Part of this means opening up a separate bank account just for your business. You’ll also have to figure out how to do payroll. When you start out and work alone, payroll won’t be an issue, but as you grow, it will be – so get ahead of it.
If you’re moving into a building that requires major renovations, there will be steps there as well. Water pipes and hydroponics to keep your flowers healthy will require safety considerations. You must ensure that your business is legally safe and compliant with all laws.
These laws will vary from state to state or even by municipality. On top of needing a general business license, there are others to consider. You’ll need an official building safety inspection, and you might need a zoning permit.
You should look up the regulations and requirements in your area before opening for business. The last thing you want is to break the law on accident and ruin your business plans.
Make Sure You’re Educated on Flowers
The most important factor in running a professional flower shop is your knowledge. Most of your customers will come in expecting you to make arrangements for them. You need to know how to make stunning floral arrangements to suit any occasion.
These include weddings, birthdays, Mother’s Day, and other occasions. You should be well versed in color theory, and you should understand the symbolism behind certain flowers.
Being a florist is a skill. Like other skills, you can nurture and improve them, but it takes practice. You should make sure you have the basics down and that you can create arrangements people would like to buy.
You should also learn to follow the seasons and plan accordingly. Valentine’s Day will see higher demand for red roses, so you need to plan your supply. Mother’s Day might see an increase in tulips, carnations, peonies, and lilies. If you’d like some general ideas for Spring flowers, you can click for more here.
Build Your Brand and Grow Your Flower Shop
Beyond flower arrangements, you need to grow your brand. There’s plenty of competition for florists these days. Even large grocery stores offer flower arrangements now.
You need to set yourself apart from the pack and grow your base. Social media and a website are a must, as is online ordering. You need to advertise and be clever about it.
Showcase your best arrangements with plenty of photos. If people use your services for a wedding, get them to send some photos for promotional purposes. You can even offer discounts to customers who do that.
Such a discount attracts customers and helps grow your profile to attract even more. Remember, it’s all about building a reputation for excellent service. People will choose you over cheaper big-box options if you convince them you’re worth it.
The Steps to Opening Your Own Flower Shop
Opening a flower shop is no joke. Those to take up this calling are passionate about what they do and are willing to put in the work. They set up their store, plan all their logistics and requirements, and make sure never to stop.
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