Floral businesses are an area many people are beginning to pay attention to. Flowers always seem to be in demand. They are relatively easy to cultivate, with much information available on the subject. They also offer a ready source of income because of the many events that demand their use.
However, before you quit your day job and open up a flower shop, there are a few things you need to be aware of. First, running your own floral business demands much more than just knowing how to cut flowers or create fantastic arrangements.
More so, since you are just getting started, this would most likely be a small business, possibly home-based, and your customer base is made up of people in your immediate community. Running a business comes with unique challenges, and running a flower shop from your home might be further tasking. However, it is still possible to make money from your love for flowers, especially if you rise to become the best in your field.
This guide shows you all the steps you need to know to ensure that you do not sink as soon as you begin. There are measures you’ll need to take as you get started on the process and continue to grow. So, without further ado, are you ready to learn how to start a floral business? Let’s dive in!
Why Be a Florist?
If you love flowers, you may have gotten (unsolicited) advice to go into the floral industry. Truly, there is more to getting started with the business than delivering flowers to funeral homes. It demands grit, hard work, and persistence.
However, if you love flowers, floral arrangements, and the likes and are genuinely interested in setting up a florist shop, then you should, by all means, get on with it. There is no question that operating a flower business will be daunting. However, there are perks that only florists enjoy. We will discuss a few of them below.
No Need for a Formal Education
In most cases, you would not need formal education or a degree to break even in the flower business. Generally, to become the best in the retail flower business, you would need to have some skills at the very least. You may also have to build upon those skills by training in the area.
However, that would hardly pose a challenge. There are various channels to get relevant information and knowledge about the florist industry. You could subscribe to a florist blog to get the latest updates and information about the industry.
Also, there are groups on the various social media platforms you could join, or you could check and see if any of the various online learning platforms, such as edX, offer online floral courses. Florists who have been in the florist business for a long time will be more than willing to offer advice to a newbie florist like yourself.
Furthermore, the Society of American Florists provides a union of florists in America. It offers training sessions where it shares knowledge and information about the sphere. You can sign up to become a member to take advantage of the florist resources they offer.
As mentioned above, if you start running a flower shop business, it would most likely be a small business and a home business. Of course, you would need to be on social media, but you may not need to have a website or worry about things like what domain name to choose. If your target market is within your immediate community, you can go ahead to scrap any of these concerns.
This then means that you will enjoy all the perks associated with a small business. You would be your own boss, opening your flower shop whenever you want to. Your customers might be a small circle of friends and family. This way, you get to know them intimately.
Also, when running a flower shop business, you would have a lot of time on your hands. You can even take a detour and train to become a floral designer. Floral designers work in places like grocery stores with floral design departments. This adds to your skillset and the money you could potentially make.
One of the best things about running a flower shop is that you will be present at all your client’s big moments. From weddings to birthday parties and so on, being in the florist industry gives you a front-row seat to all of these beautiful moments.
Your arrangements will cease to seem like work and assume some intimacy. For instance, weddings are imbued with such romantic undertones. Also, imagine seeing your arrangements on various social media platforms. It would give you a rush, unlike anything you’ve ever had before.
There is nothing more frustrating for a creative than not having an outlet for their pent-up energy. Running flower shops avail you of an opportunity to run a business and indulge your creative spirit while at it. Of course, retail florists do more than cut flowers and grow plants.
They are often ingenious, even to the point of helping customers figure out what exactly they need. That in itself is satisfying beyond the money you will make from the business.
What To Do When Opening a Floral Business
If you intend to sell flowers, whether home-based or not (but especially home-based), there are a few things to check off your list. We will take them one at a time. A keen adherence to them all positions you to be the best in the field.
Learn How the Flower Business Works
Starting from scratch can be intimidating if you have no experience running a florist or floral design business. This is because the intricacies associated with grooming and selling flowers are unique. A lot will depend on the type of florist business you intend to run. However, regardless of the type of business, you will still have to work hard.
For one, you will need to get up on time to get to the flower market. Most experienced florists get up before 5 am every morning. That way, they beat the frenzy at the flower market and get fresh flowers before everyone else.
Furthermore, the holidays will have you quite busy. While people take breaks on Christmas Day or Valentine’s Day, or Mother’s day, you will have to work on those days. You will most likely receive orders that you have to complete. That will then set you apart as a florist to be reckoned with. Furthermore, you will need to be on hand for weddings, funerals, and even birthday parties.
Create a Business Plan
As earlier stated, a floral business is a business nonetheless. This means that you should employ best practices such as writing a powerful business plan. A business plan is a concise articulation of what you are about.
It contains such details as your business’s scope, identifying information like your email address, and so on. A plan shows a roadmap of where you are going. Thus, you would be able to obtain funding on the strength of that alone.
Create a Budget
As a floral business owner, a budget should be part of your business plan. However, florists sometimes do not have plans or neglect to include a budget. This is especially the case when they operate from home. However, you will certainly run into issues if you venture out blindly.
It would help if you had an overview of what you will spend on running the business. This will help you in securing funding for the business. You can make your budget by hand, of course, or you can always check out a budgeting app like YNAB or Every Dollar to see if they can assist in managing your finances.
If you want to start a floral business, you’ll need money. Like every other business, the initial start-up fund is crucial.
The amount you need to start and run your flower shop will depend on two factors: location and the number of equipment. The physical location of your shop plays a crucial role. You need to pay for space, especially if the proposed shop location is not yours.
However, if you choose to work from home, you eliminate physical premises. Likewise, you can operate the shop as an online business. There would be no need for customers to come to your location to purchase flowers physically. Arrangements such as the choice of flowers, delivery options, etc., can all be handled online.
You will also need money to buy equipment. However, the equipment’s type (and hence cost) determine how much money you’ll need from the start and then subsequently. But regardless of whether you want to run a small outfit or not, there are certain essentials you cannot do without.
For instance, you will need a refrigerator to store the flowers to remain fresh. You will need to set aside some money for the electricity bill. Another high cost is transportation. You would need to factor in the cost of transportation. This is especially the case if you deliver flowers to events for clients. You will need a fully furnished van, too. In addition, other floral business equipment includes flower buckets, display equipment, etc.
So, how do you get the cash you’ll need to run a floral business. Below are a few ideas.
If you have been thinking about running a floral shop for a while, it is safe to believe you must have saved up some money for it. If this isn’t the case, then the process of beginning a floral business should begin with savings. Put away some funds from your job or current business.
As stated earlier, the size of the floral shop will inform how much you ought to save. However, do not fixate on funds so much that you do not start at all. There are alternative routes to raising the funds you’ll need.
Crowdfunding is becoming increasingly popular. You pitch an idea to customers and have them invest. It is also an excellent means to gauge customer reactions to your business. This way, you can have a fair idea of whether your floral business will survive or not.
On the other hand, you cannot predict the outcome. Investors may love it or not. Their attitude to your business will also influence how much they will invest. On your part, you need to make sure your business idea is top-notch.
You may want to explore raising a small business loan to fund your flower shop. This is the least attractive option. Starting a business with debts is not an attractive idea at all. But it might eventually become the only option that you have.
However, you can take steps to ensure that you aren’t backed into a corner. First, you may want to restrict your loans to just family and friends. That way, you can make sure no one’s going to foreclose your business if you default on your repayment plans. This could nonetheless backfire because it might deprive you of the drive to work hard and cause your business to prosper.
You can also borrow from financial institutions that serve that purpose. You’ll need to have a formal business plan, collateral, etc. You may also want to consult a financial and legal advisor to know your rights and liabilities.
Aggressively Market Your Services
If you operate your business from home, you will probably offer only a small service. However, there is no reason to limit your reach. Aggressively market your services using any channel available. Explore the option of social media, email marketing, business cards, etc. Do not be shy.
Brag about your plants being the best. Put up photos showcasing your floral design skills online and have your customers give you a shoutout whenever they can. Understand that the florists with a successful flower shop may not necessarily be the best but the most visible online.
Conclusion: Starting Your Floral Business
It is almost impossible to imagine a world without flowers. In the same vein, the world will always need florists. If you want to have a successful business selling flowers, you are on the right path. However, you need to know a couple of things about running a business generally and specifically about running one where flowers are your main products. Not to worry, all you need to know has been discussed above. Take the time to read through and then get started.