How to Open a Flower Shop Right | Six Things to do Before Starting

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Here are six things you need to do before starting a flower shop.

Number 1 – Volunteer to work in a flower shop. Even if you have arranged flowers in the past, it’s still a good idea to see how different shops operate and look over the owner’s shoulder to see what goes on behind the scenes. Look for a shop far enough away from where you plan to open so that you aren’t a threat to their business. There have been too many people who had this dream of quitting their job to start a flower shop and then spend their life savings to find out it wasn’t as fun as they thought it would be.

Number 2 – Go to an industry related conference to learn more about what’s happening in the industry and network with people who are doing what you want to do. This is a great opportunity to learn from their successes and failures and get advice for what you should be focusing on. These conferences are also great because you get to see many of the vendors and look at the products to sell in your shop. The Society of American Florists and International Floriculture Expo hold some of the largest events every year. The cost to attend isn’t cheap but the knowledge you can gain is more than worth it.

Number 3 – Get your plan written down. Write a business plan, no matter how informal, to get the ideas out of your head and on to paper. Sometimes things make sense in your head but when you write them down, it’s easier to see flaws. Share the plan with friends and mentors to get different perspectives to be sure you haven’t missed anything. Also be sure to spend some time on the numbers to see if this shop is feasible. There are free and paid business plan templates online or you can get help from a Small Business Development Center or SCORE for free help with your business plan.

Number 4 – Educate yourself on efficient production and inventory management. Flower shops are very fast paced during the big holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day and you need a plan to get good seasonal people who can help when things get too busy for you to handle. If you are betting on just having friends and family help, be careful as they may not be there when you need them. Also, what is your plan for managing inventory and how will you balance the need to order for big holidays but not have too much left over to spoil? Flowers are perishable and their lifespan isn’t very long. Once they start to go bad, they aren’t sellable and there is no getting that money back.

Number 5 – Get your marketing plan in order. Why are people going to buy from you? What makes your shop better than the other options in your community? How are people going to find you? Many new store owners don’t want to budget much money to advertise and expect the sign on the front of the building along some social media will take care of their promotions. While there are some inexpensive options to market, those options take time and need to be consistent if they are going to be successful. Will you have the time for social media in addition to running the shop? Last, what is your plan to market online? Online only stores continue to take sales from retail stores and just creating a website for your store isn’t going to be enough. If people can’t find you online, you will be missing out on a considerable amount of online sales. Not sure how to do this? Start talking now with a digital marketing company to find the options and costs.

Number 6 – Work your connections. Do you have connections with funeral homes and wedding related businesses that your competitors don’t? Funerals and weddings typically make up over 30% of income for most flower shops and the volume of sales from these sources is often an indicator of whether a flower shop will be profitable or not. If you are in an area that has a competitor who has these locked up, you will be starting at a huge disadvantage.

Well, there you have it, six things you need to do before starting a flower shop. Running a flower shop is so much more than making nice flower arrangements and many people are not fully prepared for that reality. The good news is that anyone can learn, but be sure to take your time and get educated before investing your time and money to get started.

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