How to Start a Successful Business as a Florist

Floral organising and styling is fun as it allows you to express your creativity. But starting your own business as a florist is even more exciting as you can work with flowers and bring happiness to people’s lives every day. What’s more, a floristry business can be profitable if the right steps are taken. With this in mind, these tips can help you build a successful florist business.

1. Understand the job of a florist

There’s more to owning a floristry than just choosing and organising flowers. As the business owner, you’ll have to:

  • Order and unpack stock as it arrives, including flowers, wrapping paper and gift cards.
  • Design, arrange and sell flowers.
  • Condition and water the flowers.
  • Price merchandise.
  • Clean and set up the store.
  • Handle payments.
  • Answer the phone calls and emails.
  • Provide excellent customer service.
  • Meet and invoice clients.
  • Prepare for events, for example by sourcing items.
  • Deliver and arrange flowers at events and offices.
  • Hire and train staff.
  • Run sales campaigns, for example offering discounts or upselling.
  • Promote your business online and offline.
  • Deal with customer complaints, workplace conflict and other potential issues.
  • Manage the finances of the business.
  • Be legally compliant. For example, if you employ staff you must comply with employment legislation, including minimum wages and working hours, among others.

2. Learn floristry skills

Here are the skills you’ll need as a florist business owner:

  • Flower design and arrangement for distribution and sale.
  • Flower photography for marketing purposes.
  • Small business management skills.
  • Accounting and bookkeeping skills to manage finances.
  • Sales and marketing skills.
  • Stock ordering skills.
  • Be able to multitask and work under pressure, especially on days like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
  • Excellent personal skills so you can work with customers buying flowers for a wedding, customers buying flowers for a funeral, and everything in between.

You can learn floristry and general business skills by undertaking a Floristry course.

3. Know the pros and cons of being a florist

Knowing the pros and cons can help you prepare for the highs and lows of running a floristry business.

Pros

  • You get to work with flowers every day.
  • You can bring joy and happiness into your life and other people’s lives.
  • You can create two stores – a brick-and-mortar store and an online store – which can help boost your business.
  • You can use online systems to streamline your ordering, marketing, customer communication, and other business processes. For example, an online shift management service can help you organise casual workers, and an online stock management system can help you manage your flower orders.

Cons

  • It can be very busy and stressful, particularly on special days like Valentine’s Day.
  • You may have early mornings and late nights.
  • You will most likely have to work on the weekends.

4. Pick the right location and storefront

You can get more people to come to your flower shop if you set it up in an area with high foot traffic, such as near a train station or close to grocery stores. Alternatively, you can set up your business in an area with high car traffic and lots of free parking.

As for your storefront, it should be suitable for business. You’ll firstly need to make sure it’s legally compliant and meets the relevant government regulations. Apart from this, it’s also important that your storefront is enticing to enter for customers, and easy for suppliers to drop off material. Finally, your storefront needs to be connected to electricity for online orders and electronic payments, and connected to water so you’re able to easily water the flowers.

5. Know your target market and competition

People buy flowers for a number of reasons, for example for a loved love, decorations at home, an event, a workplace, or even on a whim. Customers can be young or old, but the people who’ll be buying from you depends on where you set up your business. Do a bit of research into the neighbourhood and its demographic to determine what kind of flowers you should sell and what their prices should be.

Also check if there are other flower shops in the area. Consider their flower designs and arrangements, their offerings, and their tone, look, and feel. Try to differentiate your business by selling flowers with unique designs and arrangements, or offering flowers that aren’t available in the other stores.

6. Get a business loan

If you don’t have enough savings, you’ll need a business loan of about $10,000 to $50,000 to start your floristry business. This amount will help pay for the storefront and fit-outs, where a fit-out could cost you $15,000.

You will likely also have to pay for the following:

  • Setting up a workstation.
  • Setting up a storage area with refrigeration units.
  • Delivery vehicles.
  • Flowers.
  • Containers.
  • Wrapping paper.
  • Floral tape.
  • Gift cards.
  • Balloons.
  • Stuffed animals.
  • Electricity and water.
  • Advertising.
  • Internet access.
  • Staff wages.

Getting a business loan can involve a lot of paperwork and dealing with solicitors and banking staff for several months, so be patient – it will be worth it.

7. Market your business

Marketing your business can help you attract more customers to both your brick-and-mortar store and your online store, as well as boost your annual revenue. Offering special promotions is an easy way to entice people to visit your store and may result in word-of-mouth marketing for your business.

When you set up your business, you should consider creating Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook accounts to display photos of your flowers and storefront. You can use location tags in the posts that you make on these platforms so people know where your storefront is. You should also develop a website for your business to so that people can also buy your flowers online, and create content that is engaging and will drive traffic to your website.

Start your journey as a florist today

Starting your business with a proper education in floristry will help to ensure you’re successful. Plus, the more effort you put into your floristry business, the higher your chance of success. This includes having fun and using your creative talents to your advantage.

Interested? Check out the International Career Institute’s Floristry course and enrol today!

Floral organising and styling is fun as it allows you to express your creativity. But starting your own business as a florist is even more exciting as you can work with flowers and bring happiness to people’s lives every day. What’s more, a floristry business can be profitable if the right steps are taken. With this in mind, these tips can help you build a successful florist business.

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