The flower industry has remained strong throughout the years. Its versatility makes it a gift, a centerpiece, a fashionable accessory, and décor for events. Flowers invoke a lot of emotions and symbolism. People incorporate flowers on various occasions from Valentine’s Day and weddings to birthdays and funerals.
One can truly make an income and a good career in the flower industry. But, without passion, you may not stay long in the business. According to Little Flower Hut, the florist business entails hard work, long hours, and establishing yourself as a go-to in the consumer market. While thinking of a unique flower arrangement, you may also be juggling suppliers, logistics companies, online orders, and express flower delivery. During peak times like Valentine’s Day and large events like parties, you may work longer hours, designing layouts, and accommodating more flowers than usual in your office.
What is Floristry?
The florist business encompasses everything from the production of flowers to the trading of flowers. It includes cultivation, floral design, merchandising, and delivering to customers. Each part of the process requires industry knowhow, drive, and creativity in the art of floristry. If you have your heart set on becoming a florist, you first have to weigh the pros and cons of running a florist business.
- Timeless industry; there is always a demand for flowers for various occasions
- As you flourish, you can open up more shops, offer floral design classes, or start a floristry school
- Big events mean huge opportunities for growth and excellent profit
- Satisfied customers provide the best recommendations at no extra cost
- You are your own boss
- You have an outlet for creativity and your designs will be well-appreciated
- Starting as early as dawn to buy fresh-cut flowers at the market than working long hours to deliver customer orders
- Long hours and huge orders can be physically challenging for those who are starting out and still experimenting with a system
- The industry is highly-competitive with independent shops competing with online and local shops as well as grocery flower sections
- Your creativity will be tested with the need to stand out from the competition
- Mismanagement of inventory and demand can result in wasted flowers and loss of profitability
- It can take a long time to reap an ROI
Study and gain experience first
Now if you really have your heart set on opening a florist business, it is imperative to polish your knowledge and experience in the industry. Florists typically need 2 to 5 years experience and tow or four-year floristry degree before companies hire them.
If you own a florist business, you need to be an expert in the cultivation of flowers, the season of varieties of flowers, the symbolisms of different flowers, the supply chain, finding the right wholesaler or supplier for your florist business, studying geographical market trends, staffing, and of course designing and decorating flowers. Other essential skills to possess include entrepreneurial skills, bookkeeping, marketing, and customer service.
Funding a florist business
You may opt to take out a loan to start a florist business or utilize capital from your savings. To start, you will require equipment such as refrigerated cases, buckets, display items, tools for flower arranging, and a van to transport the flowers. Consider having a business partner when starting a florist business. Regardless, you will need to create a business plan and budget to obtain funding.
Choosing a niche
Consider entering the industry with a focus on a target market. You may focus on creating flower arrangements for parties, social dances, weddings, funerals, or corporate needs. You may collaborate with event planners and funeral homes to kick off your business.
Choosing a location for your florist business
Location is vital to the success of your business. Steer clear of flower shops tucked at the end of streets. Instead, opt for corner locations albeit costly to rent and high-traffic locations. Consider your niche when choosing a location such as near event venues or hospitals and funeral homes.
You can also start as an online florist to reduce startup costs. You can also launch a home-based business, rent a stand, or run a mobile business using your van. Once you’ve chosen a location, it is best to advertise your business by word of mouth, social media, or local media. Consider creating a website as well. Your website and social media accounts and show your latest creations and attract customers.
Marketing your florist business
When you are just starting out in the flower industry, it is vital to keep costs to a minimum. You can create a free website online and tap into the free or low-cost marketing of your community. Whether your business is located within the city or from your home, you need to nurture your reputation online.
When starting out, consider hiring only part-time florists. It is best to work with experienced and trained floral designers. However, keep in mind that experienced designers have a higher wage so it’s best to spend time training your staff with your industry knowhow to save costs.
Finding good vendors
Good vendors are key to the success of your florist business. You will need negotiation skills to haggle with suppliers. It is best to buy flowers from their source. You can buy from flower farms as well as from wholesalers at flower markets. Be sure to inquire about the charges you are paying for.
Also, ensure you are working with vendors that practice proper handling and transporting of flowers as well as delivering the flowers in a timely fashion.
Finally, be involved in the larger flower community in your geographical location. You can ask established florists for recommended suppliers as well as tips and tricks in the trade.