Starting a Floristry Business

Although the idea of being a florist seems glamorous it is hard work. The working hours are long and the competition fierce.
Opening an outfit is challenging not to mention the physical labor and startup cost. Holiday periods are your busiest time including weddings and special occasions.
Florists around the world are generally small business outfits with few staff. Startup costs for a small florist business ranges between $9000 to $55,000 depending on the size and location.
You need adequate capital to lease property, purchase flowers, staff wages, permits and licenses. To reduce costs you can operate a one man, home based florist business effectively eliminates property lease.
However reaching your customer base becomes more challenging. You also need to determine mode of operation, part-time, full-time, online or terrestrial.
Let’s look at the business overview, challenges, market expectations and financial benefits associated with florist business.
The Florist Industry
Floriculture is huge in developed countries and accounts for $100 billions in revenue worldwide. The industry is divided into three sectors namely wholesalers, retailers and flower growers.
Florists deliver the products to customers either in transparent packages or boxes. Major challenges in the industry are transportation and flower mortality.
Top players in the flower industry are Germany, United States of America and United Kingdom. More include Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and France. The major producers account for 75% of total flower sold world wide.
There are also other vibrant markets with long history in floral business such as India, Australia, South Africa, Thailand and North America.
What to Expect as a Florist
Passion for the job is the most important reason to start a florist business. Learn the trade and develop your knowledge on flowers.
You could attend seminars, become a horticulturist or try apprentice schemes. Floral arrangement is about creativity, passion and dedication too the art form.
Be prepared to work long hours in an over saturated industry. To succeed you need to focus on branding, originality with good interpersonal skills.
Due to the perishable nature of flowers it is prudent to purchase inventory based on demand. Another major challenge as a florist is transportation and waste management.
Other challenges include startup funding, leasehold, wages and marketing costs. The downside is that the product is not an essential commodity.
There are peak periods only during festivities such as Valentines Day and Christmas. Therefore diversifying your service to accommodate weddings, anniversaries, funerals and corporate events is essential for business survival.
Develop a unique marketing strategy for sustainable growth.
How to Develop Floral Skills
  • Get formal training

  • On-job knowledge

  • Apprentice programs

  • Seminars

  • Trade show

  • Books

  • Online resources

  • Natural ability

  • Floral course

Florist Equipment
Purchase only essential items to do the job. As your business expands and clientele increase you can add inventory.
Common equipment found in a flower shop is various shaped vases, buckets, secateurs and stands. Make sure your interior is beautiful, elegant and flowers are properly arranged.
Startup Costs
Startup costs depend on the size and scope of your florist business. Things that require funding are rent, marketing, interior design and flower purchase.
You can start a small florist business with $20,000. Other financial considerations are transportation and accounting.
Apply for bank loans and present your business plan, collateral and seed money. More things to factor are permits, business name registration, insurance cover and taxes.
Location and Staff
Choose a location in a commercial area with lots of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. High-end locations cost more but attract better patronage.
To reduce startup cost you could decide to run a home based business. Reach customers by building a website targeted at your local community.
Make sure the website is optimized and attractive. Include contact information, dedicated phone number, lots of beautiful images, prices, description and business location.
You could run a one man show or hire experienced florists. Other staffs are driver, receptionist and account.
Stock your Shop
Flowers have a very short lifespan and depreciate rapidly. Put in place effective flower management and handling protocols.
Reduce wastage through stock rotation, temperature controls and aggressive trade. Understand each flower requirements to reduce capital loss.
Image Source-pixabay/vintage postcard
Marketing Flowers
To effectively market your business and gain patronage carve a niche. Use branding techniques, lots of promotions and innovative ideas.
Develop your style, vision and creativity. Use traditional advertisement platforms such as print and signage boards. Offer discounts, better prices and fun promotions to beat the completion.


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