How to Start a Small Floral Business

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Start a Small Floral Business
Start a Small Floral Business (Image: Morguefile.com/Michael J. Summerville)

It is easy to start a small floral business and since it is a truly versatile commodity, you have the option of customizing the business to suit your expertise, education or simply just tastes. Imagine yourself a wedding flower consultant to the stars or the trusted floral business that supplies holiday wreaths to local churches. The possibilities are endless and when you follow these simple steps, you will be well on your way to start a small floral business and enjoy the satisfaction that comes from working with flowers as well as being your own boss!

Things You'll Need

  • Location
  • Money
  • Business Name
  • Signage
  • A niche
  • Suppliers
  • Storage
  • Market research
  • Marketing plan
  • Website

Decide on a location for your business. Your options by and large include a bona fide store front, a cart that may be wheeled to your area of business, or your home. The amount of money you have to start your business to a large extent dictates the kind of location you have the option of choosing.

Choose a business name, register it with the County Clerk and fulfill all the requirements needed to publish it in your community. This permits you to open a bank account in the small floral business name and deposit payments.

Commission signage to advertise your business; if funds are tight at the onset, ask around your circle of friends and family members for anyone who may know someone attending art school and ask the student to prepare your business signage as this will greatly reduce your expense.

Decide on a niche. The most commonly made mistake by those starting a small floral business is the failure to specialize. Granted, having a broad appeal will ingratiate you to a greater population but the lack of a hook will prevent most of them from even considering your business. You might choose to supply weddings, funerals, official occasions, holiday displays, or even opt for the creation of allergen free artificial flowers.

Check out floral wholesalers and open accounts with them. Whenever possible, bypass the wholesaler if you have the option of setting up an account with local growers. The more middlemen you eliminate, the cheaper your raw materials will be.

Compare local florists’ prices on flower arrangements similar to those you wish to sell. Prepare a price list and keep your prices in the general vicinity as those set by the competition if you can do so without incurring a loss. If you are operating a flower cart instead of a full store, you may be able to severely undercut the competition.

Consider your storage options when dealing with fresh flowers. Unless you are starting a small floral business that specializes in artificial flowers, refrigeration is a must and while it may be part and parcel of your store display, a business run from a cart requires additional thoughts on storage options.

Market your business locally and nationally. Become visible in your community by co-sponsoring community events, donating floral arrangements as door prizes or volunteering to outfit a church for the holidays in return for the permission to leave business cards discreetly at the door and also use the church as a reference, complete with pictures. Build a website—or have it done professionally—and market your business online.

Tips & Warnings

  • Resist the temptation to save money and build your own website if you are not certain you can accomplish this with professional looking results.

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