How to Start a Small Business Selling Roses

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Start a Small Business Selling Roses
Start a Small Business Selling Roses

Ever thought of starting your own business, but didn't know what to do? If you don't have a lot of capital, selling roses at nightclubs and restaurants can be a great way to get your feet wet as an entrepreneur, particularly if you are a night owl. These days, women as well as men like to buy a rose for their special someone, so the income potential is expanding.

Things You'll Need

  • Roses
  • Sales staff
  • Costumes
  • (Details can be quite varied; see article for more information)

Find a store near you that sells roses wholesale. If you cannot find one that does so specifically, try to make arrangements with a local florist to obtain roses at a discount, or look on-line to see if you can get weekly shipments delivered to your business address. If you pursue this route, however, it would be best to purchase a refrigeration unit in which you can keep the roses fresh until it is time to sell them.

Get permission from local restaurants and nightclubs for your sales staff to work their rooms. Have each staff member go to 10 locations per night, so, as an example, if you have a staff of five, you will need 50 locations for them to work. Your goal is to choose locations that are open at least five nights per week.

Hire your staff. Rose-selling is typically done by attractive women selling to men for their dates, but there's no reason why attractive men can't sell to women for their dates as well. Your staff should have reliable transportation, and you can either have them wear clothing appropriate for an evening at a nice restaurant or club, or you can costume them; for example, tuxedo shirts and bow ties are available at many craft stores for a very reasonable cost. Have them wear black pants (or skirts for the women), and you have a classy presentation.

Send each staff member out with a predetermined number of roses each night, say, 200. Part of their responsibility will be to count the unsold roses if any and the amount of money collected, which should be placed in an envelope. Have them write these two numbers on the outside of the envelope, along with the sales person's name. Inform your staff that any discrepancies will be deducted from their pay; this should prevent them from becoming careless. You may want to write a contract listing their responsibilities and have them sign it. Check with an attorney on this point.

Price the roses based on how much you are charged for them. For example, if you are able to get them for $1 apiece, you could price them at $2 and pay your staff a commission of 25 cents per rose. At this rate, they would receive $400 per night if they sold all 200 roses. Another option is to pay a higher commission and price the roses higher as well, depending on what the market will bear. Do some market testing before hiring a full staff.

Consider opening a business bank account. This can simplify record-keeping and company tax records. Your staff can work as independent contractors. Again, check with an attorney to make sure you do not violate any state or federal laws.

Consider getting business insurance, particularly if you invest in refrigeration units or other expensive equipment.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid working with locations that want to charge you for your company's presence. Remind them that you are providing a great service that will bring customers back again and again. Sell colors other than red. Most flower marketers sell red because a red rose is symbolic of love; however, many women prefer other colors, such as peach, pink, white, or yellow. Consider selling wooden, feather, and lighted silk roses as well.
  • Check with a lawyer if you have any concerns about the legality of any part of your business. It is always better to be safe than sorry. If you're not a night person, this may not be a good fit for you since most of the selling is done after 8:00 p.m.

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