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It’s great to hear that you’re interested in starting a home-based floral business. Obviously, it means you love gardening and flowers. This is a very good decision, as a florist is one of the few home businesses that run successfully.
In this business, most of your business will be done either on phone or via your website, so you won’t need a storefront. You might come across some customers who would want to see your work or pick up arrangements from your home, so keep some space dedicated to your business, preferably away from your home.
If you have no clue how to set up your florist shop, here’s the lowdown:
1. Define an area in your home for your business
It should have an independent entrance and easy access to water. It should accommodate a worktable, a cooler and some room to walk around.
You should also have enough room to display some arrangements and an album of your work done for weddings or other events.
2. Draw up a plan
Now that your space is defined, make a plan of all the things you’re going to fit in there. You’ll need a refrigerator to keep your flowers fresh. You’ll also need a couple of worktables.
Have an idea of the costs involved to get flowers and to hire a couple of employees and delivery boys. It’s always important to be aware of your costs, so write it down.
3. Buy florist’s tools and inventory
Go to an office supply store and buy a pair of scissors and business cards. Also, stop by a craft store and get styrofoam, florist wire colored ribbon and floral tape. Don’t forget to buy knives somewhere too!
Your store also needs vases, baskets, add-on gifts like chocolates, stuffed animals, and balloons.
4. Let people know what you can do
Don’t restrict yourself to bouquets. Go beyond that to include centerpieces, wedding flower arrangements, gardening contracts and much more.
Think of all the possibilities where flowers would be needed and then reach out to the world with your offerings.
5. Complete all your paperwork before you begin marketing your business
Fill out the necessary forms, start an IRS business account and state sales tax account. Also, file a city or county business license. Remember to let your lawyer know whether you want to start a sole proprietorship and ask him how you should file your documents.
Have a dedicated phone line for your business. Speak to a content developer to build your business website for online orders.
6. Make your presence felt
It could take ages before you get the recognition you truly deserve. So, instead of waiting for that to happen, begin by providing free arrangements for small functions where your visibility will be high.
Attend bridal shows and let funeral homes know of your business. When you make offers in person, take some appropriate samples of your work along. Speak to posh restaurants in your vicinity for table arrangements in return for some recognition.
7. Speak to mentors for guidance
If you don’t know the ins and outs of this business, don’t worry. There are lots of veterans in this field who’ll be only too happy to help.
If there are florists in your neighborhood, speak to them and ask where they source their flowers from. Check online for wholesalers who can drop off flowers at your store.
8. Work hard on your feedback
In this day and age of electronic media, bad news travels faster than good. So, if you do receive a bad review from a customer, make amends immediately. If you’ve messed up, apologize. This is one way of building trust in your business, which only time will bear out.
As in any business, a florist business requires you to be attentive to fine details, amiable and be able to deliver on your promise. As you go further in your business, you’ll learn many more tips to succeed in the flower business.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.