Flower shops are usually small, attractive retail establishments which fill customers' orders for floral arrangements for weddings, funerals and gifts. When considering opening a flower shop, you need to know if you really want to do this kind of work, if the shop has a chance to make a profit, and how you will pay for the start-up costs.
Do You Like the Work?
The only way to be sure you would enjoy the work of running a flower shop is to work in one. There is a surprising amount of manual labor involved in processing fresh flowers, receiving and caring for potted plants, and making deliveries. Holidays require very long hours. Working for someone else will not only give you an insight into whether you like the work but will provide valuable training.
What is the Competition?
You will have to do your homework to determine whether existing shops have already cornered the local market. What is the population of your community? How many shops are operating now? Visit websites and visit in person to get an accurate picture of your competition.
What Are the Start-Up Costs?
The better the space you use for your shop, the higher the lease payments. You will also make a significant investment in store fixtures, supplies, and a van for deliveries. Investigate the feasibility of your venture with the help of your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC). SBDC is a free service which provides resources to help businesses start up and expand.
Know Your Niche
Who are your customers? Why will customers prefer to shop with you? What will you offer them that they can’t get elsewhere? Will you beat your competition on price, selection, or customer service? Narrow down your target customer base and know your niche in the market.
The Business Plan
Not planning is one of the major causes of business failure. A business plan will tell you what you need to know before opening a flower shop. After completing your plan, you may decide you would prefer going into a partnership with an existing shop.
Je' Czaja has been writing and illustrating curricula, workbooks, newspaper articles and weekly columns for over 20 years. Her articles have been published in the "St. Augustine Record," the "Valdosta Daily Times," the "Sarasota Herald Tribune" and other regional newspapers. She attended Ringling School of Art, Charter Oak State College, and has a master's degree from the University of Metaphysics.