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Florist businesses earn a great deal of their income on major gift-giving holidays, particularly Valentine's and Mother's Day, but during the rest of the year making money can be tough. Year-round, they must find ways to not only sell arrangements and bring in new customers but also to keep their shops afloat. Competition from Internet florist services can make becoming profitable even more difficult. However, there are several ways floral businesses can try to increase their profits.
Let as few flowers go to waste as possible. Combine older, but still usable, flowers to create discounted bouquets. During the holiday season, use these flowers to make wreaths. To sell them quickly, price the products using older flowers at the same level as your local supermarket does.
Use different avenues year-round to sell your arrangements and plants — don't rely solely on the revenue earned in your shop. For instance, try selling at local farmers' markets, bazaars, city festivals, craft fairs or home and garden shows.
Reach out to the event and wedding planners in your area to form business relationships, These professionals can lead you to potential customers and vice versa. Link to each other on your websites, suggest each other to your customers or offer mutual discounts to customers that use your services.
Keep your overhead as low as possible. Evaluate whether the space you rent costs too much, scrutinize your utility bills to see where you can be more efficient and compare your suppliers to see which ones offer the best savings.
Offer add-ons to your customers, such as gift baskets, balloons, cards and stationery. Doing so will allow you to make money selling items your customers would normally buy anyway. For example, if a man comes to your floral shop to buy his mother flowers for her birthday but has to go to the drugstore next door to buy her a card, that's money you're missing out on. He could have bought that card from you.
Source your flowers from local growers whenever possible. Transportation and shipping costs will cut into your profits, and the closer a supplier is to your shop, the less you will have to pay to have your flowers delivered.
Provide several ways for customers to place orders. For instance, in addition to business gained from customers who walk in, take orders by fax, phone, email or your website. The easier you make it for people to order, the more likely they will do so.
Melinda Gaines has been a freelance writer since 2006, with work appearing online for YellowPages and other websites. Her areas of expertise include business, beauty, fashion and sports. Gaines attended the University of Houston where she earned a Bachelor of Science in sport administration.