6 Lessons You Should Learn Before You Open Your Flower Shop
The prospect of opening a flower shop can be as exciting as it can be draining, but it gives the most rewarding feeling after you get it right. You need to bear in mind that floral shops are not like every other retail business. Running a floral shop means that you are also the manufacturer. This leaves you with many shoes to wear.
While this is not to discourage you from venturing into this business, it prepares you for success. Many floral shop owners testify that they would have done things differently if they knew better before venturing into the business. Here are six lessons some florists wish they had learned before opening their flowers shops:
- Educate yourself: since you have decided to open a flower shop, one of the first questions is, “how do I get started?” This question leads you to the most important aspect of this business: educating yourself. You need to understand the intricacies of this business like creating floral arrangements, extending cut flowers life, what you need for flower arrangements, where to get flowers, etc. It would be best to learn about logistics, prices, staff salaries, etc. Think about it, are flowers in high demand at your location? How much can you make from this business? What’s the cost of products in your area? There are a lot of questions you need to find answers to before you set the ball rolling.
- Marketing: you need to think about the right marketing tools for your business. Online reputation is very important. Stay in control of your online reputation by tracking reviews on Google Places, Bing, Yelp, etc. Also, tap into the benefits of referrals while you use digital marketing tools like SEO, email marketing, etc. Give coupons and freebies on your website often to attract more customers.
- Floral wire service: do enough research before joining a wire service. Ensure that you are not getting into an agreement you cannot eject yourself from. Buying floral POS hardware or software from floral wire service providers can be very expensive. You don’t want to keep paying for software/hardware for the next three to five years. If you must join a floral wire service, consider the less popular wire service companies. They are a more friendly option than national wire services. They are less expensive, and you can feel safe with them. Try them out first.
- Staffing: this is a very important aspect of your business. Try as best as you can not to be overstaffed. For flexibility, if possible, hire part-time staff. You’d also want to ensure that you hire smart. Think about hiring a general shop worker instead of an experienced designer whose wage might take a chunk of your startup capital. Experienced designers could come in as part-time staff who fill orders and create designs while the general help takes care of the daily running of the business as full-time staff.
- Florists: these are also referred to as floral designers. While you may not want to spend all your money hiring an experienced designer, you cannot do without one. They take care of the flower arrangements and selection, setting the shop’s reputation and style. They know more about flowers, and they understand the types. They know which flowers are in season and their life span. They also understand the pairing options. Florists are responsible for creating arrangements for customers and displays for ceremonies like banquets and weddings.
- Floral POS: before launching your floral shop, remember that you have to budget for a POS. Gone are the days when orders were handwritten. Regardless of how impeccable and organized your accounting skills are, running a floral shop without a Point of Sale system allows for improper (or no) data reports and records.