Opening a flower shop, like any new business, requires lots of hard work, love, and dedication. And some good information.
What do you wish you knew when you decided to open a flower shop? Here are some things we have learned. Let us know your tips also!
- Online reputation is critical – Stay on top of Yelp, Google Places, and other review websites. Customers are turning to online outlets to express their praise / frustration – stay in control.
- Low cost/No cost marketing – if often the best – community activity gets free marketing.
- Email marketing – send out coupons and discounts at least every month. Make sure your florist website supports this.
Florist Wire Services
- Avoid Wire Service Lock-In – Don’t get stuck with long-term commitments for florist POS and florist websites. Flexibility is key for any small business.
- Wire Services Ads – your money is going to fund ads running against your business in your local area.
- Statements – Review you statements with an accountant or bookkeeper to see if you’re actually making money.
- Codified Products / Containers – Know your options. Sometimes the minimum purchase of these expensive containers far outweigh the earning potential. Many florists team up to split a box or you can choose to not buy the codified container and instead purchase something similar from your trusted vendor. In that case you can still fill wire-in orders that allow for a keepsake substitution without breaking the bank.
Florist Credit Card Processing
- Big Costs – Credit card processing is an unexciting but critical part of your business. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by choosing the right merchant account. Compare processors.
- Statements – Compare your statements to be sure you’re getting a good deal.
- Contracts – Contracts can be okay, but avoid early termination fees and similar lock-ins.
- Feel free to contact Floranext for input on credit card processing.
- Floral POS pays for itself – Good floral software increases productivity and has built-in marketing – you will save on time, labor and get more orders.
- Independent solutions – think independent for your floral software – you will get lower prices and more flexibility.
- Florist websites – Make sure your website looks unique – it’s a critical part of your brand.
Starting a Florist? Get our FREE florist eBook
Flower Shop Operations
- Delivery Confirmations – are practically expected by customers these days as a part of basic customer service.
- Check your work – Have a checker on all designs that leave the store.
- Handling complaints – create an action plan for your staff so everyone feels empowered to help that occasional sour customer with a smile and grace.
Holidays (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day)
- Record keeping – it’s essential to predict future years – keep notes on sales, prices, weather.
- Planning – Make a game plan weeks before any holiday for staffing, buying, and marketing.
- Be aware of your competition – See what the wire services and other florists in your area are offering and offer up something unique and/or comparable.
- Keep buckets clean – change water and recut any flowers that haven’t sold within 3 days of arriving.
- Do not over staff – use part timers for flexibility.
- Staff smart – Experienced designers will require a higher wage than a General Shop worker. Schedule designers enough hours to fill orders and create some designs for the display case then let the general help take it from there.
Working with Vendors
- Share information – don’t be afraid to ask other florists who they get their supplies from.
- Check invoices – to be sure you are paying a reasonable price for your supplies and check each delivery to be sure you have received everything you paid for. Mistakes happen!
- Know what you are paying – and what you need to charge with your mark-up . Be sure your staff knows this too!
- Communication – with vendors is key. Let them know when you receive unsatisfactory product or when they deliver in a timely manner. These relationships will help you stand out against other shops.
- Florist Advice – Lean on other florists for advice with free Facebook florist communities. Some are invite-only, so be in touch with other florists to find the most popular communities.
Want more info on getting started in the flower business. Check out our articles on increasing florist profits.
Free e-Book: Start a Flower Shop
Starting a florist? Get our florist how-to guide for starting out in the flower business. Florist marketing tips, profit formulas, and more!
Floranext makes great florist software. Florist websites, floral POS, florist wedding/event proposal software, and florist technology. Let us know if you want a free demo or try our software for free here!