Starting A Florist Business
Running a florist business is extremely hard work as most independent florists are open six days a week although some do close early on Wednesday. If you buy your flowers from the markets then you will have to wake up really early so that you can buy your stock & have your shop ready for business at 8:30am. Supermarkets have eaten into profit margins by offering cut price bouquets for as little as a few dollars. There is still money to be made though if you live in a well to do area and target the upper end of the market. People in the UK love giving flowers as a special gift for occasions like Valentines Day, Mother's Day, weddings and the birth of a new child. Flowers are the ideal gift item to express your feelings for a loved one.
The biggest mistake an entrepreneur can make is to open a florist with no prior experience. You can attend courses in flower arranging at many colleges and there are flower arranging clubs in most cities. In my opinion this is still not enough to run a florist successfully. For people that love the idea of running a florist, I would advice them to work in a florist shop for at least six months before opening up their own store. Experience, creativity and attention to detail are all required to design a beautiful bouquet.
An experienced florist can fast track your learning curve and teach you the tricks of the trade. So how much does opening a florist business actually cost? It is possible to open a florist for as little $25,000 but the price can vary substantially depending on location. A high street location would require a minimum of $50,000 if you have a good credit rating and can persuade the banks to lend on a one to one basis. The above figures assume that you are leasing the property and not buying it! If you are planning on offering a delivery service than add in the cost of purchasing, maintaining and a delivery van. It is often cheaper in the longer term to use taxis to deliver your bouquets. Turnover is very erratic in a florist business with most of your sales happening on special occasions, although funerals, birthdays and corporate events do help to stabilize sales a bit. Having staff ready for the special occasions can make or break your business. In the long term these peaks of high demand will cause a lot of stress. Having researched the florist market, I would advice against opening a florist retail outlet. The hours are long, the work is hard, the market is cut throat and in the winter it can be particularly hard work going to the markets at 5:00am.
Supermarkets are eating into the margins at the lower end of the price bracket whilst online floristry services are providing exceptional prices and service at the luxury end. It might be great to "say it with flowers" but the industry is far too competitive for my liking.