What to Know Before Starting a Flower Delivery Business
Maybe you are a calm person that would like to work alone and in peace. Perhaps you are assuming that you should become a florist because that is the one business that is offering that kind of working conditions. However, being a florist is a more labor-intensive than what most of you would assume. A typical day for a good florist starts at 4AM and will see you collecting and transporting goods to your store where you have to clean them and process them as finished products. Not to mention all kinds of people that would enter your shop.
Being a florist is not an easy job, but is there such a thing as an easy job?
You Will Get Physical
You might think that cutting and arranging flowers is a delicate job. However, this job will see you spending hours on your feet just moving buckets full of flowers and water and organizing them in storage. You will have to lift 50-lb buckets of water and flowers, carrying deliveries and boxes of centerpieces through kitchens, and that is something I call hard work. You will have to clean after yourself and there will be a lot of things to clean.
You will need to be better than "snoozers". Get up with the sun and start your working day way before the "OPEN" sign goes up at 9am. You Will Need an Online Promotion A flower shop business can be a small shop, led only by one person, or it could be a national chain with hundreds of locations. Some of the most successful flower shops sell flowers online only and don't actually have physical shops. This is why it is very important to choose a good domain name. However, most .com or .co.uk domains have already been sold out. This is why you could start thinking about some org.uk or just .uk domains. A good example for a successful online flower shop that chose an alternative domain is flowerdelivery.org.uk, a flower delivery shop from London that is among the more popular shops. People from the UK often use it to buy or send flowers nationwide.
Even though the best domain names have already been taken, it is always a good idea to take a look at the less popular "domain extensions" because there is a chance that your brand name is still available on those.
Being a Florist is Not a Peaceful Experience
Many people think that being a florist is a peaceful, solitary experience in which you work alone, surrounded only with flowers and nature. However, you will spend thousands of hours trying to bring in potential customers, finding best suppliers, organizers and collaborators you can and constantly working on your social networks. You will not only work with future brides, event organizers and catering companies, but the entire online world. This should be a huge opportunity for your business. Flowers have a reputation of being timeless, romantic, and fairly traditional, but that doesn't mean that you should lead your flower business like it is 1960s. Start your online shop, post regularly on social networks and stay in touch with your customers.
You Will Have to Talk to People
A florist should be comfortable talking to people no matter what they are going through. You will have customers (daily) who are planning weddings, celebrating major accomplishments and those who have loved ones who are seriously ill or recently passed away. Sometimes, you will have all those profiles in your shop at the same time.
It's You Against the World
According to Wikipedia, the floral industry in the US has grown six percent annually, and the global trade volume in 2003 was US$101.84 billion. It consists of three major components: the growers, the wholesalers and the retailers and their businesses are interconnected. However, the combination of huge international corporations coupled with their offshore sourcing of flowers has put independent florists and local growers in a difficult situation. Imports from countries like Kenya and Columbia are forcing prices down and an increase in market share for large retail outlets and they are putting pressure on florists to compete on every level. Digital customers and the increasing number of digital competitors are completely changing the industry landscape and you have to adapt. This world will not give you a chance for romantic notions of slow-moving days in your "quiet" flower shop.
It Will Cost You
A flower shop business usually costs somewhere between $10,000 and $50,000 to open. However, there are some successful florists who started their businesses in their living room with a $50 box of tools.In reality, you will have to buy coolers for keeping your flowers fresh, leasing a location, buying an initial order of flowers from a wholesaler and getting some of the most important supplies like floral tape, vases, floral foam, etc. Wages will not be a problem at the very beginning because you will most probably be the only worker. After a short period of time you will start thinking about purchasing a van that will help you deliver orders, and that will be the right time to hire the first employee - a driver.
"Everyone's got to start somewhere; You should start before you are ready."
You will need to know the basics about the flowers, and you will have to love what you do. But you don't have to know everything or have some perfect plan. Maybe you will have some side-job until you get your business started, but the business will get it up and running. There are hundreds of tutorials that you can find online, or you could master your skills by working at some flower shop. So, you will need to understand the industry, learn new floral design ideas, train, and to keep upgrading your flower care knowledge. You have to be better than your competition!