Planning Your Flower Shop
Everyone loves flowers. They are really pretty and make a great gift for any occasion. People are constantly buying them for their mothers, spouses and loved ones, not to mention weddings, funerals and other important functions. They must also be really easy to work with and provide lots of people with an easy way to make a living, right? Wrong!
You shouldn’t make the mistake of assuming that running a flower shop is a proverbial peace of cake just because it looks that way from the outside. As any experienced business owner will tell you, the truth is, there is no such thing as easy money. The flower industry is by no means an exception to that rule. In fact, many people would argue that it is one of the toughest businesses to break into, so if you are thinking of starting your own shop, you should definitely take the time to reflect on whether this is the right industry for you.
You may be asking yourself: “But, how can I know until I try it?" The truth is you can’t, but you may want to consider the following points before making your decision:
- Flower shops deal in perishables.
This means that flower shops are forced to throw away a large portion of their inventory on a regular basis, which can be very costly, particularly for new businesses that have very few customers and don’t make a lot of sales. The flowers you order from suppliers may also arrive in poor condition, making it necessary to work with multiple distributers and to take great care when receiving goods.
- You always need to be well stocked.
The success of your business will depend heavily on being able to provide your customers with the goods they desire. Just because you aren’t selling many flowers doesn’t mean you don’t need to have a lot of them on hand at all times. If you want to acquire new customers and keep your existing ones, you need to have a good selection of goods to choose from. In addition, making arrangements calls for a wide variety of different flowers and foliage, which you must always have on hand, as you never know when you’ll receive an order.
- Flower arranging requires special skills.
Just because it looks easy, doesn’t mean it is. Even the most skilled florists don’t rely on their talent and natural ability alone. On the contrary, this type of work requires training, an in-depth knowledge of design techniques and materials, not to mention a whole lot of practice.
- The floral industry is labor intensive
Cut flowers require a great deal of special care. Their stems need to be clipped frequently and need fresh water, nutrients and special climate conditions, which means washing buckets, mixing water with additives, controlling the temperature and removing leaves and thorns. Flower vendors also need to constantly arrange their products so that they look attractive and make sure to separate fresh goods from the not so fresh ones. Pests such as insects and fungi also can also spread quickly, so measures must be taken to prevent them from doing so. Flower arranging can be tough work as well. Most florists work long hours, spend most of their time on their feet and put in plenty of overtime, especially when they are preparing for weddings and special events.