There a certain degree of romance associated with becoming a florist. At certain times of the year, you’re suddenly the centre of attention. But there are challenges for anybody who wants to become a florist.
Yes, you might be busy on Valentine’s Day, but how do you stay profitable for the rest of the year? That’s a tough question. And the answers aren’t immediately obvious.
That’s why in this post, we’re going to go through a rundown of some of the challenges facing new florists and what they can do about it.
The need to be flexible
Just setting up a stall with lots of flowers and hoping people will buy them probably isn’t such a great idea. Back in 2009, in the midst of the recession, people cut back on their spending on non-essentials. And one of the first non-essentials to go were flowers.
Thus, florists had to adapt. Some branched out into related product, like meal worms and compost. Others specialised in specific areas, like the market for funeral flowers. The key is to spread your risk, allowing multiple sources of income, just in case one area suddenly dries up.
The equipment you need
Many florists are naive about the amount of equipment that they’ll actually need. They tend to be under the impression that a few buckets and some secateurs will do.
But the more you think about it, the more you realise that this simply can’t be the case. For starters, you need a display rack of some descriptions. Otherwise, your flowers aren’t going to look all that appealing.
But on top of that are all the vases you’ll need if you’re ever going to do a display for, say, a wedding. Then you’ll need a refrigerated van to make sure that flowers don’t wilt on long journeys. And so, in total, the costs of starting up can be high.
The trick is to prioritise your capital expenditure ahead of time. Buy the things you need to begin with to start up. And then, once money starts to roll in, purchase new items that will allow you to expand your business.
The online battles
There aren’t just a handful of dominant players in the florist market. There are hundreds. And this isn’t a good thing, especially when it comes to online marketing.
Often, florists will use Google Adwords to divert traffic to their websites by using your name, especially if it’s a good name. For that reason, it’s worth being extra careful when marketing online.
If a company tries to steal some of your mojo, contact the company and ask them to stop using your business name in their adverts. If that doesn’t work, as Google to investigate the problem themselves.
Flowers are notoriously fragile objects. And once they’ve been cut away from the host plant, they become even less robust. What’s more, they have a short lifespan and need to be sold quickly.
Get educated on which plants will last longer than others so you can rotate your stock effectively. And remember, until you’ve built up experience, stock mistakes are likely.