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OPENING A FLOWER SHOP: 6 CRUCIAL LESSONS I LEARNED AFTER THE FACT!

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OPENING A FLOWER SHOP CAN BE SO EXCITING!

OPENING A FLOWER SHOP: 6 CRUCIAL LESSONS I LEARNED AFTER THE FACT!

As exciting as opening your own flower shop can be it can also be a bit overwhelming.

First, we need to remember that running a flower shop is not like any other retail business, it can be a tad bit harder. In a flower shop, you are also the manufacturer of your retail products which means you will be wearing many hats.

By no means am I  trying to discourage you from opening your very own flower shop, much the opposite.  My goal is to offer crucial advice I wish I got before jumping in headfirst into my floral brick and mortar business.

Let’s get right to the 6 crucial lessons I learned after I opened my flower shop.

#1 LESSON: FLOWER SHOP LOCATION

Your flower shop location is key to your success. The visible location of your floral business will help you in attracting customers and also create a memorable brand image.

I had an amazing location offered to me however the cost was about 2x times the cost of the flower shop location I opted for.  In retrospect, I should have gone with the busier traffic-wise location and paid more.

Cost played big of a role in my decision when choosing the most important aspect of my flower shop business which was the location. An Antique store ended up going into the location I should have grabbed. Every time I  drive by the Antique shop I think of how insignificant 2x the cost really was- considering the place is always buzzing with customers.  I can’t even say that it is their amazing merchandise- their success is mainly due because of the heavy foot trafficked location.

Before opening your flower shop take the location into consideration. A busy location with ample parking is always ideal even it at first it doesn’t seem to fit your budget. If there are more things on your list and you would like to have a chat please feel free to contact flower delivery richmond bc  

#2 LESSON: PURCHASE YOUR OWN DOMAIN NAME

Purchasing your own domain name in today’s world is much like purchasing a  brick and mortar for the internet. Your domain will house your SEO (search engine optimization) and is a valuable address for potential customers to find you online with your direct flower shop name brand.

Whomever you choose for hosting your floral website please do not allow them to also purchase your floral website domain.  Some website hosting companies will not release your domain if you decided to switch to a different website hosting provider.

Even worse some web hosts may charge you lots of money to release your domain to you while other web hosting companies may not charge you for the release of your domain name but have you at their mercy waiting for when they may decide to give it back to you.

Once your domain becomes valuable in search engines, starts ranking on the first page or better yet top 3 of the first page the last thing you want to do is have a web hosting company control your domain name. Keep all your options open at all times when running a flower shop business.  This will save you so much aggravation in the future I promise.

Any web hosting company will host your floral website without having to manage your domain name its absolutely unnecessary for them to purchase your domain.  Owning your domain name is simply a must-do this will allow full control to point it to whatever new web hosting you like without having to wait for a release or worst of all starting all over again with a new domain.

Godaddy is a great choice for domains and super affordable around $14.00 USD per year, no excuses why anyone but you should manage your domain name.

#3 LESSON: FLORAL WIRE SERVICE

When I first opened my flower shop the only option available to me so I thought was to join a floral wire service.  Like many other newbie florists opening a flower shop, I went ahead and opted to join all 3 well known floral wire services companies- I’m sure you have heard of them.

Joining a floral wire service for me was a costly lesson learned. I felt as if I was employed by the floral wire service companies instead of feeling like I was running my dream flower shop.

Floral wire service fees were exorbitant, flower wire orders priced so low I was actually losing money if I filled them, costly codified products,  unrealistic deadlines, and unnecessary aggravation and stress.

Before joining a floral wire service please do you your homework and make sure you are not signing into something you can not get out of. Are there flower shop owners who make a profit with a national floral wire service? I’m sure there must be however from the many years I have been in floristry and the florists I speak too I have yet to meet one flower shop owner that has made amazing profits with a floral wire service.

Also, keep in mind that purchasing their floral POS software/hardware will be very expensive you will more than likely be paying for it for 3-5 years.

If you are adamant about of joining a floral wire service there are less known wire service companies out there, unlike the national wire services that seem to be a fairer option without the exorbitant fees – check those out first.

#4 LESSON: FIND A GOOD FLORAL POS

When opening a flower shop please take into consideration that you will also need to allow a budget for a floral POS. The days of handwriting flower orders are over. Running a flower shop without a floral POS no matter how organized and exceptional your accounting skills are leaves room for poor or no data\analytic sales report performance.

Besides your reporting, you need a floral Point of Sale that escalates your checkout process with the option to store encrypted customer credit cards, as well as gather their information for marketing.

There are also many reasons why you should only use a Floral POS company. There are numerous non-floral industry POS companies out there however keep in mind running a flower shop is not like running a coffee house. Your flower shop POS will need many crucial features even if you do not need them now you will as your flower shop business grows.

#5 LESSON: FLOWER/SALE WHOLESALE PURCHASES

I had it all figured out I was going to be a high-end flower shop with only the most unique blooms and flower arrangements.

I truly knew my flower design style and wanted to be different than my competitors. So I ordered costly blooms in the beginning, lots of them. Only to realize that my customer demographics came in time after time requesting carnations, gerbera daisies, and regular roses with lots of baby’s breath.  If I made one more dog arrangement I literally was going to play in traffic- but customers loved these… WHY???

A good floral designer can make any floral arrangement look good regardless of the blooms used, my costly downfall was that I just ordered unnecessary flowers that only a hand full of customers appreciated and purchased.

The point here is to buy your awesome unique blooms but watch your spending on your flower and supplies. The profit margin for a florist is on the low end as it is so paying attention to what you are purchasing and the bottom line cost is a must! Shop around for the best prices, build a relationship with our floral wholesalers.

#6 LESSON: RELY ON ONLY YOURSELF

You are so much closer to opening your flower shop and perhaps you are relying on other people to help make your flower shop successful. Any successful entrepreneur will tell you that the only person you should ever rely on is yourself.

It was such a dismal day when two of my employees and my only driver called out when I had a ton of deliveries and design work. At that moment if I could crawl in a hole and hide all day I would. My gut turned as I had no clue how on earth I was going to pull this day off.

I was so reliant on my employees that this day just caught me by surprise. I was angry at them for actually no reason we all heard the saying “sh!@t  happens”. Employees get sick and have a life of their own even the best employees take time off unexpectedly as their priority is not maintaining my flower shop.

It was at this point that I decided to only rely on myself.  I made it through the day- tired of course but relieved that when push came to shove after the shock and a ton of cursing- I did what I had to do to make it happened.

The point here is if you are opening a flower shop and have no clue how to design flowers and are relying on a hired floral designer please learn how to design flowers, if you never want to deliver a floral arrangement be sure to have a backup plan,  not into processing flowers, learn how to to anyway.

There will be a day that those you rely on will not be available and your flower shop business must go on as usual.


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