What you should know
Many people who open a flower shop have artistic tendencies and feel that flower arranging would be an excellent means of expressing them, and the same sentiment is stressed by both designs schools and industry media.
As a result, they tend to focus on one-of-a-kind floral arrangements, which well-to-do customers can really afford and fully appreciate but have little appeal for middle-class buyers.
Here are some points to consider in setting up your business:
– If you focus on floral arrangements, you have probably given little thought to selling any arranged flowers. Note however, that most customers are attracted by the beauty of the flowers themselves, and they are even prepared to purchase such items as gifts.
– Note that certain holidays, including Christmas and Easter, call for a tremendous investment of time and an extensive inventory as well, Be sure that your clients are aware of the order and delivery requirements you have established for these busy periods, and let them know if you are unable to make any “rush” deliveries. In most cases, the latter will be made with a company vehicle, rather than outsourcing them.
– Remember to target those middle-income consumers who tend to favour flower vendors because their prices are more affordable. In many cases, they are not shopping for customized floral arrangement, any more than they expect to buy a custom-made car or a custom-designed suit.
– If you want to lower your prices and still make a profit, begin by reducing your arrangement costs and buying the flowers you consider to be affordable, For example, at a certain point, carnations might be high-mark-up flowers that you can price at several times their cost, while “stargazer” lilies may be far less profitable.
– While you want to include some new, exotic flowers in your arrangements, the ratio of these low-mark-up items to more profitable basic types must be kept under control as you aim for both profitability and the “look” you want to achieve.
Getting the wholesale flowers you need
To find these items at reasonable prices, try to be creative in your purchasing. Today, the oversupply of flowers is actually world wide, However, many retail florists are unaware of this because they rely on their supplier’s refrigerators and are accustomed to purchasing what they can sell in a single day. Understandably, wholesalers will not give them the best prices in this situation.
Remember also that there are no established prices in the wholesale flower market. What you end up paying is determined by the salesperson you deal with, whose ultimate goal is to make profit.
In addition, prices are usually lowered when the quantities ordered increase. However, this doesn’t mean that you can never get a lower price. Remember to ask the price and purchase a significant amount of one type of flower, even as much as a full box.
In order to sell this item within a reasonable amount of time, make it the “buy of the week” in your store to ensure that none of them will be wasted.
Above all, decide what you are going to sell on a day-to-day basis, Remember that you can go the full-service route or concentrate on specific events, and servicing banquets, weddings and funerals is quite different from handling home deliveries for special occasions and holidays.
In addition, your inventory will be based on your area of specialization. Generally speaking, you will need ribbon, vases, floral foam, baskets stands, wreathes and frames.