Florists sell plants, flower arrangements and even gifts. Such professionals must be creative and talented, but also attentive to detail and able to deliver good customer service. Since people buy flowers throughout the year for various occasions, from weddings to anniversaries and funerals, florist shops can be very profitable. If you have a love for flowers, know how to make beautiful arrangements and want to become an entrepreneur, starting a florist shop may be the ideal venture.
Learn how to make floral arrangements and care for flowers, if you do not already know how to do so. Contact your local florist association or hobby supply store to see if they offer classes. You can also read books, look at Internet videos or work in a florist shop to gain the knowledge you will need.
Step 2Target a niche for your florist business. For instance, you can decide to only use eco-friendly materials, specialize in weddings, focus on making gift deliveries or open an all-occasion florist shop.
Step 3Generate a name for your florist shop that is as descriptive of your niche as possible. For instance, if you open an eco-friendly florist shop, the name “Green Blooms Florist” would be appropriate, as would the name “Sustainably Beautiful Flowers.”
Step 4Obtain the permits needed in your area to start a retail business. This may include a resale permit, fictitious name certificate (DBA) or state Tax Identification Number.
Step 5Contact your local department of transportation to see if your will need a commercial driver license, if you plan to make deliveries. The requirements and fees for commercial driver licenses vary by state.
Step 6Lease a storefront for your florist shop. Alternatively, you may be able to work from home if you plan to make deliveries and have enough space for all your supplies.
Step 7Buy wholesale flowers, a cooler, vases, greenery, floral foam and other needed equipment from a floral supply distributor. Buying wholesale will save you money, as opposed to buying retail at a craft or hobby supply store.
Step 8Develop a list of services and arrangements to offer your customers. Doing so is especially important for all-occasion florists and those who plan to deliver orders.
Step 9Join a professional industry association, such as the Retail Florist Association, to gain continuing education, learn industry tips and connect with suppliers. The cost of your membership can typically be deducted from your taxes.
Step 10Market your new florist in Greenville SC. Place ads in bridal magazines or become a vendor at your local bridal show, distribute coupons to local hospitals and business offices, launch a promotional website, and list your shop in online and print business directories.