09-08-2010, 01:34 PM
Do you want to become a florist?
Are you a newbie to the forum?
Are you thinking of setting up a business, whether it be from home or a shop?
One of our members, Floreo, has put together a few hints & tips for you to think about
Originally Posted by Floreo
Here's my usual post to folk wanting to open a shop.
I would question why you feel you need to take on the commitment of a shop when so many aren't making any money regardless of what rent they're paying. No one can tell you what the right rent is - your location, shop size and the local commercial property market will drive that.
Why not focus on what you appear to be good at - weddings - develop your website sales, avoid relays - you can do that yourself believe it or not and you keep control of your output plus get back orders from those to whom you deliver.
Here's my usual post [apologies for repeating it again], but let's start with costs:
Rent - first three months up front plus deposit possibly of up to 2 whole months.
Telephone installation and broadband.
Window blind if sunny location
Burglar alarm if dodgy location
Contingency fund A of 25% to allow for the fact you will have under budgeted on the above
Contingency fund B of 100% to allow for the fact you'll most probably not make a profit for 12 to 24 months at the earliest.
Moving on to another of regular posts for anyone thinking of starting up. . .
"I put this up today for someone else looking at opening a shop and it is just as relevant for you. Her overheads are £3K per month. You'll need to work out what yours might be.
If you are open 5.5 days a week, then allowing for 8 Bank Holidays, you will be open for a total of 278 days and if you are open from 9.00 to 5.30 that is 2,363 hours in a year.
If your overheads are £3,000 pcm that is £36,000 per annum.
Therefore you have to take £15.24 per hour or 25 pence per minute to pay the basics and that doesn't include the cost of flowers, foliage, plants, containers or other materials.
That is your challenge.
Do you know that the percentage of flower sales made through florists compared to on-line and supermarkets is falling year on year? Have you looked at these figures?
Have you looked on sites that sell businesses and seen how many florists are for sale?
Do you know who else is selling flowers and plants nearby? Post office? Card shops? Supermarkets? Garages? Yes they are probably rubbish but more and more buy on low price not quality or artistry.
Why is there no florist there now? Has there been one in the past? If yes, why isn't it there now?
And how good is the competition? Three miles is nothing! They've probably been covering "your patch" for years so why would anyone change to you?
Have you got local funeral directors? Who are they tied up with? This area is incestuous, rips off mourners and generally sucks as you'll find out if you do your research on here.
Are there local hotels and other wedding venues? Who is doing their flowers on a day by day basis and who is doing the weddings?
Are there corporate opportunities locally?
How far out will you deliver? What are your delivery charges? How do they compare with your competitors?
Where are you going to advertise? How much can you afford to spend? How will you track the return? What can you do to get free publicity in local press/radio? How will you sustain that interest? What is your 12 month plan? What wedding fairs will you go to?
How will you attract the local church flower ladies?
Have you got a web site?
Will you do relay? Why when you can't control output quality and you can delvier your own flowers in the UK.
Have you decided what your house style is going to be?
Who are your customers? Do you really know what they want?
Are you and the person you want to employ good enough?
Who will supply you with your flowers and plants? And sundries? How do you know what their quality is? Who are the Flying Dutchmen in your area? Have you looked at Metz?
Are you aware of the requirements when you need to register for VAT?
How much could you afford to lose in Year 1 if it doesn't take of? Or rather, how much could you afford to lose if you had to run the lease to the end of the first 18 months? Lots of people haven't taken any money out of their business in the early days.
And why do you think so many shops in so many towns are empty? People are cutting back in a recession that is rapidly moving into a depression and flowers are one of the first things they cut back on. What is going to make your shop buck the trend?
These are all harsh questions deliberately designed to make you stop and think and I make no apology for that though others may have a pop at me for doing so.
Floristry is very hard work and it is also hard to keep the creative juices going too. There's no quick profit.
But if you've got the answers to everything above - and more - then you're probably ready to take the plunge.
Good luck. You will need it.