Profitable Flower Business

Profitable Flower Business: 10 Steps to Setting Up Your Flower Shop

Looking for a step by step guide on how to set up a profitable flower business? Here's my 10-step guide to getting your flower shop set up and running.

Hitting Reset to Create a Profitable Flower Business

I'm not gonna lie, I've been thinking a lot about the idea of going back and having the ultimate 'do over'. The idea of being able to take all of my experience and expertise and go back to Day 1 of Little Bird Bloom. It's so fun to think about and I thought it might be helpful for you too.

Feel free to use this post as a guide, a roadmap and a blueprint for setting up a profitable flower business. And no doubt, it will be helpful if you're brand new. But it might also inspire those of you who are a few years (or decades) into slinging flowers for a living.

In this blog post, I'm going to map out my 10-step plan for setting up a flower shop from the very very beginning.

One caveat before I get into the details: I'm not going to talk about any of the accounting, legal or insurance details because that is 100% dependent on your state and country requirements.

Enlist the help of a professional to help you walk through all the details and don't be shy about Googling all your questions to familiarise yourself with business structures and terminology. (I found this bit really helpful cause it takes some of the intimidation and "I don't know anything" out of the equation.)

Profitable Flower Business: Basic Business Plan

Now, y'all know I'm all for keeping things simple.

It's so easy for us to get overwhelmed and inundated with details – but as helpful as some business plans are, I also find they miss the mark in their purpose. It's easy to get wrapped up in the details and miss the big picture.

Now, I ain't no mathematician but I do find a little bit of math in the early stages of business planning is super duper helpful to paint the picture of where we're going. It's my #1 way of setting the goalposts and bringing focus to our efforts.

If I'm honest, when we first started Little Bird Bloom, I wish I had done more math. I wish I had done this one equation to help me understand the scale and scope of what I was trying to create.

Also, this exercise is particularly helpful if your goal is to earn a full-time better-than-average income from this work.

Here's my super simple approach to basic business planning for florists:

  1. What do you want your after-tax personal income to be?
  2. Multiply that by five to get your business' revenue goal.

Yes. It can be that straightforward to map out a plan forward.

So, for example, let's say you want to bring home $100,000 in after-tax income. That means your business' revenue goal needs to be $500,000. If you want your after-tax personal income to be $50,000, then your business' revenue goal is $250,000.

From there, we can take that revenue goal, divide it by an average order value and that gives us a sense of how many orders we need to generate in a year to reach our sales target.

So, if we take that $250,000 and assume our average order will be $150. We need to generate 1667 orders a year or 139 orders per month (or 32 orders per week).

(Please remember, this isn't formal financial advice. This is just a simple bit of math to help us paint the scope of our task ahead. Talk to a financial planner or accountant for expert info specific to your needs.)

The thing about this one bit of math that I find so helpful is that it shows us how big we need to be thinking.

When we first set up Little Bird Bloom, I was excited when we got a handful of orders per week. But this one bit of math shows me just how small I was thinking. Showing up with the goal of creating 32 orders per week creates a totally different energy as compared to my "I'll just be grateful for my 2-3 orders per week" and trying to convince yourself day after day after day to be grateful for what you've got.

How to Set Up a Profitable Flower Business: 10 Steps to Success

OK, so with that bit of math under our belt, we can start to map out an action plan, go through 10 steps to getting those orders, getting customers and making it happen. In order, here's exactly what I would focus on first:

  1. Name Your Business – check out URLs, explore Instagram handles and do your research to see if your preferred name is available. Then, go in and claim all the social media handles, buy your domain name etc.
  2. Google Business Listing – as soon as you have your name sorted, go in and set up your listing on Google Maps. It takes a few weeks to have your listing verified by Google so jump on this one early (and yes, you can have a listing without a physical shop front).
  3. Define Your Vibe + Get Your Branding Sorted – if you're part of my Flower Boss Bootcamp, you know how powerful your brand is in attracting high-value clients. Your brand board sets the foundation for your visual identity, packaging, and overall vibe for your business so I like to start on this early in the process because it makes the rest of the decisions really simple.
  4. Visit Your Wholesalers Regularly – no doubt, they're not really going to pay much attention to you but I find getting in the habit of going every week is really helpful. It gets you more comfortable with the experience, gives you the opportunity to see what's in season and gets you in the routine of the commute there and back. The more often you go, the less intimidating the whole experience will feel.
  5. Set Up Your Website + Online Catalogue – inside Flower Boss Bootcamp we give you the exact framework to follow, SEO guidelines and talk you through the product strategy for your catalogue. (Yep!! It's all there waiting for you to join us). Or, you can follow this blog post as a place to start if you're looking for tips on getting your online catalogue sorted.
  6. Photograph Your Designs + Capture Content for Social Media – this is going to take you a long time in the beginning. Trying to figure out lighting, photo editing and all the things is another set of skills to master, but I promise you, it does get easier (and more enjoyable) the more you do it!! Give yourself lots of time and room to figure it out.
  7. Push Your Website Live + Set up Google Ads – Google Ads is how you're going to get the volume you need to reach that revenue goal. Along with the right online catalogue offering it's the best way to increase your order volume.
  8. Set up Instagram Shopping – most website platforms make this bit really simple but don't be shy about using YouTube to learn how to do this (that's how I've learned everything I know about building websites). I've learned so much from random strangers on YouTube when it comes to website stuff.
  9. Research Relevant Hashtags for Instagram – the magic with Instagram is that it's not your followers who are going to be your first customers. It's people who find you through relevant hashtags. And, because you've got your online catalogue set up on Instagram Shopping, you'll increase your conversion rates because you're making it really easy for your customers to buy from you.
  10. Post to Social Media Regularly – Make it your goal to stories 5-6 days per week and post to your Instagram feed 3-4 times per week. Be sure to include your hashtags in your posts as this is how you're going to get found by the right customers at the right time.

Need help getting started with your website? Check out this tutorial on YouTube: Getting Started with WordPress https://youtu.be/n_NuZsjJoHA

Another Note about Setting Up a Profitable Flower Business

I used to believe you had to have a physical shopfront to run a legitimate flower business. Turns out that's not true at all (particularly these days, given the last two years of changing customer behaviour).

If having a retail space is on your wish list, that's awesome! If it's not, that's awesome too.

Either way, I'd still suggest you go through these 10 steps before you get too far into the logistics of getting a short front sorted. (That's what I wish I had done so y'all can learn from my mistakes.)

These days, your online presence is how you're going to get the volume you need to reach your revenue goal and getting that sorted before your pour your heart into a shot fit out is really really helpful.

I know there is a lot to think through and that's why, on this week's podcast episode, I'm going through all of this in more detail, talking through the exact steps I'd follow if I could back to the beginning and start a profitable flower business from $0.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode, You'll Learn:

What to prioritise when it comes to setting up a profitable flower business

The biggest mistakes we made early on in our business and what I would do if I could hit 'reset' to start over in 2022

My exact approach to setting up a profitable flower shop – starting from $0

The right order to navigate these 10 steps and how to make it easier to take action

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

Enjoy the Show?

florist business plan 2022

Florist Business Plan for 2022

Business planning sounds boring, doesn't it? I totally get it. The idea of creating a florist business plan for 2022 makes you want to run screaming the other direction. Like one of those, can-I-please-poke-my-eyes-out-with-a-hot-skewer-instead sort of activities.

And if you Google "Florist Business Plan for 2022", it gets worse. All you're presented with is these epically long documents and heaps of questions to fill in.

That's precisely why I wanted to put together this blog post, to show you how simple business planning for your flower business can be.

Business Planning for Florists Doesn't Need to Be Hard

99% of the reason we resist planning is that it feels totally overwhelming and a lot of work for not a lot of impact. It's so much easier to just keep going with what you've been doing and hope the rest sorts itself out, right?

We tell ourselves to just keep doing stuff, filling our time, posting to Instagram with no plan, making random updates to our websites and just basically checking all the things off the list...but not seeing the results you really want to create in your flower business.

"If you don't know where you're going, any path will get you there."
– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The single most powerful reason a business plan helps you grow your flower business is it encourages you to shift your perspective.

It's like a North Star for your flower business. It gives you focus and makes it easier for you to make more informed decisions about the way forward.

We're bombarded with messages on social media, encouraging us to be grateful for what we have. But when you hear the call to start your own business, it requires you to channel your ambition and dive, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone every day.

The shift here is to be grateful for what you have AND still feel the drive to want more. It's not an either-or sorta situation. It's an opportunity for 'yes and'.

Once you begin to articulate a handful of numbers and set a clear revenue goal, you'll see how big you need to start thinking – and you'll start to understand just how much your drive and ambition are going to serve you in growing your flowe business.

 

4 Simple Steps – Florist Business Plan for 2022

Yes, you can spend hours and days and months crafting the perfect business plan. But then you'll never get to work, taking action, evaluating your results and making progress.

Crafting the right business plan for your flower business is about finding a balance (your business, your rules, yeah?). No matter how you decide to approach planning for 2022, here are four fundamental topics to address:

  1. Your Annual Revenue Target
  2. Your Monthly (or Weekly) Target
  3. Obstacles to Making it Work
  4. Strategies to Make it Happen

Your Annual Revenue Target

In most cases, the reason florists fail to keep their doors open and call it quits is that their goals are either (1) non-existent or (2) too small.

This one little bit of math helps shift your thinking and realises you need to set your sights higher.

Let's do some super simple math. When it comes to setting a revenue target for your flower business, the very basic formula I like to follow is: Annual Revenue Target = personal income goal x 5 

Now, I am not a financial advisor or accountant but I find this simple formula helps provide clarity. If you want to bring home £40,000 a year, your business' revenue target is £200,000. If you want to earn $100,000 per year, your business's revenue target is $500,000. Yeah?

Monthly (or Weekly) Target

I find it really helpful to take the annual target and beak it down into a number I can wrap my head around. It's hard to imagine $500,000 but it's much easier to envision 8 orders a day, right?

Your monthly (or weekly) target is going to depend on what niche you're focused on. But here are two examples to help show you how to break it down:

Daily Flower Deliveries:
Target Average Order Value = $120, including delivery
Annual Sales Target $250,000
$250,000 / $120 = 2084 orders per year
2084 orders per year / 12 months = 174 orders per month
2084 orders per year / 52 weeks = 40 orders per week

Weddings:
Average Order Value = $5,000
Annual Sales Target $250,000
$250,000 / $5,000 = 50 weddings per year

Obstacles to Making it Work

This is where my approach to creating a florist business plan for 2022 diverts from others. I'm here to keep it super-duper simple so you can get clear on the road forward and start taking massive action.

As soon as you start playing around with the numbers, you're going to hear that little voice in your head come up with 1235 reasons why it's not possible, why you won't be able to make your revenue goal happen. That's normal. In fact, it's to be expected. (If you don't hear that voice, are you even human?)

The next step in crafting your business plan is to think about the obstacles to you creating this volume of sales in your flower business. Yes, there is going to be shiz you gotta overcome to make it work.

Where we get in our own way is that we are convinced nothing should go wrong, nothing should get in our way to make it happen and it should all be smooth sailing.

And then you hit your first hurdle and you use that as a reason to stop.

Don't do that.

When you take the time, in advance, to identify the obstacles to creating your revenue goal, you're not as shocked when you hit the obstacle. In fact, you know you're doing it right when XYZ obstacle pops up.

That's the value of this one exercise – it gives you the markers to move forward. It literally shows you where to focus your time and energy.

Strategies to Make it Happen

This is the definition of planning ahead. With each obstacle you've identified from above, think about what steps you can take to overcome that obstacle.

  • Not good with tech? Who can you enlist the help of to make it work?
  • Want to make time to take care of the family? How can you plan ahead and ensure you make time to also focus on growing your business?
  • Not good with numbers? Is there a piece of software, an app or another human who can make it easier on you?
  • Not comfortable with a certain mechanic or design style (and you really want to learn to make it), who can you learn from? How can you prioritise personal growth and intentional practice and still make progress in your business?

Remember, no one was born knowing all the things. Building a successful flower business requires you to learn a lot of things. Not just flower care, mechanics and colour theory. But also, SEO, marketing strategies, sales tactics, customer service, team leadership and more.

This approach saves you so much of the additional frustration, distractedness and overwhelm we experience when we're expecting our path to building a business should be easy.

Taking time to map out a plan, identify the obstacles and strategies to make it work gives you room to evaluate your options and sort through different ways forward.

Planning for 2022

When it comes to planning for my flower business, I like to do it in two shorter sessions. In hour one, I'll set an annual sales target and then a 90-day sales target and I map out the obstacles, the hurdles that I know will get in the way of making it happen. I then take a second session to map out my strategies forward.

Y'all thought your creativity was limited to your flowering. Good news – that's just the tip of the iceberg baby!

Just like design, planning is a process. And, as with everything I teach, I'm here to deal it to you straight and cut out the fluff. This approach works well for me so feel free to use it, and make it your own.

 

Want more FREE goodness?

Check out this recent blog post: How to Increase Sales – 3 Steps to Success (click here) 

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