Here are ten very profitable tips to get a flower shop off and running. A business of any kind takes much hard work and patience to get established in your community. Every little way to keep your name out there will help. Just always be honest, friendly, and genuine in your business communications. Follow these tips and you will be in the public interest in no time.
1. Have a toll-free telephone number. Toll-free numbers can increase response from out-of-town customers greatly. Put it on your business cards, on your web site, and in your advertisements.
2. Give excellent customer service to your floral customers. Always go beyond customer expectation. Add extra touches and extra flowers. The extra you put into an order can be thought of as advertising and good customer relations.
3. Write a column for a local publication. You can tell them you will do it for free. In return, request that they agree to recognize your business, your phone number and website. This will give you free advertising, plus you will begin to be recognized as expert in the floral business, plants, fresh flowers and such. Agree on how often you will write.
4. Newspaper advertising is still a good way to advertise. The power is in recurrence and repetition. Make an ad that stands out. It does not have to be big. Just make sure it appears on a weekly basis.
5. Take the time to check on your competition on a regular basis. Ask yourself how you measure up. Do you feel like your flower shop is comparable, or even better? This can be an abundant source of inspiration.
6. Make a bond with each of your floral customers. There are two types of bonds you can make. There is the human bond and the business bond. Most marketing is focused on the business bond. However reverse that. Create a bond with your customers by first getting to know them. You can do that by listening. Many floral customers call a particular florist because they know the florist knows them and is therefore confident that their flower purchase will be unsurpassed.
7. You want to be careful on this one. Offer installment plans on larger purchases. This technique will get people in your flower shop to buy, but you must have a good idea you will get your money. You could ask for one-third at the time of purchase, then the rest in two installment payments. The one-third will cover the cost of your materials that you have to buy up front. The other two payments can be profit. Be careful. This will get people in your flower shop, but a customer is not worth having if they do not pay their bills. They are only costing you money.
8. Make a marketing plan and a budget for one year at a time. This will prevent monetary and purchasing emergencies. It will make purchasing inventory for your flower shop easier. You will know where you stand at all times. This will help keep your doors open.
9. Be aware of your telephone demeanor. For a floral shop much of their business is done by telephone. Established clients will just call you instead of coming into the store. These calls need your full attention. Use a pleasant voice. Let them know you will do anything for them. Assure them their floral order is in good hands. How you answer your business phone is extremely important.
10. Quality is vital in the flower business. Your perishable inventory must be fresh. Sending out old flowers that will die in two days is the quickest way to kill your floral business. The best way to get your shop commended and much-admired is to offer only the freshest flowers. Keeping fresh, fresh, fresh beautiful flowers in stock may cost you a bit more, but that extra expense can be viewed as advertising. The word of mouth advertising that you will receive is the best kind of advertising for a small business such as a flower shop.