Many florists start their careers for various reasons. Some begin after attending workshops and discovering a knack for it, some begin simply with their love of flowers, others begin to fill in their spare time, and many more. Regardless of your reasons, you can always use some help to boost your career as a newbie florist in town. Therefore, we wrote this article with all aspiring florists in mind.
Business basics for new florists
While floral arrangement is indeed about taste and creativity, it is also important for new florists to know some business basics in order to perform well in the wedding market. Let’s see some of the important factors you should take note of to get started well.
- Study the business
Just like any other business, you need to know how to manage your business as well as how to do the math. Find out what are the tools you need for the business, where the local flower suppliers are, how to keep your cost reasonable, when to run a promotion, and how to price your flowers among many other information.
- Learn the techniques
Floral designing is about creativity, artistic direction, and knowledge of the flower & wedding industry itself. Know the technical aspects so you can grow your business assuredly by reading books, attending floral design school or workshops, learning from established florists, and talking to vendors outside of your field.
- Identify your niche
Fiona Treadwell of Fiona Treadwell Floristry recommend every aspiring wedding florist “to recognize the you want to go for” and use it as your selling point. The other option is to explore a whole new to set apart your products from the other florists.
- Start your day early
The early bird catches the worm. If you buy flowers from the flower market, wake up early before it gets crowded so you can find the best stems and get enough stock. Build a good relationship with the store owners in case you need to make special or last-minute orders.
- Market yourself
A brick-and-mortar store gets you noticed as people pass by every now and then, but make sure to reach out to your friends and colleagues, use social media, create a website, join a directory for wedding vendors, and go to a wedding fair. Put your brand, skills, and pictures of your works out there because people need flowers for more occasions that you could think of. Don’t be shy in marketing yourself.
- Practice and be brave
No arrangement is too small so practice even at home for yourself or your parents and siblings to amplify your experience and confidence. You might be worried about the opportunities and progress of your business, but the longer you are in the field the more you would know. Explore because you do not know what you do not know.
What makes a client say “Yes” to your service?
Since your prospective clients are hiring you for a very important day, they are likely more wary and detailed when choosing vendors. Take a look at these four elements to book your next clients!
Prospective clients surely wants to see your past works before making further decisions. Style is important because it is the first thing they see to decide if you could translate their visions. “Learn to have your own style quickly, it is what defines your business”, advised Treadwell.
As a new florist, finding clients can be both easy and difficult. Grow your business organically by offering your service to family and friends for free first to let them see your works and promote it to their own circle. Use social media to post your works and clients testimonials to build credibility and reach more prospective clients.
Practice makes perfect. Constantly practice your arrangement skills so you can explore new design ideas and avoid looking boring to clients. Learn the name of flowers and what they look like because your knowledge is a reflection of your passion in this business. Also, make time to practice your verbal skills so you can confidently communicate your ideas to clients or other vendors you are working together with.
Wedding planning is stressful enough as it is, so no clients would like to meet a less-than-friendly vendor. Not to say you cannot have a bad day, but make it a point to not bring your problems to work because it can negatively affect your engagement efforts. A tip from us: find a place a relaxing ambience to provide a quick relief for yourself and to entertain the client.
What should you do after the first inquiry?
Make it a habit to meet the prospective clients first after receiving the first inquiry. If they cannot meet you in person, use other options such as video call to talk over their dream wedding and budgets. After that, you can proceed with text-based conversations and more in-person meeting, as long as the initial concept has been talked through.
When you meet a prospective client, here are a few information you need to collect:
- The wedding date: This is important to check your availability and the choices of flowers in that season. This would also help you set a base price later on.
- The personality, inspiration, and theme: Find your clients’ favourite style, their personality, and the theme they are going for. From here, draw an inspiration board to visualise the arrangements and the flowers.
- The venue: Indoor or outdoor? Humid or dry? Knowledge of these is important because you want the flowers to stay longer.
- The budget: Sometimes what your clients want may require high costs. By knowing their budget, you can come up with ideas that match their visions.
While these tips are written for new florists, they should be useful even until you have an established brand under your belt. Meanwhile, let us know how you run your business and how you overcome the struggles!