How to Start a Flower Shop

Written by Dave Lavinsky

start a flower shop

Starting a flower shop can be very profitable. With proper planning, execution and hard work, you can enjoy great success. Below you will learn the keys to launching a successful flower shop.

Importantly, a critical step in starting a flower shop is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template here.

14 Steps To Start a Flower Shop:

  1. Choose the Name for Your Flower Shop
  2. Develop Your Flower Shop Business Plan
  3. Choose the Legal Structure for Your Flower Shop
  4. Secure Startup Funding for Your Flower Shop (If Needed)
  5. Secure a Location for Your Business
  6. Register Your Flower Shop with the IRS
  7. Open a Business Bank Account
  8. Get a Business Credit Card
  9. Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
  10. Get Business Insurance for Your Flower Shop
  11. Buy or Lease the Right Flower Shop Equipment
  12. Develop Your Flower Shop Marketing Materials
  13. Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Flower Shop
  14. Open for Business


1. Choose the Name for Your Flower Shop

One of the first things you need to do prior to opening a flower shop is to choose your business’ name.  

This is a very important choice since your company name is your brand and will last for the lifetime of your business. Ideally you choose a name that is meaningful and memorable. Here are some tips for choosing a name for your own flower shop:

  1. Make sure the name is available. Check your desired name against trademark databases and your state’s list of registered business names to see if it’s available. Also check to see if a suitable domain name is available.
  2. Keep it simple. The best names are usually ones that are easy to remember, pronounce and spell.
  3. Think about marketing. Come up with a name that reflects the desired brand and/or focus of your own shop.


2. Develop Your Flower Shop Business Plan

One of the most important steps in starting a flower shop is to develop your flower shop business plan. The process of creating your plan ensures that you fully understand your market and your business strategy. The plan also provides you with a roadmap to follow and if needed, to present to funding sources to raise capital for your business.

Your business plan should include the following sections:

  1. Executive Summary – this section should summarize your entire business plan so readers can quickly understand the key details of your flower shop.
  2. Company Overview – this section tells the reader about the history of your flower shop and what type of flower shop you operate. For example, are you a standalone flower shop, a flower section in a grocery store or supermarket, or a floral department in a general merchandise store?
  3. Industry Analysis – here you will document key information about the floral industry. Conduct market research and document how big the industry is and what trends are affecting it.
  4. Customer Analysis – in this section, you will document who your ideal or target market are and their demographics. For example, how old are they? Where do they live? What do they find important when purchasing products or services like the ones you will offer?
  5. Competitive Analysis – here you will document the key direct and indirect competitors you will face and how you will build competitive advantage.
  6. Marketing Plan – your marketing plan should address the 4Ps: Product, Price, Promotions and Place.
    • Product: Determine and document what products/services you will offer 
    • Prices: Document the prices of your products/services
    • Place: Where will your business be located and how will that location help you increase sales?
    • Promotions: What promotional methods will you use to attract customers to your flower shop? For example, you might decide to use pay-per-click advertising, public relations, search engine optimization and/or social media marketing.
  1. Operations Plan – here you will determine the key processes you will need to run your day-to-day operations. You will also determine your staffing needs. Finally, in this section of your plan, you will create a projected growth timeline showing the milestones you hope to achieve in the coming years.
  2. Management Team – this section details the background of your company’s management team.
  3. Financial Plan – finally, the financial plan answers questions including the following:
    • What startup costs will you incur?
    • How will your flower shop make money?
    • What are your projected sales and expenses for the next five years?
    • Do you need to raise funding to launch your business?

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3. Choose the Legal Structure for Your Flower Shop

Next you need to choose a legal structure for your flower shop and register it and your business name with the Secretary of State in each state where you operate your business.

Below are the five most common legal structures:

1) Sole proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is a business entity in which the flower shop owner and the business are the same legal person. The owner of a sole proprietorship is responsible for all debts and obligations of the business. There are no formalities required to establish a sole proprietorship, and it is easy to set up and operate. The main advantage of a sole proprietorship is that it is simple and inexpensive to establish. The main disadvantage is that the owner is liable for all debts and obligations of the business.

2) Partnerships

A partnership is a legal structure that is popular among small business owners. It is an agreement between two or more people who want to start a flower business together. The partners share in the profits and losses of the business. 

The advantages of a partnership are that it is easy to set up, and the partners share in the profits and losses of the business. The disadvantages of a partnership are that the partners are jointly liable for the debts of the business, and disagreements between partners can be difficult to resolve.

3) Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A limited liability company, or LLC, is a type of business entity that provides limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners of an LLC are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The advantages of an LLC for a flower shop include flexibility in management, pass-through taxation (avoids double taxation as explained below), and limited personal liability. The disadvantages of an LLC include lack of availability in some states and self-employment taxes.

4) C Corporation

A C Corporation is a business entity that is separate from its owners. It has its own tax ID and can have shareholders. The main advantage of a C Corporation for a flower shop is that it offers limited liability to its owners. This means that the flower shop owners are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The disadvantage is that C Corporations are subject to double taxation. This means that the corporation pays taxes on its profits, and the shareholders also pay taxes on their dividends.

5) S Corporation

An S Corporation is a type of corporation that provides its owners with limited liability protection and allows them to pass their business income through to their personal income tax returns, thus avoiding double taxation. There are several limitations on S Corporations including the number of shareholders they can have among others.

Once you register your flower shop, your state will send you your official “Articles of Incorporation.” You will need this among other documentation when establishing your banking account (see below). We recommend that you consult an attorney in determining which legal structure is best suited for your company.

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4. Secure Startup Funding for Your Flower Shop (If Needed)

In developing your flower shop business plan, you might have determined that you need to raise funding to launch your business. 

If so, the main sources of funding for a flower shop to consider are personal savings, family and friends, credit card financing, bank loans, crowdfunding and angel investors. Angel investors are individuals who provide capital to early-stage businesses. Angel investors typically will invest in a flower shop that they believe has high potential for growth.


5. Secure a Location for Your Business

When opening a floral business, you’ll need to find a good location for your shop. Here are some tips on how to find the right spot:

  1. Look for a high-traffic area with plenty of foot traffic. This will help ensure that you get a lot of customers walking in your door.
  2. Try to find a spot that’s close to other businesses, especially other retailers. Being centrally located in a cluster of businesses in the same area can draw in more customers.
  3. Make sure the space is big enough to accommodate your flower shop. You’ll need room to display your flowers, as well as space for your employees to work.

These are some good things to look for when scouting out a location. If you follow these tips, you’ll find a great place for your flower shop before long.


6. Register Your Flower Shop with the IRS

Next, you need to register your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which will result in the IRS issuing you an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Most banks will require you to have an EIN in order to open up an account. In addition, in order to hire employees, you will need an EIN since that is how the IRS tracks your payroll tax payments.

Note that if you are a sole proprietor without employees, you generally do not need to get an EIN. Rather, you would use your social security number (instead of your EIN) as your taxpayer identification number.


7. Open a Business Bank Account

It is important to establish a bank account in your flower shop’ name. This process is fairly simple and involves the following steps:

  1. Identify and contact the bank you want to use
  2. Gather and present the required documents (generally include your company’s Articles of Incorporation, driver’s license or passport, and proof of address)
  3. Complete the bank’s application form and provide all relevant information
  4. Meet with a banker to discuss your business needs and establish a relationship with them
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8. Get a Business Credit Card

You should get a business credit card for your flower shop to help you separate personal and business expenses.

You can either apply for a business credit card through your bank or apply for one through a credit card company.

When you’re applying for a business credit card, you’ll need to provide some information about your business. This includes the name of your business, the address of your business, and the type of business you’re running. You’ll also need to provide some information about yourself, including your name, Social Security number, and date of birth.

Once you’ve been approved for a business credit card, you’ll be able to use it to make purchases for your business. You can also use it to build your credit history which could be very important in securing loans and getting credit lines for your business in the future.


9. Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits

A business license is required to start a flower shop. Other permits and licenses may be required depending on the state in which you operate the business.

Nearly all states, counties and/or cities have license requirements including:

  • General Business License: getting your Articles of Incorporation as discussed above
  • Sales Tax License or Seller’s Permit: for selling products
  • Zoning Approval: typically at the city or county level, this provides authorization for construction or use of a building or land for a particular purpose
  • Fire Department Approval: a process by which the local fire department reviews and approves the installation of a fire alarm system.


10. Get Business Insurance for Your Flower Shop

To operate a floral shop, you need business insurance. This will protect your business in case of accidents or theft.

Other business insurance policies that you should consider for your flower shop include:

  • General liability insurance: This covers accidents and injuries that occur on your property. It also covers damages caused by your employees or products.
  • Auto insurance: If a vehicle is used in your business such as for delivery of orders, this type of insurance will cover if a vehicle is damaged or stolen.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: If you have employees, this type of policy works with your general liability policy to protect against workplace injuries and accidents. It also covers medical expenses and lost wages.
  • Commercial property insurance: This covers damage to your property caused by fire, theft, or vandalism.
  • Business interruption insurance: This covers lost income and expenses if your business is forced to close due to a covered event.
  • Professional liability insurance: This protects your business against claims of professional negligence.

Find an insurance agent, tell them about your business and its needs, and they will recommend policies that fit those needs.


11. Buy or Lease the Right Flower Shop Equipment

To start a flower shop, you will need some essential equipment. You will need a display case to showcase your fresh flowers, a refrigerator to store perishable items, a sink, and shelving to store supplies. You will also need a cash register, credit card machine, and computer with internet access.


12. Develop Your Flower Shop Marketing Materials

Marketing materials will be required to attract and retain customers to your flower shop.

The key marketing materials you will need are as follows:

  1. Logo: Spend some time developing a good logo for your flower shop. Your logo will be printed on company stationery, business cards, marketing materials and so forth. The right logo can increase customer trust and awareness of your brand.
  2. Website: Likewise, a professional flower shop website provides potential customers with information about the products and/or services you offer, your company’s history, and contact information. Importantly, remember that the look and feel of your website will affect how customers perceive you.
  3. Social Media Accounts: establish social media accounts in your company’s name. Accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or other social media networks will help customers and others find and interact with your flower shop.


13. Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Flower Shop

The software necessary to run a flower shop includes a point of sale (POS) system, inventory management software, and a website builder. 

The POS system is used to manage transactions within the store, handle customer service issues, and track inventory. This software typically interfaces with equipment in the store such as cash registers and credit/debit card machines. There are several good POS systems available such as ShopKeep, Vend, and Square.

Inventory management software is used to monitor the number of items in stock, backorders, processing time, and deliveries. Some systems are stand-alone while others are integrated within the POS system. There are many different types of inventory software available to meet different needs. Inventory software can be expensive and it is important to compare features and prices before purchasing.

If you want to open an online store, a website builder will be required. There are many companies that provide this service such as Shutterfly, Wix, and Squarespace. These services can provide all the necessary tools for you to create a branded presence online. You can also sell through sites such as eBay, Etsy, or Amazon.


14. Open for Business

You are now ready to open your flower shop. If you followed the steps above, you should be in a great position to build a successful business. Below are answers to frequently asked questions that might further help you.


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How to Start a Flower Shop FAQs

No, it's not hard to start a flower shop. You just need to find a good location, have a solid business plan, and make sure you have the capital to get started.

Flower shops are a great business to start if you have no experience. They're relatively low-cost to start, and there's a lot of room for creativity in the design of your shop. You'll need to find a location for your shop, and then stock it with flowers, plants, and related items. You can also offer services such as flower delivery and flower arrangements for special occasions.

The most profitable type of retail flower business is a specialty flower shop. Specialty flower shops tend to be more profitable than traditional grocery stores or pharmacies that sell flowers because specialty flower shops typically charge more for their flowers and have lower overhead costs. For example, a specialty flower shop may employ only 1-2 people at the store, whereas grocery stores or pharmacies selling flowers tend to require more employees. As a result, the cost of goods sold (COGS) is also typically lower at a specialty shop.

Because the floral market is highly fragmented, many specialty shops benefit from having little competition in their geographic area. These flower shops can sell items at a higher price point compared to other flower retailers such as those located within grocery stores or supermarkets. 

The initial investment to open a flower shop depends on several factors, such as how elaborate your display cases and other equipment will be. You can expect to pay roughly $8,000 for a minimal setup of just a few basic pieces of equipment. You'll need to purchase a variety of flowers, floral supplies, and equipment. You'll also need to factor in the cost of renting or purchasing a retail space, as well as marketing and advertising your business.

If you are willing to spend about $20,000 to $30,000 on your setup, you can purchase some items outright and finance others using a small-business loan.

In general, the monthly expenses for a flower shop can include the following:

-Rental or lease costs

-Utilities, such as electricity, water, and heat

-Inventory of flowers and plants

-Floral supplies

-Labor costs

-Marketing and advertising expenses

-Business insurance

-Internet and other miscellaneous expenses

The flower shop makes money by selling flowers. They may also sell other items, such as cards or vases, but the main source of income is from flowers.

They may also offer services such as flower delivery. To ensure long-term success, local flower shops should distinguish themselves from competitors by choosing a unique product or service to offer.

Yes, flower shops are profitable because they offer a product that is in demand for special occasions throughout the year. People need flowers for special occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, parties, etc., and flower shops are often the only place to get them. This means that people are willing to pay a premium for flowers, which makes owning a flower shop profitable.

There are a number of reasons why many flower shops fail. One reason is that the shop might not be able to compete with the prices of the larger chains. Another reason might be that the shop doesn't have a good marketing strategy. Finally, the flower shop may be located in an area that is out of the way for customers or where there are already a lot of other flower shops.


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