So you are great at arranging flowers, found an excellent spot to put your shop but do you know how to advertise a flower shop? Getting people in the door is a very tough thing to accomplish but surprisingly many people don’t do the basics. The tips below are time tested and great ways to market your flower shop and help you thrive. If you are starting your shop, in addition to these tips you may want to consider some additional grand opening promotions to generate buzz in your community.
The most important thing to think about before you develop your advertising is to figure out your target market and what your niche is. Before setting off and preparing a marketing strategy on things you think will work, do some market research to improve your effectiveness. While you may see yourself as a flower shop and you may indeed sell to everyone in the market, you need to have a niche to set yourself apart from the competition. More than likely you have a particular skill that is above and beyond anyone else. Once you have your “secret sauce” it’s time to build your marketing around it.
Here are some marketing ideas to help you form your marketing strategy:
Flyers – Look into having some professional flyers made to send out to funeral homes, wedding shops, and hospitals. Professionally made, I often hear, I can’t afford that? You won’t believe how many people think they can make a flyer on Publisher that looks terrible is a good thing. You only get to make one first impression for your floral business, so make it professional. You are in a business that depends on things looking nice so be sure your marketing does too. Figure on $500 to have a nice flyer designed and an additional $300 or so color copies to get started.
Signage – You will also need a sign for your building. A decent sign will run from $1,000 – $5,000 in most cases.
Samples – Next, set aside some money to send a nice basket of flowers to obvious referral sources such as local funeral homes, wedding shops, wedding photographers, wedding/event coordinators, and hospital chaplains. Another place to send flowers to is your local Chamber of Commerce for their monthly meeting as you will have prominent and engaged business people that will see your flowers. Figure on $500 – $1,000 in these baskets which will gain you a lot of recognition. Sampling is a powerful technique and this minimal investment upfront will pay you back for years to come. Be sure to follow up with a phone call to see if they got them and if there are opportunities to work together.
Online – People don’t use the phonebook as much anymore so it’s important to have an online presence. Get a basic website, list your location with the Google and Bing business listings, and consider social media outlets like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, only if you plan to be active.
The only cost is for the website and your time. A web host at a minimum will cost you $100 a year and free platforms such as WordPress, Wix and Google’s free websites are great starts. If this intimidates you, find someone who can create a clean listing with lots of photos. Please don’t make a busy looking site. Clean and lots of photos of your work will be all you need to bring in customers. Web developers can cost between $500 – $2,000. It’s important to clearly communicate what you want so before meeting with someone, go online and search other flower shops to find some designs you like and copy them. Cost between $100 and $2,100.
Since your website will be new, consider paying display ads to get exposure in the search results. Google Ads are probably the most popular due to the sheer number of people using the platform, but you can also look to others.
Reviews – Having positive reviews of your flower shop is critical as many people search for reviews before setting foot in your door. Bad reviews are going to happen, but it’s how you deal with these that is important. Respond to every review, both positive and negative, and for the cost of only a few minutes of your time, you will slowly become a trusted shop.
Phonebook – Even though this is a dying channel, you almost can’t go without it. Go with the cheapest business listing and keep the upsell to a minimum as they are rarely effective. Figure on $600 – $1,500 a year for your listing if you keep it basic.
Newspaper – Newspaper is also having a decline in viewership but to start with you may consider advertising here too. If it’s available, try to place your ads in the obituary or wedding announcement section as people will be more likely to consider sending flowers at these times. Costs will vary greatly but figure on $500 – $1,000 in most markets to advertise monthly.
Tradeshows – If your community has bridal shows, look into getting a booth and setting up some flower displays and having flyers to pass out. Booth space generally runs $300 – $1,500 depending on the size of your community, displays $200 and flyers $300 for a total of between $800 – $2,000.
Skimping on advertising your flower shop will typically make it difficult to get your name into the community. If you can’t afford to spend a decent amount of money, you may want to reconsider starting in this business If potential customers don’t know you exist, your business won’t last long.