Every business needs a business plan. It gets all those juicy ideas out of your head and on paper – trust me when I say it’s important to do this since the ideas in your head may not make sense when you see them on paper. A business plan outlines the identity of your business and your financial goals for your business. It helps you get investment or loans and is ultimately your roadmap of where you want to go.
Before opening your flower shop business, you need to write a business plan. You will want to come back to it when things get overwhelming and there is so much going on and you realize you don’t know. It will help you remember why you went into the flower business in the first place and where you ultimately want it to go.
A flower shop business plan includes:
- Executive summary
- Business overview
- Legal structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC)
- Overview of the floral industry
- Description of potential customers and the size of your potential customer base
- Marketing strategy and how you will meet the market needs
- Market research of your florist competitors (both direct – retail florists and indirect – supermarkets)
- Description of your shop location, business hours, and retail store layout / online operations
- Overview of the business owners, business partners, and suppliers to your flower shop
- Employee plan
- Key performance indicators and business goals
- Financial assumptions – costs to start your flower shop, explanation of your source of income, annual sales, operating expenses, monthly payments, etc.
- Financial statements (pro forma balance sheet, income statement (also called a profit and loss statement), and cash flow projections. This is a really important section for any business owner since it will help show the potential profitability of your flower shop business. In some cases, the numbers won’t let you make enough money to pay your bills. Better to find that out now and not after you quit your well-paying day job. You will also use the business plan to help you make the necessary financial calculations, allocate your resources, and make just about every decision along the way.
Because it is a plan outlining every detail of your new business and how you will repay borrowed money, a good financial plan is a crucial part of any flower shop loan application.
It also is the basis for good leadership for yourself or your manager and your employees. For help on writing a business plan, see the starting a business section of the Small Business Administration’s web site for a blank template. There are also flower shop business plan templates you can use to get started from LivePlan.
Don’t get bogged down by the details at first. You may not even have the answers yet for many of the sections and that’s ok, that’s what the business plan is for. It’s better to learn this on paper and not after you pay on a 12-month lease on a building that you can’t open because you forgot to get your licensing in place. Start with an outline of your proposed business, and stick to the basics. Create broad topics such as Market, Facilities, Staffing, Insurance, Advertising, etc. Then you can shuffle the cards and add details as you learn them. Before long, you’ll have a pretty good picture of your new flower shop. When it comes time to put the business plan into writing for your bank or for a lending organization, you’ll have most of the information at hand.