What markets exist in your community and who is your target customer?
First things first.
Before you invest time, money and energy into opening a flower shop, first, make sure there is a market for your flowers. In other words, take time to think about who your potential customers will be, how much of what they will buy, and when.
Answer these questions:
- How many consumers are there in your marketplace?
- What is their income?
- How old are they?
- What do they do for a living?
- Where do they live?
- Are they professionals, families, college students, seniors, etc?
- Are they likely to buy by phone, in person, or over the Internet?
- Which social media channel does your target market prefer?
- How often do your target customers buy flowers?
- On what occasions?
- How much will they spend in each case?
- Are flowers a status symbol in your community?
- What roles do funerals and religious ceremonies and cemeteries play in your community?
- What role do flowers play in those ceremonies?
- What role do flowers play at the cemeteries?
- What industry is in your community and what role do flowers play in their business?
- Do they send flowers to their employees, clients, and partners? Do they use flowers in their offices?
Now that you have answered these questions, move on to the competition section.
In many cases, there will already be businesses that are selling flowers in your community. And regardless of local market conditions, there will be a certain segment of consumers who prefer to purchase through wire services like ftd.com and other well-known online retailers. Having researched the market and what segments of the market buy flowers for what reason, now Consider the following:
Who is your competition-in the floral market?
- Retail flower shops
- Garden Centers
- Super Markets
- Farmer’s Markets
- Farm Markets
- National Order Gatherers
- Big Box Retail
- Big Box Home Centers
- Studio Flower Shops
What portion of the market is the competition selling to?
Are they satisfying that market?
What advantage does the competition have?
Location, relationships with key customers, reputation, and volume
What advantages will you have?
Will you compete for the same segment of the market or will you target another segment?
What other products compete with flowers in your market?
Gifts, jewelry, candy, bakery items, crafts
One of the mistakes I commonly see with many new florist businesses is the owners simply think social media marketing and digital marketing will bring in lots of customers – and that it’s easy. While these channels are an effective way to market floral businesses knowing how to use Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, … is one thing, but being able to use them to bring in customers is another.
Armed with answers to these and the questions in the Target Market section, It’s time to write a business plan! By really getting to know your target audience and their preference, only then can you develop a marketing strategy for your floral shop and build brand awareness.