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How to Open a Floristry Business in the UK: A Beginner's Guide

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Flowers are one of the most popular gifts in the UK, with occasions like Mother’s Day driving a spike in sales. Whilst COVID-19 may have “cut back” the number of independent floristry businesses, this industry’s revenue is expected to reach an estimated £1.0bn in 2023. The demand for beautiful floral arrangements is out there—but how can you tap into this market? Let’s explore the simple steps to open a floristry business in the UK, one stem at a time!

Do you have what it takes to be a florist?

Fancy turning your love of flowers into a business? Starting a florist shop is an exciting move for anyone with a passion for beautiful blooms. But, as with any business, it’s not all about arranging fresh bouquets. If you think the world of floristry is for you, let’s dig into a few key things you’ll need to make it work.

This might seem obvious, but love for flowers is at the root of it all (pun intended!). A florist’s world revolves around flowers, so if you get excited about their scent and textures and are constantly dreaming up floral combinations, you’re onto something good. But even the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous bouquet needs a bit of practical sense behind it. Floristry involves ordering stock, managing budgets, and keeping things organised. But don’t worry—being on top of the basics will keep your business in check.

If you’re nodding along then a career in floristry could be the perfect fit. There are many routes into the industry, from on-the-job training to formal floristry courses. Do a little digging to see what’s best for you, and watch your startup dreams take full bloom.

Essential steps to open a floristry business

Step one is finding your home. You need to know the area where you want to open your business. Is there a demand for flowers, either in people’s homes, gifts, or venues? Alternatively, if it’s a small area that already has florists, can you offer something different? Remember that supermarkets can be an easy and affordable place to pick up simple blooms, but specialist bouquets still have pulling power. Look towards affluent areas where residents have disposable income for a winning formula. 

If your research suggests there is too much competition, you could test the waters by starting your floristry business from home or a small rented space. From there, you could offer event services, flower delivery, collection and even online orders. In reality, all you need is some storage and a workbench to get going. If the demand soars, then you know it’s time to take your blooms to a brick-and-mortar store. Why not consider running a subscription service that offers fresh-cut flowers that are delivered regularly?

Think outside the box, as there are other options for you, too. If you’re already running a store, you could branch out into e-commerce floristry or delivery from online orders. A pop-up or collaboration with a coffee shop or friendly retail store could also be your in-road or the push you need to get going.

All of this can be easily achieved and supported by a reliable payment solution that gives you instant cash flow, which we’ll discuss in a little more detail shortly…

Write a business plan

So you’ve got your ideas down, but how will you make money? Maybe you get your kicks arranging flowers at weddings and birthdays. Or maybe a traditional store with a customer-facing approach is more your thing. Make sure you cater to your strengths for the best results here. Plus, it’s better to start small and then offer more services as you get established.

Writing your business plan is the first step to making your dream a reality, so give this some quality time. It covers everything from figuring out your business structure to start-up costs and investments. Start by checking out free resources online and use templates to build your proposal. Also, read our post on how to start a small business in the UK for a little extra fire…

Make sure your blooms are above board

Finally, does your newly formed flower venture meet all the legal obligations required in the UK? If you need insurance or permits, now is the time. 

Decide on your business structure (sole trader or limited company) and then register with HMRC. Planning is essential here, so keep those taxes in mind and put aside at least 20% each month to avoid surprise bills.

How to open a floristry business in the UK

Build your floristry brand

First, you need a name! This one’s on you, but make sure it matches your businesses or people you want to serve. 

Set yourself apart with a clean brand identity and colour scheme that resonates with your target market. For example, if you’re hoping to target the funeral flowers market, you might want to avoid the neon bubble writing…

Get your graphic designer (or your skills!) on speed dial and get your business identity blooming. A logo is your stamp of approval and helps customers recognise your business. Then, decide on go-to fonts to keep a consistent look and feel.  

Get yourself a website or landing page with contact forms so customers can reach out. It’s important not to spread yourself too thin here. Decide on essential social media channels and be active on the ones your target audience uses. Finally, a Google Business Profile and Trustpilot are a must.

Register for a Google Business Profile and check that your floristry store shows up on local searches with the correct address, contact details, and opening hours so customers can find you. Then, it’s time to start building those 5-star reviews…

Sourcing flowers and supplies

This is where it gets really real! Getting your kit in order is the first step towards actually serving customers. If you need more supplies or tools for staff, buying in bulk now can help. But if you’re rolling solo, don’t worry—you can always return to this later.

Find the perfect suppliers, and in the next few years, you might be growing flowers yourself. Paying attention to your sourcing is essential when you start, and securing a reasonable price should be your priority. 

Then comes all the pretty stuff to dress your store and bouquets. Stock up on all the trimmings you need to make your arrangements the talk of the town. I’m talking about fancy love hearts for Valentine’s Day and all the other fun bits and pieces. Plus, there are ribbons, vases, gift cards, and everyday things like vases to keep your fresh cuts on hand as you work. 

Get your profits right

This is tricky but essential. Knowing your profit margin is super important. Start by researching suppliers to ensure a competitive price. Don’t undersell yourself—your time and skills go into each bouquet, so make it count!

Don’t be scared to add a little extra onto packages, and make sure you charge appropriately for add-on services like same-day delivery. 

One cost-saving step that’s often overlooked is payment processing. It’s worth considering a low-fee cardless payment solution like Atoa, especially if you’ll be collecting funds on the move. 

Our QR codes let you get paid anywhere from your smartphone or tablet screen. Plus, flowers have a limited life, so reduce any losses by taking deposits for events or big jobs using payment links. Customers can pay directly from their bank app in a few taps wherever they are.

Market your skills and get out there!

Let’s start with the basics. If you have a store, a window display is really important. This is what your potential customers see, so make sure it’s fresh and on-trend.

If you operate an e-commerce floristry business, focus on creating eye-catching product shots for your website and social media. Think of a well-lit photoshoot with clear images of each bouquet, bundle, or package you offer so the visuals can whisk away customers. Remember that a happy customer is a returning customer. From helping someone choose the perfect ‘thinking of you’ gift to creating the bouquets for their dream wedding, your ability to connect and understand your client’s needs comes first and foremost.

Partner with venues and businesses that need your services, such as members’ clubs, hotels, and other corporate hotspots. After all, that’s where the money is. 

Plus, build contacts and network in the right circles so event planners and other decision-makers can send business your way.

The takeaway

Starting a floristry business is a great way to combine creativity and passion for all things beautiful.
To make it a success, follow these simple tips:

  • Create a well-thought-out business plan to set yourself on the right path.
  • Develop a unique brand identity that sets your flower shop apart from the rest. 
  • Work with reliable and reasonable suppliers who provide you with the freshest blooms every time.
  • Get yourself a solid payment provider to keep profits high.

How Atoa can help

Budding UK florists, it’s time to level up your payment game with Atoa! We’ve harnessed the power of the UK’s open banking system to make your life easier.

Here’s why:

  • Skip the card machines. Atoa lets customers pay directly from their bank accounts through QR codes or links. No need for expensive card readers or complicated setups, which is ideal for new businesses on a budget.
  • Scan, approve, done. For customers, it’s easy. No searching for cards or entering bank details, which is a massive win if you run a pop-up stall or take payments on the go.
  • Instant payments for a healthy cash flow. Funds are transferred instantly into your business account, which can help you stay afloat during quieter periods.
  • Perfect for entrepreneurs and startups. Whether you’re a skilled tradesperson, market trader or beyond, Atoa has you covered. Take quick, contactless payments from customers so you can focus on what really matters – growing your business.

So, don’t wait! Let your plans take root and blossom into a thriving business. A strong brand, solid suppliers, and QR code payments boost your bottom line so you can build a successful floristry business for your community.

Have you recently started your own floristry business? We want to hear from you! Drop us a comment or reach out on social media. 

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