Who makes their own bouquets
Opening a flower shop - How to become a freelance florist
Rosy prospects for your independence
Germans love flowers! The net sales of the floristry industry are increasing constantly. According to Statista, the retail trade in flowers, plants and seeds recorded an annual turnover of around 4.8 billion euros in 2015. Growing sales is a trend that has been going on for ten years.
For over 7 years I have been advising start-ups on their way to starting their own company. I would be happy to call you and help you with all questions relating to your start-up in a personal conversation.
- Startup expert
- 7 years of experience
Permits and requirements: flower shop open without any obstacles
Your business start-up can only really begin once you have received the green light from the trade office. At this point, however, there is good news: Founders of flower shops do not require any special permits or qualifications. Nevertheless, it is advisable to inquire precisely with your responsible trade office, as there may be requirements for your shop.
Professional requirements for florists
The profession of florist is an IHK training profession with a regular training period of three years. The following topics are part of a florist's training:
- Classification, care and care of plants
- Planning and design of all kinds of plant decorations
- Handling of pesticides and fertilizers according to the Plant Protection Ordinance (PflSchSachkV)
- Knowledge of environmental and species protection
- Procurement, acceptance and storage of goods
- commercial basics
- customer advisory
- Industry-relevant legal bases
Building on an apprenticeship, there are several career opportunities for florists:
- Certified master florist (master craftsman examination)
- Designer for flower art (advanced training)
- Economist for floristry (advanced training)
Tip: If you are not a trained florist yourself, consider hiring at least one florist. Starting a business without prior professional knowledge is always risky. The more professional your background, the more likely you are to qualify for loans and / or grants, if any.
Structural requirements for flower shops
Depending on your competent authority and your location, your shop must be removed before opening. In addition to a sales room (with a shop window), florists also need a warehouse and an office. Talk to all relevant authorities at an early stage in order to avoid later renovation work.
Open a flower shop as a UG, GmbH, GbR or sole proprietorship: choose legal form
Before opening a flower shop, you need to choose an appropriate legal form for your establishment. The choice of the legal form depends on your planned business model, but also on your start-up situation. Many flower shops are founded as sole proprietorships or GbRs. Other common legal forms for independent florists are UG (limited liability) and GmbH. When making your choice, please also note that the individual legal forms also differ in terms of taxation.
Learn more about the possible legal forms:
In principle, there are of course other legal forms available to you.
Which company suits me and my business idea?
Our packages for your start-up
Checklist: Where do you register your flower shop?
Entry in the commercial register as an independent florist
As a public directory, the commercial register documents entries on the registered traders in the area of a competent registry court. The company forms GmbH and UG require an entry in the commercial register. If you set up your flower shop as a sole proprietorship, you are only required to register in the commercial register as a registered businessman. Whether you are a businessman or not depends on whether your company has a “commercially organized business”. As an individual entrepreneur, a voluntary entry in the commercial register is possible in any case.
Trade office: register the flower shop as a trade
Regardless of the legal form you have chosen, you must register with the trade office responsible for your company headquarters. If you open your flower shop as a sole proprietorship, a business registration is sufficient.
After registering with the trade office, the tax office will automatically contact you for tax registration. As soon as your documents have been viewed and checked by the tax office, you will receive your tax number and can issue invoices.
Membership in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Like the tax office, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry is informed about your establishment by the trade office. Contact is made by the IHK. When registering a trade, membership in the IHK responsible for you is mandatory.
Professional association for florists
Employers' liability insurance associations are the providers of statutory accident insurance for companies and their employees. Please register yourself with a professional association. Even as a small business owner without staff, you are obliged to register with your relevant BG. If you are unclear which of the numerous BGs you have to register with, the German Statutory Accident Insurance (DGUV) will help you on the phone number 0800 60 50 40 4.
Federal associations of the floristry industry
Voluntary membership in a relevant federal association such as the Fachverband Deutscher Floristen e. V. is recommended. In addition to national associations, there are also numerous regional associations that you can join. Associations and clubs represent the interests of their members vis-à-vis the public, business and politics.
Costs and financing - the heart of the business plan
Before you start spending, you should create a structured business plan, including: record an exact cost plan. Depending on the size and staffing needs of your florist, this planning can look very different. Divide it into acquisition costs and ongoing operating costs.
Typical acquisition costs before opening a flower shop:
- Start-up costs for authorities and offices
- Equipment costs for your interior such as counter, sales tables, shelves, baskets, pots, handle cleaning machine, workbench, vases, pots, storage equipment
- Possible renovation costs (e.g. when taking over an existing flower shop)
- Procurement of goods (plants and other commodities)
- Costs for equipment such as tools, fertilizers, floral foam, decorative materials, foil, wire goods
- Website and promotional activities
- Possible acquisition costs for delivery vehicle
- Possible consulting costs (tax advisor, insurance advisor)
- Reserves to secure your livelihood
- Reserves for unforeseen events
Typical running costs are:
- Rent your shop
- Various insurances (e.g. commercial, social, professional liability insurance)
- Possible wage costs for your temporary employees, skilled workers or trainees
- Ongoing cost of goods
- material costs
- Advertising costs
- IHK contribution
Your cost accounting is also the basis for your price calculation and sales forecasts for your business plan.
Have you already insured your flower shop properly?
Funding: Who can help start your flower shop?
Most founders are initially dependent on outside capital. A good business idea combined with a professional business plan significantly increases your chances of receiving funding. In addition to banks and credit institutions, there are other providers of capital:
Location and Competition: Become the No. 1 Florist
A thorough analysis of the location is inseparable from competitive research. Not only supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl sell plants, but also petrol stations, weekly markets and hardware stores. You should therefore concentrate your research not only on competing flower shops, but on the entire retail trade that has floristic goods in its range.
These key questions can help you with your initial research:
- How big is your catchment area of potential customers?
- How many other flower shops / competing retailers are there in your catchment area?
- Where have your competitors settled?
- What plants and other goods do your competitors offer?
- What additional services (event floristry, wedding floristry, funeral floristry) do your competitors offer?
- How many people do your competitors employ?
Do your research thoroughly and use the on-site competition as a basis for finding a suitable store.
“Buy another bouquet quickly” - proximity to retail
Your location should of course be clearly visible to walk-in customers: shopping streets, shopping malls, close to typical commuter routes, and industrial areas where the retail trade attracts many customers are ideal locations for your flower shop. Hospitals and large cemeteries are also grateful neighbors for your new opening.
The good news is that you don't have to crowd out the competition to thrive in a favorable location. Multiple flower shops can coexist if the demand is great enough. In case of doubt, you can have professional market analyzes carried out by market research companies.
Trusted florist: customer service is king
You may be wondering how you stand up against established competitors and Discount store flowers should prevail. If you are looking for a bouquet in the lowest price category anyway, you will probably not come to your shop. So you have to convince with product quality and expertise. Everyone probably knows a good florist who he or she can recommend without hesitation. Become that very florist! Good advice on putting together a flower arrangement, an expert tip on fertilization and freshness: These additional services do not cost you anything, but can help you in the long term to retain customers and be recommended to others.
Open your own shop, but how?
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Flowers with an extra: find a market niche
All florists sell bouquets, roses, and flower arrangements. Creative ideas are needed if you want to consciously differentiate yourself. When starting a new flower shop, you should come up with a fresh, individual concept. You should develop a unique selling proposition based on your strengths and ideally away from the competition.
- Do you have a particularly large selection of cut flowers or green plants?
- Do you offer special extras for romantic occasions and weddings?
- Are you the expert in grave planting and funeral wreaths?
- Do you advise hobby gardeners on the subject of patios and balconies?
- Are you a fair trade flower shop?
Your individual business idea and your range of goods are directly linked to one another. You can also create your own niche with other merchandise (so-called Non-flower items) develop. You will probably generate a large part of your turnover with the sale of additional goods such as cards, decorative items, planters and various gift items.
Make your niche clear: Your concept should be recognizable in your company name, in your logo, in the shop window, in your advertising activities. This is how you can quickly establish a reputation for yourself as an expert store in your city.
Marketing measures for your flower shop
Flowers are an emotional commodity because they are usually bought to express the great feelings of everyday life: gratitude, love, joy and sadness. Your marketing should therefore also be emotional, positive, but by no means cheesy.
If you plan your advertising measures before the start-up, two issues should be in the foreground: a professional website and the traditional promotion of your new opening.
A website for your flower shop is essential
What would you do if you found a local florist? Chances are, you'd do a quick google search, compare the first three results, consider distance and rating, and then decide. You have to go online so that you have the chance of attracting exactly these new customers. A bright, appealing website should show your services transparently and emphasize your niche. Your
Actions, opening times and contact details should already be visible on the home page. High-resolution images round off the serious impression. If you also opt for professional search engine optimization, you are perfectly geared towards new customers who use the Internet.
Tip: Enter your place of business on Google Maps and Yellow Pages for free. Register with industry search engines such as regionsflorist.de.
Giving flowers: every day is a special occasion
Nobody needs to tell you that the days leading up to Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, All Saints' Day, White Sunday and other public holidays are high-revenue dates for any florist. The remaining days of the year are the ones that leave many opportunities open: You can find creative ideas and inspiration for unique marketing campaigns here, for example.
Receive a non-binding offer for the completion of your start-up!
Franchises and Partnerships: Opportunities for Florists
If you don't just want to rely on the purchasing power of walk-in customers, as a self-employed florist you have many options to expand your customer base.
Selling Flowers As A Franchisee?
The franchisor BLUME 2000 is the market leader in flower retailing in Germany. The Hamburg-based company has around 190 branches, including almost 40 franchise partners. In 2015, the expanding flower discounter generated net sales of 107 million euros. However, BLUME 2000 would like to develop from a discounter into a flower shop that increasingly focuses on fair trade. As a franchisee, a license can be of interest to you if you have established yourself in the market beyond the start-up phase.
These advantages a franchise partnership can offer, among other things:
- Brand awareness among customers
- Existing business concept and marketing
- Supplier network
- Purchasing benefits for your goods
- Advanced training
- Outsourcing of administrative activities
- Exchange of experiences
If franchise companies are interested in your location anyway, you can avoid a serious competitor by cooperating. Experience and an overview are basic prerequisites for making a sustainable decision on the subject of a franchise license. Let yourself be thoroughly and independently advised.
Flower delivery - many partner options
The direct shipping of cut flowers is a lucrative business and is offered by many large partners on the German market: Fleurop, Blumenfee and Euroflorist are just a few companies that are always looking for new affiliate partners. The prerequisite is your own website on which you can integrate direct shipping as an order option.
Recommended florist: expand networks and target groups
Do you know funeral directors, party planners, bridal wear sellers, catering owners and hotel owners? If not, you should change that.
Suggestions for target group development:
- Present yourself and your business idea and send brochures by post and e-mail.
- Build up a network of contacts who can recommend your business to their own customers. This gives you the chance to maintain long-term relationships and valuable orders without having to invest in expensive marketing measures yourself.
- Recommend contacts for your customers yourself. If you are well connected yourself, you create additional benefits and are better remembered. The likelihood that your recommendations will be reciprocated is also very high.
- Emphasize that mutual referral marketing can generate additional business for both parties.
Tip: Long-term partnerships begin with an initial contact, which must be personable, professional and transparent. Plan an investment in targeted advertising material for possible cooperation partners in your advertising budget.
Founder check for retail
The most important questions that entrepreneurs should ask themselves, information on qualifications, the legal framework for retail and future prospects for the industry can be found in the guide to opening a business.
The information published on our site is all written and checked by experts with the greatest care. However, we cannot guarantee that it is correct, as laws and regulations are subject to constant change. Therefore, always consult a technical expert in a specific case - we will be happy to put you in touch.
firma.de assumes no liability for damage caused by errors in the texts.
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