From time to time we are approached by people who are interested in opening their own floral shop. Before signing up for a program to learn floral design at our school, some of them raise questions relating to the business of running a floral shop. We usually answer questions on a work load permit basis.
The most frequently asked question is (1) What is required to start their own floral shop ? and second frequently asked question is (2) How long does it take to earn practical skills necessary for running a floral shop ? We have never asked the question such as How much fund will be required to start a business of running a floral shop. Therefore we guess that people who raise questions per above (1) and (2) do not have problem regarding the fund or capital with which they start their own business.
In a sense I think they are pretty clever because the amount of paid in capital (or fund) for starting floral business depends on the scale, location and the way of operation. Namely if they would like to have a big floral shop at a busy shopping mall having lots of inventory (not fresh flowers but other merchandise that can be sold at the floral shop), they do need a considerable amount of initial fund. On the other hand, if they can start with a tiny floral shop located in the country side which is not so busy and they need only minimum required inventory of merchandise, the amount of initial fund can be pretty minimized.
Considering the above mentioned situation, I would like to talk about factors and requirements other than initial fund (paid in capital) as follows:
Apart from the matter related to money needed for starting-up your floral shop, under mentioned things must be prepared and it is legally required to obtain following licenses:
- Business license: No matter where and when you start your own business and regardless of the type of its operation, you need to obtain a business license from the city where your business is located. Basically you can easily get this license from the authority once you submit an application. As far as your shop is not located in the residential area where it is prohibited to open a retail store, business license will be issued to you without difficulties.
- Seller’s permit (or resale license):This license is required in order to buy flowers from a wholesaler (usually flower market) at a wholesale price which allows you to add your commission when reselling to your customers . Also this license enables you to collect sales tax from your customers (except reselling entities). This license can be obtained from state board of equalization (in case of California). In order to keep this license you need to file a sales tax return at least once a year. This is an easy arrangement.
Obtaining above two licenses can be easily done by paying small amount of fee (To get a business license, it usually costs about $100 per year). However the most important thing is you must become familiar with fresh flowers and floral arrangements in order to sell flowers (either cut flowers or designed flowers) at your floral shop. This cannot be obtained just by paying a small amount of fee. In order to earn practical skills of floral arranging, it is recommended to take lessons from an experienced flower arrangement instructor.
Now answering the second frequently asked question per above (2) How long does it take to earn practical skills necessary for running a floral shop, I should say it will take 2 to 6 months to acquire minimum required skills. It depends on how frequently they can take lessons and also how skillful and resourceful they are. In the case of our floral school, each student can set up his/her own lesson schedule by well considering his/her own convenience. This is a pretty flexible lesson schedule which is quite students friendly. And they can decide how often they take a lesson a week or a month. The more often they take lessons, the sooner they can earn practical skills.
Although the skill of making floral designs is not legally required to open your floral shop, it will greatly help you easily run your floral shop. As a matter of fact, there are many people who are running floral shop without taking any floral design lessons. Even if you hire a floral designer as an employee, you had better have knowledge about floral arrangements. Especially if you plan to offer wedding or funeral flower decorating services, earning flower arranging skills greatly helps the operation of your floral shop when providing instructions to your employees or negotiating with customers.
In the meantime, if you intend to work as an independent floral designer without belonging to any floral shop, you can do the operation as a home business which helps you minimize the running cost. Only because you don’t own your floral shop in this case, business operation is mainly done on the internet. Therefore it is highly recommended to become familiar with online sales promotion and internet marketing. Increasing the visibility of your business on the internet MAY help enhance the business chance of offering wedding or funeral flower services even if you do not have a floral shop.
If you have no experiences in floral arrangements and would like to earn practical skills of floral designs, we can help. You can make a right choice from a WIDE RANGE OF PROGRAMS we offer.
California Flower Art Academy has been teaching a variety of floral designs from European arrangements to Japanese Ikebana, wedding to funeral decorations AND beginner to professional levels. California Flower Art Academy has been operating in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley (San Jose) since 1990 as a floral school certified by Flower Decorators Association (Tokyo Japan). You can start from Introductory Trial Budget Program for only $69. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org