How to Start a Florist

1. Learn how to make floral arrangements and care for flowers, if you do not already know how to do so. Contact your local florist association or hobby supply store to see if they offer classes. You can also read books, look at Internet videos or work in a florist shop to gain the knowledge you will need.

2. Target a niche for your florist business. For instance, you can decide to only use eco-friendly materials, specialize in weddings, focus on making gift deliveries or open an all-occasion florist shop.

3. Generate a name for your florist shop that is as descriptive of your niche as possible. For instance, if you open an eco-friendly florist shop, the name “Earth Angels Florist” would be appropriate, as would the name “Blooming Beautiful Flowers.”

4. Obtain the permits needed in your area to start a retail business.

5. Lease a shop for your florist business. Alternatively, you may be able to work from home if you plan to make deliveries and have enough space for all your supplies.

6. Buy wholesale flowers, a cooler, vases, greenery, floral foam and other needed equipment from a floral supply distributor. Buying wholesale will save you money, as opposed to buying retail at a craft or hobby supply store.

7.. Develop a list of services and arrangements to offer your customers. Doing so is especially important for all-occasion florists and those who plan to deliver orders.

8.. Join a professional industry association, such as  South African Flower Union, to gain continuing education, learn industry tips and connect with suppliers. Speak to other florists and see if you can find a mentor in the industry.

9.. Market your florist business. Place ads in bridal magazines or become a vendor at your local bridal show, distribute coupons to local hospitals and business offices, launch a promotional website, and list your shop in online and print business directories.

10. Make use of social media and make sure that you have a Facebook , Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram accounts.