Owning a flower shop is more challenging than most people expect. Holidays are very busy and wedding and funeral work is time-consuming and tedious. However, the rewards are great when you can see your creative work on display, and when you get paid the right price. For a flower shop to be successful, you must create an inviting space that allows customers room to walk in the door, place orders, and shop for an arrangement or gift without assistance. You also need to make it easy for customers to pay for the product. There will be times, such as Valentine's Day, when many customers are in the shop at once and need to be accommodated. In addition to flowers, a flower shop often sells vases, small stuffed animals, chocolates and other gifts.
Set up shelving for items other than flowers in the shop, so there is a good and constant customer flow. Avoid dead ends and blind alleys where you cannot see customers. If you sell small items like jewellery boxes or candles in addition to flowers, you need to keep an eye out for shoplifters. For flower display, set up shelving in a stair-step fashion with smaller flowers at the top of the shelving and taller flowers at the bottom. Space the steps in the shelving pattern so that customers can reach for a bunch of smaller flowers on the top shelf without crushing the larger flowers below. Have more expensive flowers on the bottom shelves.
Set up a display cooler with already-made flower arrangements inside that can be easily seen. Always keep a varied display with different styles of small arrangements for the customer to carry out. It is easier for a customer to carry flowers arranged in a basket of floral foam than if the flowers are in a vase full of water. Make a few arrangements in the same style, but in different colours. This avoids having the customer asking you to make an arrangement just like the one in the cooler, but in a different colour while they wait. Set up a table to wrap flower bunches that the customer has chosen. Floral shears, paper and string or ribbon should be easily accessible.
Create a main work area where you will make your arrangements. It should be away from customer traffic, but close enough to customers so that you can see the front door if you are the only one in the store. A good place to locate your work area is behind the checkout counter because you can stop what you are doing to take orders and check out customers. If it's close enough to the display area you can chat with a customer and continue working, if needed.
Install a walk-in cooler for large arrangements, such as funeral arrangements and arrangements that are ready for delivery, in an area that is between your workspace and where you move arrangements out the door for delivery. You don't want the delivery person trying to move large arrangements through a busy workspace.
Create a place in the shop where you can sit with customers who are interested in elaborate wedding and funeral work. You will be working with potential brides and grieving family members with little knowledge of costs and floral design. The area needs to be quiet, comfortable and offer easily accessible pictures and examples with prices clearly marked. This is also a good place to display less expensive and already-made silk designs.