How do you know if starting a flower farm is a good idea?
Such a tricky question, right? There are so many factors that go into it, both personal and professional. Is a green thumb enough? Will anyone want to buy flowers from you?
It’s one of those things that you’ll never fully be able to know until you try. However, there are some things you can do right now to help you decide if starting a flower farm is a good idea for you.
Where to start?
ASK QUESTIONS. Honestly, I think that’s the most important thing you can do. Ask your friends what they think about you starting a cut flower business. Ask your family, ask your neighbor. Beyond that, I think it’s a good strategy to look at the businesses and avenues for selling flowers in your immediate area.
Here’s a section from my book that I think will help guide your process…
General Market Questions
What is the current flower market like?
Are you in a community that values art and aesthetics? The culture of your immediate area will affect your business. Everyone loves flowers, but not everyone values them.
In my hometown and the surrounding area the going price for a bouquet of flowers is $5. Seriously. What is your area like?
Who is buying and selling flowers?
Here is where you get to really dig in and do some tangible research. Where do people buy flowers currently? Florists? Wholesalers? Farmers?
Google is your best friend here. Visit all of the farmer’s markets within a two hour drive, look at directories (www.slowflowers.com; www.ascfg.org), go to different grocery stores to see what they offer. Do your homework here to get an idea of what others are selling.
What are the design styles and trends?
Is there a popular design or trend you can fill that other florists aren’t providing?
I got into flower farming because I loved to grow, but my customers buy from me for my designs. One customer told me she loves my work because I don’t do anything traditional. I am the only one in my immediate area who offers garden-style bouquets. This can be the perfect opportunity for you to set yourself apart by offering different floral arrangements from the competition.
I often have to remind myself that competition isn’t a bad thing, it can actually be really good. Still, in my mind, it’s a good idea to find your niche. Don’t do exactly what the person across the street is doing. Be creative and find your own place.
Once you’ve decided to go forward with starting a business the next step is to determine where you’ll sell your flowers. But that’s a topic for the next blog post!