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Floral Design Education

Start Your Floral Design Studio


Want to start your own floral design business, but not sure where to begin? This collection of short guides & worksheets will help you get started.


Please note: the material below is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional, legal, or financial advice. If you’re not sure what the best choices for your business are, consult an attorney, accountant, or bookkeeper.

Step one, step two

a Tiny Guide to Starting a
Wedding floral design business



First things first: there isn’t one “right” way to start a floral design business. This isn’t a recipe for business success—because such a formula doesn’t exist.

Instead, what’s below is a series of questions to consider, ideas to research, and suggestions for next steps as you move toward becoming a business owner.

Some of what’s below might work for you, some of it might not. You might choose to skip certain parts, do things in a different order, or add to the list.

You’ll need to make your own choices in the context of your own unique situation, including your location, your state’s laws, your finances, etc.

And remember: keep moving forward!

To print this section as a checklist, click the pink buttons below.

Begin with a little daydreaming...

  • ...and think through what you’d like your business to look like.

Who do you want to work with?

Research & strategize...

How will you generate revenue? What services will you offer?

  • Weddings:

    • full service?

    • à la carte?

    • pick up only?

    • helping DIY couples?

  • Deliveries?

  • Subscriptions?

  • Classes?

  • Funerals?

  • Selling plants?

  • Event planning?

  • Linen and/or prop rentals?

  • Holidays:

    • holiday fairs or markets?

    • holiday decor services?

    • selling wreaths?

    • teaching wreath-making classes?

    • selling plants? (poinsettias, etc.)

What other ideas can you think of?

Make a plan:

Make it official:

Develop your brand:

  • How do you want your customers to feel about your business?

  • Consider:

    • What do you want your brand messaging to convey?

    • What will your business sound like? (Brand voice.)

    • Develop your branding. (Logo, colors, etc.)

  • Hire experts to help you, if needed:

    • Hire a copywriter.

    • Hire a graphic designer.

*Don’t get stuck on this. Brands evolve over time, and you don’t need a logo to start a floral design business.

Create your website:

  • Write your about page.

    • Don’t forget to include a photo of yourself!

  • Write your weddings page. Be specific:

    • What types of weddings do you work on?

    • What does working with you involve?

    • Do you have a minimum budget?

  • Add a portfolio with images of your work.

  • Don’t forget to include a contact page.

**Don’t get stuck on this either. You can build your portfolio and add more information to your website as your business grows. Put up a basic website and keep moving forward.

Start spreading the word! You could:

  • Determine your marketing budget.

  • Create a marketing plan.

  • List your business with:

    • Google

    • WeddingWire

    • The Knot

  • Explore your options for paid advertising:

    • wedding fairs

    • wedding blogs or magazines

    • WeddingWire or The Knot

    • Google, Facebook, etc.

  • Tell friends and family that you’re open for business.

  • Set up your email marketing service (MailChimp, etc.):

    • Add an email list sign up form for to your website.

    • Email your list regularly!

  • Add a blog to your website.

  • Create a blogging schedule and content calendar.

  • Blog regularly!

  • Work on improving your website’s SEO.

  • Print business cards and/or postcards.

    • Give flowers and business cards to local business owners.

    • Leave postcards or business cards in local coffee shops.

  • Reach out to:

    • local wedding venues

    • your fellow wedding professionals

    • local dress shops

    • local prop rental companies

  • Create, photograph, and share your work on social media.

  • Hold a raffle or contest on social media.

  • Write a press release.

  • Sign up for HARO.

  • Collaborate with other event professionals on styled shoots.

  • Send thank you cards.

Focus on clients and customer service:

  • How will you structure your clients’ experience? Consider:

    • initial email & intake forms

    • consultations

    • proposals

    • contracts & onboarding

    • site visits & final reviews

    • wedding days

What else? What will you need to do to execute your ideas?

Set up shop:

  • Learn more about local wholesalers.

  • Register with wholesalers.

  • Learn more about local flower farmers.

  • Find and set up your studio space.

  • Decide how you’ll transport floral arrangements.

  • Buy inventory and supplies:

    • vases

    • floral design supplies

    • studio furniture

    • office supplies

    • delivery supplies

  • Get a first aid kit.

  • Create a wedding day toolkit.

Hire a team:

  • Consider: what do you want your team to know?

    • Prepare relevant contracts/manuals/guides.

  • Interview and hire interns.

  • Interview and hire experienced freelancers.

  • Whom else might you want to hire?

  • Research how you’ll need/want to pay your team:

    • independent contractors vs. employees

    • minimum wage in your area

    • typical pay for a florist for a florist in your area

Never stop learning:

  • Take business courses.

  • Read business and marketing books.

  • Research local small business support programs.

  • Find mentors.

  • Practice your floral design skills.

  • Make florist friends. Be generous and support your colleagues.

Try to avoid comparing your business to anyone else’s.

Focus on your own goals:

  • What would you like to happen in your first year of business?

    • Is the goal to do a particular number of weddings?

    • Is the goal to bring in a certain amount of revenue?

    • Is the goal just to open a business, period?

You’ve got this!


Business beginnings

what do you want?



There’s no one right way to run a business, but there is a way that’s best for you.

The workbook below consists of questions and writing prompts that will help you examine what you might want your business to look like.

Keep your answers in mind as you start to make decisions about your new business.


Business beginnings

Additional Resources




— "Big Five" personality test (free)

CliftonStrengths (Top 5 Version; $19.99)

Builder Profile 10 ($12)


The $100 Startup
Chris Guillebeau

Blue Ocean Strategy
W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne

Start With Why
Simon Sinek

StrengthsFinder 2.0
Tom Rath


“Start With Why”
Tedx Talk | Simon Sinek


who are your clients?

Your Target Audience



Now that you’ve thought through what it is that you want, it’s time to switch gears and think about your clients.

Not every potential customer is the right fit for your business. So: who are your clients?

First, let’s research your target audience.

You can search for demographic information online, send out surveys, or talk directly to people in your community.

To learn more about how to do market research, read these articles.

(Scroll down to the "data & trends" section to find links to statistics/demographic information that might be helpful.)

Here are a few questions you'll want to answer:

Is there a demand for your services where you live?

At what age do people in your area typically get married?

What are the current trends in your local wedding industry?

What else do you want to know about your target audience? What other questions can you think of that might be worth asking?


Who are your clients?

Your Ideal Client



Now that you’ve researched your target audience, it’s time to think about your ideal client.

That’s right—client, singular. One person. This (imaginary) person is known as your Ideal Client Avatar or ICA.

Use the workbook below to create an in-depth profile of your ideal client.

Keep in mind:

— your answers in your “Business Beginnings” workbook

— the characteristics that are common among members of your target audience

Once you know exactly who you’re looking for, you know more about how to interest them, communicate with them, and book them as clients.


Research & Strategize

Research The Competition



Who else in your area is competing for your ideal client’s attention?

First, let’s go shopping. Do a Google search for wedding florists in your area.

o What does each florist specialize in?

o How do they talk about their businesses?

o What do you like or not like about their websites?

Next, check out these resources for more information on how to do competitive market research:

How to Conduct Competitive Market Research

Market Research & Competitive Analysis


Research & Strategize

Unique Selling Proposition



What makes you different from your competitors?

What makes your business different?

Your aesthetic?

How you source your flowers?

The quality of your flowers?

Your stellar customer service?


The thing that makes your business different is known as your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP.

(Note: you do not need to be like everyone else, nor do you want to create a business just like someone else’s. Specialization is your friend. Being different is a good thing!)

If you’re not sure what yours is, try reading this guide to finding your USP.

If you’re more of a visual thinker/learner, try filling in a strategy canvas.


Research & Strategize




Now that you’ve thought about:

what you want

who your clients are

who your competition is’s time for a SWOT analysis.

To learn more and complete your SWOT analysis, view the workbook below:


Make a plan

Your Business Model



How do the puzzle pieces of your business fit together?

Before you write your business plan, take some time to consider your business model. Start by downloading and completing Strategyzer's Business Model Canvas. This is a fantastic tool that will help you think through the the structure of your business.

For a great explanation of how to fill out your canvas, watch this video from The Business Channel.


Make a plan

Financial Planning



A key component of business planning is financial planning. Get started by thinking through the following:

o Financing your business:

How are you financing your floral design studio? Do you have the funds you’ll need? Or do you need to take out a loan?

If you’re looking for a loan or grant, check out the resources below:

10 Ways to Finance Your Business

Financing Options for Small Businesses

Minority Small Business Loans

Small Business Grants for Women & Minorities

Small Business Loans for Minorities

o Needs vs. Wants:

What do you need in order to start your business? What will your overhead look like?

Do you need business cards or a fancy logo? Or do you want them?

Do you need a studio from day one? Or can you meet potential clients at a coffee shop instead?

Do you need a custom website? Or can you DIY it?

o Goals, Plans, & Forecasting:

You’ll need to set a sales goal, create a spending budget, determine your revenue plan, and project your expected cash flow. To get started, review the articles below:

How to Build a Budget for Your Small Business

How to Write the Financial Section of a Business Plan

Writing The Financial Plan



Write Your Business Plan



Next up: writing your business plan.

You can write a brief, one page plan, a traditional, 30-50+ page plan, or something in between.

You’ll have to decide which type of plan makes the most sense for your business.

Here are a few resources to get you started:

How To Write A Business Plan

Keep It Simple

Do You Need A Simple Or A Detailed Plan?

One Page Business Plan Templates

Business Plan Template

Don't skip this step.
You can do it!


Make It Official

First Steps…



You’re almost there! It’s time to make it all happen:

1. Select a name for your business.

Start brainstorming! Once you’ve selected a few potential names, conduct a quick Internet search. What comes up when you search for each name?

Next, you’ll need to confirm that the name is legally available. In the US, most states have registries available that you can check. (For example, here is New York’s.) There is also a federal trademark database.

Is the related domain name available? Check here to see if it’s for sale.

2. Make it legal. Depending on where you live, you might need to:

Find out if you need a license to be a working florist in your state. (Most states do not have licensing requirements.)

Decide how to structure your business. If you’re not sure what the best option is for you, consult an attorney or an accountant (or both) before moving forward.

Register your business. You might need to do this on the federal, state, or local level. (Or all three!)

File a DBA (Doing Business As) if your business has multiple names.

Apply for a EIN (Employer Identification Number) with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).

Apply for a resale certificate. You’ll need this to be able to purchase wholesale flowers/hard goods and resell them. (This is sometimes called a reseller’s permit/license, certificate of authority, or sales tax ID.)

Register your resale ID and/or EIN with flower wholesalers and local flower farmers.

3. Get your finances in order. Depending on your situation, you may need/want to:

Apply for financing/loans.

Get your business bank account(s) set up.

Purchase insurance.

Hire a bookkeeper.

Learn about accounting/bookkeeping for small businesses.

Sign up for bookkeeping software, like QuickBooks or FreshBooks.

Set up your initial balance sheet and income sheet.

Decide how you’ll take payment for your services.

The material above is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional, legal, or financial advice. If you’re not sure what the best choices for your business are, consult an attorney, accountant, or bookkeeper in your area before moving forward.


Make it official

Next Steps



Hooray! You did it! Congratulations!

Next, you’ll want to:

1. Purchase your domain name and set up your social media accounts. Set up a business email account.

2. Keep your ICA in mind as you move forward. From here on out, everything you do should be designed to attract the right customers and repel the wrong ones.

3. Create a simple, basic website. Develop your portfolio and your brand as you go. None of these need to be robust or perfect; just get started!

4. Start spreading the word! List your business with Google, Yelp, WeddingWire, & The Knot. Post to your social media accounts. Tell friends and family that you’re looking for clients. Reach out to local wedding venues and your fellow wedding professionals.

5. Develop your sales process, set up your client management system, and don’t forget to keep customer service in mind! How will you work with new clients? How will you structure your clients’ experience? (Think: intake, consultations, proposals, contracts, onboarding, site visits and reviews, wedding days, offboarding, etc.)

6. Focus on your goals for your business. What would you like to happen in your first year of business?

Is the goal to do a particular number of weddings? Is the goal to bring in a certain amount of revenue? Is the goal just to open a business, period? Stay focused on that, and ignore what everyone else is doing. You’ve got this!


For more information on websites, sales, & marketing for new wedding florists, check out our Book Your First Wedding Season workshop.

For business books, videos, and additional resources, check out our resources page.

Please note: the material above is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional, legal, or financial advice. If you’re not sure what the best choices for your business are, consult an attorney, accountant, or bookkeeper.