You have a green thumb and a delicate nose and want to embark on the beautiful profession of a florist. But to refine your project and before you jump headlong into the selection of your most beautiful flowers, you must, as you know, invest in your market research.
Discover in this guide the main steps to carry out this essential work.
Whatever type of business or business you want to create, market research always has the same objective: to assess the project's commercial potential.
First of all, In detail, it's a matter of verifying that the market is not saturated by competing offers.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Your florist market research will indeed be the opportunity to identify a concept that will have all the chances of success in the area of an establishment that you are considering.
This work, long but absolutely essential, will also allow you to gather all the information necessary to evaluate the potential of turnover on the market.
As you tackle this task, keep in mind this figure: one in two companies does not pass the 5-year mark. By concentrating for the necessary time, you will be able to ask yourself the right questions and minimize the risk of failure.
Carrying out a florist market study will allow you to define precisely which commercial target to target and which products you have every interest in the offering. You will thus be able to know how to take market share from your competitors, who certainly already benefit from a clientele and a good reputation in the market.
We are thinking in particular of franchise brands, which tend to reassure customers. You will thus be able, from all the elements collected, to define how you will be able to acquire and retain your customers.
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In this part of your market research, you will try to collect information on the entire sector, especially at the national level.
It is indeed a question of knowing if the market for the sale of flowers and other plants is growing. Or is it difficult to see the evolution of the turnover of florists in recent years and that of their commercial margin?
Some elements and sources of information on this point: we know that, even if the sector is resisting rather well, the crisis has impacted the average basket of consumers. And more than six in ten industry professionals believe the industry is in decline.
In addition, established florists have to face growing competition from supermarkets and the Internet, not to mention franchise stores and specialized department stores, whose strike force is greater than that of independents: they only represent 8% of brands but attract 20% of customers.
On the other hand, we also know that many florists will have to retire in the next ten years. Places will become available: in 2011, 30% of employers in the sector were 50 and over.
It will be interesting to analyze the main difficulties encountered by florists in your market research: do they have to face pressure from suppliers? Are they struggling to recruit qualified staff?
You will also need to take the time to focus on the most buoyant segments. For example, we know that the market for the sale of flowers in the context of mourning is doing somewhat better than other segments. But do other specialties seem to be doing well?
It will be interesting to point out the significant trends too, if you wish, be inspired by them in the more precise definition of your project.
In this fundamental part of your florist market research, you will need to look at the habits and aspirations of consumers. What are the buying habits and occasions for cut flowers and other plants?
What is the average basket of florists' customers? Of course, we know that it varies from one brand to another, but it is around 25 € on average.
What are the most popular products? Of course, cut flowers are the favorite products, but we also know that customers are looking for flowers that last longer. According to the French Federation of Artisan Florists, about half of florists are specialized; the others offer multi-concept shops and sell interior decoration items.
The Internet is also a significant issue, and we know that the future of the business will also be written with digital technology.
Your market research should also help you take stock of the regulations in force.
You will have to ask yourself:
For example, for all matters relating to statistical information, go to the INSEE and Eurostat's websites or the websites of research companies such as Xerfi or Les Echos Etudes.
Studies published by consulting firms should also help you, as well as the business and trade press. The reports from the French Federation of Florist Artisans will also be a mine of valuable information for carrying out your florist market research.
Without forgetting, of course, to go and meet your future colleagues and your future clients. You can set up a questionnaire during your florist market research to interview competitors and consumers. They will provide you with valuable information.
In this part of your market research, you will focus on studying the local market.
In particular, you should ask yourself:
Also, remember to identify landscapers, wedding planners, and interior designers who may call on you.
This analysis of your area of the establishment will also allow you to understand better the points of interest: which places attract the most potential customers and could therefore be exciting areas of establishment?
Of course, you will take the opportunity to understand better the expectations of customers at the local level: what is missing in the local market today?
To find this information, go to the city and region website on Google Maps for everything related to demographic statistics.
Once again, it will be essential to go out into the field, in the street, or at trade fairs in order to meet your future clients and discuss with them: you will learn a lot by talking to 20 potential clients.
In this part of your market research, you will need to ask yourself several questions about your competition in order to know it inside out.
This first series of questions aims to know what you can offer that is best, different, complementary to the existing offer.
You will also be interested in the size of your direct and indirect competitors.
Also, ask yourself the following questions:
The self-employed will undoubtedly be at a disadvantage compared to the big brands.
You will also need to note where they are located. For example, do some areas seem more attractive than others? Are there any underserved areas?
Next, take a look at the reputation of your future florist competitors:
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Finally, try to write down their customer acquisition and retention strategy:
Remember, in this competitive analysis section, to look at the indirect competition. We are thinking in particular of online sales sites and supermarkets which sometimes sell bouquets. Not to mention the alternatives to flowers, often chosen as gifts, such as chocolates, jewelry, or even books.
At this point in your florist market research, you have certainly gathered enough evidence to make the right decision: whether you have found that the market is too small or that consumers will not be interested in the offer. On the other hand, you may conclude that you should abandon your project.
If your work has confirmed the idea that this flower shop is a viable project, then you have to define a precise commercial positioning.
And This should include the following:
So far, you have undoubtedly invested time, but little money, in your flower shop project. Before getting started, we strongly advise you to validate your commercial offer by checking that it corresponds to the expectations of your future customers.
To this end, it is advisable to take a near-life-size test and present it to a sample of your customers. And This will allow you to validate the concept by obtaining a mark of interest or a clearly expressed purchase intention. Thus, it is a question of carrying out a quantitative study.
For a florist, you can, for example, consider renting a stand in a market, creating a popup shop or flower kiosk, or even joining an event corresponding to your segment (a wedding fair if this type of service interests you, for example. ).
Once your market research is complete, you can now focus on another essential element for your florist opening project: the business plan.
At the same time, the objective here is fundamental and straightforward: to refine the project's assembly and verify that the company will be viable, at least on paper.
In the business plan of a florist, it is a question of detailing the project and describing its strategic, commercial, and financial objectives for the first three years of exercise.
Of course, it will change over the months following the start of your activity. But it can still serve as a point of reference.
For a florist, as for any project elsewhere, the business plan is essential when it comes to convincing your future partners, in particular your investors and your suppliers.
The business plan is broken down into two parts:
Producing this technical document can seem tedious, even intimidating.
Our article is coming to an end, and we hope it has given you a better understanding of how to carry out the market research for opening a flower shop. However, if you would like more explanations and advice on any of the points mentioned above or any other element relating to the creation or takeover of a business, do not hesitate to contact us.
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