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A Flourishing Flower and Florist Business

There are a number of good business ideas that sometimes start form the small and simple ideas and flourish into a stable and successful businesses. But what about on-line businesses. Many websites come and go but is the approach now so different to previous decades before the internet existed?

Well the most important thing is to have a great idea – do your market research and find out if the public would be interested and open to your product, services.  Call around a few local businesses and see if there is a demand for it. Also look at your competition, if there are too many websites and existing businesses all offering the same thing, then competition could be too fierce and profit margins could be tight. Think carefully if your business is viable or not.

Business Planning: Do Your Homework

Make sure you create a business plan and work out your expenditure, initial business costs, running costs, estimated sales for the first year and get your figures checked by a 3rd party. Verify your business has a chance to succeed before taking on what will probably be the most important decision in your life. Don’t go into light heartedly and just as important, be level headed.

Online businesses tend to have a greated degree of success if they operate within a vertical – tackle a small market with a website and cover a niche; for example an online florists catering for flowers and gifts.

Marketing Online: How to stand Out from the Crowd?

Ensure you include your internet marketing costs in your business plan – so many people think of online marketing too late and are not aware of the effort and channels to market their business most effectively.  Seek advice early from a professional web designer and search marketing company and plan your marketing budget. For new start ups get feedback from seminars, other local business people and share ideas – you will learn more that way and make less mistakes from the start off. Test everything, dont commit to big spends before proven results are seen.

An Example  Business: The Internet Florist Model

There are a plethora of florists in the UK and around the world, but the online  gateway has opened up new opportunities for the middle man. As the customer now turns to the internet and their home PC for ordering items online from Christmas Gifts to Washing machines, TV’s and flowers, a well designed and optimised website can be the front end and a 3rd party can be the back office machine that carries out all the logistics.

You don’t need to run a whole network of florists to be able to run a flower business and offer the sending of flowers to other countries around the world.  An known Indian business man started off with one website offering a florist service and send flowers to India.  This is a specific market and a niche area of florists but research showed that with a high number of Indian population in target countries, was a potentially good business model. This type of business will rely heavily on other 3rd parties, so needs to ensure his supply chain (local florists) are reliable and can meet your demands. Managing this area was seen as the most important aspect, but initially was done manually. How to manage the orders – status of orders, successful flower deliveries, stock issues, customer service. All these will take time to manage and over see.

Moreover, they are not trying to cater for every market, all countries and all and sundry. This is important, because this leads me to one of the most important areas to research and that is your keywords and competitiveness in the search engines.  You need to drive customers online, so it is important to get your website listed on the first page of Google. Choosing a wide market and generic keyword terms will be difficult to rank high. Targeting for search terms like ‘Florist India’ or ‘Send flowers to India’ is a much safer strategy than say targeting ‘flowers’.

The aforementioned business has now expanded to 10 websites targeting different locations for sending flowers and gifts in Asia.

What do you think?

Written by Avery

Business/Finance Blogger. I provide insight, business advice and consultancy to small and medium size businesses. Get in touch on Google + or follow 3_Business on Twitter

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