Learn how the author came up with an idea to start a plant sale and florist business. Prompted by his wife’s crowded and unwanted potted plants terrace, figured that just like the wife, many plant enthusiasts would be willing to give away their beloved flowers for free.
Find out how he turned his idea into a business. Learn how to locate people in your area who grow plants. Make a connection with various florist shops. Run a classified online ad and finally make a small fortune by becoming the local flower broker.
My wife has a “Green Thumb”. Our terrace is crowded with succulents, cactus, flowers, spider plants, and vines. They keep growing so she replants the cuttings and every month gives away dozens of the plants to friends, neighbors, relatives, and acquaintances just to get the new plants out of the house.
These prompted me to investigate the plant sale and flower broker business. The discoveries I made indicate that there is some cash to be made in this field without ever-growing one plant.
People Love Plants
There are millions of women, like my honey, who delight in growing flowers in their homes. These women do it for the enjoyment of having living plants decorating their homes, but after some time, their backyards, terraces, or homes become overcrowded with potted plants.
Unable, by their nature, to destroy or discard any of their plants, they give them away to anyone who will have them. Florists, at the same time, are often selling the very same plants for prices like $15 or more per potted plant. Because of the nature of the florist business, you can make yourself a small fortune by becoming a “Flower Broker”.
How to Start the Flower Broker Business
First, of course, you must locate people in your area who grow plants. This is not difficult. Just ask women you know which of their friends also grow flowers in their homes. You will be amazed at the number of women who do. Look around you at the terraces (like mine!) overcrowded with flowers and plants. (There are some men who do, too but mostly women.)
Go around to the various florist shops in your area. Do some browsing. Check out what kinds of potted plants they sell.
How much they get for the various sizes of each plant. What kind of pots or planters are the plants sold in? Which plants seem to be the best sellers? You can tell the “movers” because florists will stock more of the plants they sell the most of.
It is best to check-out as many florist shops as you can. Be sure to write down all of the information and details you have observed at each shop. Once you have a pretty fair idea of the prices, etc., at local florist shops, get in touch with the ladies who grow those plants in their homes. The contact with the plants owner should be in person.
Establish the Supply
Tell the person that you heard from a mutual friend or acquaintance that “You have a very Green Thumb” and make admiring comments like “Your plants are said to be the loveliest in the area”.
Ask if they have ever thought of making a few “extra dollars” from their hobby.
“…somewhere deep inside, most of flower keepers would love to own a florist shop or greenhouse…”
Tell that you are setting up a deal with people like them who grow plants in their homes, so they can make some extra money from their hobby. “You have the talent, enjoy doing it, and already have surplus plants – why not make a little money at it too?”
Offer this deal:
If they are interested, you will supply them with a price list showing how much you will pay for various potted plants of a specific size.
The person, in turn, should keep you updated with a list of plants that they have available (how many and what kind). You will sell those plants for them.
You come by and pay for them when you pick them up. Remember: These people are already growing plants so, you don’t have to convince them to grow a few more.
They will increase their production after meeting you, especially since now they can make a few dollars selling what they used to give away for free.
Selling the Plants
There are a number of ways to sell plants you will be getting from your “Growers”, such as:
Run a classified ad online or your local newspaper. Consider the free ad newspapers in the surrounding area.
What the ad should say? Short and sweet:
“Potted Plants – Call me before you call a high-priced florist.“
When someone calls, ask them what the occasion is, then give them a list of the flowers you have available. These days you can offer photos and prices on the internet. Also, tell them what kind of pots and planters you have available. If you need new and attractive flower pots, get the ones on sale cheaply at semi-wholesale places IKEA.
When customers order plants from you, pick it up from the “Grower” and at the start, personally deliver it to the person who ordered it and get the cash.
NOTE. Keep your “Quality” standards high. If you go to pick up a plant and that “Grower” only has some rather dried out frail-looking plants available, simply say that you can’t sell them.
Always have a second source for every kind of plant. By the way, this won’t happen very often; if every, because the ladies or gents who grow plants in their homes love their plants too much to even offer you the sick ones.
Place placards in all of the hospitals in your area, something like this:
“Living Plants for your loved ones. Call me before you call a high-priced florist. ”
Always include “free delivery” with any purchases. Why?
Because when you or your agent delivers a plant, you have a chance to make a back-end sale.
“I have here your beautiful XYZ Cactus, and we have with me here (show them) two ABC flowering plants, with pots, that would look great together with it.”
“Oh yes, they certainly look nice, how much?”
“Normal price is $12.99 (or whatever) each, but as you are my last delivery today, we can give you two for the price of one, OK?“
If it’s not OK, negotiate…
“What can you spare for both of these gorgeous plants. I want you to have them.”
In any business, it is always much easier to make a back-end sale to an existing customer, than to generate a new customer.
Sell plants in lots to florists. Go around to plant nurseries that supply your local florists and find out how much they get for various plants. Offer your products to local florists at a little better price.
Right before a special occasion, run a classified ad offering the flower of that occasion; such as carnations for Mother’s Day, something like this:
“Mother’s Day Carnations, alive in planters – can’t wilt.
Call me before you call a high-priced florist.”
This kind of business usually snowballs once it gets going. People who order from you once, reorder and tell their friends. In no time at all, you can be making a few thousand dollars per month.
Have fun being the local Flower Broker 💐