How to start a florist business in South Africa

How to start a florist business in South Africa

A florist shop can be a great way to earn money while doing what you love. This is a guide on how to start a florist business in South Africa.

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This type of business is not one that will make you a multi-millionaire, it’s highly unlikely to make that kind of money when you are just starting out from this business. However, it’s usually enough to give you full-time income or replace your salary.

This business depends a lot on events and can be somewhat seasonal. A lot of people are going to buy a lot of flowers on February and December. The valentine’s day is when most people decide to buy flowers for their loved ones, other special days include Mother’s Day and Women’s day.

Flowers are generally bought by men for women during these special days of the year. People also buy flowers for events such as weddings and birthday celebrations. These should be enough to keep your business going.

The barriers to entry for this business are quite low and can also be high, depending on your approach.

Operating premises

The first thing you need to decide is where your operating premises will be. The most popular option is opening a storefront but other entrepreneurs are moving to the online space. Barriers to entry are very low if you decide to store the flowers in your home and sell them online and they are high if you decide to rent a storefront.

Having a storefront also has its own advantages, the main advantage being that you will get a lot of foot traffic. A lot of people will take notice of your business rather quickly, this can come without any marketing efforts from your side.

It’s almost impossible to get people to take notice of your online store without any marketing. While the starting costs may be low, you will have to pay heavily to increase brand awareness and get consistent web traffic.

Other options include having a flower bike and a flower kiosk. These can be attractive options for people who really don’t have much startup capital.

Get experience

You need some experience in order to properly manage a flower shop, you need to know how to work with flowers. It’s important to remember that flowers are easily perishable, this means that they need a lot of care. You need to know at what temperature to keep them and how much care each flower needs.

It’s difficult to learn all this online, you need to have some experience. Getting a job in South Africa can be hard; the quickest way to getting that experience would be volunteering. You already know a few floral shops, go there and volunteer to work for free in exchange for work experience.

This will also expose you to the business as a whole, it will make it so much easier to plan your business. You will know which wholesalers to source your flowers from and the flowers that usually sell the most.

Register your business

The next step should be registering your business; which currently costs R125 in South Africa. Get insurance as well if you are going to be opening a storefront. There are no special permits and licenses that are required to open and run this business.

Marketing your business

A storefront in a busy area will naturally receive a lot of foot traffic and most of these people will go on to become your customers. This reduces the amount of money that you would otherwise need to spend on marketing.

For a storefront; advertising includes putting a board outside the store that makes it easier for people to know that your shop sells flowers. Digital marketing can also work as well but it is very much necessary for an online florist. I personally wouldn’t advise you to focus on Facebook but rather on Google AdWords and other types of Google Ads.

This will make it easier for anyone looking to buy flowers to find your online shop at exactly the right time.


This was a guide on how to start a florist business in South Africa. Do you have any thoughts or questions? Comment below.

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