Boost Flower Farm Sales with Better Business Ideas

You've done the hard part, getting your flowers from seeds to harvest. Now, you need to sell them.

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by Austin Graf
PHOTO: styxclick/stock.adobe.com

To boost your flower farm sales, you’ll need to come up with some business ideas beyond growing beautiful flowers. Once you have buckets and buckets of flowers, you need to figure out how on earth to sell them. You’ve been trying to put yourself out there, and get people interested, but you just can’t seem to sell all those flowers.

The truth is that it can be challenging. It’s a competitive market. It’s a fast-growing agricultural sector, and your little flower farm is competing with massive flower importers that have had decades to perfect the craft of growing cheap and beautiful flowers.

Don’t get discouraged. Plenty of opportunities exist to turn a profit on a flower farm; it just might require a bit of innovation, so I have compiled some tips and tricks that could help elevate your flower farm to the next level.

Leverage and Build Your Network

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it often seems to get overlooked. A critical part of any business venture is to leverage and build a network. Odds are that your network will be family and friends starting out, and those will make up your first few buyers. That’s great! You’re making a few sales now, but let’s take it a step further.

It’s way easier to meet 10 people that each have a network of 10 people than it is to develop a relationship of 100 people. Take free flowers to local businesses, just set them out, share with business owners what you’re doing, win them over. This way has no strings attached, but it begins building advocates with large networks in your community. Watch your orders start rolling in quickly!

Extend Your Growing Season

Perhaps one of the best ways to up your sales as a flower farmer is to simply beat the competition to market. During summer months you will notice market gardeners and vegetable farmers also typically have an influx of blooms at the farmers market. More flower farmers show up in summer when the easier varieties such as zinnias and sunflowers begin to bloom.

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By planting heavily for spring flowers, using season extension methods, biennial flowers and even forcing tulip blooms, you’ll be able to beat a large number of flower farmers to market and capitalize on strong spring sales that can help carry you through a slower summer.

Start a Flower CSA or Subscription

Flower community-supported-agriculture programs, aka CSAs, and subscription models are great ways to help ensure your flowers aren’t going to waste. Begin selling them in winter. I like to offer them as holiday gifts available for purchase.

I find folks don’t hesitate to spend a little extra on bringing joy to a loved one, and these subscriptions do just that. Yes, you must manage the fund up front and fulfill each order, but if you do a good job, you’ll also likely begin earning more custom orders and opportunities.

Hotel Florist and Gift Shop Contracts

While not widely known, many hotels regularly have fresh flower installations provided every week. This is a contract that must be secured, but complimentary samples could go a long way, particularly in boutique hotels. Simply grow, design and deliver. These contracts offer a dependable source of income and can also help gain additional exposure for more orders.

If you have a major hospital nearby, consider consulting their gift shop. Many gift shops have florist contracts for a few fresh bouquets of flowers to be in their shops. A flower farm could easily win these contracts, and again garner some more consistent and stable income.

Begin  U-Pick or Host Events

While this one is a lot of work and requires an ideal set-up and lots of infrastructure, and perhaps additional insurance and legal requirements, hosting u-pick flower picking or events on the farm can be great sources of revenue. Many u-picks cater to bridal-showers and “mommy and me” days that seem very popular.

You can also easily host floral design workshops, and other educational classes that utilize your blooms and pay you for your time and knowledge. This also builds a rapport and connection for individuals with your farm and brand hopefully increasing intent to purchase your flowers in the future.

Follow these tips to boost flower farm sales, and your business will be blooming.