Behind every fulfilled dream is a realistic view of the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to make happen.
One of the biggest perks of my job (besides working with a kick-ass group of women) is that I get to spend a lot of time just talking with florists. I get to listen to their highs and lows, struggles and celebrations, and their fears and frustrations.
I’ve been doing this for over a decade, and one thing rings true for every flower shop owner I’ve ever encountered: even though owning their own business was the best decision they ever made, it can be lonely at times.
Now, don’t get me wrong, most floral business owners I have had the privilege to consult are very happy and have no regrets about owning their own business, but it is NOT for the faint of heart.
I’d like to talk about five things an entrepreneur needs to consider before starting their own business:
- You might fail. According to the Small Business Association, 70% survive the first two years of business. After that, 50% will survive for five years. Doing your market research and understanding your niche in the industry will significantly enhance your chances of success. More important than these statistics? Grit, determination, and hard work. If you have these three, you're doing better than the 50% out there now. Living with the regret of not "going for it" can be worse than any risk of failure you might encounter.
- You will find out who your real friends are. Don’t assume all of your friends and family are going to love your idea of starting a business. They might not be able to see your vision, or they might think you are wasting your money, and that is okay because remember, this is YOUR dream, not theirs. Like we always say at Flower Clique, “We aren’t for everyone!”
- Something will have to give. When you start your own business, everything about it revolves around you. You are in charge of buying, selling, creating, bill paying, marketing...you get the picture. Something else in your life might have to take a backseat. You might have to give up attending Thursday night Happy Hours with friends because you have to get a big sympathy order out the door. Or, you might have to give up the fancy gym membership because you need that money to spend on the business.
- It’s lonely at the top. Honestly, this is one of the biggest confessions I hear from flower shop owners. Even though they have employees, they feel very alone because of all the day-to-day responsibilities and decisions they have to make. This is precisely why I preach about the importance of community. A big part of Flower Clique is the intimate community we provide for our members. It's a safe space for shop owners to share their questions and concerns and celebrations. The bottom line is: find your people!
- It’ll be the most rewarding job you ever have. If you stuck with me this far, then let me assure you I am not trying to scare you off. I'm simply being honest with you about the realities of owning your own business. There is some incredible about being able to own your own business. You get to make your own decisions, be your own boss, and decide what hours you want to work. Heck, Vonda used to take baby Ellie to work with her at her shop every day… not every career lets you do that!
The bottom line is this: Dream big, work hard, and surround yourself with good people.