Presently, the dried flower business is a very profitable venture worldwide. Flower production is one of the fastest-growing crop trends in agriculture today with a strong demand for all types of flowers, especially unique and hard-to-grow varieties.
The interest in cut-dry flowers has increased consistently over the last ten years. If you enjoy gardening and want to turn your gardening hobby into a business, think about growing flowers for profit.
Flowers are among the most profitable plants, producing one of the highest returns of any specialty crop. Growing, processing, and selling dried flowers could put you on the path of making money with a sustainable business from the very first year.
One of the primary reasons for setting up a dried flower business is the fact that you can easily start it right from your home. In addition, you can use your own garden as the initial source for the flowers to be dried and sold.
The potential for profitable dry flower production is to emphasize crops that are adapted to our northern climate. Pay attention to flower quality and focus on niche marketing. The types of crops that can be grown efficiently will determine what you can offer the market, and market price and demand will determine what can be grown profitably. Dried flowers are also called “everlastings” because they last so long when dried.
Here are the 10 Steps to Start a Dried Flower Business
1. Understand the Market
The success of a dried flower business will largely depend on the demand in the local community. It is advised to conduct market research and collect as much information as possible to know the size of the market, competitors, and future potential of the business. It will help you in planning your business in the best possible way.
The primary demand for dried flowers comes from hobbyists, event planners, and from individuals interested in decorating their interiors. You must have a network of resellers for promoting your dried flower items.
2. Learn the Process of Making Dried Flowers
The process of making dried flowers broadly can be categorized into three steps. They are the following:
a) Crop Selection for Dried Flower Business
The selection of suitable crops for the dried flower business is very important to get success in the industry. Some of the flowers lose their ornamental value after drying.
Most everlastings, such as celosia and strawflower, are very easy to grow and easy to air dry. Growers find the best market for dried flowers are craft shops, antique shops, and selling dried flower arrangements to flower shops and restaurants.
b) Harvesting for Dried Flower Business
The stage of harvesting for different flowers varies according to the species and the form of flower desired. You will need to be careful about the perfect time for harvesting.
Usually, flowers are harvested just before they are fully open and the color has not faded. Flowers harvested at a fully open stage took lesser time for drying than those harvested at a tight bud and half-open stage.
c) Drying Techniques for Dried Flower Business
The quality and appearance of dried flowers and other ornamental plant parts are greatly influenced by the method of drying or the drying technique that is followed. Various techniques involved in the production of dried ornamental plant material include air drying, press drying, embedded drying, oven drying, freeze-drying, etc in the dried flower business.
Air drying is a very common method of drying where plant materials are attached to rope/wire and are kept in a hanging position either in the dark or in the sun for quick drying. This process requires a warm clean dark and well-ventilated area with low humidity
In press drying, the flowers and foliage are placed between the folds of newspaper sheets or blotting papers giving some space among the flowers. These sheets are kept one above the other and corrugated boards of the same size are placed in between the folded sheets so as to allow the water vapor to escape.
Sand, borax, silica gel, sawdust, perlite, and a combination of these are used as media for embedding. Among these, sand and borax are cheaper but they take more time for drying. For delicate flowers like roses, dahlia, carnations, etc, silica gel is the ideal drying agent.
Currently, hot air and microwave ovens are also being used for faster drying and to improve the quality of dry flowers in the dried flower business. In these methods, the plant material is kept at a controlled temperature for a specified time typical of the plant species.
Temperature plays an important role in the drying of flowers and other ornamental plant parts by influencing both qualitative and quantitative parameters.
Glycerine drying has been used by several workers especially to preserve foliage. It was comparatively less expensive and had a high water-attracting capacity. Many types of foliage have been successfully preserved by either immersing leaves or placing crushed stems in a 33 percent glycerol solution
The most effective method of flower preservation in the dried flower business is freeze-drying. Freeze drying relies on the principle of sublimation, whereby ice is held under conditions of partial vacuum (less than 4.58 Torr) and low temperature (less than 0°C) and will evaporate on heating without going through a liquid phase.
The absence of liquid water during the dehydration process means that undesirable chemical reactions will not occur. Hence, color and even fragrance are retained in the dried flowers.
Once the dried flower business is ready for expansion, there are a couple of options. The first is to lease vacant land to increase flower production, and the second option is to purchase flowers. Once dried and packaged, the flowers can be sold to retailers on a wholesale basis.
3. Name Your Dried Flower Business
Choose a name for your dried flower company that is catchy and relatable to customers. Check this guide to know more about naming your dried flower business.
4. Create a Business Plan for Your Dried Flower Business
Based on the information collected, start writing a business plan. Your dried flower business plan must include your objectives for starting the business, operating plan, financial plan, products, and services offered. and a marketing plan. You can take help from business plan generators if the need arises.
If you starting on a small scale with your own savings, and not looking for funding, try to write your own business plan. The business plan must address the following basic aspects:
- Executive Summary
- Solutions You Offer
- Market Scope
- Competitor Analysis
- SWOT Analysis
- Operational Plan
- Hiring Plan, if required
5. Calculate the Cost of Starting a Dried Flower Business
The two major costs of starting a dried flower business are gardening supplies and land. If you own land or have vacant land in your backyard, the startup cost reduces substantially. Other costs include compliance and marketing expenses.
The investment will increase if one decides to market freeze-dry flower bouquets. You need specialized equipment to store those items. An approximate cost of such storage will be a minimum of $1500.
In addition to fixed costs, there will be recurring costs to run this business. It includes gardening supplies, equipment maintenance, salaries of staff, land leasing, etc.
One can start a dried flower business with an approximate investment of as low as $2500 on a small scale.
6. Register Your Business
To start and run a legally compliant business, it is essential to register your business. Every country and state offers different business structure types based on the scale of operation and resources. Talk to a local competent authority and select the one that suits you most.
For example, in the United States, the popular business structures for a small business are sole proprietorship, partnership, and limited liability company (LLC). Most legal experts recommend going with LLC Company formation as it protects the personal assets of a business owner from getting sued in a financial dispute.
One can form an LLC of your own paying the required State LLC registration cost. You can also hire a business formation service provider and get it done without hassles.
7. Get Licenses
It is essential to procure the required licenses and permits to run a dried flower business in your locality. Talk to the local competent authority or a lawyer and get those licenses.
If you are from the United States, visit the official site of SBA and learn more about the specific licenses you need to start and run a dried flower business.
8. Apply for Taxes
To run a legally compliant business, it is mandatory to register your business for taxes. It is advised to take advice from a local attorney and understand the tax requirements in your state or country to operate a dried flower company.
In the United States, you need to have an EIN no to register for taxes. Furthermore, the tax options will be based on your business structure.
9. Open a Business Bank Account
After you finish the legal formalities, it is time to open a business bank account. The main benefits of having a business bank account are protecting your personal assets, ease of accounting, and smooth filing of annual taxes. In addition, it also helps customers and employees for paying and accept money.
10. Have a Marketing Plan to Sell Dried Flowers
Networking is the key to being successful in this business. Contact hobbyists, retail stores, and end customers who use dried flowers. Reach out to party planners and offer your products. Having a website with a relevant company name goes a long way in making your customers relate to and remember your products.
Create a brochure with photos of your dried flowers and distribute them to potential customers. Also, create a profile of your company on popular social media platforms and post events and news about your company.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Dried Flower Business Profitable?
Dry flowers have good demand worldwide. Countries like the USA Japan and Europe are major importers of dried flowers. The major applications of dried flowers are very wide. It includes making handmade paper, lampshades, candleholders, jute bags, photo frames, boxes, books, topiary, cards, and gift items. The use of dry flowers in the making of these products enhances the appearance and beauty of these products.
How Much Profit Can You Make in Dried Flower Business?
The earnings will largely depend on the type of dried flower business. The cost of flowers also varies. You can charge $600 to $800 for flower preservation, or sell a dried flower bouquet for $25. For example, if you sell 100 dry flower bouquets for $25 each, the profit earnings will be around $2000. One can increase the profit by growing and drying the dried flowers yourself.
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