Last December Ken and I started talking about it seriously and then got to work to get this business started. I was very thankful for Ken who went through a huge book for me to figure out all the laws about starting home businesses in MN. Ken also set up my website for me. I worked out figuring out the best and cheapest place to get fresh flowers, working on what would be in my brochure, making a reservation to be in a bridal show, making a portfolio of pictures, designing my logo, making a banner and figuring out how it would all work.
I did the Bridal show in January which was quite a bit of work but a neat experience. Throughout this past Spring and Summer I did several weddings. I have had a lot of fun visiting with brides and getting to work with flowers. I still have a lot of growing to do to get where I would like it to be but it has been a good start.
I thought I would share some of the advertising that I have done as possibly it would work also for you in any home business that you might be trying.
- Having a booth at the Bridal show. This is the most expensive thing we have done but we did get results. It cost $150 (I believe) for a booth (the different bridal shows in our town varied- I chose one of the cheapest). I also had to buy flowers to show at my booth.
- Sending out brochures. This has been a good method but I am not able to know all of the brides in my area, so it is far from a complete method. I send them out to the people that are in the engagement section of our newspaper and then any others that I hear of.
- Newspaper ad in the wedding section. We found a fairly cheap ad in what they call the wedding showcase. As far as I know we haven't gotten any results from this.
- Putting my brochure at other wedding venues. From what I understand it is very good to get to know others that are in the wedding business so that they will refer you, so I have worked to do that.
- Word of mouth. Ken and I both are quick to tell others (even if they themselves are not getting married) about my new business.
- Another thing I tried (and I don't know the results) which is kind of different but it is this: I was checking out a lot of books from the library about weddings(in order to be better educated) so I decided to place a brochure or business card in them when I returned them since I would figure most people that look at those books are getting married.
- I placed brochures other places. Ken has them at his office, I put them at the Library and a friend who works at the University put some there.
- Online. I have been able to be found fairly well by this. I have a website which people can go to and see pictures of my work and find out about how I do my business and what I can do for them. Many people appreciate being able to find out about the business online before actually contacting the person. Having a website has been very important! I have also used other online service directories to help to get my name out there farther. (They often have a higher ranking in the search engines so my ad in their site comes up before my website does.) I have used only free directories. My favorite one has been Merchant Circle. They let you have information about your business, a link to your website (if you have one), other contact information, a photo slide show, coupons that show up on other local merchant's sites and a business blog. The way I found directories was to Google words that went along with my business and when a directory came up than I would check to see if a listing on it was free.
I have really enjoyed working on my floral business. It is something I have been able to do at home. The kids are learning a lot about it and are looking forward to being old enough to help a lot. Another thing that has made it nice is that Weddings are generally on weekends so when I need to go deliver flowers then Ken is around to watch the kids. (They have come with me on some deliveries though.) Doing this business has also given me the excuse to research and read a lot about weddings. (which I love, even if mine is all done.)
I hope these ideas help if this is something you are looking into. Even if you have no intention of doing flowers maybe the advertising ideas will work for other businesses.
For more money making ideas go to Money Saving Mom and come back here next week to learn about some of the other things that I have done to make money.