How to Open a Nursery or Garden Center

Written by ehow business editor
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Opening a nursery can be very rewarding. Follow these steps and watch your business grow.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Business Plan
  • Business Consultants
  • Business Licenses
  • Business Loans
  • Web Site Developers
  • Business loans

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  1. 1

    Have a love of flowers, plants and trees.

  2. 2

    Learn as much as you can about horticulture (the art or science of growing flowers, plants, vegetables and trees). Take classes at local colleges.

  3. 3

    Get a job with a nursery or landscaping company. This will give you an insider's look at the business.

  4. 4

    Establish a place of business. If you will be selling plants and trees, you will need plenty of room. An acre may be sufficient to house your merchandise.

  5. 5

    Buy or grow your merchandise. Trees can take a year or more to get to a decent size to transplant.

  6. 6

    Contact the city or county department that handles business licenses and request an application.

  7. 7

    Inquire as to what other requirements there are for opening a business. You may be required to provide insurance or have to follow certain restrictions for the area.

  8. 8

    Contact the Franchise Tax Board to get a wholesale permit, if required. This will allow you to purchase goods without paying tax if they are to be used in your business.

  9. 9

    Make a business plan. You'll need to have all of the aspects of opening and running the business worked out for the short and long term.

  10. 10

    Get financing. Unless you have a lot of money lying around, you will need to borrow money to build.

  11. 11

    Advertise your new business. Highlight special times of the year to plant certain plants and trees to attract business. Create an incentive offer for frequent planters.

  12. 12

    Offer home services such as planting, garden care and lawn care.

Tips and warnings

  • Consider the climate where you live and plan to do business. If it gets very cold for several months of the year, this type of business may not do as well.
  • Learn which plants, trees and shrubs thrive in your climate, and sell those.
  • Beware that severe weather can dramatically affect your plants, trees and livelihood.

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