Hydroponics is a way to grow plants without soil. Water and different lighting techniques are used to supply the plants with nutrients and keep them growing year round. Starting an indoor hydroponics garden shop can be a fun way to connect with other gardening enthusiasts in your community and make a nice living at the same time.
Educate yourself on all aspects of hydroponic growing, and starting a hydroponic business. If possible, spend time at an indoor-garden shop to watch how things are done, and contact noncompeting hydroponic businesses and ask questions.
Write a business plan for your hydroponic garden shop. Include your mission statement, financial plan, operating plan, marketing strategies and competitor analysis.
Find a location for your shop. Choose a place that is visible from a main road and is easy to get to with ample parking for your customers. You will need space for product displays and shelving, and open areas for customers to browse. Storage space in the store would also be a benefit.
Find a supplier for all of the equipment and supplies you will need for your shop. These will include artificial lighting, growing medium, nutrient solution, pumps (this helps to mix the nutrients and air) and seeds. Consider contacting other hydroponic businesses to ask which suppliers they recommend.
Get a business license and find out if there are any other permits or licenses you will need to operate a hydroponic garden shop in your area. Also contact your insurance provider to find out what type of coverage you will need.
Market and promote your garden shop. Visit local garden clubs and offer a "sneak preview" of your new shop. Create a website that showcases the various plants you will have for sale. Offer educational workshops to local schools. Mail out flyers to homes and businesses in your area. Have a grand-opening event and invite a local radio host or politician.
Consider having a theme for your shop, such as "organic" or "herbs" or "just flowers." Invite local chefs to come in and select herbs or other vegetables.