A person with a greenhouse and an ability to grow either plants, fruit or vegetables has an opportunity to turn his gardening skills into a business. Making money through a commercial greenhouse will be hard work, especially initially. Investment will be important in the early stages, but if you already have the greenhouse in place, then that investment will be reduced dramatically, and you'll need to concentrate on filling your greenhouse and marketing. It is essential to be a competent gardener before starting a greenhouse-based business.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
Decide what you want to sell in terms of plants and produce. If you want to make your business last year round, then you will have to plan accordingly. Even in the winter months you will need to be busy preparing your crop for the following seasons. You will also need to be realistic about whether you have both the capacity to cater for demand throughout the year and the necessary gardening skills to meet that demand.
Choose your greenhouse, if you don't already have one. When choosing a greenhouse, it is best to start small. If you invest in a big greenhouse and your business fails, you will lose a lot of money.
Buy pots, compost, seeds. Buy in bulk, and look for special bargains. Begin by selling what you are adept at growing. Work at your gardening, and, with your business in mind, develop your gardening skills by adding to the list of plants, fruit and vegetables that you can grow. Get an idea of what is popular in your area, and also find out what people aren't interested in buying.
Arrange for how you are going to sell your produce and plants. Your greenhouse can be used, effectively, as a shop, but if you can offer a home delivery service, too, then you will make more money. You will need a small van for the latter, which in itself can be a free advertisement, with your details listed on the side.
Market yourself properly. Your business should be based locally, and you should use local newspapers, circulars and websites as a means of promotion. Look for locally-based gardening websites and study their forums.
Price your produce and plants competitively. Until you are established, you should certainly charge no more for any plants, fruit or vegetables than any competitor.
Tips and warnings
- Use some imagination. Sell bunches of flowers as a two-for-one offer on special occasions.
- Don't rely on too few things to sell. A bad yield could cripple your business. Having enough variety will soften the blow of any problems with a particular plant, fruit or vegetable.
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