How to Start a Gardening Business

Posted on 10 March 2012

How to Start a Gardening Business

Learning how to start a gardening business is a great idea for anyone who loves being outside and has a green thumb!  Both vegetable and flower gardening have gained in popularity in the past few years, so this is a great time to start a gardening business.  In fact, the retail numbers on plants and gardening supplies are through the roof compared to just a few years ago.

A gardening business can take on many forms, all of which are currently in demand.  Some of these include gardeners, landscapers, gardening stores, and freelance garden professionals.  This potentially lucrative field allows you to combine your love of plants and gardening with a great business opportunity.

Finding a niche while learning how to start a gardening business will be important.  As a retail gardening business, you would have to compete with the huge retailers, but by focusing on one niche market, this won’t be as much of an issue.  One direction to consider – which has become popular lately – is concentrating on only environmentally responsible plants, garden pest control products, and fertilizers.

The other area where you can differentiate yourself from the big box stores is in your level of service and expertise.  If you are a gardening expert, chances are good that you know a lot more about this field than the kid the home improvement store hired.

If you want to avoid competing with the large retailers altogether, consider becoming a freelance landscaper or gardener.  If you really know your stuff in these areas, you can do very well.

What You’ll Need to Succeed in a Gardening Business

As with any business, you will need to get a business license to start a gardening business.  Depending on where you live, there might also be other certifications and requirements, so be sure to check with your local licensing office for details.

A big part of learning how to start a gardening business is learning as much as you can about all the plants that grow (and don’t grow) in your area.  You should endeavor to become an expert on which plants thrive during different times of the year, in various soil conditions, and in each possible light condition.

Also consider carrying indoor plants and accessories that can be used year-round.  You don’t want your business to completely stop in the winter, if you live in an area where it snows.

You will want to stock a good number of plants, whether you decide to make your gardening business a retail store or work as a freelancer.  Get to know your local greenhouses and develop relationships with the best ones.  You will be able to negotiate wholesale rates in most cases, but quality will be more important than price.  Your customers will be willing to pay a little more for the best.

To market your gardening business, the Internet, as well as local print advertising are your best bets.  Create a website that demonstrates your expertise and the quality of your work, and make sure you work on your SEO so that the search engines find you.  You can also consider holding workshops on various gardening subjects.  These can be free workshops that will lead to the participants using your services, or you can charge for them.

Learning how to start a gardening business can be a lot of fun, and it can be a profitable business venture.  It takes work and know-how, but it’s all worth it when you look around and realize you are the owner of a thriving business!

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