How to Start a Gardening Business from Home

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Gardening isn’t for everyone. If you love the outdoors, don’t mind rolling around a bit in the dirt, then probably gardening is going to work for you.

In this post we’re going to take a close look at how to start a gardening business from home and make it successful. 

To succeed in any business, passion towards the business and all its little intricacies is what you need first. The rest will fall in place.

Who can start their own gardening business?

As I said at the start, people who like the outdoors would shine in the gardening business. Another thing you should enjoy doing is talking with clients. Beyond profits, you need a passion to succeed in the business.

How to Start a Gardening Business from Home

Gardening isn’t simply about trying to grow different plants. It has multiple sub-niches where you can choose to specialize in. Let’s say you take up lawn-cleaning. 

You need to have skills for keeping lawns in shape. Start by practicing on your own lawn first.

Those who like being successful need to adapt to different weather conditions. Seasons change, temperatures soar and then go down. There’s winter and rain. As a gardener you need to prepare for any eventuality.

This job requires that you have the strength for lifting and moving heavy equipment. You need to be able to face harsh weather too.

What is gardening and what does it involve

The features of the gardening business make it unique. These unique features play a role in choice of services to provide, your preferred clients, and ultimately how much money you make.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • It’s hard work… lots of it. With gardening, you’re engaged in plenty of manual labor, starting from lifting, digging, and exposure to sun or rain and wind.
  • This will help you keep healthy but there’s also considerable strain.
  • The gardening business is seasonal. Gardening businesses show great activity in the summertime and there’s good cash flow during those warm months. In the winters, there isn’t much activity. So this is great for students, or for teachers who are free in the summers.
  • It requires knowledge. You need to know something about gardening, taking care of plants and taking care of large areas and specific maintenance habits of exotic plants.

Here’s how to get started:

1. Think of business names

First off you need a name for your business. Make it memorable. Let your brand’s personality shine through and let it stand out from other competitors.

You can use the tool called business name generator for naming your gardening business.

2. Decide on your services

Gardening branches out into different niches. Based on your expertise you can choose to do one or the other thing.

Primarily, what here’s you can do broadly:

  • Landscaping
  • Choosing different plants and planting them
  • Digging, taking care of the space
  • Maintaining the lawns with mowing, pruning and other types of cleaning
  • You need to plant, maintain the garden and harvest food

Browse the sites of gardeners and landscapers and watch videos on YouTube to learn more.

3. Set a budget for marketing

In the next step, you need to set up a marketing budget. 

You need the licenses and the marketing materials like printed brochures to get going.

Before you start, you need a budget for equipment, you need a budget for seeds, for fertilizers and for pesticides.

The startup costs aren’t high. If you plan well you can start for less than $5000.

The biggest cost is the time you spend carrying out manual labor.

4. Create your website

When working from home, you need a way for people to find you. A website is a great way for people sitting in their homes to discover your site, the products you’re selling and their pricing.

Make sure you list your phone number on your site, so that anyone who has doubts or work for you can reach out easily.

It isn’t enough to create a one-page website and add some lines here and there. 

Add pictures of flowers, of vegetables and shrubs on the website. This helps you communicate your value proposition to a prospective client.

5. Buy equipment and supplies

If you look through your home you may already have enough gardening equipment to get started. Depending on what you need to do, things like carpentry tools, seedboxes and other equipment will be readily available.

You can write down the expenses on an excel sheet and keep track of outgoings of your business.

Here’s all that you may need:

Consider offering custom PVC planter boxes for clients looking for durable and versatile gardening solutions.

6. Write a business plan for your gardening business

Think of a business plan as a promise for the future. A business plan helps you plan out the direction of where you want to take your business. Business plans help you run the cash flow, the expenses and the profits for the next six months to a year

glenn-carstens-peters-RLw-UC03Gwc-unsplash

A business plan can give you peace of mind knowing how much you’re going to spend. You also qualify to apply for a loan with a business plan by your side.

You need to list out all startup expenses which are expenses for buying the plants, for registering the business and for essential equipment.

The monthly expenses are the costs of marketing your business, vehicle insurance, equipment maintenance, cost of labor and more.

Learning the basic steps of starting a business will help you create a business that will last for years together.

When calculating, first start by wrapping your mind around operational costs.

Consider business expenses and figure out how much to charge a potential customer to cover expenses and also make a profit.

To be able to compete, charge reasonably. You also need to turn a profit. Look at the prices competitors are charging for their services or products. And list that down on a spreadsheet. 

Compare the prices they charge with the expenses you incur and figure out a pricing structure that will help you run things sustainably.

You have a demand for the service because there are homeowners who struggle to find time for something like this with their schedule. But, remember this—homeowners don’t have an unlimited budget.

Before you start investing, document all related expenses and create a list of goals with a statement of vision. Plan your marketing and promotion tactics. Plus keep in mind the expenses needed for marketing.

7. Find the target market

The best customers are those who agree to set up recurring automatic billing from you.

These customers state their budgets in advance and the money they’re willing to spend. With a recurring model you don’t have to worry about sending invoices or getting paid on time.

Local businesses who need this service will typically pay better than the average homeowner. Hospitals and residential complexes are customers because they have big lawns to maintain.

8. Promoting your gardening business

Word-of-mouth among a few friends and neighbors can get you started. Begin creating a social media page and a Google My Business listing

This is the age of virtual marketing. With this anyone who searches online will be able to find you. But that alone may never be enough to generate a consistent supply of new leads.

Write articles about gardening for inbound leads. Consider building a list that you can send offers to. This will help you get your brand name out in local areas. Also, it’ll increase your chances of capturing local SEO rankings.

You’ll need to keep an eye on other local SEO ranking factors  that help your gardening business rank at the top.

To make the business turn a profit, you need effective marketing at play. Have a budget for advertisements. You will spend this budget to l advertise your site using the pay-per-click model or other channels.

Online promotions, events and newspaper ads are ways for you to advertise your business and get the word out. Once you have enough customers, word-of-mouth will get you more.

Print the company's name on your car and distribute flyers in places that people visit. Brand your visiting card too.

9. Create a record-keeping system

Next you need the basics set up with a record-keeping system set-up and running. This is the back office where you keep things you want to track.

You can tag customers by these ideas

  • Your own availability to take on new jobs
  • Current bookings
  • Payments
  • Cash flow
  • Expenses.

You need a calendar to track your time with a ledger to track where money coming in from.

An overview of the industry

When running your gardening business, you need to understand how valuable the market can be. The global value for the gardening market is over 100 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 and it went over 104 billion U.S. dollars currently.

According to Industry statistics,  there were over 24,642 nursery and garden businesses in the United States in 2019.

Pros and cons of a gardening business

Pros

  • Get control over jobs and clients you want to work with
  • Set your own hours
  • Spending time outside in the greens
  • Exercise
  • Choose services to offer
  • No formal training necessary

Cons

  • Initial equipment expenses may be high
  • Competition from others
  • Physically demanding
  • Landscaping is season

Is a gardening business profitable?

There’s a lot of money to be made here. The most important thing to understand is to manage this you need to be flexible because it can take a lot of your time. People are going green big time. 

Gardening has a great potential to generate extra income. With time, you may even replace your day-job with gardening.

When you start gardening work, there also comes research. You need to find what grows well in your region and introduce plants that are conducive to that particular growing environment.

You need to know what the ideal growing conditions for each plant are and how to optimize the growing environment.

Seasonal variations can prove disastrous for plants. You need a place that’s safe from animals so they won’t break in and eat your produce.

What should you plant?

You can plant fruits, vegetables or shrubs in the area. They sell really well and you can turn a  profit fairly quickly.

Think of anything that can grow naturally in your locality.

Flowers

Flowers are a specialty crop that can start generating an income from the first year itself.

Flowers

A flower-growing business can offer several products: bulbs, dried flowers and cut flowers—all of which can be sold and are profitable.

A few dollars worth of supplies is often enough to get started.

Ginseng root

Another high value crop is Ginseng root. Ginseng roots are used to treat a wide variety of ailments. It requires six years for you to start harvesting mature roots. However those growing it can harvest rootlets and seeds.

If you grow Ginseng you can make $100,000 or more from a half-acre plot of land.

Landscaping trees and shrubs

A plant in a 1 gallon pot is priced at $4 to $6 and for a five-gallon pot you can charge up to $25. For a ten gallon pot with a tree you can charge up to $100.

Landscaping trees and shrubs

Find a niche you like and grow a variety that is hard to discover elsewhere.

Landscaping trees and shrubs2

Mushrooms

When you’re starting your business from home, it's entirely possible you’re growing without much space. Mushrooms like oyster mushrooms and shiitake can be grown inside your home without any soil.

mushrooms

They don’t need a lot of care or attention either. Trust me, I have grown plenty of oyster mushrooms.

They are ready to harvest in around six week’s time and you can sell them for $6-$7 a pound wholesale and double that amount for retail.

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasseas are drought resistant and require low maintenance. There are hundreds of types of them that you can grow:

Ornamental Grasses

These are the types of ornamental grass that grow the quickest:

  • Giant Silvergrass
  • Running Bamboo 
  • Clumping Bamboo
  • Ravenna Grass

What you shouldn’t do

Never sell poor quality plants or shrubs.

The quality of your plants should be guaranteed. Exposing them to light and constant attention can get them the quality you want to. Don’t sell poor quality plants in the hope of getting rid of them.

Doing so, you’re doing big damage to your reputation.

Conclusion: how to start a gardening business from home

In gardening the location of your business is a prime factor. Most plants  do not grow well in areas that are either extremely hot or extremely cold.

Also, if you’re hiring staff the staff should be knowledeable and think on their feet to solve customer problems.

About the author 

George Mathew

George is a blogger and writer at Kamayobloggers, a site he started to share cutting-edge marketing advice.

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