I turned gardening into a profitable business and want to discuss with you how I made this happen. This article is not a “how to” step by step guide on what to grow and how to grow it, but I will reveal my biggest secret on how I started making great money within 3 months of starting this business and how you can do the exact same thing. First, here’s a little background about how this all started. I began gardening 2 years ago as a hobby just like most people out there and quickly fell in love with the process and wanted to start doing it full time while making some sweet cash doing it. I thought to myself, Hal, you have some gardening skills but you’re not a pro and in order to make money doing this you need to model someone that’s already in the business and making money. KEYWORD, MODELING. This is my secret sauce that I use in all areas of my life including business, relationships, investing, golf, literally everything. I read about modeling other people and how you can accelerate your results by years and years if you do the same things as someone who is already successful in whatever it is you want to accomplish. They say “success leaves clues”, and boy I’m here to tell you it sure does and modeling others can be the best decision you ever make in your life. I called around to every single person or business that gardens and learned as much as I could from them. I quickly found out what fruits and vegetables to grow during what seasons, what problems to expect and how to deal with them, and what products have the best margins on them. Ya I could have googled all this information but to hear it from local people that have been in the trenches and have adapted their practices according to the weather here in Ohio was something special. You’re not going to get these kinds of insights from the internet and they also offered their help if I ever run into any problems, and those connections my friends, are priceless. Now, you should be doing this kind of research no matter what, but modeling someones exact processes if you’re going to invest any money into gardening you need to know what your doing and the same is true if you’re starting any kind of business. Within a few weeks I had spoke to about 20 people, wrote out a comprehensive business plan, and was ready to start my gardening business. I will be sharing a lot more detailed information on writing a business plan and more about the monetizing strategies involved in gardening, your return on investment, and a lot more stuff in upcoming posts. Please visit my home page, bookmark it, and stay tuned for a lot more gardening tips and tricks. We can all make 6 figures doing what we love and I will make sure to layout the process for you! We actually had a story recently submitted to us from a retired roofing business owner in Glendale AZ that sold his business to start earning money from his passion, growing fruits and vegetables. If you have an inspiration story, please send it to us here!…
In this post I’d like to prepare all of you that are looking to build and grow a gardening business to have the right mindset. Now some of you have probably started another business in the past and kind of know what to expect, but to some of you building a new business might be a brand new concept. I’m here to tell you that there will be “problems” or things you didn’t think of ahead of time that will come up along the way to growing your business. First of all, let me address the “problems”. The word problem is just another way of saying that a surprise happened, it was just a surprise you didn’t like. To give you an example of one of these so called problems I’ll resort back to when I started growing mushrooms for profit (the edible kind, not the psychedelic kind!). I had just harvested my first batch of mushrooms and had already found a buyer that said he wanted to take them all as soon as they were ready. Once the mushrooms were harvested and packaged, I gave the buyer a call just to find out that the phone number (the only way I knew how to get a hold of him) had been disconnected. I had literally just spent the last few hundred dollars I had in savings setting up this mushroom grow operation and ran into my first real “problem”. See I had researched a ton of information on growing mushrooms so I had a great idea of the process and any problems I might run into, but I was prepared. I actually wound up harvesting twice as many mushrooms as I had planned on! Which was great! Except for the fact that I didn’t have anyone to buy my mushrooms and knew that these babies wouldn’t last too long without being in a refrigerator. At the time I was sharing a living space with 3 other people and so the thought of asking them if I could completely stock the fridge up with mushrooms didn’t seem reasonable, and I didn’t want to piss off my roommates after just moving in with them 2 months prior. Instead of looking at the situation as a “problem”, I went ahead and thought about how this could be a great opportunity. See, if I would have pouted all day and whined about how other people are flaky, I might have gotten discourage and wanted to abandon the whole operation. Instead I quickly realized that if I could find a restaurant with a refrigerator and used mushrooms on their menu, I could work out a deal, gain trust, and potentially also gain a customer for life. I was shot down by the first 15 restaurants I called! Once again I could have given up, but instead looked for the opportunity in the situation and thought to myself that this is a great chance to try to improve my sales skills and try a new method to find the right restaurant. I loaded up some of my mushrooms in my truck and started cruising around town. The 3rd restaurant I went to literally just had a produce supplier that couldn’t get them any produce for an entire month because of supply issues, and I soon realized this was a huge opportunity. If you read my 2nd post you’d know that I had already talked to about 20 gardeners that grew their own fruits and vegetables locally so I had a mini-network of produce suppliers! If you didn’t read that post, click here to read it now. The restaurant owner was happy to make a deal with me on the mushrooms I had and I told him I could reach out to my gardening friends and see what we could do for him. By the end of the day I made deals with 10 other local gardeners to supply this restaurant with the produce they needed. Not only was I making a profit off the mushrooms I sold them, but I was also making a small profit on all the other produce I had bought from the local gardeners and was selling to the restaurant as well. This really opened up the flood gates to new ideas I had never thought of before, produce brokering, which has made me a 6 figure passive income for the last several years. The point of this story is that a big majority of gardeners trying to start their own business wold have quit after the initial buyer fell through and they experienced their first “problem”. I’m here to tell you that these types of scenarios CAN and WILL happen throughout the course of your business. The first takeaway here is to mentally not get discouraged, find the opportunity in the situation, don’t quit until it’s resolved, and your chances of success and growing as a person will be tremendous. The second takeaway here is that without a big enough motivator, it’s really hard to find the drive to overcome these so called problems that come up. Turning my passion from a hobby into a business, making lots of money to help my family and other people, and also to have the freedom to travel the world is the reason I started the business in the first place. If my reasons were, “ya, I’d like to make a lot of money”, I’m almost certain I wouldn’t have had the motivation to call 20 other restaurants, get turned down, than physically drive to 3 others. That’s a lot of time, effort, and rejection in just a couple days. You’ve got to do stuff for the right reasons to see it through to the end. Even if you’re super motivated to get your business off the ground but it’s for the wrong reasons that at the end of the day don’t REALLY matter, than you might find success but you’re going to feel unfulfilled at the end of the day. When …
If you’re going to invest money into growing a gardening business, you might as well soak up as much information and learn as much as you can about gardening to get the highest return on your business that you possibly can. We’re going to share with you some gardening tips and tricks that are completely “pro moves” in our opinion and if you implement these gold nuggets into your gardening practices, we’re sure you’re going to love the results! Here is a list of our top 5 best moves you can make in your garden that will save you lots of valuable time:
- If you’re using clay pots you should know that those things are going to have some salt stored in them that are going to be extremely detrimental to your plants! And according to this article at hgtv.com, you can actually get rid of the sale deposits if you mix together rubbing alcohol and vinegar into a bottle and spray it on the clay pot, then scrub it with a brush or something firm so you can scrub that salt right out of there!
- If you scratch a bar of soap with your fingers, the soap will actually bury in under your nails and can prevent dirt from getting up in there! What?! No more having to scrub under your nails after gardening? Ya, we thought you’d like this one!
- If you spray any tools you’ll be using in your gardening practices and they have a spring that is used when the device is working, you can actually spray these parts of the device with vegetable, peanut, or olive oil and it will actually help the tool last for a lot longer because the spring won’t break when it’s lubed up.
- If you know what size shoe you wear, you can avoid having to bend over to measure things! Once you take a certain amount of steps, divide it by how many “shoe lengths” it takes to complete 1 foot, divide it by the total number of steps, and you’ve got your space measured perfectly!
- If you take an empty pot, you can actually stick it over another pot that has a baby plant in it to protect it from freezing during cold nights. It’s like a warm shelter for the baby plant!
We covered the mindset you have to have in psychology, we’ve taught you how to make money in the gardening business, how to take money in the gardening business, now you have some pro tips for when you actually start getting down and dirty in your garden! We will be covering lots of articles on more strategic methods on certain types of plants and what type of gardening will make you the most money! Please contact us here if you’d have any questions on any of these pro moves we’ve mentioned in this article!…
Almost every single successful business started with some sort of a business plan. Some companies take 3-4 years to even write one of these things! Trust me when I say that the people that take the time to write a thorough and comprehensive business plan usually get rewarded. I’m going to discuss with you the basics to writing a complete business plan that is going to map out your strategy to making money and earning a living.
Before we start it’s important to know that in 10 years time, 90% of businesses are going to completely fail after they open up shop. For the remaining 10% of businesses that manage to last for this 10 years, they may not even be profitable! This should put things in perspective on how hard it is to run and maintain a growing and thriving business. I want to make sure to be extremely transparent in saying that going into business is tough and is going to take some grinding to make it happen but when it does, it makes it all that much sweeter. So lets begin in taking your first step to starting up your gardening business.
A business plan entails a game plan on how your going to start you business, what kind of expenses it will take to get it going, what kind of profits you plan to make, what your marketing strategy is, and who the people are running your company. For the sake of this article we’re going to pretend that you are running this business yourself because in reality, that’s what most of you will be doing. When your writing your business plan, start with these basics.
- What are all of your expenses going to be (soil, tools, seeds, fertilizer, etc)?
- How long is it going to take you til you have your first harvest and can start generating revenue?
- Who are you going to sell your fruits or vegetables to?
- Who are your competitors? What do they charge? What separates you from them? Here’s a useful tip: What separates you from your competition should go deeper than price. It should be about being organic or something about your gardening practices that are more sustainable and friendly to the environment than your competitors. You have to add some value on top of just being cheaper than the other guys because a lot of restaurants and produce managers are going to pick quality over quantity! It’s also important to know your markets though because this isn’t necessarily always the case. Do your research!
- What is your margins off each type of product?
- How are you going to scale this business?
- What is your brand?
- How long before you can actually pay yourself some money for the work your doing?
These are the very basics of any business plan and are a great way to get the wheels turning and start preparing a game plan. This will also help you get funding for your business start up costs if you need it because than an investor can look at the numbers and know exactly when your planning on paying them back and how much money they will make off of their investment. I hope this article helps you in getting started writing your business plan. Just remember, no matter how much you plan in advance for “problems” that are going to come up in the future, something can and will happen that you didn’t foresee. Remember our article about gardening psychology 101? If you haven’t already, go check it out because you’ll soon realize there are never any problems! Only opportunities. If you liked this article or have a story about how a business plan has helped your business get going, please drop me a line here. We’ll look forward into going more in depth regarding your business plan in upcoming articles, peace!…
If you’re just starting your gardening business and are wondering what you should grow, we’re here to tell you that oyster mushrooms are extremely easy to grow and have great profit margins. Some high-end grocery stores sell these bad boys for up to $20 per pound! This was my first growing for profit venture and it really worked out well for me. I’m going to break down how to get started, manage, scale, and sell these types of mushrooms.
How to start growing
Mushrooms used to be grown in a way that took a lot of materials and some skills. Nowadays you can actually grow these in a way that helps the planet by using materials that would have otherwise been thrown away! What are these materials you might ask? The answer is waiting for you at your local Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks, yup, that’s right, we’re talking about coffee grounds! In order to grow oyster mushrooms all you need is a clear plastic bag, mushroom spawn, used coffee grounds, a lamp, a fan, and you’re ready to rock n’ roll! The startup cost is going to be around $75 for everything and can grow you about 25 pounds of mushrooms if you have a 10×10 room to grow in. All you have to do is:
- Put the used coffee grounds in the clear plastic bag
- sprinkle the spawn inside of the bag
- seal the bag and poke a few holes in the sides
- turn on a lamp and a fan
- Wait about 4-6 weeks and you’re ready for harvest!
I know what you’re thinking right now…it can’t be that easy right? Actually yes, it is that easy and this will make you some money if you know how and where to sell them which I’ll discuss in the next paragraph. The only thing you need to know is that once the mushrooms look like they’re fully grown, you just cut off the tops of the mushrooms and BE SURE to keep them in a refrigerator when you’re storing them.
Where to sell oyster mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms can be sold at farmers markets, grocery stores, restaurants, and food distributors. In my experience the best profits come from restaurants because they are the end user and when you sell them to a grocery store, they still have to make a profit so you’ll probably get less money. The good thing about selling straight to restaurants is you get more money but the bad thing is they usually can’t buy as many as a grocery store would be able to so you’re going to have to make the decision as a business owner about what logistics are going to work best for your business model. The average market rate for oyster mushrooms when selling at the farmers market or to restaurant is anywhere from $4-$7 per pound depending on what part of the country you live in. The price you get from a grocery store or food distributor is going to be closer to $2-4 per pound, once again depending on your location. In my opinion this is the best and easiest way to start your for profit gardening business and I highly recommend growing these oyster mushrooms over any other type of mushroom. Do your homework and see what the supply chain is like for oyster mushrooms in your market place and go from there. If you have grown or are planning on growing oyster mushrooms, please send me an e-mail from our contact page and let me know what your experience has been like. Thanks for reading!…
There are tons of easy ways to accept payments from anyone who is buying your produce. Most grocery stores will cut you a check or provide you with a company credit card, but if you’re selling at farmers markets the best way to accept payments are to bring a bank with you and just do cash (most people know that’s the only way to pay at farmers markets) but if you want to set yourself apart from your competition, you can purchase a credit card swipe device that plugs right into you smart phone. We just wanted to lay down the basics because we’ve had several questions from our readers regarding accepting payments. Our favorite method of payment is straight up cash because if you do anything on your phone there’s going to be a small fee you have to pay per transaction. If any of you are familiar with paypal, it’s the same type of system. Paypal is actually another method of payment you can accept but we haven’t found a real world situation where we had to resort to this method for selling our produce. So after cash, checks are our second favorite method of payment because there’s no fee’s associated with that. Some might argue that checks are their favorite forms of payment because every time you cash a check it automatically posts to your bank account which makes accounting extremely easy. The credit card payments are also really easy for accounting purposes but the name of the game is maximizing profitability on your mushroom sales or whatever it is you are growing and selling. Thank you for taking the time to read this, it may seem like common sense but if you’re knew at starting a business it’s important to know your options. If you have any questions about accepting payments please contact us here.…