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!…