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Author Topic: Starting a small nursery  (Read 124 times)

Offline jvalentour

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Starting a small nursery
« on: December 05, 2017, 10:05:52 pm »
I'm looking for another income source and was thinking of looking into the possibilities of  starting a wholesale plant container/nursery business.  Start plants from grafts or cuttings and take the long view for inventory.  Has anyone had any luck with this business? 
I have land/water/sun.  Some time but not much.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Starting a small nursery
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 02:17:14 pm »
All businesses require connections.  You have to break away customers from their present supplier if the number of customers are not increasing.  Good luck.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline beepro

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Re: Starting a small nursery
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2017, 07:57:33 pm »
Like selling honey or local raised queens, it depends on the local market condition unless you plan to expand nationally or internationally. 
I say before you start any type of business it is better to have a business plan.  Through it you will
identify who your customers are and the distribution channel, products, commitment, etc.   Like beekeeping, all you have
to do is to try it out before investing a lot into it.    Because thinking and reality has a big or small gap in between.
Try it first to see how much resources you have to invest to it before going to the next step.   It is a step-by-step process if you can
commit to it for the long run before seeing any profit.   All are described in your business plan.  Go ahead and try! 

Offline Acebird

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Re: Starting a small nursery
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2017, 09:56:26 pm »
My step daughter had no business plan only had a whim.  Put together 500 bucks with a friend in FL she met on the internet (she lived in NY) and used the FB platform to create a business.  This time of year she sells 40K in a week end.  Still doesn't have a business plan other then she plans on doubling her size.  She is probably wrong.  based on what has happened in the past I think she will triple in size.  No business plan, just works very hard.  Those darn liberals.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline beepro

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Re: Starting a small nursery
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2017, 04:12:56 am »
She doesn't has a plan but her business partner does.  If her friend does not has a business plan either then
it must be an easily run business like a cup cake business for example.  Having a plan is to help you focus so that
it is easier to control the cost once it expands.  Unless you're really good at baking cup cakes, I wouldn't run a business blindly. 

Offline iddee

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Re: Starting a small nursery
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2017, 05:53:33 am »
A business plan doesn't have to be written. It can be strictly in the mind. Her and her partner have a business plan. Among other things, it includes it doubling the revenue, along with being prepared to carry it farther if needed.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*

Offline little john

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Re: Starting a small nursery
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2017, 09:58:04 am »
Nursery ?  I once had aspirations in this direction.  Best thing I ever did was to buy 200 container plants without planning anything ...  I then spent every day watering the bl##dy things with a hosepipe.  No sooner had I reached the last of them, then it was time to start again with the first.  Talk about 'fire-fighting' ...

That was a valuable lesson which taught me the hard way to get everything ready (especially drip irrigation) before stocking-up with plants - otherwise you don't run a business, it runs you !  I mean - would you put sheep or cattle on a field - and only then think about erecting fences ?

A really good tip I got from a business advisor was 'to know your market'.  Growing the plants themselves is what I (and every other bloke, apparently) tended to focus on - but the really important bit with any business is sales - i.e. how best to go about relieving people of their money.  So - if your market is small, or (say) rural - then you might want to think about selling plants by post, and how best to go about doing that.

If you're wholesale - which retail outlets exactly are going to buy from you, and can you always meet their requirements/demands ?  That needs research.
If you're retail yourself (which is a better option for a small start-up) - then you might find yourself hanging around all day on the off-chance that the odd customer might turn up.  There'll always be a need to have at least one person on a retail site during opening hours, which can be expensive and/or demanding of your own time.

There's also the issue of 'time-windows'.  Flowering plants in particular sell best when they're flowering - because they're attractive at that time.  Evergreens, especially conifers, will sell at any time of the year providing they're containerised.  Ornamentals sell in one's and two's - hedging varieties sell in the dozens or hundreds - but - with a much lower individual price tag.

But if you really are short on time, then livestock appropriate to your size of land might be a better option ?
LJ
A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping - http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com

Offline jvalentour

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Re: Starting a small nursery
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2017, 03:49:10 pm »
Thanks Little John, those are the thoughts I had in mind.  I have owned a business grossing $1M annually for about 30 years so I know a little about P&L.  Only had a business plan for the bankers.
The stuff on the farm is prep for retirement and staying busy.  (Bees, syrup, apples, nursery, hunting, BSing etc).  Just dabbing my finger in things to see what I like.

Offline little john

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Re: Starting a small nursery
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2017, 08:27:08 am »
Thanks Little John, those are the thoughts I had in mind.  I have owned a business grossing $1M annually for about 30 years so I know a little about P&L.  Only had a business plan for the bankers.
The stuff on the farm is prep for retirement and staying busy.  (Bees, syrup, apples, nursery, hunting, BSing etc).  Just dabbing my finger in things to see what I like.

Sorry if I was 'talking down' - had no idea of your background - just trying to pass on my own modest experience in this area. 
You're absolutely spot-on with the 'keeping busy' approach - so many people end-up kicking their heels in retirement, not knowing what to do with so much time on their hands.  Personally, I've already got so much to do - and with so much other stuff that I want to try-out (looking at the feasibility of kayaking/sea-fishing this weekend, whilst I'm stuck indoors with a foot of snow on the ground outside) that there's just not enough hours in the day for me ...

'best, LJ
A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping - http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com