Nurseries are places where young plants and trees are grown for sale or for planting elsewhere. You can turn your backyard into a small but profitable sideline business by growing and selling plants.
Most probably you will have most of the items in your garden shed that you will need for propagating plants like secateurs, sharp knife, wheelbarrow, hoses and sprayers, pun nets and pots.
You will also need to purchase seeds, disinfectant, hormone preparations etc. Selling farm fresh fruits and vegetables can be a seasonal business or a full-time operation if you live in a milder region that produces produce year-round.
Not only do you make money from selling what you grow or acquire from local farmers, but you also provide customers with the fruits and veggies they need to put healthy meals on their tables.
Start a Nursery Business from Home
Source it Fresh
There are a couple of options for you in getting the fruits and vegetables you need. You can grow it yourself on land or in a greenhouse. If you choose this path, then make sure that you have space and equipment needed for the job.
Consider the cost of soil, seeds, gardening tools, building supplies, mulch, and soil testing equipment. You can also opt for starter plants, which are more convenient but have a higher price tag. To keep the costs low, visit gardening organizations and nurseries in your area, many of them offer plant and seed sales in the spring.
You can also enter into a contract with local farmers, gardeners, orchards to buy their produce at wholesale prices and resell at retail prices.
The Equipment you will Need
Selling fresh fruits and vegetables require investing in the necessary tools to transport and maintain the produce. A vehicle such as a van or truck, and a hand truck for moving produce and making deliveries are necessities.
You will also need containers for keeping the produce from being damaged during harvesting, in storage, and in transit. Tables and umbrella (for shade) will be required if you sell at outdoor markets.
You must also look for adequate space to set up your own shop, refrigeration units to keep produce cold, fresh and make them appealing to customers.
Where will you Sell?
You can set up a table at the farmers’ market, fairs and at flea markets if you have enough produce to sell at a market that lasts a few hours. You have to convince customers to sign up for a subscription service to receive a box of fresh produce every week or bi-weekly based on what’s in season.
Another market consists of restaurants, bakeries, caterers, schools and nursing homes that need to prepare fresh food for their clients. You can also sell to grocery stores.
Research the Market
You need to research and analyze the market before you start the business. This will help you to figure out who will buy in the geographical area in which you plan to sell.
Identify the unfulfilled markets that exist in your area before you decide what to grow or buy from local sources. If you choose a direct selling approach, then you have to use signs to attract and convince people to try your fresh produce.
Plant in Raised Garden Beds
If you are aiming to have a higher yield from your garden, you should grow crops in raised garden beds. Raised gardens can produce up to four times as much as a standard garden, this is perfect for those looking to make money off their vegetable garden.
This is because the soil is deep, loose and fertile. It will also allow you to plant more vegetables in a smaller area because you don’t have to leave space for walking paths.
You can purchase the supplies necessary to make a raised garden bed at a garden supply store.
Engage in Community Supported Agriculture
In Community supported agriculture (CSA) a customer purchases a season-long subscription to a farm.
Each week they receive freshly harvested vegetables that are delivered to a specific pick up location or they come directly to the farm to pick their share of the crop.
This type of marketing will help you to receive payment upfront and encourage community member to buy local produce.
You need to have effective marketing strategies to make your business successful. Use word-of-mouth technique to promote your products.
Design attractive business cards and flyers and distribute them to places where you can reach out to your potential customer bases like grocery shops, hotel, and restaurants, canteens of schools, colleges and universities etc. Use popular social media platforms to promote your business.
You can build a network with chefs working in local restaurants and see if they are interested in buying your fresh produce. You can also invest in television and newspapers ads for promotion.
You have to formulate a business plan before you start investing in the business. The plan will act as a guide map for your business, it should have a timeline which will help you in setting your goals periodically.
Do the necessary cost analysis while planning and calculate the startup costs. The overall business plan will also include marketing and advertisement plans. A well-formulated business plan will help you in applying for loans.
Plan the scope and size of your business and also the format in which you want to register it with a government agency like sole proprietorship or partnership or LLC.
To sum it up,
these are the few steps that will help you in starting a nursery and fresh produce business from home. You need to hire employees who are trained in gardening or farming. Obtain all the licenses and permits that are required to start the business.
Research the market and find out wholesalers from whom you can buy the necessary supplies in bulk and at a lower cost. Create a website to reach out to a large number of customers and remain engaged with them, ask them to sign up for receiving notifications via email about where and what seasonal produce you will be selling next.
Keep an adequate space in your home for gardening or farming fresh produce in the initial phase of the business and buy or lease lands when you expand your business.
Sell quality products and nurture your business with utmost care.