The Startup Magazine 7 Tips for Starting a Gardening Business

If you love working in your garden, and you’ve been told you have a green thumb, you may have wondered if you can turn that pastime into a way to make money. According to Zarla, the gardening industry has been growing in popularity for the past few years. To succeed in the gardening business, there are some important guidelines you should follow.

1. Be Sure You Have the Right Skills

Gardening skills are a must, and there should be enough space in your yard to grow plants or flowers. To be sure you can turn your gardening skills into a business, you’ll need good communication skills and the ability to negotiate. You’ll need to be able to be calm when clients change their minds about their orders, or when the weather changes too abruptly. If you don’t have any business or marketing experience, it may benefit you to take some online courses.

2. Choose a Business Structure

Before you create your business, you’ll need to decide whether you want a sole proprietorship (individually owned business) or a partnership. With statistics showing that up to 70% of business partnerships fail, it’s important to carefully weigh your options. Next, you’ll need to register with the IRS and obtain your EIN (employee identification number.) There will be tax deductions you will be able to make as a small business.

3. Create a Roster of Services

Working in the garden can take on many meanings, and your business should showcase your talents. A gardener could help people to design and plant their own flower gardens or plan a vegetable garden. Some gardeners are great at nursing problem plants back to health. If your garden is large enough, you might decide to supply plants for small events or special occasions.

4. Take Care of Your Legal Responsibilities

To operate as a gardening company, you’ll need to seek out and comply with state and local government regulations. In most states, you need a business license; your municipality must issue you a permit. Open a checking account for business; to keep the company’s finances separate from yours. To protect your assets, you’ll also need to get commercial insurance.

5. Devise a Price List and Billing System

A competitive business will need to charge a reasonable price; yet, enough to make a profit. Check the prices at other gardening companies to get an idea of how much you’ll need to charge. You’ll also need to decide whether you want to give handwritten receipts or purchase invoicing software. A software program might also include your invoices as part of the accounting records of your company.

6. Target Your Ideal Client to Market Your Company

According to the National Gardening Association, the average U.S. gardener is a female over age 45, and there’s almost an 80% chance she has a college education. Keeping that vision in mind as you create your marketing plan will be helpful when you consider who your target audience should be.

7. Strategize Alternate Crops for Fall

You may be concerned that you’ll go out of business in the fall when the weather changes. However, although autumn is a lesser-known planting season, several vegetables can grow during the fall. Some of the vegetables you can harvest in the fall include pumpkins, beets, carrots, and broccoli. You could be a gardening consultant, and help others grow and harvest vegetables.

Gardening is great for your mental health, and can also bring you a crop of healthy fruits and vegetables to eat. If you want to use your love of gardening to create a business, you’ll make an initial investment of time and money. But, if you work hard and provide excellent service and quality plants, you could succeed with a business where you get to do what you love every day.

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