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Thread: Question for Greenhouse owners whose

  1. #1
    Odysseus's Avatar
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    I am sitting here at school working towards a double bachelor's degree. One in Ornamental Horticulture and another in Film and Multimedia. I know that Film student and Horticulturist don't really have anything in common, but those are my interests and a career in either would bring me much satisfaction. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]

    That is where the question lies. I was curious about the success of those who have Greenhouses and grow and sell plants for a living. I have made a poll asking how the economy is for Greenhouse owners. As a poll it will be left anonymous and no one has to divulge any personal information.

    I was wondering if I should only get my bachelor's in Horticulture and just keep attending classes for multimedia. Or if it is safer economically for me to keep on receiving my bachelors in Multimedia making a career for me in Digital Art Design and keep greenhouses and plants to a hobby?

    So, for those of you whose Greenhouse(s) are their only source of income, how possible is it to provide for the needs of a family? Will I be able to sustain a living for my wife and future children if I had a personal business, worked very hard, and grew and sold plants?

    I know financial outcome varies on which plants you sell, your customers, employees, and business ethics but on an average do you have success in sustaining an income?

    Apparently, I cannot create a poll. I have to have authority to do so. Hmm, I hadn't noticed that. In other forums you can. So, I understand if no one wants to post their information to this thread, but if anyone has any advice on the matter I would be much appreciated. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    Odysseus
    Wife and I in the Netherlands. Sure miss living out there.

    My growlist
    A list of beginner CPs

  2. #2
    Sean's Ponds's Avatar
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    Small "Mom and Pop" operations do well enough to pay the bills but you wont get rich from it.

    The biggest question is will you be Retail or Wholesale?
    You need to be licensed separately for each. Retail is where the money is but you need a great location. Nice part is it's cash and carry. Someone else spends the time growing them out and you purchase them at wholesale and sell them for a 200% markup minimum.
    Wholesale is fine if you can propagate huge enough quantities.

    If you just want to be a grower and sell to others you are kinda stuck with the short end of the stick. You have the enjoyment of growing your favorite plants but you need to supplement your income with something else.

    You really need to decide if it's going to be a hobby greenhouse or a full fledged propagation greenhouse. Remember the time frame for propagation too, you would need a lot of space to maintain plants that will always be coming up to saleable size.

    I think it's a wonderful idea but if it's gonna be in your back yard, don't expect too much.

    Cheers,
    Sean

  3. #3
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    I will star to sell off excessive Nepenthes Vines eventually. I've already started a small market with the local folks whom are amazed at the plants.

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    Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Sean's Ponds @ Mar. 04 2004,17:43)]Small "Mom and Pop" operations do well enough to pay the bills but you wont get rich from it.
    I don't need to get rich, just be able to provide a living for a family.

    The biggest question is will you be Retail or Wholesale?
    Hmm, good question. see below...

    If you just want to be a grower and sell to others you are kinda stuck with the short end of the stick. You have the enjoyment of growing your favorite plants but you need to supplement your income with something else.
    I do want to be a grower. I want to do something similar to Peter D'Amato. Grow CP's and sell them. Like him I'd be attached to another store which would be more like what you described. Buy plants and sell them with a 200% markup. That would sustain me as you put it. But, the question is do I have the time for both? Probably not...

    You really need to decide if it's going to be a hobby greenhouse or a full fledged propagation greenhouse. Remember the time frame for propagation too, you would need a lot of space to maintain plants that will always be coming up to saleable size. I think it's a wonderful idea but if it's gonna be in your back yard, don't expect too much.
    As ideal as having it close to home sounds, I doubt that it would be that way. Like you said, it shouldn't be a backyard business if I am hoping for much.

    From what you said, consider this: A Nursery where my wife could run a cut flower business up front. In a designated space I could grow, propagate, and sell CPs to my liking. Then taking up the majority of the space, also the money maker, would be the buying from wholesale and selling the plants retail marked up 200%. Would this setup be too much of an investment to work? What do you see as improbable?

    Sean, I appreciate VERY much your response. I understand there are decisions to be made that will determine a Nursery's success. So, basically, is bussiness good? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]

    Take care,
    Odysseus
    Odysseus
    Wife and I in the Netherlands. Sure miss living out there.

    My growlist
    A list of beginner CPs

  5. #5
    Odysseus's Avatar
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    Any more advice?
    Odysseus
    Wife and I in the Netherlands. Sure miss living out there.

    My growlist
    A list of beginner CPs

  6. #6
    Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Sean's Ponds @ Mar. 04 2004,11:43)] Retail is where the money is but you need a great location.
    Sean,
    I am leaning heavily toward's making this my living and plan on doing it selling retail with the markup. I am curious. It will be here in this area I am living in now. What sort of equation could you possible advise me with when looking for a great location?

    I have plenty of time to scout out locations here, but if you could start me off with a few tricks of the trade. What sort of things do I look for in a Nursery Location?

    -- Since this thread died I am going to try a new thread --
    Odysseus
    Wife and I in the Netherlands. Sure miss living out there.

    My growlist
    A list of beginner CPs

  7. #7
    Sean's Ponds's Avatar
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    It all depends of various factors...

    If you are going to purchase a home with space for greenhouses and sell from your property you can do it more cost effectively than if you had a garden center in a heavily populated area (city center).

    If you were looking for space without living quarters you need to decide upon leasing space or buying space.
    I don't know what real estate prices are like in your area but where I am it will cost me over one million dollars for a quarter acre of land just outside downtown Vancouver. Because the business should generate over 1.5 million per year the bank will help with a mortgage.

    There are so many variables to consider and unless you live in the tropics there is a high season and a low season. Base your annual income only on the length of growing time you have in your year and consider who your customers will be and how much they will spend annually. Before you start a retail business you must first ensure you have a customer base to purchase your wares.

    I would also look at the library for a book on how to write a Business Plan. All lenders expect a well written business plan. It also helps you to understand how your business will run and what to expect.
    You can also look on the INTERNET for your local state and city for start up packages which will include all the information you need and paperwork associated to start your business and get any licenses you will require.

    I can not tell you how much it will cost to start up but at your current age, if you are in college, I assume you do not have a lot of dispensable income. In that case, start small with an INTERNET sales business and from there as your name gets out to the market and you develop a great reputation, then think about enlarging the business.

    I hope that helps a bit...

    Cheers,
    Sean

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    Odysseus's Avatar
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    Yes. It helps VERY much! I knew that I would need a Business plan to get some good lenders, but I hadn't thought about leasing or buying. I see your point about buying it as a home and making it retail. I'll have to research the high traffic areas of business and see where it would compliment having home raising a family.

    Second, the idea of starting now is a very good one. Making it an internet business is the hottest thing to do right now, but I retreat a little about doing that until I have a greenhouse here to store what I would be buying in bulk to sell to online customers. Because of all that, I see myself spending money from what you guessed accurately is a small account. I would rather not spend thousands in one place and need to spend thousands somewhere else for the same thing only later.

    Perhaps if I could find great greenhouse space without having to build it could work. Hmm...you've got my mind cranking out ideas. Thank you, Sean very much. As I continue, I may have more questions. Do you mind if I continue to ask you?
    Odysseus
    Wife and I in the Netherlands. Sure miss living out there.

    My growlist
    A list of beginner CPs

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