Do you want to use your green thumb to nab some cold, hard cash? All you need are some plants and a passion for selling!
It’s a fun and easy way to make extra money and doesn’t require much investment. However, it is essential to understand the basics of making money selling plants to maximize your profits and ensure that you are running a successful business.
Steps To Make Money Selling Plants
Step 0 – Research The Market
Before diving in, research what plants people are looking for, how much they will pay, running costs, competitors, etc. This information will help you determine the optimal way to profit from selling plants and help you stand out from the competition.
Step 1 – Find Your Niche:
Making money selling plants can be profitable; however, choosing the right niche is critical. Whether succulents, perennials, vegetables, house plants, flowering plants, or seasonal, find an area of interest and profitability and develop knowledge of specific plants.
We recommend you look at the pothos family if you are starting. Not only are they easy to care for, but they are also easy to grow and propagate (which will create more plants to sell at a lower cost). You can look into this famous variety, Blue Baltic pothos, which is low-maintenance and hardy.
As you master your craft, look into offering more exotic varieties like Monstera Obliqua. Though they require more tender love and care to thrive, they can sell for thousands of dollars— making it well worth the effort to raise them. Similarly, rare plants like a coffee tree can be a hit, and it produces beans, and you can use them to plant more trees.
Indoor plants or air-purifying plants are also popular.
That said, start with one specific niche and keep a variety. As you grow, we recommend you keep adding new and popular plants. While you decide on the niche, you should also take into consideration the following:
- Your city
- Weather and climate conditions
- Demand for plants in your city
- Your expertise and passion for plants
Pro Tip: You can also start by picking the most popular plants. Some include ferns, cacti, snake-plant, begonia, dracaena, philodendron, ficus, jade-plant, peace lilies, orchids, anthurium, azalea, bamboo palm, money-tree, rubber-plant, roses, aloe vera, zz plants, areca palm, spider-plant, bromeliad, bonsai trees, and variegated varieties.
Step 2 – Develop a Business Plan and Start Sourcing Materials
The next step is to develop a business plan. Essential factors include:
- Transportation (if sourcing plants or raw materials)
- Trans-border restrictions and bans regarding invasive plants that might apply across different countries
- Running costs
Pick the most efficient options, and start making arrangements for packaging, shipping, and everyday materials.
You must also consider whether you are going to source plants from other growers or if you are going to raise them yourself.
If you opt for the former, your best bet is to find a local wholesaler or grower who can provide you with various wholesale plants, which will help you keep your costs down.
If you opt for the latter, having an ideal location for growing and some security measures is essential.
It would help if you visited local farmers’ markets, gardening centers, and plant nurseries to get ideas for what customers may want. It will help you ensure you always have something new stocked in your inventory.
With these aspects carefully planned, you can increase your chances of success in plant retailing.
Step 3 – Source Your Plants or Start Growing Them
You are now ready to source your plants or start growing them.
You can find reputable wholesale nurseries through online research or personal connections that sell directly to businesses. Before selecting these distributors, compare prices and quality among multiple sources to provide the best value for your customers.
Besides that, here are a few tips for you:
- Don’t rely on one source – try to get a few trustworthy vendors.
- Find local suppliers and wholesalers. It will reduce costs.
- Form a long-term relationship with your suppliers.
If you want to eliminate the middleman and produce your products, consider starting a garden to grow your plants. Not only will this increase your profit margins, but it will put you in control of supply (and you’ll know exactly where your product originates!)
A few crucial things to consider:
- Space: Starting a plant-selling business doesn’t require excessive room to start. A couple of hundred square feet can bring in some cash. You can start with your backyard.
- Essential Requirement: To grow plants, you must have enough sunlight, air, and humidity. If you are picking up plants that require shade, you will need that too.
- Distance: Keeping your potential garden close to your home is also necessary for easy maintenance.
- Weed Control: As a beginner, use a weed barrier fabric to eliminate weeds.
- Climate-Specific Requirement: In colder climates, you will need a greenhouse to protect the plant from wind and rain. Large basements may also provide suitable gardening conditions so long as they have plenty of space.
- Watering and Irrigation: As a beginner on a budget, you can use a couple of PVC pipes for about $100-200 and make your irrigation system.
- Soil: Garden supply stores usually offer discounts if you buy soil mix in bulk, but you could also opt to make your potting soil. Use compost and aged wood chips with perlite to maintain a light and loose texture better suited for young plants. Check if any plants require acidic soil, meaning they may need a unique mix depending on their needs.
- License: Depending on where you choose to sell your plants, you may need to obtain a nursery license from your state or local government. Your local agriculture extension office is a good resource if you need more information on navigating this process successfully.
Step 4 – Establish a Pricing Strategy
Establishing a pricing strategy is an essential step in making money selling plants. Research to identify the average market value for the type of plant you are selling, as this will act as a baseline for developing pricing for your own business.
Break down your expenses and calculate how much profit you’ll need per sale to make it worthwhile.
Remember to account for overhead costs such as packaging, shipping materials, advertising, and other related taxes or fees associated with the sales process and any unforeseen circumstances.
Step 5 – Market Your Business
It is time to promote your plant business.
You can use social media platforms, network in local communities, set up a farmers market booth, or launch an online storefront.
- Farmers Markets: Setting up a booth at a farmers market is an excellent way to get your plants and products in front of potential customers.
- Social media: Creating an active presence can effectively connect you to customers. Consider creating an account on Instagram to share content related to your business.
- Work With a Social Media Influencer: A great way to gain exposure is by collaborating with a social media influencer in your niche. Having the power of an influencer speak highly of your business could open doors and establish you as a trusted brand.
- Online Storefront: An online storefront is one of the most effective and efficient ways to market your business and make money online. You’ll be able to showcase your offerings and manage orders more efficiently. You can even offer discounted prices or shipping deals to attract customers.
These are a few ways to promote your business and make money selling plants.
Step 6 – Grow Your Business
As you begin establishing a customer base for your business, there are plenty of ways to continue growing it.
- Offering new products or services. For example, you can get paid to take classes or workshops related to gardening to capture new customers. Not only do you earn cash doing this, but you get plant lovers at your plant nursery. You can also look into selling fertilizers, containers, planters, pots, terrariums, seedlings, etc.
- Partner with other businesses. This helps you gain access to a more extensive customer base. Consider collaborations with local stores, online retailers, or other plant sellers looking for new opportunities.
- Create an affiliate program. This way, you can offer rewards for customers who refer to your business and help you acquire new customers.
- Blog to supplement your income. This will increase your online visibility and generate quality leads. It will also help you earn money with ads, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and digital products. (Who doesn’t want extra income?)
Are You Ready to Launch Your Plant-selling Business?
Selling plants is a great way to make money from home. With the proper knowledge, you can start your own plant business and be successful in no time!
Start by choosing a mission for your business, finding suitable plants to sell, researching climate-specific requirements, implementing an irrigation system, creating an organic soil mix if necessary, obtaining any required licenses, and establishing a competitive yet profitable pricing structure.
Lastly, remember to market your business! Use social media, local networking opportunities, or online channels to reach potential customers.
With these steps in mind, you can quickly get a successful plant-selling business up and running. Good luck!
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks by Davin Eberhardt.