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Old 12-06-2012, 10:33 AM   #1
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Would a plant nursery be a good business?


Just wondering if anyone knew what the market for plants (fruit trees, shrubs, bushes, Japanese maples, ect) is like. I can get most of the stuff cheap, would end up costing about $30,000 to actually get an inventory and 3 big greenhouses setup.

I already have the land, but would need to get it cleared (I'd get something for the timber) and flattened.

I just don't want to get a bunch of plants if no one will buy them. Anyone into landscaping or plant farming?

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Old 12-06-2012, 12:21 PM   #2
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Would a plant nursery be a good business?


Ayuh,.... That's a Very local seasonal question, 'n you don't even say where home is...

Where I'm at right now, NO, 'ell there's No market, every thing is Frozen solid...

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Old 12-06-2012, 12:37 PM   #3
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Would a plant nursery be a good business?


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Ayuh,.... That's a Very local seasonal question, 'n you don't even say where home is...

Where I'm at right now, NO, 'ell there's No market, every thing is Frozen solid...
We get about 3 months of actual snow-on-the-ground winter. My plan was to use oil to heat one or two of the big greenhouses - around here people get oil vouchers from welfare and sell them to buy heroin, so you pay like $.30 on the dollar, because most houses have gas and no one really wants them.

I thought about nurserys in southern states being able to outproduce me, but I can't picture everyone shipping trees and bushes from out of state. I think plants will still grow at 50-60 degrees - just couldn't sell them real easily until spring.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:41 PM   #4
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Would a plant nursery be a good business?


If you're in an area where people are "selling oil vouchers for heroin," you're probably not also in an area where they spend big money on gardening.

Nurseries do well in places where people have yards and landscape.... and even at that, they're not huge business for the majority of people. If it's something you'll enjoy and know how to do, all power to you, but it's not a business I would look to to become rich.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:53 PM   #5
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Would a plant nursery be a good business?


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If you're in an area where people are "selling oil vouchers for heroin," you're probably not also in an area where they spend big money on gardening.

Nurseries do well in places where people have yards and landscape.... and even at that, they're not huge business for the majority of people. If it's something you'll enjoy and know how to do, all power to you, but it's not a business I would look to to become rich.
Pretty middle-class actually; heroin is kind of a middle-class drug, because it generally seems to be white kids popping pills and getting addicting.

And yeah, the goal wouldn't really be to get rich, but I'd like to make around $50,000 a year. It would also give me income tax writeoffs for the initial setup, heating oil, a bobcat, atvs, vehicles, internet, plant food, hosting, soil, ect.

Plus I could landscape my own house for basically free, and sell some timber and replant with better trees.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:47 PM   #6
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Would a plant nursery be a good business?


My suggestion would be work up a business model. And $30,000 really doesn't seem like a realistic number for everything you want to do. I would go around and talk to some of the local landscapers and other people that may use your services and see what they think is needed along these lines in your area. Go somewhat out of your area where you won't be competition and talk to some people in the business and try to find out some of the problems and pitfalls. Talk to your friends and neighbors find where they go and why. what they like and don't like. try to figure out what your costs will be in the winter I don't think you should start with just depending on heroin addicts for cheap fuel. Try to figure your summer costs, water, hired help, fuel for equip. pots, fertilizer, you will probably need at least a truck if not more than one. $50,000 year sounds awful good but you have to figure how much it will cost you to make that amount. I am not trying to discourage you but be aware most new business fail in the first year due to bad planning. I say do all the leg work and if your ducks all line up go for it.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:59 PM   #7
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Would a plant nursery be a good business?


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My suggestion would be work up a business model. And $30,000 really doesn't seem like a realistic number for everything you want to do.
I'm planning on buying-out an existing nursery (inventory, not staff/name/customers) for $15,000-$20,000. Figured $10,000-15,000 to clear and level an acre of land, get permits, incorporate, buy a giant hose and pump, icb containers and a cheap atv.

Might be off the mark on the excavation cost - although I was thinking about renting a large excavator and doing it myself (~$3,800 for 1 month, with delivery and pickup)

The sale-price on plants seems to be decent, but I'm worried about the demand. Selling a Japanese maple for $230 doesn't mean **** if no one buys it, or goes and buys it at Home Depot for $110.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:14 PM   #8
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Would a plant nursery be a good business?


Part of your business plan is to rely on buying gas vouchers from junkies? Is this a joke? Do you know anything about botany?
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:23 PM   #9
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Would a plant nursery be a good business?


Why would you not get the customers if you are buying out the nursery? I can only think of 1 reason and that is after they sell to you maybe them or some in family is planning on re opening. I would defiantly get a no compete clause. And as the buyer I would insist on seeing their books for at least the last 5 years then sit down with a book keeper and go over every number.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:29 PM   #10
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Would a plant nursery be a good business?


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Part of your business plan is to rely on buying gas vouchers from junkies? Is this a joke? Do you know anything about botany?
You can make anything sound stupid, but do you know how much a huge building with thin plastic walls would cost to heat? Only economical options seem to be discounted oil or free wood, and wood would be a lot of ongoing labor.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:48 PM   #11
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Would a plant nursery be a good business?


How much do you know about the nursery business? (plant species, Plant care, etc) People will come to you for information like this.

Do you know who the suppliers for materials are? Are/will they be willing to work with you?

Do you have a good line of credit with a bank?

How much experience do you have running a business?

Do you know how to keep books for an endeavour such as this? ( workmans comp, unemployment insurance. SS payments, Income and business taxes, etc)

Do you know how much business insurance costs are for your area? (Banks wont loan money to you without it)

What type of clientel are you going to be targeting? (Landscapers only or general public)
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:19 PM   #12
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Would a plant nursery be a good business?


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How much do you know about the nursery business? (plant species, Plant care, etc) People will come to you for information like this.
Not much

Quote:
Originally Posted by danpik View Post
Do you know who the suppliers for materials are? Are/will they be willing to work with you?
I think the local feed store can help me with fertilizer and manure, probably going to order most other stuff online.

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Do you have a good line of credit with a bank?
Pretty extended, everything is always paid on time, but I doubt I could get a significant loan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danpik View Post
How much experience do you have running a business?
Decent amount, although nothing with plants.

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Do you know how to keep books for an endeavour such as this? ( workmans comp, unemployment insurance. SS payments, Income and business taxes, etc)
Not going to have any employees, I'll pay a couple guys to setup the greenhouses, unload everything, ect. but I'm not hiring anyone unless I'm bring in a solid amount of business.

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Do you know how much business insurance costs are for your area? (Banks wont loan money to you without it)
No loan = no insurance

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What type of clientel are you going to be targeting? (Landscapers only or general public)
Thats the part that has me nervous - I'll sell to anyone who'll buy, I even thought of doing Amazon / eBay, but I'm not sure what the market is, whats in demand, ect. I'm pretty confident I can get everything up and running, but that isn't worth anything without sales. Ideally I'd get a core of the sales from landscapers.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:35 PM   #13
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Would a plant nursery be a good business?


Shipping trees from the southern areas where they have the facilities to grow thme much faster is really not costly, especially if the trucker has a turn-around back haul scheduled (most are scheduled in advance). You can cram a lot of greens in a big box and cover the distance in a day or little more.

If you cannot talk the language with customers, you have little chance, even in a price market.

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Old 12-06-2012, 05:26 PM   #14
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Would a plant nursery be a good business?


You need to research your local market conditions and make a business plan. If your business model depends on buying oil vouchers to support peoples heroin habits, then I would probably look for another business model.

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