|My partner and I are interested in getting into the upscale, gift-like flower pot business as a distributor and manufacturer. How competitive is this niche?|
|I can tell you that, in 1996, 10 million households in the U.S. spent an average of $43 each on containter gardening. So there is obviously a demand for containers. There's also, as far as I can see, a huge number of suppliers.
I would do plenty of research on your competition and possible markets. You might want to look into joining a trade association like the American Society of Landscape Architects (web site www.asla.org/asla/) to follow trends in the industry.
You might also start collecting catalogs from your competitors, to see what styles are popular and see if you think you can manufacture and sell at a competitive price. One to try is Kinsman Co., Inc. (ph# 800-733-4146)
I can't really think of how I can be of more help. It's impossible for me to say just how competitive this niche is. Talk to lots of people--I'd visit the shops where you think you'd like to sell your product and ask their opinion about what their customers are looking for, what they as buyers need, etc. And I'd write up a detailed business plan before jumping in. Good Luck!