Ask a Question forum: starting a Home Based Gardening business

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Gaithersburg, Maryland
GardensWithPassion
Sep 17, 2017 9:27 PM CST
Hello,
id like some input from all the expert gardeners on what i need to do to help my mom start a home-based gardening business?
We live in Maryland and im not sure if there are any specific rules, licenses, certifications that are needed and what it takes to start a home-based business. Gardening has helped her get over many difficult life events and now its become her passion but not only that, shes created an environment for bees and butterflies and other little creatures to come and enjoy. Id like to help her take that passion and implement it into other peoples homes and balconies. We dont have a backyard but she turned our balcony into a mini-garden heaven. The beauty and peace that it offers is truly amazing and i think others near us can benefit from her passion and love of this.
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Sep 18, 2017 6:14 AM CST
look at Univ. Maryland Extension service pages. Lots of resources, a good starting point.
Check your community college, ours has classes for starting a business.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
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joannakat
Sep 18, 2017 6:30 AM CST
These pictures really are beautiful!

I find that often, the best way to start is to start small. She might want to begin with some cute, inexpensive business cards. Out here, we have Staples where you can print them up easily and cheaply, and they have templates that are very easy to use onsite. You probably either have Staples or something similar. Try to think up a catchphrase to put on them that, in one very short sentence, describes what she wants to do. Something like Mama's Beautified Balconies (I'm sure you can come up with something better!)

Then, she may want to look into a local farmer's market where she can set up a beautiful display, and sell house / balcony / deck plants that she's nurtured from seed, cuttings, small plants. That would give her a bit of exposure in the local community and a chance to introduce herself to people who are attracted to her work and, handing out her cards, can even schedule some jobs! This would be a great way for her to taste doing this as a business, and decide if she wants to expand over time. If she doesn't, she hasn't really lost more than the cost of the business cards. HTH!
AKA Joey.
[Last edited by joannakat - Sep 18, 2017 6:31 AM (+)]
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Gaithersburg, Maryland
GardensWithPassion
Sep 18, 2017 8:07 AM CST
SallyG- thank you for that info. Im going to look into both-the Extension program and community college courses...i managed to find some helpful info online as well. I was just trying to make sure that gardening business does not have strict rules and restrictions like the food industry business. So far, it seems less restricted which is good.

JoannaKat- that is a wonderful idea and i really appreciate your input. I was trying to figure out how to make it more specific to what shes done and i think ill do just that. Like you said i need to find a good catchy phrase!. I like yours as well!
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
Image
joannakat
Sep 18, 2017 10:49 AM CST
GardensWithPassion said:SallyG- thank you for that info. Im going to look into both-the Extension program and community college courses...i managed to find some helpful info online as well. I was just trying to make sure that gardening business does not have strict rules and restrictions like the food industry business. So far, it seems less restricted which is good.

JoannaKat- that is a wonderful idea and i really appreciate your input. I was trying to figure out how to make it more specific to what shes done and i think ill do just that. Like you said i need to find a good catchy phrase!. I like yours as well!


If it fits, you're welcome to use it! I was also thinking that, in addition to having her come out to "plant" someone's balcony or patio, I personally would love to come to a course given by her explaining how to "landscape" one's space, i.e., what to choose and why, and even how to choose your plants wisely and how to care for them so that they'll last a long time!
AKA Joey.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Sep 19, 2017 1:37 PM CST
Having great knowledge of and passion for plants is not enough to make a successful business. It is the many BUSINESS aspects that are often the downfall of many new businesses. Licenses and certifications are essential. Knowing what your market is and how you can serve it better than your competition. Understanding pricing and how that relates to your operating and overhead expenses. Good marketing and advertising are usually essential and often very expensive. You will need good legal and accounting assistance to be successful. These are just a few of the basic considerations.

I know many well-intentioned folks who have started gardening businesses and ended up frustrated because they spend most of their time managing the business rather than actually caring for plants.

This is not intended to rain on your parade, but it is essential that you approach this in a very hard-headed manner and not let you passion run away with you.

Good luck! Crossing Fingers!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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