Thinking of turning your flower growing hobby into a profitable business? Well, if so, then growing flowers in a greenhouse for profit may be the most sustainable way of making money from flowers!
That being said, why choose greenhouse growing over traditional garden growing?
Why Grow Flowers In A Greenhouse?
If you are thinking that setting up a greenhouse costs more than gardening the traditional way, you are right. However, while there are upfront costs in setting up a greenhouse garden, there are a few big benefits associated with greenhouse flower growing:
- Since greenhouses allow you to control the growing environment, you can extend the local growing season from just a few months to an entire year. Heating systems, grow lights, and other pieces of modern equipment allow you to grow flowers year-round no matter where you are.
- Greenhouses allow you better control over pests and diseases.
- If you are using hydroponics, then the fine-grained control over the nutrients that the flowers receive will allow you to waste less water, as well as achieve faster growth.
- High-quality greenhouse produce can be sold for a higher price, partly because fresh local flowers can be more attractive to buyers.
A greenhouse could allow you to turn your flower growing hobby into a sustainable side job or even business that can be profitable year-round. And while building a greenhouse or setting up water and electricity lines require a sizable initial investment, if you do things right, you should be able to bring your money back fairly soon.
Finding A Market For Flower Selling
Even before you build a greenhouse in your backyard, you need to find a market to sell the grown flowers in. Clients won’t magically appear out of nowhere – if there’s no one to sell flowers to in your area, don’t even start your greenhouse business.
First of all, choose where you will be selling flowers geographically. Selling locally is probably where most people will start, and it’s a good launch point since carrying out market research at a local scale is relatively easy. Besides, selling flowers locally requires less money than if you were to ship them to another city or state.
Once you’re established, don’t stop at selling flowers locally though. Keep at the back of your mind that once you have the money, you can expand your business to the entire state or maybe even nationwide. This is especially easy to do nowadays since building a website or mobile app isn’t the most difficult thing in the world.
Type of customer
Then, you need to choose who you will sell flowers to:
- You may sell flowers directly to customers.
- You may sell flowers to wholesale customers, e.g. flower shops.
Whether you choose one type of client or decide to sell flowers to both, you’ll need to approach each of them differently. Sales to wholesale clients can form most of your profit, but with wholesale customers, you will have to ensure an uninterrupted supply of flowers, perhaps throughout the entire year.
Besides, you’ll have to work on your wholesale pricing, which usually is 35% to 50% lower than retail pricing. It’s difficult to give specific numbers for flower pricing since the market is different everywhere. But overall, you should pick a pricing strategy that will make both you and your buyer happy.
Type of flowers
It may seem that choosing a flower to grow comes down to personal preference. This is true, but choosing flowers is also an integral part of choosing your market.
You should choose a flower type that has a buyer right now. You may absolutely love orchids, but if no one’s willing to buy them in your area, you should grow something else. Look into the kinds of flowers that are in high demand in your area and pick the ones that are easy to grow.
If you don’t know which flowers to start with, then among the more popular and easy-growing greenhouse flowers are:
- African violets.
- Amazon lilies.
- Chinese hibiscus.
Also, you should probably choose 1-3 flowers that you are very good at growing rather than 10 flowers that you don’t really have experience with. Choosing a narrower niche at earlier stages will allow you to invest your resources more efficiently and build strong relations with fewer clients.
Besides, for a newly established business, it will be challenging to focus on everything, so it’s a good idea to start small and then grow as you go.
Also, keep in mind that different flowers have different light, temperature, humidity, and water needs. It’s much easier to grow and care for a few flowers with similar needs.
Marketing Your Business
Given that you will most likely be selling locally, you should definitely build a website and leverage local SEO. If you don’t know what this is, then be sure to do some additional research on it. Nowadays, when people are looking for something, the first thing they do is google what they need.
Then, make use of Google’s My Business platform. It will again help you reach potential clients looking for flowers online.
Don’t ignore traditional marketing techniques as well such as mail newsletters, posters, or whatnot. These can be costly, but they can reach people who can’t be reached digitally.
Your Responsibilities As A Greenhouse Business Owner
Lastly, don’t forget that as a greenhouse business owner, you will have a few responsibilities.
Your first responsibility is to take care of your flowers. A greenhouse will allow you to protect your plants from ever-changing outdoor conditions, but it is up to you to ensure that everything starting from temperature and ending with light is just right in your greenhouse.
Then, depending on how much you sell, who you sell to, and tax regulations in your area, you may need to obtain a tax number. No matter where you are, you will generally have to collect sales tax from customers or alternatively report that you sell flowers wholesale. Do check local laws to find out what to do.
Finally, remember that if you want to make a profit, you should treat your greenhouse hobby like a business. Flower selling won’t become a primary job for you overnight. You need to commit to your job and be consistent. And if you don’t have time to commit to flower growing, hire someone to do it for you.