Empowering all people to be plant people — a collection of articles from Geoponics’s team of Plant Experts across a variety of plant care topics to inspire confidence in the next generation of plant parents. Welcome to Plant Parenthood™.
DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT TO SELL Research..research..research..not every product you like is going to be perfect for wholesale. Take a look at what’s popular and trending and what will bring you the most profit. Crunch the numbers to make sure that your wholesale prices are in line with your profit goals. Need a little help figuring out your numbers? Use this resource for assistance on how to price your product and calculate your profits: https://www.shopkeep.com/blog/how-to-price-a-product-for-retail#step-1 CAREFULLY CULTIVATE YOUR ASSORTMENT When you’re planning to offer your products for retail you need more than a handful of pieces in your assortment. A buyer wants enough options to influence a purchase. If you’re only offering a few pieces and your assortment is choppy (say, one plant, two pots, and five soil) chances are, you’re going to leave a lackluster impression. If you have multiple categories start with at least 5-6 items across each category. If you only make one type of product (say, bundles) then you’re going to want to offer more than 5-6 bundles to ensure you’re making a cohesive presentation to your customers. SET YOUR FOUNDATION It’s so tempting to just start reaching out to stores and buyers as soon as you have a product to sell but skipping this step will lead to some major headaches down the road! By setting a foundation for your product based business you are positioning yourself to be professional while making it easier to do business. A few things you’re going to want to have in place before you get started: Geoponics B2B Account Set Up After you have purchased your franchise package, get in touch with our local representative to get you set up on Geoponics B2B account. You will then be able to make purchase orders, browse products and review your sales data. A Website and/or Social Media Profiles The first thing a buyer is going to do when you pop onto their radar is to head to your website and look for you on social media to learn more about your products and company. Have something in place for them to see! A website doesn’t have to cost a lot, we are big fans of Shopify because it’s easy to navigate and you don’t need to know much about coding or plugins. Don’t worry about the number of followers on your pages either, a buyer isn’t necessarily going to buy your products because you have 5K,10K or 20K followers! Your Terms + Conditions After you have purchased your franchise package, get in touch with our local representative to get you set up on Geoponics B2B account. You will then be able to make purchase orders, browse products and review your sales data. Geoponics B2B Account Set Up Your Terms + Conditions detail everything from how to place an order, minimum order requirements, how you handle returns, cancellations, and back orders etc. It outlines how your policies, practices and how you do business. Want to make this step simple? Shopify offers an amazing resource to help you easily create your terms and conditions is https://www.shopify.ca/tools/policy-generator/terms-and-conditions. For other terms and conditions, feel free to copy our terms which can be found here: https://www.geoponicsinc.com/pages/shipping-info-returns-and-refunds-policy A system for inventory Most small businesses start tracking inventory with a spreadsheet. While this may work for a bit, one mistake can mean you’re promising products that you don’t have in stock. Be aware that as your business grows you’re going to need upgrade your system. Quickbooks is a great next step because you can integrate inventory and track your orders in one place. Your Wholesale & Retail Pricing It’s so important to know your numbers inside and out! Do the math before hand so you can accurately quote pricing and are prepared for when a buyer asks you for an additional discount. Getting handed a big order means nothing if you’re losing money to fulfill it. CREATE YOUR CATALOG AND/OR LINE SHEETS Your catalog and/or line sheet is one of the best selling tools you have at your disposal because it highlights your assortment and visually tells your story. While nothing beats bringing samples to a meeting you aren’t always going to be able to see every buyer in person. Even if that was the case, your buyer will want something tangible from you that they can keep on hand for reference. These don’t have to cost a fortune, a simple PDF that you can attach to an email is a great starting point. Feel free to use www.geoponicsinc.com assortment of product names, images and descriptions to help you create your catalogue. DECIDE WHO YOU WANT TO SELL TO While it’s tempting to say, “I want to sell to everyone!” your bottom line will benefit from being strategic especially when you’re just starting out in retail. By targeting the stores and customers that are the best fit for your products you’re giving them the greatest opportunity to buy. When your products are popular, chances are the customers are going to place a reorder. START REACHING OUT Once you have your pricing nailed down, have developed your assortment and created a catalog or line sheet to share you’re ready to start making calls and sending emails. The key to connecting with buyers is to be genuine. You’re one of the hundreds of emails in their inbox that are product related so craft a killer pitch and tailor it to each retailer. DO NOT under any circumstances use a generic template and BCC every buyer to try and save yourself time. This is the FASTEST way to set a bad impression and chances are you’re future emails will be sent directly to spam. Would you buy from someone that sent you a generic email? I seriously doubt it. FOLLOW UP AND KEEP IN TOUCH Buyers have a lot on their plate so there’s a good chance you won’t hear back from them for a few days, weeks, or at all. While it’s frustrating, it’s extremely common. There’s a fine line between following up tastefully and coming across like a sales stalker. While they might not buy right away it doesn’t mean the answer is going to be no forever. Having a strategy to remain connected is key! Find ways to connect that don’t even mention placing an order like follow them on social media, leaving meaningful comments and send the occasional sneak peek of your latest designs. Eventually, when the timing is right and if your products are a good fit, those efforts will pay off. When you’re just starting out in wholesale it’s so easy to get discouraged. You can feel like you’ve reached out to every store and customer under the sun and nobody is interested. Building your wholesale business takes a TON of time + effort so don’t be quick to quit. You’ve got this! |
You can start an indoor plant nursery in your spare time, with just a small investment, and if you choose, expand it to a full-time business. Say goodbye to the 9 to 5 rat race and produce a solid income growing plants for profit. It’s a low-tech business. You don’t have to be a horticultural expert to do this. Just follow the simple steps in the guide and you’ll be set. You would be amazed at how many million dollar plant nurseries got their start with little more than a shovel and a wheelbarrow. Step 1: Setting up your Plant Nursery Space When people think of a plant nursery, the local garden center usually comes to mind. Fact is, most garden centers produce very few of the plants they sell. Instead, they purchase their plants from specialty nurseries, who actually grow the plants. You’ll find specialty plant nurseries ranging in size from tiny backyard nurseries to giant regional wholesale nurseries, who might supply retailers in several states. That’s the beauty of the plant nursery business – there’s room for everyone – from “mom & pop” part-timers to corporate giants. And it might surprise you to find out just how many of the corporate giants got started as backyard growers with just a “shovel and a wheelbarrow”. The secret to making good money with a backyard plant nursery is to specialize in plants that are in demand and can be container-grown to save space. A relatively new development in container growing – called the “pot-in-pot” system, allows growers to produce larger trees and shrubs without the back-breaking hand digging and high water consumption required by field growing. For smaller plants, container growing saves time, water and transplanting. Step 2: Do Your Research Research trendy plants you can raise and sell on the internet, or visit your library, before starting a nursery business from home. Step 3: Create your first wholesale order Put together a list of plants and use Plant Club Online ordering platform to place your order at wholesale prices. You will receive a confirmation of your order via email. Step 4: Label All Your Plants Use a Sharpie pen on a popsicle stick. Cheap convenience stores carry the packages of 100 to 150 for around a dollar. Yes, it can get tedious. Turn on some music or a baseball game on the radio. People will be bringing home your plants and may not be familiar with them. They will appreciate the convenience of being able to purchase a specimen and remember it the future. Step 5: Be Passionate Sell plants that you are passionate about and that fill a specific niche. Stearns grows a variety of flowering perennials. Pentas (red, pink and rose) are a favorite as well as Pink Jacobinia and Thryallis. People like both sun and shade plants. Stearns grows both nectar and host plants for butterflies. Since she also plants vegetable and flower seeds for her vegetable garden, she will occasionally sell any extra flower or vegetable plants like tomatoes, kale, collards, and marigolds. Step 6: Advertise Freely Kijiji, Craigslist and people who are plant lovers in your area can help keep people posted on current plant sales. This is an amazing word of mouth form of free advertising, as it is directed to the people who are truly interested. Step 7: Hire Help Hire friend’s teenagers or older children (nephews, granddaughters, and neighbors) for the bigger spring sale. They get to use their muscles and math skills and the shy ones will get to test their public speaking skills to some very sweet “plant people.” Step 8: Enjoy “Have a good time,” is Plant Club's final tip. You will find that plant people are wonderful all around. Do you have any other tips for starting a nursery business from home? Let us know in the comments section here: |