How to Start a Greenhouse Business

How to Start a Greenhouse Business. Starting a greenhouse is like starting a factory--one in which the product is terminal at every stage of the process. The greenhouse owner makes a 24/7 commitment to care and management of product and personnel. You need experience in business management as well as horticulture to run a successful greenhouse business.

Decide which crops you plan grow. Base your stock on what sells, not just what you like. Check your local sellers and verify what they are selling, and what they aren't selling. Analyze your competition and look for their weaknesses. Choose between bedding plants, flowering potted plants, potted foliage plants and cut flowers. Odds are you may choose to deal in several types of stock, not just one. Be sure you have the room to move between different types of stock.

Choose your site. Things to consider when selecting a site are zoning restrictions, proximity to utilities, unlimited water supply, strong customer and worker base, roadways and topography. Choose the site that requires the least amount of altering, has not more than a 5% slope and has a natural windbreak but is still clear of summer and winter shadows.

Select your greenhouse design. This includes the structure and type of covering, as well as climate control systems, flooring, benches and germination areas/heat systems.

Design your site plan. You need to create a site that is conducive to maximum production. Things to consider are deliveries, loading and unloading areas, work and storage space, customer access and sales. Keep in mind that you may need to expand in all of these areas as your greenhouse business grows.

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