How to Start Your Own Gardening Business

by Steve Brachmann; Updated September 26, 2017

Turn the ability to grow a beautiful garden into a very marketable trade. Many homeowners are willing to pay a lot of money to a gardening service or landscaping business capable of transforming their home’s lawn into a lush, verdant expanse. Small scale gardening businesses, such as homegrown herbs and spices for sale, can also provide some extra spending cash. Develop a business idea that can work locally to build your gardening business.

Step 1

Develop your business model by researching what local opportunities exist for gardening businesses. Educate yourself on local gardening conditions, including climate, weather, soil conditions and average rainfall to understand what kind of plants can be grown in your area. Talk to local homeowners and businesses to see what needs exist for gardening supplies or landscaping services in your town.

Step 2

Analyze your market competition that exists in your local market for the style of business chosen. If you plan on growing plants and flowers for retail sale, you may want to check out the offerings of local greenhouses. Consider any possible options you can offer that aren’t available at these greenhouses or gardening stores, including gardening equipment. Keep in mind all prices and display designs that competitors use that you might be able to utilize or improve upon.

Step 3

Apply for all proper business licenses and permits required to operate your business legally within your state of residence. Contact your state and local government offices and speak to a representative. Tell the representative about the nature of your business and ask about any necessary business licenses or permits to run your business. Retail businesses will need a seller’s permit and retail license; landscaping businesses will need to apply for contractor business licenses.

Step 4

Purchase the materials and retail space that you will need in order to operate your gardening business. Lease or purchase a storefront if you need space to display your available retail products, or rent out an office space if you need an office outside of the home to run a landscaping business. Retail stores need to purchase seeds and equipment from bulk wholesalers for individual sale. Gardening and landscaping businesses will need multiple hand tools, such as rakes, lawnmowers or brooms, and a truck or large van for transporting plants and equipment. Interior landscaping is cheapest to fund among gardening services, but it becomes more difficult to maintain plants stay indoors.

Step 5

Contact a local nursery, and set up a contract to purchase plants that your gardening business will sell and plant. You may need to contact many nurseries if local ones have too many clients. Ask a store representative about any minimum purchase requirements or advanced notice needed to process larger orders.

Step 6

Find ways to increase your gardening business’ profile in your local community. Hold workshops on gardening techniques with which you have experience or start up a kiosk at a local co-op or farmers market. Contact your local chamber of commerce to find out about any local business events or home and garden shows. You might also design and print a brochure to distribute to customers at your store or other local businesses.

Tips

  • Sell seasonal equipment, which can attract customers to your store during bad gardening seasons. Snow shovels, umbrellas and galoshes can increase your sales when flowers cannot be planted or can supplement sales during down times. Subscribe to publications on gardening, home and garden and landscaping topics, such as Fine Gardening Magazine or Organic Gardening Magazine, to stay current on recent trends and new technology applicable to your gardening business.