Start a greenhouse business by following these 10 steps:
- Plan your Greenhouse Business
- Form your Greenhouse Business into a Legal Entity
- Register your Greenhouse Business for Taxes
- Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
- Set up Accounting for your Greenhouse Business
- Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Greenhouse Business
- Get Greenhouse Business Insurance
- Define your Greenhouse Business Brand
- Create your Greenhouse Business Website
- Set up your Business Phone System
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
What are the costs involved in opening a greenhouse business?
Money must be spent on the construction or rental of the greenhouse, as well as inventory, irrigation, fertilizer, fans and hoses, benches and tables, cash registers, insurance, and employee wages.
What are the ongoing expenses for a greenhouse business?
You can purchase property for your greenhouse, or rent an existing building. Such a space will likely cost a significant sum of money. Expect to pay upwards of a couple hundred thousand dollars to purchase the amount of land necessary for an expansive greenhouse. If you rent such a space, it will likely cost several thousand dollars per month, simply because an abundance of space is required to develop and present your inventory.
You will have to purchase all sorts of plants, flowers, produce, seeds, and other items relating to gardening and landscaping. Expect to spend $5,000-$10,000 or more in initial inventory, and at least $500-$1,000 each month in recurring inventory costs. The exact figure hinges on the size of your greenhouse.
Utilities, including water and electricity, will likely cost several hundred dollars per month. Budget in at least a couple hundred dollars per month for marketing costs. Employees will require wages of at least $10 per hour, which could certainly be higher in some areas. If you eventually hire marketing and accounting professionals, they will likely command yearly salaries of $35,000-$50,000.
Who is the target market?
The ideal customer is a business owner who requires a diverse array of flowers and plants. Examples include farmers, nursery owners, grocers, florists, etc. Greenhouse business owners also prefer to sell to homeowners who have green thumbs. The aim is to sell a wide array of inventory to each customer in order to maintain a consistent flow of flowers, plants, produce, and other vegetables so inventory stays as fresh as possible.
How does a greenhouse business make money?
How much can you charge customers?
The prices of greenhouse products vary by plant quality, desirability, lifespan, and a number of other factors. Plants, flowers, and produce can be sold for amounts ranging from a couple of dollars, to $100 and more. Seeds typically cost between 75 cents and a few dollars per packet. Gardening and landscaping supplies typically run between $5 and $50.
How much profit can a greenhouse business make?
A greenhouse can make a tidy profit in its initial years, especially if located in an area where people have a passion for gardening, greenery, and nature. It is not out of the question for a greenhouse to generate a profit of $50,000-$100,000 per year. If the greenhouse owner expands operations and opens additional locations, profits can reach several hundred thousand dollars or more per year.
How can you make your business more profitable?
A greenhouse owner can sell items related to gardening and landscaping such as hand trowels, sprinklers, gardening gloves, hoes, shovels, shears, loppers, pitchforks, tillers, cultivators, soil, mulch, peat moss, etc. Additional profit can be obtained by selling vegetables and/or flower seeds. Some greenhouse owners make extra money by charging for deliveries.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Greenhouse Business Name Generator
When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:
- Your state’s business records
- Federal and state trademark records
- Social media platforms
- Web domain availability.
It’s very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.