The nursery business involves the production and marketing of perennial flowers, fruit trees, ornamental trees, and shrubs. Smaller nurseries specialize in certain plants or flowers such as orchids, palm trees, or succulents while larger nurseries may have sod farms, landscaping services, or a garden center. No matter how large or small your nursery, a loan from Main Street Business Loans can help you plant roots for a successful and long-lasting business. A successful nursery operator must be knowledgeable about all phases of plant production and have a passion for flora. Along with plant knowledge, your nursery must have good marketing, and reliable management to be successful. If you own a nursery and you want to expand, consider these tips before planting the first seeds:
- Market your nursery. There are three main types of nurseries: retail, wholesale, and landscape nursery. If you own a retail nursery then you should market your plants and flowers to urban home gardeners through green living magazines and newspapers. If you’re a wholesale nursery you will want to market directly through trade-only magazines and to other nurserymen or landscapers. Those that own landscape nurseries and grow plants solely for their own landscape business should market their landscaping services in hardware stores and farmer’s markets. All three types of business owners can and should sell their plants on the internet.
- Select the right site. Before moving into a new plot, consider all the factors involved in growing successful, healthy plants. You need a well drained, sunny spot with proper air circulation and a mildly rolling topography for optimal plant growth. A clean, pest and chemical free water supply should be available for the nursery and you should find out about the history of pesticides used in their soil.
- Pest control. Reducing the pest population requires constant and effective monitoring and management. Mowing, mulching, hand weeding, planting cover crops, and using mechanical cultivation can help rid your nursery of pesky pests and unwanted visitors. Preventative pest control is the best kind of pest control.
- Maintenance. Expanding your nursery equals more pruning and plant beauty maintenance. Shade trees are pruned in the winter and summer to ensure that a central leader is maintained and the shape of the head of the tree is in proportion with the trunk. Pruning is essential to developing a strong framework of branches and an even growing pattern. Neglecting one tree can cause a chain reaction of overgrowth and delayed fruiting—which is why it’s important to maintain the shape and health of every individual tree in your nursery. Adding extra employees during pruning season is a great way to guarantee every tree is carefully pruned and ready to fruit.
- Harvest. When you harvest your plants or trees depends on what stage of development you’ve marketed to buyers. Some gardeners prefer liners, which are small plants that grow into larger plants, or whips which are straight stems with few branches. Other customers may prefer mature plants and trees that are fully-grown. Harvesting field grown nursery plants is a skilled labor, whether the plants are hand dug or mechanically removed. Investing in good laborers will help your business remove plants expertly and easily.
- Labor. Hiring competent and knowledgeable workers, both in the field and in the retail store, is essential to running a successful nursery. According to the University of Kentucky’s School of Agriculture, your nursery should employ one worker per acre of container production (i.e. pot on pot planting) or one worker per seven to eight acres of field production. Planting, pruning, harvesting, and selling will run smoothly if your nursery employs enough workers to oversee all the important aspects of your business.
Do you believe your nursery could benefit from an expansion but doesn’t have the funds to grow? Are you interested in finding out what business loan rates your small business qualifies for? Then contact Main Street Business Loans and ask us about financing for small business. Call us now at 1-866-325-0117 or visit us online, anytime to find out more about small business loans, at www.MainStreetBusinessLoans.com.