By Tiffany Rowe, Seek Visibility
Many people long for the end of the working week so that they can head home to their garden to relax, potter, plant, prune and just generally enjoy the meditation of working with their hands amidst nature. However, it’s important to remember that in this digital age with websites, online classified sites and social media, it’s easier than ever to actually turn your hobby into a profitable endeavor that brings in regular cash.
From those who make money showing off their landscapes on Open Garden days, to those who sell design ideas, plants, equipment, ornaments and more, there are plenty of people around the world who have turned their gardening hobby into a full-time job or fun side venture. Read on for some tips you can follow today to join their ranks.
One of the best things you can do if you want to generate some cash from your gardening hobby is to conduct some research. You should have a clear idea of the industry you’re looking to join, who your competitors might be, what it is they do and don’t offer, and how you might be able to fill a gap in the market or otherwise provide something different to customers.
You should be sure that your products or services solve a problem that people actually have, and that there is a large enough market that you will have the chance to earn your desired amount of income. You should also investigate your target markets, whether that might be local clientele or people (or businesses) further afield.
To help you make a real go of your business idea, you should also put a thorough business plan in place. Your business plan will:
- Incorporate all the research you’ve done
- Show that you understand what your unique selling proposition (USP) is
- Display what the potential venture’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are
- Predict the likely financial projections for the first one to five years after you launch
Test the Market
Next, even though you’ve conducted research, it still really pays to test the market before you go “all guns blazing” with your business idea. Create the first batch of your product or the first plan for your service and then test it out on potential customers. While it often helps to start with family members and friends for feedback, keep in mind that often the people who love you may not be keen to give you particularly honest critiques if they’re worried about hurting your feelings. As a result, it is necessary to test your wares on your actual target market too.
There are many ways to go about these tests, depending on the type of product or service you will be selling. Consider, though, avenues such as:
- Local markets
- Networking events
- Business groups
- Sites like eBay, Craigslist, Gumtree, Etsy, Fiverr, Freelancer, and the like
- Setting up a pop-up shop
- Buy a stand at a trade show, conference or other type of event
- Set up a focus group
You might also like to think about setting up a website, blog or other online presence in order to start building a list of potential customers and to get feedback on your ideas. You can actually pre-sell products, as well as services (such as courses, tutorials, webinars, books, eBooks, digital magazines and so on) before you have them ready to go. This is a great way to see if there is a demand for your offerings, and to test out your planned pricing and delivery methods.
To start turning your passion into a business you need to be prepared to invest both your time and your money, not to mention your energy. Building up first a side business, and then a full-time concern, takes commitment in many ways. You have to be prepared to fit in time for the venture around your current full-time job or other tasks, and will likely have to give up a decent amount of your leisure and vacation time along the way.
Keep in mind that starting a business costs some money too. This can vary tremendously, according to the budget you have allocated for the venture and how many tasks you can do yourself, but will typically involve costs such as logo designs, domain names, marketing costs, phone calls, stationery, and the like. While you can certainly run a lean business and start slowly with regards to monetary outlays, you will generally always need to spend some money in order to get your product or service out into the public eye and generating your first sales.
Tiffany Rowe is a marketing administrator who assists in contributing resourceful content throughout the World Wide Web. Tiffany prides herself in her strong ability to provide high quality content that readers will find valuable. She enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content for various niches. You can often find Tiffany looking up new D.I.Y projects for the weekend or attempting to teach her pup new tricks. Favorite quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou