How to Start a Greenhouse Business

Are you ready to start a greenhouse business?

Most people looking to start a greenhouse business have cultivation experience, but if this is not the case, you may want to consider spending some time working in a commercial greenhouse since experience provides insights that educational programs and books cannot provide. You will want to learn from mistakes using someone else’s money before investing in your own greenhouse. Greenhouse owners and operators need to have business experience and hands-on growing experience sufficient to manage the business and handle legal issues, taxes, and finances, along with greenhouse operation, crop production, and building and equipment maintenance.

Topics to Consider When Planning a Greenhouse Business

  • Agricultural Business Planning and Marketing 
  • Financing Options, Budgets, and Taxes
  • Site Selection, Land Use, Permits, and Zoning
  • Crop Selection, Scheduling, and Growing
  • Regulations for Water, Pesticides, etc.
  • Labor Laws and Local Labor Supply
  • Greenhouse Maintenance and Management

Writing a Greenhouse Business Plan

Before constructing a greenhouse, business owners need to create a business plan that addresses the business concept, customers, and capital. The concept of the business should state why you are starting the business, what experience you have growing, and when you plan to start the business. The business plan should state the type of crop(s) to be grown, the kind of greenhouse to be built, and where the greenhouse will be located.

Next, you must identify who your target customer is, how much you plan to sell the plants for, and how or where you intend to sell the plants. The last part of the business plan should address financing. It should detail your overall financial situation, calculate the cost to start your greenhouse business, and list any professional resources.

Structure of a Business Plan

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Company Description/Mission Statement
  3. Plans for Product or Service
  4. Marketing Plan
  5. Management Plan
  6. Operating Plan
  7. Financial Plan

The more planning that goes into the business, the more successful it is likely to be. When first starting a greenhouse, it helps to start small and let the business grow itself naturally. This natural growth occurs when the business operates with a clear and well-written business plan, and when the business is tailored to the needs of the market. Greenhouse owners have to be prepared to grow what sells, which may not be what they like personally. 

Key Outcomes of a Business Plan

  • Identifies inputs needed for success
  • Determines profitability
  • Resolves challenges that could arise
  • States goal to focus on
  • Should be updated as the business evolves
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