Income $60,000 $100,000
The range of income for the first year will depend upon how many gardens you tend. Typically you should be able to manage a minimum of 40-80 gardens per week. Your heaviest work load will occur during March/April when you first plant the gardens.
You should calculate your fees by anticipating that most families spend $20-40 a week on fruits and vegetables. If you can match what they have been spending and give them the fruits and vegetables in their back yard, you will have an easier time of acquiring new clients. If you spend a half hour on each garden, your income range should be $800 – $3,200 per week.
You might also want to hire youth to do the weeding for you, and which would help to minimize the amount of time you would need to spend at each location.
Gardening is different from landscaping. This business appeals to those who have become tired of the plastic looking and tasting tomatoes and pesticide-ridden vegetables obtained from grocery stores. Your business will consist of cultivating the plot, planning the garden to each family’s specific preferences as well as planning for the size of the family.
You might also want to set up automatic watering systems in order to minimize the amount of time you spend at each location.
By working with your clients in order to bring them fresh produce to their location, you will ensure they are getting the best produce, insecticide free, guaranteed fresh at their convenience.
After your first season, you might want to consider building your own hot house so that you will be able to grow seedlings. Then you will be able to plant your own mature plants in March/April during the height of the planting season, providing an earlier yield to the crops.
Your clients will consist of families located in urban areas and apartment/multi-unit dwellers. In some communities a family will dedicate land for a group garden.
Your marketing plan should include advertising in the local rag sheets, in church bulletins, with door hangers and in local garden supply stores. Your best results will typically come from word of mouth, possibly through PTA groups, mother’s clubs, or any other type of parent groups especially those located in upscale neighborhoods and developments.
Your Power Partners will consist of landscapers, handymen, Realtors, or anyone who has the same target client such as handymen, painters, haulers, and any other type of home maintenance people. You might even be able to combine your marketing efforts.
The conversations with these Power Partners should indicate your willingness to include them as you become aware of clients who need their services. It is important you meet with these Power Partners in person the first time, and then keep in touch with them weekly by email or by phone.
One of the major requirements with this type of business is that you have a complete knowledge of organic gardening, which types of fruits and vegetables grow in what periods of time, and how to plant for the best possible yields.
Here are a number of resources I have come across:
Personality Type: Analytical, Amiable
Total Start Up Costs: Less than $1,500 and $5,000 the second year for a hot house and seedlings
(includes business cards, tools, a phone, plants and advertising)