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Plants & Agriculture

Herb Gardening

With today’s focus on health and gourmet food, there’s no better time to start growing herbs.

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Business At A Glance

Herb Gardening

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

A small plot of land in your backyard can easily be converted into a cash-producing herb garden. Dill, parsley and chives are just a few of the many herbs that can be grown at home for profit.
 
Get started by spending time at your local library and on the internet to learn as much as you can about herbs and herb gardening. The rest is very simple. Plant your garden, grow your herbs, design some herb packages, and set out to establish accounts with local merchants to sell your goods. Like any new business venture, there’ll be a learning curve. However, the rewards of a few extra thousand dollars each year can justify the effort.

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Plants & Agriculture

Gardening Classes

Share your greenthumb with others. It will add green to your pocket.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Gardening Classes

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Teaching ‘how-to’ gardening classes can be a fun and profitable instruction business to start. The classes can be conducted right from home utilizing your own garden as the basis of the instruction class. Successfully marketing this type of instruction business is best achieved by establishing alliances with local garden centers that can refer your ‘how-to garden’ classes to their customers.
 
Additionally, writing and publishing an annual gardener’s handbook that features local gardens, gardeners, and gardening tips is also a fantastic way to increase business revenues and profits. The gardening book can be sold through local retail merchants and can be partly supported by selling advertising space in the book to local gardening businesses. Securing a mere 20 clients per week, each paying $50 for a day-long ‘how-to garden instruction course’ will result in yearly business sales of $50,000.

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Plants & Agriculture

Lawn Care Service

Know the secrets to making grass a little greener? Start a lawn care business.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Lawn Care Service

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Everybody’s ideal lawn is a swath of emerald green, each blade as precision-cut as a Marine drill sergeant’s hair, and not a weed, bare patch or dog doodle in sight. But in today’s two-income family and single-parent/breadwinner world, who has time to mind the lawn? It could be you.
As a lawn care professional, you can save the day by feeding, weeding, aerating and mowing the yards of not only residences, but businesses and institutions as well. And you can add to your income by rounding out your services from strictly lawn care to routine landscape maintenance. If you like working outdoors, making the world a greener and more beautiful place, and helping things grow, then this could be the business for you. According to the Professional Lawn Care Association, more than 22 million households spend $14.6 billion on professional landscape and lawn care services, so there’s lots of room for growth.
The advantages to this business are that you can start on a shoestring, you’re out in the fresh air every day with no ringing phones or clattering keyboards to interfere with the birdsong, and if you enjoy physical labor and the accomplishment of putting in a good day’s work, then this can be a rewarding field. You’ll need a good basic understanding of lawn care and of fertilizing and weed control products and techniques. A sense of logistics will also be a plus–the better route you map out of customer sites, the less time you’ll spend on the road and the more efficient and cost-effective you’ll be.

The Market

Your customers can be residential property owners or a wide variety of commercial properties–apartment and condominium complexes, hotels and motels, hospitals, large and small businesses and office parks. Government institutions make good sources of income as well.
 
Nab residential customers by going door-to-door with fliers or door hangers. (Don’t place them in mailboxes–the U.S. Postal Service gets very upset about this.) Place ads in your local newspaper and in your neighborhood Yellow Pages. For small-business commercial customers, hand-deliver fliers or brochures and explain your services.You may not get any takers the first time you visit, but don’t get discouraged. A repeat visit or two can often seal a deal. A direct-mail campaign of a brochure will work better for large corporations; follow up with a phone call.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need field tools, including an aerator, a power mower, an edger, a trimmer, a selection of rakes, a spreader for fertilizer and seed, a sprayer, and a small gasoline container for on-the-job refills. (Be sure to use an approved container and follow safe storage and usage practices.) You’ll also need a vehicle to carry them in, a pickup truck or other medium-duty vehicle and possibly a small trailer.

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Plants & Agriculture

Lawn Sprinkler Systems

Keep lawn their greenest with a sprinkler business.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Lawn Sprinkler Systems

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

At one time the installation of an underground lawn sprinkler system was reserved only for the wealthiest of homeowners. However, times have changed, and new installation techniques and mass produced plastic pipes have brought the costs of supplying and installing underground sprinkling systems down to a point where they are now within the financial grasp of almost all homeowners.
 
Starting this business requires that the installers of the sprinkler systems be experienced and knowledgeable. Equipment used in this business can be very expensive. However, equipment and tools can be initially rented as a way of controlling startup costs, and experienced staff can be hired and paid a slight premium as a way of guaranteeing quality work. The service can be marketed directly to consumers via all traditional ad mediums or the service can work for homebuilders and property developers on a subcontract basis

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