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How to start a horticulture business

Opening a new business may be stressful but if you think you’ve got the talent and the resources then you should definitely give it a go. The horticulture industry is valued at more than £5bn each year and employs in excess of 50,000 people. Between garden centres and plant nurseries, there are many opportunities out there. But what does it take to open a business in this industry? We’re sharing some expert tips to help you make the right decisions.

Skills

Before committing, you need to know if you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. The most important traits to possess are flexibility, reliability, resilience, and a lot of passion. Actually, according to the company director of Premier Polytunnels, it’s essential to “do your research. Make sure you really know what it takes to get into the job you want and choose the right course to study accordingly. Work experience also gives a great insight into what the job really entails.”

Doing a lot of research is key to knowing what you’re getting yourself into; you don’t want to start spending money and time on something you would end up regretting. We would advise talking to entrepreneurs, reading books and going to seminars. Of course, having a strong knowledge of plants is essential.

The right tools

Once you’re sure that this is what you want to do, you need to start investing in the company. Buying tools is one of the most important investments that you’ll have to make. The equipment can be quite pricey so you could start by buying used rather than new; however, sharp tools need to be brand-new to avoid accidents.

If you’re choosing to start a plant nursery business, you may have to invest in polytunnels, greenhouses and cloches to keep your plants safe. Keep in mind that you may be spending more than £2K on equipment at first.

Having a van is also important so you can visit suppliers and customers, transport plants and heavy equipment. Your van will also become a good way to advertise your business, you should place a large sticker with your brand name and contact info on it.

Training

There are many courses you can take before opening your own business – in entrepreneurship but also in gardening. Gardening management and practical horticulture courses may be just what you need to get you started. Not everybody has the knowledge and know how to take care of a brand-new business, so don’t be scared to reach out to external resources.

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