How to Start a Garden Supply Business Online
Welcome to the Business Ideas section. Watch this video, I’m going to give you a quick start guide on how to start a gardening supply business online. Gardening is said to be one of the most stress-relieving hobbies that one can have. And since it’s an interest based business that means you’ll have plenty of customers to serve. People who garden will always need supplies to continue their hobby and that’s where you’ll come in and CASH out!
So, here’s what you’ll need to get started:
Step 1 - Get a Business Plan
If you have no idea how a garden supply store is supposed to operate or maybe you are a first time online business owner, I'd recommend downloading a business plan from BPlans.com. Their plans outline exactly how the business is supposed to work and what you should expect.
Step 2 - Find a Supplier
Whether you chose the dropship method or to buy your own inventory, the supplier research process is still the same. If you want to get started right away and you don't have a lot of money to buy inventory, you'll want to head over to google and type in these words, "Garden Supplies for Dropship" or "Garden Supplies Dropship Program". This will give you access to thousands of products to sell in your online store right away, without actually needing to buy any of them. If you do have some money and you want to manage your own inventory and keep products in your own warehouse to ship, just google the words "wholesale garden supplies". From there you can find a company to buy in bulk from.
Step 3 - Register Your Business
Now, when you've got that sorted, it's time to officially register your business. You won't be able to buy wholesale beauty products or work with a drop ship supplier until you complete this step. You'll need to register & apply for a federal EIN Number, and form an LLC or Corporation. Depending on what state you are in, you will likely also need a reseller or retail merchant certificate as well. This allows you to buy products, tax free. I recommend using MyCorporation.com, as they do have a variety of packages to choose from, but their most basic package will get you started right away.
Legally Incorporate Your Business Today
Step 4 - Open a Business Bank Account
Now, since you're going to be getting all this money, you'll need somewhere to put it. It's pretty easy to open a business bank account, but they won't get you setup without having the legal incorporation paperwork and the EIN number that I just spoke about. You can work with a local bank that you already use or you can just choose a new one.
Step 5 - Buy Web Hosting
The next step is to buy web hosting. I always recommend choosing Bluehost because they are the most reliable for beauty supply e-commerce stores. You also get a free domain, a free ssl and access to 24/7 tech support. You really can't beat it.
Get Started with Bluehost
Step 6 - Work with an E-Commerce Web Designer
Once you pay for a plan with Bluehost, you'll get your login credentials. You'll want to save that information and deliver it to the web designer in the next step. If you don't know about Fiverr, it's a company that sells affordable web development and marketing services that get done really quick. You just type in what you want in the search bar, and it will reveal tons of people who are willing to help you get a website up in less than 3 days. Once you choose the person you want to work with, give them the Bluehost details and communicate your vision and plans for the website.
Find an E-Commerce Designer on Fiverr
Step 7 - Setup a Merchant Account to Get Paid
While they are working on your new website, you'll need to activate a merchant account for your customers to pay you through. Many businesses use paypal, square or stripe. I personally like Square, they make it super easy for me to accept payments online via my website or over the phone. Once you signup for square, give these details to the web designer to complete the integration process.
Signup for a Square Merchant Account
Step 8 - Get Online Marketing Materials Designed
Finally, you'll need to start spreading the word about your business. A good place to start is getting a gardening logo, garden supply business cards and gardening marketing materials created. For branding, I recommend 99designs because the process is quick and painless and you actually get what you want. For marketing materials, I like envato, because they literally have tons of graphics for each and every single kind of business, on demand.
Get Marketing Templates with Envato
Step 9 - Create a Money Game Plan
Since you are a gardening supplies store you’ll be selling tools & equipment, gardening training courses & guides, you can also start a gardening magazine or a monthly email newsletter where you’ll sell ads to brands. It would also be a good idea to start hosting your own gardening events and seminars where you can sell booth space to vendors.
To maximize your profits, You’ll want to add a healthy mix of products and services. For example, you can sell garden design services, subscription services for lawn care, lawn protection or restoration. A fun way to make even more money would be to create a Local Gardeners Directory and sell listings to those offering the specific services catering to local markets.
Step 10 - Be Prepared for Startup Cost
Now, I know you're probably wondering...What's the price tag on this baby? Startup costs for this kind of business, using the drop ship method usually starts at $500-$1000 on average, but if you're planning to fund your own inventory, be prepared to drop the big bucks. If you liked this video or you know someone who needs to see this today, tag a friend, hit like or give it a share.
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About Adella Pasos
This Entrepreneur and Marketing Expert has shared her passion for growing brands from the ground up. She’s worked with Startups, Small Businesses, Fortune 500 Corporations and Entertainment Talent to help them recognize the value of marketing, and give her clients the ability to access their niche market via online, social media, mobile, merchandising, and events.
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