Topics: new greenhouse
Just as defining your market and finding your greenhouse location have variables that impact your business success, so too does the greenhouse structure. This does not only matter to new businesses but also for those of you wanting to expand or renovate your existing greenhouses. Up front, I will say what might not be the traditional thought behind buying a greenhouse and that is, each business is different and the greenhouse needs to be tailored to each business for them to be successful. Your greenhouse is the end product of your planning, not the starting point. Often, the greenhouse is thought of before the market you will be selling to, the product you are growing and even the systems that will be growing the products.
When it comes to running a commercial greenhouse, I have found that there are three general categories people fall into. These are not character defining traits or leadership defining but simply a frame of reference for decision making. Even within these three types the lines blur, because in order to run a successful greenhouse all are critical and each owner, manager or supervisor will make decisions involving every topic. This post is less about defining yourself and more about being self-aware of your strengths. If you know what your strengths are you can supplement your weaknesses by adding other people to your team that are strong in the differing categories. By doing this your management team will be well rounded as a whole. As you read through think about where your strengths lie.
Knowing your market or outlet, for the produce you will be growing and selling to, is as important as your growing facility. Who and where are your customers? Understanding your market points you in the right direction of narrowing down your greenhouse location. This is covered in our initial and the 3rd post, in this series. Highlights being market size, who the buyers are and planning for the future.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into why you need to understand your market.
I had originally titled this post in our series, Commercial Vegetable Greenhouse: Starting from Square One, “Land,” boring I know but to the point. After thinking about who our customers are and where growers are wanting to build their greenhouses, I changed it to the title “Growing Location”. Yes, another blockbuster title.
As you work through Part 1, it will become apparent that it is going to take a lot of time, not only to work through the initial planning phase but also to put the items into action. This is a short and sweet rundown of the very, very important topic of time management and expectations. Building a time table is the best way to stay on top of your building project as more and more actions are combined. Just as growing crops follows a schedule, building a business needs to be laid out and follow a path of milestones, each milestone building on the last. Questions that we have listed in each of the previous posts and ones to come will have a time factor that will need to be taken into account and tracked.
In short, the below list is a start to forming the ideas you have into an actionable and analytical plan. This list is geared towards people wanting to start a commercial greenhouse. Several other posts will follow helping to guide the decision processes as you move toward starting a vegetable greenhouse. While you fill out the list, give yourself the freedom to explore all ideas and answers. Analyze and build on what makes sense for your situation, taking into account your capabilities, your team’s talents and the markets needs and wants.
It’s the end of your growing season or the end of the school year. You won’t be using the greenhouse for a few months but can you “shut down” a greenhouse? We believe that a greenhouse is more than a building. It is a growing machine and the heart of your business.
Ambition is the American Way. It drives us to do and create great things in the face of overwhelming obstacles and competition. You know the names: Carnegie, Rockefeller, Ford, Buffet, Gates and Jobs. Although ambition often has a negative connotation and does have a dark side, when harnessed and channeled, it drives us to do amazing things. But only when we act. In the world of startups and Shark Tank it seems like it everyone is looking for that one good idea to turn their dreams into an early retirement. However, have you ever wondered why, if it was so easy, more people haven’t made it? I talk to a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners every week, and I can tell within the first 5 minutes who are the dreamers and who are the doers. The dreamers can inspire you with their passion, talk to you for days about what their business will look like in the future, and have an unending supply of energy. What is missing? The plan to connect their current state to their desired future state. This is where the doers shine. They tend to have the same passion but a more realistic view of future state and a dialed in plan for how they will get there.