I logged onto the Backyard Growers Message Board last night and read this message. It brought tears to my eyes.
We bought Mike’s Backyard Growing System in March 2008! Our restaurant had just closed down! We had lost everything we had worked for the last 12 years and my husband was planning to move to Canada, looking for a job!
While my husband was away in Canada-I looked at the house, stuff you collect over the years, my collection of indoor and out door plants and started doing yard sales! And that is when while web surfing I came across Mike’s http://freeplants.com/backyard.htm
I am so glad my husband encouraged me to get Mike’s system, -may be he too was looking for an excuse not to move to Calgary with all that snow-lol! And I am so grateful to Mike for allowing us to pay the fees in small installments, because that made all the difference between joining or not joining!
We had no time to plan, no time or money to buy costly equipments first and start gardening later! Like Mike says we plunged right in! We started rooting whatever we could lay our hands on, started looking for bargains, orphan plants, free pots etc. We got very encouraging response from local buyers. I was happy!
Within the year we paid off our expenses and built a small fund for investing in plants. Most important of all I didn’t have to lie awake at night worrying about the future. By end of the day, we were too tired-lol!
Last year, in spite of ups and downs in the economy we made nearly $XXXXX gross. Our sales were 2/3rd internet, including the Backyard Growers Board and the rest local. And this year we nearly doubled it! And this was in spite of the fact that we never had any regular retail “Plant sale”.
I am writing this because, I feel many new members often feel doubtful about making money in this business. We have tried to follow Mike’s advice-he is the most practical, down to earth and business savvy guy I have come across. We keep overhead low , give service that a regular retail seller cannot afford- basically our time, offer quality & also unusual plants and try to attract mainly wholesale customers with our ads. Even though profit margins are higher in retail, we have always focused more on wholesale. But local landscape designing is a good way to make some money too!
It has been a slow but steady progress, but when you take in to consideration the fact that we live in a sub division, and have only about an acre of land, I feel we have done good! We didn’t have to move to Canada -with all that snow (being consistently in 20s is bad enough for me-brrrrrrrrrrr!); I am my own boss (my own employee too-lol!), and we are beating this economy by doing something I love & enjoy!!!
Because of the Backyard Growers, I feel part of a group, a family. We are very grateful for the business, but we can never appreciate enough the friends we have made here, friends who responded immediately to our problems last summer and helped us survive another crises. We are proud to be members of the Backyard Growers Group!
Again, Like Mike says- while this economy is killing off giants in the field-with their huge overheads, bank loans, mortgage problems ….this is an ideal opportunity for small growers like us . The market is all around us -we just have to catch it!
Good luck and don’t give up!
With this we wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year.
In Response to Mrinali’s post:
I echo the thanks to Mike and his brillant mind. I also extend my thanks to you in particular and to many, many other members of the board. My notebook of invoices is full. The number of members I have worked with is mind boggling. Your mentoring has kept me on track to what I want, but not sure how I was going to get there. Today, just 6 months after starting, I cannot order anymore plants, etc. because I have absolutely no room in the inn. My grandson and I will start building again this next week-Christmas Break. We are also needing to get some potting mix together. It too is gone! Come Spring Break, I will be potting upwards of 2000 plants as half of them are heeled in soilless mix for the winter. About 30-40 are going all the way to 3 gallon pots. I look out over the beds outside and the benches and tubs in the cold room and I feel almost overwhelmed. Now it is my job to start selling as the plants come out of dormancy.
Thanks to all of you, but Mrinali, I think of what you have done to help me often. Your suggestions have been so helpful in guiding me in plant selection and in formulating a business design.
NW Arkansas–Zone 7
2nd Response to Mrinali’s post:
I am so grateful that you posted this message this morning. After 45 plus years of working mostly two jobs I find myself left with chronic pain and little else but my brain and a passion to grow things. It is really good for me to hear this morning that this does work even if you are starting with almost nothing.
Again I thank you and I thank Mike. So far I think I have gotten much more than I have paid for.
Port Charlotte, Florida
Just getting started!
A Note from Mike:
Do yourself a favor and join our wonderful family of Backyard Growers. If this doesn’t change your life, just ask for your money back. Order right now! It’s only $88.00 to get started. http://www.freeplants.com/system.htm