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
So let me get started I’m 13 yrs old and my mom and dad might get a divorce because my mom steals money from everyone and has a medicine problem my dad used to drink a lot then he started going to church and started thinking. He stopped drinking almost completely and only has had a few beers since he tried stopping but besides that my mom doesn’t help me but my dad has. We can’t really afford much so we get dirt from the woods and my dad and I carry it up in buckets. In just a year and a half I planted a little over 2500 dollars worth and haven’t had a single sale. This year I myself bought plants (around 100 dollars worth) and made a lot of cuttings and from one arctic willow I already have probably 60 of them planted and most trimmed.i really need this business to work I know it will because of you teaching everyone how you do this. I have read some of your articles ten times or more because plants are all I have except for cross country and I’m the fastest in my grade at it . This year I lost 250 plants over the winter due to rot but we used the dirt to start a mound that I am going to landscape . It’s going to have three specimen plants and tons of other plants, it’s 18 feet wide and in the shape of a pentagon that’s rounded at the front. I’m also one of the best artists in my grade so that helped me plan it but now we still have to get the rest of the dirt and plants. But thank you for teaching us and changing lives maybe we’ll eventually meet and you can make a page on my story because it suck ed then and it still kinda suck now but not for long because this will hopefully change my life for the good .If you aren’t Christian I hope you learn who Jesus is because even though your amazing, you will go to hell if you aren’t saved.
You are an amazing young man and you are blessed that your dad helps you with this venture. You need to sell some plants my friend! Get some money rolling in. Just post them to a buy/sell group on facebook. Take good photos of things in bloom, they’ll sell.
O my gosh its May 2nd (I think) and I was looking for my comment I’m now 14 and have around 700 plants and have saved my money and am gunna put it all into plants and should start selling soon. you have inspired me truly thanks for everything You have inspired me so much.
Hunter, you are welcome.
I live about an hour and a half from you and once I get the money I will almost definitely become a member. Do you have any links to info on sales tax and stuff and that? Do you have to charge tax even if you are small and just starting? Ty
Legally you do have to collect sales tax and need a vendor’s license for that. Don’t get the license until you need it because once you apply you have to file it as often as monthly.
Wow what a great story! I just started working for Mike 3 weeks ago and am reading all of his old posts. I hope Mrinali is still doing well!
Lois Heimendinger says
my husband aND i HAD back surgery,(me four times in 9 months, hubbys more in one 11hour surgery.Iam a retired RN, graduated in 1957 I have loved growing things my entire adult lifewe CAN NEVER THANK mIKE FOR THE THINGS HE TEACHES AND THEY HAVE MADE THIS ALL POSSIBLE. WE CAN USE PLASTIC CONTAINERS ON A TABLE INSTEAD OF LEANING DOWN IN A FRAME. THIS GOES ON AND ON AS WE WATCH THE VIDEOS AND READ OUR LESSONS. WE THANK YOU FOR GETTING US AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE FROM OUR EASY CHAIRS AND REJOIN THE LIVING.
Danella Rutherford says
Thank you Mike for all these wonderful testimonies you get. I live in New Zealand and would love to be part of the Backyard growers. however, maybe someway I could find someone this side of the equator to sell plants or rooted cuttings to. what a lovely thought that is. I notice we can grow mostly the same type plants ypou do except six months difference in time.
Keep up your good work and I will continue to look forward to your emails.
Bless you muchly.
I live in central Wisconsin. Is this something I can do? I’m pretty sure I could with a greenhouse, but otherwise not in the winter under 2 foot of snow! I would like to do this but with a small house, there is no place to put plants. If someone could let me know, that would be great! I am very interested and would like to start if I’m in the right zone.
Ive been reading your tips for months and months, and although Im really interesting in your back yard growing system, Im in Canada, (southwestern) and Im not sure that the buyers you seem to have available in the U.S. to purchase the product would be available to me. Do you know if anyone in Canada currently utilizes your sysem and network of sellers/buyers?
My husband is sick to death of a lifetime of working in a factory and deperately wants out and to take early retirment. This would be a fabulous venture for both of us, since all my spring and summer (and fall of course) is spend outside in my garden, and I love propagating plants. Every spring my husband follows me around the garden digging holes, and toting bags of soil and pots as I replant or transplant all my green ‘children’. I call him my hardscaper, but really I know he’d love the opportuniuty to give me a run for my money (no pun intended) and take on the growing of plants himself. I think this venture is right up his alley. Any help, ideas, suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Gillian, most of our members are in the US, we do have some Canadian members and we really need more. We need people like you to help establish a place where Canadian growers can buy and sell plants. Regardless of that, this sounds like it would be perfect for you and your husband, and interacting with the other members will be an incredible experience for a growers like you and your husband.
I am wanting to get started when is the latest to get started and be able to sale cuttings this year. Do I still have time to start this year and make money this year with it?
I assume you’re asking if you can make money with your nursery in 2011, since there are just a few days left in this year. Yes, if you get started now and do something for your nursery every day, you can be ready to start rooting softwood cuttings in the spring. Once those cuttings are well rooted, they can be sold
to the wholesale market or to other Growers Message Board members.
You can learn more about the $88 Backyard Nursery Growing System
and order it here: http://www.freeplants.com/system-basic.htm
Ray, if this interests you, you need to get started right now. You can make some money in 2011. How much you make is up to you. But waiting is the worst thing to do for a million different reasons. Once you get started every day will make a difference in what you do from now until the end of time. You build your business upon what you did yesterday. I suggest you start now and go through all of the material as quickly as possible. http://freeplants.com/system.htm
Ah! A true Christmas story! Thank you Mike for being a St. Nicholas 🙂
Thank you Mrinali, Zone7b, for sharing the heartwarming and encouraging
event that turned your future around for the better!
God Bless us all, EVERY ONE!
Pam Daniels says
Merry Christmas . My prayers are for you and your family a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. Thankyou for all the tips this year. Will be reading and using the tips you have for us next year also. MERRY CHRISTMAS
Thank you Pam, I hope to share a lot in 2011!
f battista upstate, new york zone 4 says
i have worked in a locomotive (train parts) factory since getting out of high school . working steady but not doing what i really liked, i saw mikes ad and mike got me motivated and i started doing what i did when i was a kid in the sixties working in my families garden . its hard to get started because everyone around you is telling you you can’t compete with Lowes or home Depot. But I know i can because the key to making a go of it is interacting with customers and giving personal service that the big stores refuse to do . growing plants and shrubs is fun and you get a sense of enjoyment looking out over your nursery and seeing rows of trees and shrubs growing that you help get started from small plants. I just finished drilling a well so i can tap into an endless supply of free water during the growing season. hopefully next years sales will pay for the well. like mikes says start small and just keep adding on. Remember success is within our reach and we need to reach out for it. best wishes and Merry Christmas