Anybody Can Sell a lot of Plants, and I Do Mean Anybody!
Tens of thousands of plants if that’s what your heart desires.
But . . . in order for that to happen you have to get off of the couch, out into the backyard and make it happen. You have to quit talking yourself out of this. It can and will work if you believe that it will.
I know what it’s like to have doubts. I have them right now, today. You need to grab me by the shoulders and say to me; “Mike, you’re good at this, you know what you’re doing, if anybody can make this work it’s you!”
We are embarking on something new in our business and as always it’s scary. I like things how they are, I’m nice and comfortable with the way things are. But I know we have to change. I know that I personally have to stick my neck out to take this business to the next level.
As an entrepreneur I’ve spent my whole life with doubts. Every time I’ve tried something new and different I’ve been plagued by doubts. But I’ve managed to push them aside and trudge ahead to realize another level of success.
Your friends, your neighbors, your family, your co-workers, even your spouse will give you 100 reasons why this won’t work. They’re wrong. They’re just flat out wrong and you have to, if not physically, but at least mentally, pull your self away from “stinkin thinkin” people. (You were the best Zig Ziglar! and you are missed)
We are embarking on the greatest, most productive season of the year, spring! Here in Ohio early June is the time to start making softwood cuttings. Warmer state? You can start around mid May for sure. Don’t miss this grand opportunity.
Quit watching the news! Quit listening to people who are more than happy to tell you how bad it is out there. How there are no jobs to be had. Nonsense! The economy is very much on the up swing, I see it everywhere I look. Commercial building is going crazy! New houses going up. It’s not just here in Ohio. It’s everywhere, but you can’t see if you are predisposed to believe that things are bad.
You have to believe that there is an opportunity like none before in front of you right now!
Around here we have a local company that is so desperate to hire mig and tig welders that they’ve taken to hiring unskilled people to stand on busy intersections holding signs stating what positions they can’t fill.
I couldn’t help but think, if the guy that is holding the sign would go to the welding school right down the road he could land himself a good, skilled job. I know, I know . . . people are going to give me a hundred reasons why that isn’t possible. It isn’t possible because the person holding the sign isn’t trying desperately to find a way to make it happen. If he or she were, they’d be welding right now!
Anyway, I’m jumping up and down on this soap box only to tell you this. I’m excited for the nursery business. When the economy crashed in 2008 it shook out a lot of nurseries, big and small that were hanging by a thread. The strong nurseries, those that were not burdened with debt, hung on and are profiting like crazy right now.
This is creating huge opportunities for small growers like you and I.
You have to trust me on that.
What about those big box stores? What did they do? They came into town and made a big splash, they scared off a lot of small retail plant sellers. Many, many independently owned garden centers have closed up in the last 20 years.
What does that mean for me and you? Opportunity. We have very little overhead, we can compete with anybody in the business. We might not be able to crank out 270,000 Rhododendron liners this year, but we certainly can sell the ones that we do grow.
Landscapers? What’s this mean for them? They will end up paying more for their plants. It’s the good old fashioned rule of supply and demand. A friend of mine that sells for one of the biggest growers around told me a few weeks back; “We are no longer discounting our plants to sell them like we have been in years past. There are shortages, lots of plants in short supply. We are selling at full wholesale price today!”
That’s going to affect the landscapers and garden centers, especially those that are independently owned. They hate being strong armed by their suppliers! They are flat out tired of that!
They want to buy from somebody like you!
Trust me, when the economy is strong and nursery sales are strong, it’s gets really, really difficult for smaller landscapers and plant retailers to buy the plants they need. The big growers that were rolling out the red carpet for them post 2008 suddenly aren’t that interested in their small checks any more.
It’s really a form of discrimination that is not protected by any federal laws. Small check book? We can’t be bothered with you. Don’t believe me? Trust me it’s true. I dealt with it for years as a small landscaper. I sought out people just like you to buy from because of that.
To this day I much prefer to buy from small growers, many who are my customers! I love buying from my customers. The prices are good, the plants are really, really nice and the service is excellent. With them I’m not a number with a really small checkbook.
Alright Mike, Shut Up!
The secret to selling lots and lots of plants is simple.
1. You have to grow them. If you don’t grow them you can’t sell them.
2. You have to make a physical and out right commitment to your cause. You can’t hide in the shadows and invent reasons why right now is not the time for you.
3. You have to tell people what you do. Make that commitment and wear it on your sleeve.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
It is my hope this inspires somebody to change their life and take an action that they’ve been reluctant to take.
Questions, comments, post them below.