Starting a business based on a hobby or skill is exciting and scary at the same time. It requires organization and a business plan to ensure success, even if your business is a small start-up. Growing flower bulbs is just one step in the plan. Marketing, analyzing competition, keeping track of expenses and sales are also essential.
Organizing Your Bulb Selling Business
Decide what bulbs you're going to grow and sell. Some are more in demand than others. For example, there are few places where pre-chilled spring bulbs are available for a reasonable price. Or you might decide that miniature or dwarf versions of standard-size bulbs are the best product to sell.
Determine who you're going to sell the flower bulbs to--that's your market. It might be a wholesaler who wants you to grow exotic bulbs in small quantities for a high price. It could be neighbors who have always admired your flowers. Another alternative would be to sell the bulbs pre-planted at craft and garden shows.
Develop a marketing strategy so your potential customers know about your bulbs. That strategy could be a website, a blog, handing out flyers, signage on your vehicle or word of mouth.
Know your competition and why your bulbs are better. Many places sell flower bulbs, so why would someone want to buy yours? Answering that question is important to the success of your business.
Growing the Flower Bulbs
Choose a selection of bulbs that generate sales throughout the year for a steady income and workload.
Plant spring bulbs including daffodils, hyacinths and tulips in pots in early fall. Chill the bulbs for the required eight to 16 weeks, depending on variety. Bulbs will be close to blooming and ready to sell from January through April. Valentine's Day is a great time to sell white, red or pink flowers.
Plant summer bulbs including gladiolus, cannas and lilies inside in late fall and early winter. They will be ready to bloom in late April and May, just in time for Mother's Day, another opportunity for major sales.
Force narcissus and amaryllis bulbs to bloom for the Christmas holidays.