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How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Herb and Herbal Plant Business


Author: Kristie Lorette

Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc


Publish Date: April 29, 2011

ISBN-10: 1601383290

Pages: 288

File Type: Epub

Language: English

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Book Preface

Spanning time and cultures, herbs have been used and revered for their ability to add flavor to food and color to gardens, and, in many cultures, for their contribution to physical and mental health and wellness. If you love gardening and know herbs or want to learn more about them and share that knowledge, it is not a surprise you have been thinking about starting an herb business. This book will help you learn what it takes to start a successful herb and herbal plant business. Coming to a decision that makes sense, financially and personally, usually means asking yourself as many questions as possible, using those answers to speculate on several potential outcomes, and then crafting a plan of action. Although no single source can answer all questions, this book strives to provide the basic information and resources needed to get started on opening and operating a successful herb and herbal plant business.

Taking an idea from initial excitement to working reality requires planning. Time spent on planning and research before you embark upon any business venture saves hours of possible mistakes when you are actually operating the business. In carpentry, there is the saying: “Measure twice and cut just once.” That same principle applies to every venture. The more planning you do now, the better prepared you will be to establish and actually run a successful business.

One of the first things to think about in the planning process is whether you really understand what running an herb business means. If an herb business is your dream, define that dream. Do you want to sell only plants (seeds and pots)? Do you plan to run your small business out of your home on a part-time or full-time basis? Are you going to sell only at fairs and festivals? Are you taking part of an existing farm and dedicating it to herbs? Are you going to use space in an urban/suburban house and yard to grow plants and sell on site? Or do you have still another option? Whatever you have in mind, it is the intention of this book to help you lay out your dreams and ideas so you can reform them into concrete plans.

Each chapter in this book is a point for consideration when planning and operating your business. There are two main aspects to consider: the herbs themselves and general business principles as they apply to herbs. The first two chapters take a potential owner through selecting herbs and herbal products and the general basics of growing herbs. The rest of the book is devoted to the business process with particular respect to herbs. You will learn more information about how to start growing your herbs and what supplies you will need to get started, as well as what you will need to start and successfully run your new venture. Critical to each of the planning steps and the success of daily operation is the creation of a business plan, a key element in preparing to start any business. You will learn how to create a business plan for your business, and you will also be able to reference a sample business plan when starting.

One thing must be made clear: This is not a gardening book. What is listed in chapters 1 and 2 is just a summary of the basic concerns for growing herbs and selecting herbs for a business. Each herb has specific requirements any herb grower needs to learn. The Resources section of this book lists many specialty books on herbs that will give you the kind of detailed growing instructions you will need.

Herbs have inspired many throughout the ages with their beauty as plants and their utility. Herbs are even part of the language of flowers, a Victorian era way of communicating with another person through the presentation of a bouquet, including herbs. For example, the herb dill stood for lust, ginger represented strength, and mint represented virtue. Herbal quotes are found in the Bible, in Shakespeare, and in modern poetry. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter are to inspire your creativity in selling and using herbs. Ancient monks and wise women were the medieval arbiters of herbs as healing substances and as supplements to food. Today, anyone can access the intricacies of herbs for garden beauty, for the kitchen, and for healing purposes.

As an emerging herb and herbal plant business owner, you will be joining more than 27.5 million other small businesses in the United States, according to the Small Business Administration. Small companies represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms in the country and contribute more than 44 percent of the total U.S. private payroll. More than half of these businesses are home-based. Keep in mind that virtually every company that survives does so because the owners are working hard and care about their company.

Read this book with a pencil handy — underline the places that apply to you and write in the margins. Check out the recommended websites for additional information. Join an organization of herb growers and users. Use this book as a workbook for making your own plans. If herbs are your passion, then this book is for you.

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