How many times have you thought of starting your own business? Microgreens can actually be that business you’re looking for.
They’re the first true green leaves that come out of the seed. They’re full of nutrients and you can actually grow them fast.
Already know how to grow them? Good for you, let’s turn that into a business. If not, you can easily learn how to grow microgreens as a business.
Are Microgreens a Good Business?
They definitely are. Are you wondering why?
For starters, growing microgreens doesn’t require a fortune. You won’t need complex machines and numerous staff.
It can also be done anywhere since you can grow them in a room in your house. It’s also a year-round activity, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s hot or cold outside.
Selling microgreens is a business that can be done beside your main job, or as the only source of income. It depends on how big your business is going to be.
You’ll need to dedicate a few hours per day to grow them. It won’t take your whole time as a fulltime job would. It might take more time when you decide to grow your business of course.
Who Can Start a Microgreens Business?
You can, I can too. Business is not for everyone, but when it comes to microgreens, anyone can do it.
Old or young, working or not, this is a business that you can start. You don’t have to be a businessman, a farmer or someone who works in the agricultural field. All you need to do is begin your research and follow some steps.
Where Can I Grow Microgreens?
You won’t need a farm somewhere in the suburbs. You can start by growing them in a corner at home.
For later, when you scale up the business, you can use up more space in your house, a room maybe or even the basement. You can find a place just for the microgreens, that is if you decide to dedicate all your time and resources to it.
How Much Time Do Microgreens Need to Grow?
It all depends on the type you’re growing, but they’ll take from a week to two weeks so that they can be ready for you to harvest. Some seeds might take longer.
With that said, I think you now realize that you can profit from them in less than a month from starting your business.
How Much Can I Make From Microgreens?
You can gain from $20 up to $60 per pound of crops. It varies depending on the quality and the market.
You’ll need about 3 trays (10×20 each) to harvest one pound. And you get to harvest in around 2 weeks which means you’ll gain money faster than other businesses.
If you manage to harvest 50 pounds, for example, you’ll gain an average of $1250 per harvest.
How Can I Start?
Now you want to start your business, you have the supplies and the information. Where to start?
Before Starting the Business
Step 1: Do Your Research
You have to study and read about microgreens. Read about growing them, buy books such as Microgreens: A Guide To Growing Nutrient-Packed Greens by Eric Franks and Jasmine Richardson. This one is a good pick.
Check videos and try to contact people who already grow microgreens for more tips, if that’s possible.
Part of the research is to find the venues to sell microgreens. Check the market to see if microgreens are something that can really be sold in your area.
How many restaurants or hotels are around? Who are your competitors? Knowing every detail ahead will make things easier.
Do you need to sell them in person or would selling them online be a better option? You can always do both of course.
Step 2: Know Your Clients
It’s important to know your customers before anything. Who’s the clientele we’re looking for? Who uses microgreens?
Chefs use microgreens in a lot of plates. You can talk to chefs in restaurants, hotels or even cafes. Try to provide samples and offer them a flyer with all the details and prices.
You can also sell microgreens in the farmers’ market, or you can even go to the supermarket. You might be able to get a good offer there.
Individuals are also considered part of the clientele. You can sell your microgreens directly to the local residents.
Step 3: Networking
Now that you did your research, good for you! Your next step is networking.
Get in touch with the potential clients you have in mind. Get to know them, know what they’re looking for when buying microgreens.
You can run a survey, to know all the issues that the clients face and avoid them.
Networking is essential for small startups. Why is that? Because we don’t want to pay a fortune for paid ads now since we’re starting.
Networking is also important because you’re more likely to buy a product recommended by a friend than a product you’ve seen in the ads.
Step 4: List Your Needs
Other than the research, the area, and the will to start this business. There are some supplies that you’ll need:
- Growing trays with holes: preferably 10×20, to grow the seeds in.
- Fluorescent light fixtures: the microgreens need the light.
- A spraying bottle: to make sure the seeds are moist enough when planting them.
- Sharp scissors: to harvest the crop.
- Seeds: preferably organic seeds.
- Potting soil: any organic soil will be fine.
- A scale: to weigh your product before selling it.
- A timer: to know when to turn the lights on and off.
- A watering pot: to water them while they’re growing.
- Packaging material: from clamshells to plastic bags, choose whatever suits you.
Step 5: List Your Expenses
Write down all the expenses you have. The prices of the supplies, and the quantity of them. If you’ll spend money while delivering the microgreens, and the expenses of the packaging. Even the electricity bill, since you’ll be using fluorescent bulbs for long periods of time.
You can start your business with only $100, it can be more, of course, depending on how many trays you’ll grow.
All the expenses are important when it comes to running a business, so make sure you list everything.
Step 6: Choose the Seeds
Decide which seeds you are selling. Are you going to sell just 2 or 3 kinds and specialize in those as a start? Are you going to sell all kinds of seeds but with smaller quantities?
The choice is yours. I’d recommend you pick just 2 or 3 so that you can take good care of them, monitor the growing process, and not overwhelm yourself. Baby steps are fine as a start.
Step 7: Check the Paperwork
Do you need a business license to sell microgreens? That depends on your state’s regulations. Your best resource to know more about that will be the Small Business Administration official website.
Step 8: Choose a Name for Your Business
You might think it’s trivial, but naming your project is essential. You can read more tips on naming your startup.
It’s important because the name of your brand is like the first impressions people have. This part also requires some research since we have to make sure that the name is not taken.
Later, when your business is growing, you might also want to design a logo for it, to go along with the name.
Step 9: Price Your Products
This can be one of the hardest steps. How can I price my product?
You’ll need to know how much you want to earn per hour. Hypothetically, you want to earn $10 per hour, and you spend two hours working on a tray of microgreens.
So you’ll add the money spent on that tray (seeds, water, electricity,..etc) to the value you want per hour.
Imagine you spent $15 on that tray. So two hours of work, $20 plus the expenses, $15 equals $35. You’ll earn $35 from that tray.
Don’t forget the delivery fees, if they exist.
Starting the Business
Step 10: Trial and Error
You can dedicate some time at the beginning for trial and error, it’s completely fine when you’re new to starting your business. It’s one thing to set a plan, but another to apply it in real life, so take your time with this step.
Step 11: Keep Records
To make the best of trial and error, it’s best to keep records. You can take notes on what works and what doesn’t. Keep track of the prices, the feedback, your comments, and the growth cycle of the seeds.
For example, if this kind needs more water than that, or if this kind requires extra light. Those records will help you to improve your business in the long run.
Step 12: Start Selling
Now that you grew your microgreens, and you have everything in mind, all is set. Now let’s do some business.
Start meeting chefs, offer them some of your samples, along with all your details in a brochure or just a decent printed paper.
You can also start selling online for individuals, it takes time at first so you’ll have to be patient.
After Starting the Business
Step 13: Follow Up
Following up with your clients is one of the things that actually matter. Think of yourself as a client, when you buy a certain product and they ask you later about your opinion, your feedback, and if everything went well. How does it make you feel? Important maybe.
Don’t just follow up for the sake of following up, but do it and let them see that you actually take their reviews into consideration.
Growing microgreens as a business will make you your own boss. It’s easy and it’s fun and you just need to be willing to do it.
Start that now and maybe after a while, you can leave your job and have a full time microgreens business.