Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: New business  (Read 1029 times)

Paulanthwill

  • Joined Aug 2014
New business
« on: November 17, 2014, 08:43:06 am »
Hi All

I am currently a self employed gardener but my enthusiasm has diminished over the years and I have always had a dream of producing chicken and other small animal houses, garden crafts, bird boxes etc.  I have the tools and skills to do this, and plenty of unwanted wood also comes my way.

I am interested to know if anybody on here has any experience in running this as a business?  Im not looking to make millions as my wife has a good career, I just want to earn a modest wage and enjoy my work.  I also need to be based at home more and more these days for family reasons and to look after the animals and help my parents run there holiday cottages.

My brother can build a website for nothing and my mother is in the process of setting up a craft business online selling home made handbags, cards etc so there as a possibility to link the 2.

Any advice to help me take the plunge or not, would be gratefully received.

Cheers

Paul

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: New business
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2014, 12:17:48 pm »
I think there's definitely a market out there for bespoke quirky bird boxes and bird tables (which don't fall over in the wind)  I would go for the upper end of the market, aimed at those living in suburbia who want something a bit different in their garden.  Everyday products too, of course, but your mark-up on individually designed things would be greater.
Insect houses are currently popular and could be as individual as your imagination would allow.

Poultry housing seems a good bet too, flat pack, or built up by you if local, for the non-DIYers.  I think most people want a small house with a wire run attached, which they can move around.  At the same time, there are smallholders who want larger but easy to clean houses.  How about hen houses which look like little cottages, or castles?
I think that on that scale, people are proud of their hens and want their houses to be a bit of a work of art, a feature, brightly painted, to get attention.

I have no experience of running something like that as a business, but with today's internet sales and fairly cheap transport costs, mail order would seem to be the way to go - no overheads but a potentially wide client base.
I think the key is to have a good website, with all the correct key words and number of hits to keep you on the first page of any search - quite a challenge.  A slow loading website just won't work.  If people have to wait for photos to upload then they're gone (remember, folk in the country often have slow broadband or no broadband)
I think it's worth a try, and really you've not got much to lose with minimal set-up costs.
Do plenty of research first - what's already out there, what is most popular, price ranges etc ?
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 12:20:06 pm by Fleecewife »
www.scothebs.co.uk

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MAK

  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Middle ish of France
    • Cadeaux de La forge
Re: New business
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2014, 04:52:21 pm »
Fleecewife has said all that I wanted to contribute except that as well as high end products there is probably a market for basic small chicken houses for a suburban back garden.  If you could build these quickly and cheap then they may be a good bread and butter product with the chicken mansions being  your high Profit low volume product.  the challenge may be marketing but you could try offering sale or return units to a few garden centres and identify how towns people would search the internet for such.
Good luck !
www.cadeauxdelaforge.fr
Gifts and crafts made by us.

Paulanthwill

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: New business
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2014, 06:27:35 pm »
Thank you both very much for your comments.

 

London micro weaving business

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