Business: Growing and selling bonsai trees.
Business type: passion, agriculture
Time needed: 20-25 hours a month.
Most suitable for: Bonsai enthusiasts, housewives, even amateurs.
You must have heard of bonsai trees which are making news every now and then. If you don’t know about them at all, they are the result of dwarfing the living trees through a certain process. This technique was introduced first in China and was developed by Japanese folks. Nowadays, it has grown to be both hobby and business all around the world. In this article we are going to discuss how you can start your own bonsai business for a living.
What’s a bonsai tree?
If you don’t know anything about bonsai, then you may have to read about them a bit on the internet, or this 95 page illustrated book by famous bonsai man Erik A Olsen may help you to learn A to Z of bonsai growing. If you click on that link, you will be redirected to a page where you can go through his book and the best part is, he has a returning option if you are not satisfied.
To grow a normal plant into a bonsai tree, you need to follow certain specific steps like re-potting , cutting, pruning and wiring. I will explain about them later. What you all have to know about bonsai trees is that they are miniature trees which are used to decorate homes and have a lot of demand in the urban world.
Bonsai nursery business
What I’m actually talking about is to start a bonsai nursery business, a place where bonsai trees are grown and sold to the interested people. There are many such bonsai nurseries in China, Japan, US, India and many more countries. But most of them are of very small-scale and have a very weak marketing hubs. So, you still have a golden opportunity to make it big in this industry.
Requirements and cost of starting a bonsai business
– If you are new to this topic, then you will have to spend some money to know more about this business ,like buying video CDs or buying books on these techniques, or attending a training from an expert in this business( there are many experts on the internet who are ready to teach you personally on how to grow these trees for a few dollars).
– You also need to spend some more money on tools like concave scissors for cutting(pruning), Copper or Aluminium wires for wiring, and chemicals like growth hormones and stimulators for the desired growth speed. There are bonsai growing kits available for less than 100$ on online stores like Amazon and eBay.
– The main thing is a place which you can call a bonsai nursery. It’s not different from a regular plant nursery apart from the fact that plants undergo many artificial processes in a bonsai nursery.
– A bonsai nursery business needs a bit more expenditure than a regular nursery can cost you. It needs more care, more attention for a certain period of time. Theoretically, a nursery of 200 plants can cost you an initial expenditure of 2000$ to 4000$. If all the 200 plants grow into beautiful bonsai trees in next 3-5 years, then you can earn up to 15000$ if sold at 75$ per tree on an average.
– Remember, the price of a bonsai tree varies according to its beauty, age, and species. So, there are trees of some species which are sold at 15$, also and there are trees which are sold at $200. It varies on a very broad range of money. More hard work on a tree means that the tree is going to be sold at more price.
How to grow a bonsai tree? A step by step approach
A simple plant undergoes various processes before becoming a bonsai tree. The most adopted way is to take out the desired plant of 2-3 years and start pruning and wiring on it. There are people who start with seeds for better control of the plants right from the start. There are no special seeds as bonsai seeds. Don’t fall for that bullshit. Only the actual seeds or the actual plants are converted into bonsai trees.
– The first process is re-poting. You have to transfer the plant from a vertical pot to a horizontal pot filled with certain layers of stones, sand, and soil.
– Next thing is to start pruning the plant. The tap root or the primary roots and undesired shoots get pruned using a pair of concave scissors so that they grow horizontally.
– Wiring comes next. The plant is twined with copper wires so that they grow in the desired shape. Pruning is done in regularly for a period of time until the plant grows a thick primary trunk which looks like a tree.
– There are many small things to consider while growing a bonsai tree, I’m not an expert in that, I just do business research on such things. So, better consult an expert to know more.
Bonsai business in India
With a lot of hype from the Indian media, India is becoming one of the best places to start bonsai business. With a lot of population, It’s easy for the seller to find a customer. I would recommend you to start your business as soon as possible if you are living in countries like India, Pakistan or other South Asian countries before a multi-million dollar company takes away the opportunity.
How do I sell my bonsai trees? Who ARE my customers?
As I mentioned many times on this blog that a good product does not necessarily lead to a successful business, but a good marketing strategy can definitely lead to a successful business. Below are some of the tips for how you can sell your trees.
– Starting an online store is one of the most productive ways. “Dallasbonsai.com” is one such online store. It’s an online store maintained by some bonsai growers from Texas, US.
– Advertise your bonsai business in local websites related to plants and gardening.
– If you live in an urban area, then organize an exhibition and selling event or any other kind of competition among people and make a vigorous promotion of it before the event.
– Exhibit your bonsai trees around mass gatherings like marriage functions, religious functions, etc…
– Give away free seeds to the people walking around your store and encourage them to plant them near their house(Don’t forget to mention your store’s name and a small introduction of your business on the pack containing those seeds).
– Send service letters of yours with nice bonsai tree pictures inside daily newspapers. You will have to pay some money to the paper boy who delivers newspapers to every home in your locality to get this thing done.
Those were some of the tips for beginners, don’t waste your time thinking whether you should do this business or not. Take quick and wise decisions before its too late. Best wishes from my side if you are starting this business.