In just over a week’s time, on 16th September, our second online course, The Business of Growing Flowers will begin.
Hosted by Claire Brown, Carol Siddorn and Paula Baxter, this online programme is designed by 3 flower farmers who are constantly evolving their businesses to provide a sustainable income and to suit their lives. Flower farming is hard work and over the years we’ve worked together sharing techniques and strategies to help our productivity, efficiency and quality, without sacrificing our quality of life. We’re keen to help other growers to work in a thoughtful way, developing businesses that grow quality flowers, and also sell them at a profit!
Have you ever thought any of the following?
I can’t work any more hours
I’ll never get all the jobs done
I'm working all the time but I’m not making much money
I don't seem to have the right flowers for my orders.
I don't have a life beyond flowers!
How can I sell every flower I grow?
I need more plants, how can I get them without major investment?
I’m muddling along but really don’t feel I know what I’m doing
I love what I do but I’m utterly exhausted
I don’t know how to work out how many plants/bulbs/seeds I need
I’ve walked up and down this path 20 times today, is this really necessary?
If you’ve thought any of the above, The Business of Growing Flowers is for you! It will provide you with the tools, techniques and support to go into the 2020 season knowing how to get the most from your farm and yourself without working more hours., to make a profitable business, and also have time to have a life.
So what do we cover?
The course consists of 10 modules, each focusing on a different element of running a flower farm.:
Module 1 is all about Autumn preparation - It will help you think about the work that you can do in the Autumn that will save you time when the season is underway, giving you earlier, stronger and better flowers.
Module 2 is about planning for your market. Who will you be selling to next year? and what does that mean for what you’re going to grow. We’ll get you thinking about what and how many flowers to grow.
Module 3 is growing more flowers for less work. Yes it is the dream scenario, but what work can you put in to make your growing and you more productive and less wasteful in time and inputs.
Module 4 is what to grow? To ensure you get an edge on your competitors and thrill your customers you need to be on the cutting edge of trends, and know the minds of those who haven’t yet come to you. We’ll help you out.
Module 5 is about managing customers and suppliers. How do you make sure that everyone is happy, and stress levels stay low. How do you deal with feedback (both good and bad).
Module 6 is about making yourself more productive, how can you take care of yourself and yet get more out of what you do?
Module 7 is about record keeping. How do you know what you’ve done, and how that will effect what you do in the future. How and where do you keep records.
Module 8 is growing techniques to make you profitable. Even if you grow all the “right” stuff, is it going to make you money.
Module 9 is cutting, conditioning and presentation. Just ahead of the start of the spring season, we’ll cover this so important topic to ensure you are confident about how you are going to cut and present your flowers at top quality to your customers. .
Module 10 is about planning for the future. What are you aiming for in the next 2/5/10 years. Do you still want to be flower farming? We’ll talk about contingencies, succession planning and work / life balance
We are all based in the UK, but grow in very different conditions - Claire is in the South, on chalk soil, Carol is in the West growing on sandy soil, and Paula is in Scotland on the east coast working with heavy clay. We do some things differently and the options we consider, plus the thought processes we use to make decisions are built in to the course. We don’t consider there’s a right or wrong way to grow flowers, but we can explain how we do it and why.
We all spend a lot of time and energy growing our flowers. To be successful, we also need to nurture our businesses and ourselves. If you want flower farming to be more than a hobby, invest some time, effort and a bit of hard earned cash in learning this autumn/winter, and set off into 2020 more confident, focused and organised!