Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mel's Minute: Now is the Time to Think About Next Spring

Re: A Choice of Subjects
Earn Extra Money
Start a New Business
Become a SFG Spokesperson

Want to do any of the above? There are opportunities galore for a certified SFG teacher. When I first started developing sales of products as well as talks and workshops when I first came to Utah twelve years ago, I went to several nice looking nurseries (and a few not so nice). I offered them the idea of teaching square foot garden classes and workshops on their site. And we worked out a deal where they would advertise, promote and give us their lecture space. They would also furnish a helper who would collect the money and sell the books. We split the lecture fee with them anywhere from 50/50 up to 80/20. And we got all the income for the book and video sales the first night. Thereafter they bought wholesale from us for future customers. It was a new subject in the area and a new method to everyone so they liked the idea of being in at the start. They of course sold many other supplies and it boosted their recognition in the industry and neighborhood.

Have you thought of doing that? It’s a big money maker. It is also a real good feeling to teach all these interested people something new and different. Then just a year ago a new opportunity opened for SFG. I had been twice to two different nurseries in Nevada. They were close by and competitors. They seemed intent on outdoing the other concerning SFG. The latest was the last one got the idea of starting a community garden on some unused property right behind his nursery. He built boxes and filled them with Mel’s mix. Put grids on and offered them for rent to the town’s population. They filled up quickly and he found he was now making money in the summer and fall, which is an extremely slow period for nurseries. He also found that every time they came to work in their garden, and comingle with their neighbors, everyone bought something. Sometimes he just cold drinks but often new plants and things for their home garden. The participants really like the idea because they were in a garden setting, had experts nearby and they always had a very good time on every visit.

Do you like that idea? You could go to any local nursery and tell them you will set something like that up and run it for them and you would share in the income. You could start with talks and then workshops and the opportunity to speak by request to other organizations like rotary or local church or school. All those offers would start coming in. Now of course, we are not doing all of this for the money but it doesn’t hurt to get paid for work you love to do.

I’d love to hear from you if you have other ideas about spreading the word and staring a small business. What has worked for you? And, would you share that with everyone else. We can write it up or include it in our newsletter. Now is a good time to think about next spring. And to start making some contacts for future opportunities. Please share me with me your reaction and any thoughts you might have. Just send them to Belinda who will collect all ideas and forward them on to me. Best Wishes, Mel

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