People & Planet
This business makes a positive difference by...
- Giving people more natural home-grown products that will be safe to use.
- Making someone feel good because they know that they are helping you develop your business skills.
- Moving one step closer to being a great business person, who will have the potential to help even more people in the future.
- Making composts that can help grow plants in the environment
- Not using any fuel-powered manufacturing methods.
Before You Start
Do Some Market Research
Conduct a quick survey among your neighbours and friends asking them:
- Do you care about the environment? (This would make them fall in love with your business!)
- How often do they do their gardening?
- Would they prefer to use a home-made eco-friendly fertiliser for their garden? Most people would love to be friendly with the environment. So use this to boost your business image!
This would give you a clear idea on how your business will perform.
Things You'll Need:
- To not be afraid of worms!
- Compost waste
- An actual worm farm
There are several ways to find clients:
- Go door to door in your neighbourhood. I cover this in more detail below.
- Ask your local garden centre if you can set up a table and sell it outside. Not all garden centres let you but some do.
- Offer it for sale on a website like www.trademe.co.nz
- Offer it to the parents of friends and to you own extended family like uncles and aunts.
Door to Door in more detail:
The way I made most of my money was by going door to door. For safety reasons -my dad always came with me but would wait at the bottom of the driveway so I could do my thing on my own. I recommend you do the same.
I would always say the same thing because it worked. Here is what I suggest you say.
“Hello my name is (put your name here). I just started my own business that is good for the environment. Here, have a look at this”.
And then I would put it in their hand and do not say anything else so they could read it. It is really important that you give it to them to read instead of talking. Once they have it in their hands – they are less likely to give it back.
Keeping Track of Suspects, Prospects and Clients
Suspects are just anyone who I think might buy. In other words anyone who have not said no to me. Prospects are people who say they might be keen but have not bought yet. I had a little notebook with me and I always kept track of every house I went to so that I knew who was home and who I still needed to talk to. It looked something like this…
||1 Brown Street
||3 Brown Street
||5 Brown Street
||7 Brown Street|
|Talked to anyone?
||said to come back in the weekend
||i think the house is empty
||5 bottles for $20|
I would keep going back to a street until I talked to someone at almost every house.
Clients are people who have bought stuff from me. For them I ask for their details so I can keep selling them more stuff. I would ask for their name, phone number and email address, and I would make a note of their street address.
Pricing: I started off selling my fertiliser for $3 per litre but over the last year, I now sell it for $5 per litre. I raised the price because if found out that it sells in garden shops for $8-$10 per litre. It is up to you as to what you charge but remember – most people are buying because they want to help you – so $3, $4, $5 – its not that much different them but it makes a big difference to how much profit you make.
Always be careful when dealing with food scraps and worm farms. Make sure you WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY after handling compost, soil, and worm poo, or that you wear some gloves when working on your worm farm.
Get on with it
Building your worm farm
There are many ways to set-up a worm farm. You can buy them already made up. They range from $35 to $130 for the best ones. You can also build your own by taking a wood or plastic bin then drilling holes in two sides and on the bottom. It is important to make sure that the liquid that the worm farm makes is easy to get at since this is how you make your money.
To info on how to build a worm, do an Internet search on www.google.com for “making a worm farm”. You will get lots of ideas of how to make on from wood, plastic, even from old car tires!
Getting some worms
Next you will need to get some worms. The more worms you start with the faster you will start making money. If you start with 1000 worms – it will take your worm farm 8-12 months to be fully operational. If you start with 2000 worms – you it will only be 4-6 months. You have several options. You can:
- Talk to someone who already has a good worm farm and ask if you can buy some of his or her worms.
- Go to www.mykidsbiz.com and buy some
- A few garden shops sell them.
Keeping your worms happy
You can keep your worm farm just about anywhere but I find its best to keep them under cover so that the rainwater does not get into the worm farm and out of the sun so that the worms don’t get too hot.
What to feed them
- Veggies waste – the smaller you cut up the veggie waste the faster they will eat it. The faster they eat – the faster they multiply which helps you make more money.
- Cardboard & Paper – about 30% of your worm diet should be cardboard. Old pizza boxes shred into little pieces are their favourite but we also shred up all the cardboard from cereal boxes or anything else.
- Don’t overfeed them! One of the first rules of worm farming, is DON’T overfeed your worms, sick looking worms do not earn you money.
- DON’T give worms any kind of mea