Good Horticultural Managers are often difficult to find. If you are highly knowledgeable about both horticulture and also management; you opportunities are endless.
How to Earn More Working in Horticulture
Learn to properly value and charge for your services.
Rates charged by or paid to horticulturists have always been extremely variable.
In today's world, there are horticultural experts who can command very high levels of income, and others who readily accept below average income.
Horticulturists often complain that they don't get paid enough (compared with other professions). There are various reasons for this.
1. One common reason is that people who are attracted to gardening tend to be "gentle" personalities"; and not very aggressive. The problem is that in today's competitive and aggressive world, a profession needs a different type if it is to compete with other professions in the scramble to get top dollar.
2. Another reason is that gardeners are often plant lovers, artists or scientists first ad only become managers or businessmen out of necessity.
You don't necessarily need to change your intrinsic nature in order to succeed in horticulture; but if either of these issues relate to you; you may need to face these weaknesses and consciously attempt to overcome them.
Study may be one way of doing this:
Click to see Horticultural Management Programs
There are also good books that can help you develop management or business skills.
Consider the following written by our principal (click to order):
Starting a Garden or Landscape Business
Other Useful Titles:
Starting a Nursery or Herb Farm
The horticulture industry makes (grows) and sells both things and services.
Businesses often begin because the owner sees a market opportunity that appears to not be filled. It might be that they are unaware of an area being serviced by a local plant nurseries or gardening service. Many a start up can fail though because:
Being unaware of competition does not necessarily mean that there is no competition.
Just because a local service does not exist, does not mean there is a strong demand for one to be offered
Offering a service that appears to lack competition does not necessarily mean you can supply that service to an acceptable and professional standard.
Businesses that are conceived more carefully and properly planned and prepared for will always have a greater chance of success. Being successful requires playing to your strengths - and if you don't have the strengths before starting a business, your fist step may be to develop necessary strengths. That is often what studying a course is for.
What is Your Brand?
Branding is increasingly more prevalent in horticulture - for example apples, oranges, melons and so on may have brand name stickers on each of them. Lettuce is sold (pre-packaged) in air-tight branded bags. However branding is not feasible with some produce such as potatoes and onions.
Branding is also expanding in the ornamental plant business ie. plants may be subject to restrictions through PVR (plant varieties rights - one grower bred the plant and registered a copyright); plants may have a registered brand name - the plant may only be sold under this name by the registering business.
INTERNATIONAL MARKETS AND TRADABLE COMMODITIES
Tradable commodities are goods within an economy which are imported or exported or could potentially be imported or exported. Many agricultural crops and products that are imported or cash crops for export are known as tradable commodities.
What is the difference between tradable and non-tradable commodities?
In agriculture and horticulture (as well as many other industries) some of the goods and services produced are internationally tradable commodities. This means that managers in these industries must have a solid understanding of what the term implies. In agriculture for example wheat is a tradable commodity - many producers pool together their wheat harvest to trade on the international market. There is no prejudice as to quality, price and the amount each producer grows - however there are strict guidelines as to minimum quality standards that need to be followed.
The price set for commodities are prone to many variables that include:
The line between what is tradable and non-tradable is constantly shifting as more commodities are put forward as potentially tradable ie. education, carbon etc.
Some commodities are difficult to define and may only be tradable in some circumstances eg. food commodities (ie perishables) may be tradable when they are close to the trading boarders of other countries but not tradable when they are produced in remote areas.
Sometimes commodities which were tradable become non-tradable eg. due to floods or drought a food crop may be needed and traded locally. The parameters for what is or isn't tradable are therefore flexible and shift according to circumstance.