Certain types of plant materials lend themselves to mail-order selling. If your interest lies in this direction, check with your local postmaster for regulations governing use of the mails for interstate shipments of live plant material. The demand for plants sold by mail may be greater than a local neighborhood operation might create, and you must be in a position to supply the demand, or you not only will not turn a profit but most likely will lose your investment. You must have the materials, equipment, and abilities to pack plants for safe shipment; you must know whether it is too hot or too cold to ship, not only where you are but where your customer is; and you may find yourself burdened intolerably with correspondence.
If you contemplate a business venture, the very first thing you should do is check with your local regulatory boards about zoning laws and regulations. If you sell only a few surplus plants to friends, and no trucks or advertising signs are evident around your property, few objections will be heard from neighbors but you may be violating local zoning, fire, or building codes.
In many instances, residential-district zoning regulations restrict sales to only what is grown on the premises; no other material or supplies may be offered, even though they have a direct relationship to your major item. Some areas forbid all local selling, and business must be restricted to wholesale only, or to selling by mail. And even though you may be operating strictly within the law when you start, changes in local zoning regulations may inaugurate harsher restrictions that would limit or prohibit expansion or put you out of business altogether. Discuss your plans with fire and building inspectors, check zoning regulations, and avoid the possibility of disappointment or frustration after your venture is under way.
As you can see, there are many possibilities for turning your hobby gardening activities into a profitable pastime. If you contemplate a business venture, investigate all the aspects of the undertaking. When you finally decide to have your business cards printed, may your endeavors be successful and rewarding!