What Were The Biggest Opportunities Greenhouse Growers Missed In 2013?

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One of the best ways to improve your business can be to look at the opportunities you’ve missed, or, if you can, look at the opportunities that others have missed.

Growers who answered our 2013 State of the Industry survey shared some of the opportunities they missed this year.

We Could Have Sold More Inventory

With a late spring and increasing demand for certain plant categories, 30 percent of respondents say they could have grown more plants.

“For almost eight years, demand for our early summer annuals steadily decreased, but this year, the late start to spring and cool early summer temps created a demand we were not prepared for. More than a few customers expressed their disappointment over not being able to find product,” one respondent says. “Some went so far as to say, ‘Growers are dictating the season.’ I find that terribly frustrating since it’s the steady decrease in demand for early summer annuals that shaped our current production.”

Shortages of vegetables and herbs were the crops mentioned most often, by 11 percent of respondents. Premium annuals and hanging baskets were also mentioned often. A few also mentioned not offering enough or the right alternatives to impatiens.

“We tried torenia, but it was a complete sales failure. Wish we had grown more New Guinea impatiens.”

Other growers wished they had grown more miniature plants, vines, begonias, ‘Silver Stream’ alyssum, Aloha million bells, Beach grass, shrub roses and tropicals like musa, colocasia and alocasia.

“Following our production and transplanting schedule more rigorously is a goal for 2014,” one respondent says.

We Should Have Done A Better Job With Marketing And Merchandising

Marketing and merchandising was also something some growers wish they did a better job with.

“Not aggressively interacting with our present customers to see what we can do to create more business with what we already have,” one respondent says.

“Not having signage and sales plan for some new edibles and miscellaneous perennials,” says another.

Other Opportunities

A few growers had unique opportunities they say they wished they’d taken advantage of. Here’s a sample:

- Optimizing production

- Grocery sales

- Automated irrigation system

- Mother’s Day and Memorial Day

- Faster potting techniques

- Missed an opportunity there with not being able to handle large bottlenecks in deliveries

- We had a few green periods on pansies and petunias but we can’t complain as we sold everything we grew in these crops.

Was another factor the biggest opportunity you missed in 2013? Leave your thoughts in the comments. 

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