Open a nursery now?

img_1039-1.JPGWe have been getting ready for our 4th Annual Scarecrow Contest and Pleasure Faire. We have local vendors and artists as well as the scarecrow contest. I'll cook hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. It's suppose to be about 70 degrees and breezy, perfect fall weather. It's a way to showcase the local community and gives people a reason to come to the garden center. You can't just open the gates and expect people to come anymore. Too many priorities for their time and money. You have to have something going on that sparks their intrest. I think being the venue for all things local is a great way for us to show our community spirit. These are the day's to focus on local! Weekends have been o.k. as sales go. Weekdays can go either way depending on just who walks through the doors. Never before has it been so important to realize who your best customers are, and treat them as such. It's so important to have a positive outlook while all around you people are playing the blues. I believe people migrate toward a positive outlook, and if we are that positive place, they will come. People want to feel good and connect with others in the community. Let's be that place.

Monica and I are opening a new nursery! A nursery for kids. "Miss Monica's Garden Valley Preschool and Daycare". Monica was for years a day care provider. We own a small retail mall in front of the nursery. There are six units, most of which are leased out. We have a masseuse, photographer, and video store. There are now two units, 1000 sq. ft. available. That's where Monica will open her business. The nearest daycare to here is five miles away and the next one is 12 miles away. Both are filled to capacity. There is a need for daycare in our area! Our great location is on the way "down the hill" to jobs in Placerville, Folsom, and Sacramento.

How did this come about? We are trying to figure out what business will stay busy in a down economy. Daycare is something that people will sacrifice for since usually both couples have to work.  So it's a new venture for Monica, and I'll have to run the garden center. That's o.k. because we need to do something. Winter is closing in and the garden center business is seasonal, even here in California. Daycare is a year round business.

We came to this decision because these days you have to "think out of the box". Actually we have always tried to think out of the box, but this year and next it will be those who implement the changes necessary that will be in business next year.  We have the commercial space available, we have great landlords (us), a need for daycare in the area, and Monica has the experience and requirements necessary. Plus my daughter Sheala will be an aide, making it a family business. A desire for a more steady cash flow is a major portion of our thinking. Sure I'll miss Monica in the nursery, but she will only be 100 yards away and I can hire help for the nursery next year.

I like the idea of starting a new business now! It goes against the "pull back and hunker down" mentality that I think stifles business, at a time when bold action and ideas need to come into play. Now is the time to prepare for the eventual rebound in the economy. It will come, it just might be awhile. So pull out all the stops. Think about it. Everyone wonders how to appeal to Generation X and Y. We are going to the source, the children of generation X and Y! We will have a learning garden at the preschool. Nature and gardening will be taught to the children as part of the curriculum. If we can't get Gen. X and Y to embrace gardening will get their kids to drag them in.