Marketing Research: California Worms

Marketing research

When starting a business in a village, do some market research first. One of the common business ideas in the countryside is the cultivation of Californian worms.

We wrote about the value of Californian worms in the article “Business in the Village: Californian Worms”. However, you need to understand that this type of business can be perfectly done in the city, if there were conditions for this.

What do you need to start a California worm business?

First of all, you need to conduct a marketing research to identify the circle of potential buyers of vermicultivation products. Recall that the main products in this type of business are the Californian worms themselves, and the organic fertilizers they produce:

— biocompost,

— vermichay,

— vermicoff and others.

The most promising buyers of products produced by California worms are:

— gardeners,

— various horticultural cooperatives,

— flower shops

– specialized stores selling seeds and fertilizers,

— owners of greenhouses.

Accordingly, it is necessary to identify the presence of such farms in the surrounding area. These buyers will be able to make direct offers, and even arrange delivery.

It is also necessary to find out who supplies organic fertilizers, at what prices in what packages, in order to determine their own niche in this market.
For example, if fertilizers are supplied in small packages, larger packages of fertilizer can be offered in combination with live California worms.
The broodstock of worms is bought with pleasure by summer residents who are fond of environmentally friendly production of agricultural products. This is a separate business that requires at least decent packaging for worms to ensure their survival.

Live Californian worms are also bought by anglers, aquarium owners, and bird owners.

Usually worms for these purposes are bought in small batches of 10-20 pieces. This is all the more advantageous since Californian worms multiply at a tremendous rate and a sufficient number of worms can always be supplied for sale.

Usually such sales are carried out through pet stores, however, for the conclusion of contracts with them, it is desirable to ensure the supply of worms in small packages. Experience has shown that it is convenient to do this in small styrofoam boxes that provide a constant temperature and humidity in the package. In such packages, worms can be stored in the refrigerator for weeks and even months.

Competitors-producers of Californian worms

In addition, when conducting market research, you need to identify potential competitors, since the breeding of Californian worms is a cost-effective and highly profitable business.
However, even the presence of competitors cannot be an obstacle to creating your own business, since California worm products can be successfully sold through an online store.
True, in this case, you must first make sure that the organization of delivery is possible. By the way, this can be done even by regular cash on delivery, since in good packaging, live worms perfectly tolerate the road in the warm season.

Having identified distribution channels and possible sales volumes, that is, having roughly determined the potential for income, in a marketing study it is necessary to evaluate the costs of purchasing or manufacturing equipment for breeding worms, heating the premises, sources of organic waste, as well as the costs of packaging and shipping finished products.

Packaging for finished products

We draw your attention to the need for packaging. If at the first stage it is possible to sell products to summer residents even in simple plastic bags, then in order to organize retail sales of growing production, it will be necessary to purchase equipment for granulating and packaging finished products. This will allow you to take your business to a new level and dramatically increase sales by supplying goods not only in your region, but also abroad.

Similarly, packaging will be required for liquid fertilizers based on Californian worm products.

In a marketing study for the cultivation of California worms, two main parts of the costs must be distinguished:

1) initial costs, which include the cost of equipping the premises, worm boxes (tanks for breeding worms),

2) equipment for processing and packaging of finished products.

Current production costs using California worms

Operating costs will include staff salaries, utilities (water, electricity, heating), transportation costs, organic waste purchase costs (if it is not possible to procure it yourself), postage, advertising costs and packaging material.
The organization of a small production in the village can be done almost free of charge, having spent money only on the first batch of breeding stock of Californian worms (maximum $ 5,000).
The organization of a large industrial production of vermicultivation products with a population of up to 1 million worms can cost about one and a half thousand dollars, taking into account all costs.

However, the best option seems to us to be the gradual development of the business by investing the income received in the development of production.