Let's Market Some Worms!
Supply and demand have long been the key to any successful business venture and worms are no different. The earthworm business has many attributes beyond the worms when it comes to the supply and product in demand. Of course the worms themselves are a monetary goldmine, but we must consider the byproducts which can be very financially rewarding as well. So, when we contemplate the marketing of our worm crop, we have a few valuable byproducts to consider as well as a variety of markets wanting our supply.
- By-prod•uct \ n: a sometimes unexpected product or result produced in addition to the main product or result.
Worm Farm Byproducts
Just like any livestock producer, it is vital to the longevity and success of your earthworm business to build up your stock quantity. If you have large orders to fill, and you are a new worm grower, you can easily deplete your stock without realizing it. Redworm growers have an advantage as the worms do multiply very rapidly. However, the strongest bit of advice I offer is that you make a solid plan. I know it's 'just' worms, but if you treat it as a business you can reap the harvest of a large and healthy herd . When writing down your plan, keep in mind that every mature worm you sell has the potential to provide you with several generations of new redworms, now lost to you through sales of the stock.
Big Farm Or Little Farm
As you start your worm growing business, the first thing to decide is how many worm beds can you find the time to tend. Once the beds have been established, caring for them can be accomplished with just a few dedicated hours per week. Knowing your limitations and personal goals is a deliberate and effective starting point.
Earthworm Byproducts That Make Money
5 Worm Byproducts
- Recycling green waste
- Worm tea
Make Money With Worm Byproducts
Okay, so the worm business has byproducts. But can you make real money from selling them? YES YOU CAN! Even as the worms are a livestock serving to make your worm business profitable, the byproducts will greatly add to the "clinkity-clink" you hear as the coins fill your piggy bank. Worm byproducts each have very real value as worm farm profits!
Below is a list of the 5 worm farm byproducts and their best Uses.
1. Worm Castings
How to Make Money With Earthworm Castings
Study after study prove that worm castings (worm poo) benefit soil and return over used and degraded soils to a high grade nutritional level making plant growth more productive for backyard gardening to world food producing farms. You can sell worm castings in small bags or bulk. Pure castings can be sold anywhere from $2.50 to $5.00 per retail pound. Contact the local organic growers association to see if they can send you in a profitable direction, or offer advice for worm farming markets in your area.
2. Worm Green Waste Recycling
How to Make Money With Worm Green Waste Recycling
Believe it or not, San Jose, California and Vancouver, Canada are just two of many localities that promote waste reduction through vermicomposting (worm bins) at the residential level. With landfills bursting at the seams in many countries and cities, municipalities are searching for ways to reduce landfill growth by reducing carbon footprints of their growing populations. Some worm growers join together in a cooperative agreements with trash companies and recycle green waste into casting and vermicompost. Worm growers can receive a fee for the service or in some cases have been satisfied with the unlimited supply of raw materials, making their money from the worm sales and castings.
How to Make Money With Vermicomposting
Many people are trying to recycle organic waste through vermicomposting at their homes. They start the composting systems but, at some point they require a person who can troubleshoot the things that may be going wrong, or simply need someone to harvest an over populated bin.
You, as a "vermicompost expert" could be requested to maintain, set-up, harvest, or correct these systems. Local schools might be attempting to utilize this type of composting in an effort to do their part for the environment, or a lesson. Be aware of other businesses that schools may collaborate with, as a vermicomposting expert, dairies, horse ranches or other businesses that generate waste may become your best friends. Both you and the these business can benefit from utilizing your worm farming needs with the other guy's farm or ranch waste!
4. Worm Tea
How to Make Money With Worm Tea
Worm tea is a very desirable by-product of the worm farm. As the beds are watered and the excess moisture drains off, or when worms are harvested with water, it gets collected by strategically placed containers. This is worm tea or water with diluted casting in it. This nutrient rich liquid can be diluted further for use on house plants to bring old potting soil back to life. It is also used on ground planted plants and repairs sick roots and weak plants in general. It is simply a fantastic liquid fertilizer. Bottling this liquid with your casting and selling it as liquid casting fertilizer is very rewarding. Worm tea can sell from $1 to $3 per gallon, and all you had to do is collect the run-off and pour it into a jug!
I LOVE EARTHWORMS!
Worm Farming Math
How Much Should I Sell My Worms For
You can buy up one pound of earthworms for a variety of prices. However, the better growers will sell their stock at $23 to $59 per pound (approximately 1,000 - 1,200 worms are in a single pound).
Managing Your Worm Stock
Not Having the Supply That is in Demand is a Costly Mistake
Ahhh, Spring. The sun peeks out sharing its warm rays and the ground temperature raises and the streams and lakes begin to once again fill with the all too important warm spring water runoff. With all of this comes the spring gardens and the fishermen both grasping to get the healthiest worms to get the job done. The new worm grower feels the pressure of an abundant amount of orders for worms, worms, and more worms as this spring season arrives. What the new worm grower doesn't know is that he may be making the worst new grower mistake possible, over harvesting his beds causing a depleted worm supply. This happens because the beds were not fully ready to harvest. Buying new mature worms, or giving up your valuable time is going to be the only way to fix this mistake, and a costly mistake at that.
That Delightful 60º to 70ºF
Rapid production and hatching begin when the earthworm bedding temperature reaches the 60º to 70ºF range. When filled with worms, a 4' X 12' bed can easily manage 100,000 or more egg capsules and worms of every size. Approximately 1/5 of this number will most likely be mature worms. You need to know as a new worm grower that depending on the population of each worm bed, it should be okay to harvest 20 to 30 pounds of adult worms monthly without causing a noticeable decrease in production. Your new immature worms and hatching capsules will replace the stock fairly quickly. But it is your job to make sure your stock is still in good numbers.
If she can have a successful Worm business in India, You can too!
Splitting Worm Bedding
As your worm beds begin to populate in grand numbers, you will want to harvest, split or divide the bedding. This splitting technique is a useful task used in heavily populated earthworm beds. It can help to keep your beds from becoming overly-populated and provides good stock for new beds until you are ready to harvest your redworms for sale. Your worms need an adequate amount of room to move around and reproduce.
When you are ready to split your worm bed, half of the bedding (half of every size of worms and half of the capsules) will be removed and put into a new bed. You then add new bedding material into both worm beds returning the beds to their proper depth. You should consider splitting your beds around the two month mark, but no later than four months. This is because the young worms will be reaching maturity and will begin a new generation of egg capsules of their own.
Getting Ready To Sell Worms
How Do You Want To Sell Worms
To start with, you must decide how you want to market your worms. Here is an easy list to consider;
- choose a catchy name for your business, one that at least hints at a definition for what your business is about
- make ready your worm business advertisement flyer's, letterhead, office supplies, business cards, sales receipts and any office materials you feel necessary
Start The 7 Part Earthworm Series From The Beginning!
- find out what your local government licensing requirements are and what you will need to legally get rolling
- ledger all expenses and retain all receipts for everything you buy that is related to your worm business, this includes mileage you travel when preparing, marketing or traveling anywhere for your worms.
NOTE: It's a good idea to get your hands on a small business guide from the IRS (1(800)-829-1040 -or- IRS small business website) because you will be eligible to file an income tax return on your new earthworm business.
How To Market Earthworms
The Easiest Way to Market Your Worms
Providing that your local zoning laws permit it, the easiest way to sell your worms is absolutely from your farm or home. Advertise your worm business by word of mouth.This means telling every person you make contact with about your new venture.
What You Think Really Does Matter!
Looking For A Great Newsletter About Worm Farming? (Thanks GusTheRedneck!)
A Great Way to Start Business Relationships
Hand out your business cards to people, writing a personal note on the back so they have a remarkable memory of your conversation. It can be something very short and sweet, a gardening tip, a special time and date for them to contact you, a funny worm related saying or comment. This is a method that personalizes the conversation making you and your business stand out in a potential customers day. If they like you, they will want to help you grow your business. Also, I recommend having a very pleasant sign in plain view so your customers can find you easily. Remember the sign can be the first impression a customer has of your business so, use this to your benefit.
"Keep It Simple Stupid." No more brilliant words have been spoken when it comes to starting a new business! Keeping things simple is best when it come to the marketing of your earthworm business as well. Don't waste your time on expensive ad campaigns, quick talking sales pitches or Italian suits. Worm customers are generally local small businesses that want to buy a good product at a fair price and make an honest-living. Be your "Down-to-earth" self, because that's who your customers are going to be.
Be Proud of Your High Quality Earthworms!
Showing-off the Product
Your Beautiful Worm Stock Is Your Best Marketing Tool
You have worked hard tending your worm beds, measuring soil moisture, pH balance and acidity, temperature and quality of feed. Doing all of this for the glory of those big, fat, healthy, wiggly and plump earthworms. You can't wait to toss a cup of your worms on the counter for your new customer to count and inspect the quality! If this is not your attitude, then you are in the wrong business already!
Show-off Your Stock
You must be prepared to show your customer your stock, with pride. Most stores have a handy little container called a worm checker that you empty your worms (dirt and all) into so they can be counted, inspected and seen and then returned to the cup without spilling any material on the counter top. You must be eager to share the quality of your worm stock with your customers. This will be the best marketing you can offer your worm business bar-none! The belief in any product will always sell the product.
How Selling Worms Works
After you have shown-off your big healthy worms, you want to establish whether or not you want to do weekly, or even daily route sales. Bait wholesalers will call on you for a set number of cups bi-weekly or weekly. If you decide to accept these orders, you are considered a vendor and should get paid for every cup you leave with that shop—consignment is not a viable option in contemporary worm vending. If when you arrive to deliver the new weekly supply of worms, and cups remain, inspect them and replace any that need to be refreshed. Additional cups are left to complete the agreed upon inventory numbers. Draw up a sales receipt and collect your money.
The worms that are picked up are not necessarily an actual loss, as they can usually be added back into the growing beds and revive within a short period, to be harvested and sold again in the near future.
Managing Worm Production And Sales Year Round
The inventory you will be maintaining will be far greater—in some cases double—from the spring through the fall. Good service and a simple system is the key to a successful local sales route. Making an organized display, marking the customers (shop keepers) prices on the cups, posting signs advertising live bait and providing big active worms all add up to superior customer service, not just good service. This is an unbeatable combination when it comes to marketing your earthworms, and one you should use every minute of your business day.
At The End Of A Worm Farming Day
By following the suggestions within this article—and the entire worm series—you may find that worm farming is just the thing you have been looking for as your small business venture. Never forget that, at the end of the day; treating your worms the right way, is all but a guarantee that they will treat your bank account the same!
Comments for "Earthworms, Getting Customers and Marketing Your Worms"
India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on February 03, 2020:
I'll check the article to see if i missed something. Thanks for the heads up.
TerraKacher on February 03, 2020:
In the beginning of the article, you said there five by products, but you only listed 4. What is the fifth?
gaksina on July 30, 2012:
Thanks, GOD bless u for this article. this is a world of possibilities. sky is the limit. I have interest. keep it up.
India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on October 24, 2011:
Chineselady~ If you are looking to find information about raising earthworms you may want to read the introduction article for this earthworm series. It is HOW TO RAISE EARTHWORMS FOR EASY MONEY @ https://hubpages.com/t/1aecd9. I think it will better serve your desire to profitably farm worms for yourself. I wish you the best of luck!
Chineselady on October 24, 2011:
I actually read some information from Chinese website and understood that there should be a huge market for earthworm business, espeically it is one of the important content in Chinese traditional medcines. But afterall it is still a very new topic for Chinese people to raise it. At least people like me ,who is working in a totally different area now. But I am really very interest in this business, Hungrily to know more about the rasing of it, marketing etc.
India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on November 01, 2010:
prasetio30~Thank you for stopping by. I actually linked into your holistic benefits regarding worms hub on a couple other earthworm articles. I found it fasinating!
Thanks for the votes!
prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on November 01, 2010:
I have wrote about the benefit of earthworm for healing some disease. I believe there's a great business behind the earthworm we never knew before. Nice hub, Vote up!
India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on October 29, 2010:
erthfrend~I appreciate you stopping by for a read. It makes me happy to know you found my little hub interesting. Don't know if you noticed, but I link to you quite often on the worm subject!?
Gus~Thank you for the read my friend. I always value your input. Loved the link you shared for the worm newsletter (as you can see I have included it), great and informative. Appreciate your time.
Gustave Kilthau from USA on October 29, 2010:
K9 - This is another in your comprehensive series about the worm business. Nice.
erthfrend from Florida on October 29, 2010:
This was a GREAT article! I love to hear ideas for businesses, things you would never think of! Thank you for sharing these great tips!