Specialty nurseries, those that specialize in only one or two kinds of plants are well ahead of the game when it comes to becoming a brand name.
Sure, it's fine to try and make everyone happy by supplying everything under the sun, but when you try to cover every eventuality, the quality of your product is usually the first thing to suffer.
Then it's your reputation, and then it's your wallet.
Getting the reputation of providing healthy happy plants that exceed the customers expectation is the best way to gain word of mouth advertising. And repeat customers.
So limit the choices – I know, it's a tough call, but when it comes to being the best you can be, it's best not to spread yourself too thin.
The suggestions here might help narrow it down for you. Do any of these give you that 'Oh, Yeah' reaction?
I recommend you specialize in one or two tiny niches and get known for having spectacular and beautiful plants or crafts that you can provide.
Don't make the mistake of trying to do everything under the sun. Keep in mind that this might take a little while to create your customer base, but once you are THE source, you can own that market.
Narrowing your niche is something that is very difficult to do - you want to do it all!
When I started out, it was all native plants, in plugs.
Lots and lots of plugs.
Then I started to grow lots and lots of plugs of thyme, because that's what people wanted for a thyme lawn.
Then, green roof Sedum.
Then tender succulents to make beautiful deck planters with.
Then more and more hardy Sempervivum and Jovibarba.
Then hardy cacti. It's a learning curve, but I found when I limited the selection to just the hardy succulents that thrive for me I was a lot happier, and so were my customers.
Whether you're just wanting a little backyard nursery, or you're aiming higher to be a supplier of your specialty plants on a wholesale basis, only you can decide based on the time you want to put into this, the local market conditions, your climate and the space you have available.
Start small, and test your methods of growing the plants, and while they're getting established, find your customers and sales area.
Source plants that are easy to grow quickly and don't take up lots of room.
For me, the demand was for small succulents that could be used as wedding favors, and given as a little gift to the wedding guests to take home as a memento.
The most economical way to get your collection started is by seed - there are thousands of seeds in a package that may cost a few dollars.
The downside of this is that it will take a few years to get them to salable size, or big enough to use in your crafts.
Similarly with the crafts, I found that having everything possible, just for the sake of having said, I've made that, got to be too much.
The crafts are good to make and take lots of pictures of the process to have on hand for tutorials and webpages, but make them and sell them – don't get too fond of all of them – you will quickly run out of room.
If you're getting into offering a design and install service for xeriscape gardens, be sure that you are physically capable of doing the work, or be able to delegate that.
It's important to know your limits - none of us is getting any younger.
So to summarize; specialize in something you love to do, that no-one else is doing, and focus on making it the best you can.