I thought it would be fun to create an email mini-series exploring just some of the ways you can “make money with worms”! It’s important to point out that not all of them actually involve selling worms – but each idea IS somehow tied in to vermicomposting (or at least can be). Obviously the term “fun” is pretty subjective as well (haha) – but generally speaking, my goal is to touch on various approaches that could at least be started on a small-scale (“hobby business”) basis, without too much effort (in comparison to starting a large-scale, full-time business), and requiring relatively little in the way of initial investment.
IMPORTANT UPDATE (Fall 2015):
The “Fun Ways” Email Course is no longer available. I will be compiling the lessons to create a guide that will then be made available to Worm Farming Alliance (Pro) members. Fee free to sign up for the new series “5 Major Myths & Mistakes of Worm Farming” if you want to learn more about worm farming and keep up to date on all things WFA-related.
Please DO keep in mind that not every one of these is necessarily well suited for every person, and if you go through the full (e-mail) series you will quickly realize that the idea of choosing an approach that makes sense for your given situation (strengths, interests, resources, experience etc etc) is an important part of my overall core worm business philosophy.
Ok, with the standard caveats now out of the way – here’s my quick ‘n’ dirty run-down!
1) Worm Culture Mixes – Who says the “pounds of worms” (or “worm count”) selling model is the only way to sell worms? With some version of the “worm culture” approach you can achieve BIG results while still operating on a small scale! And the best part? It ends up being a truly “WIN/WIN” scenario for you and your customers!
2) Live Food – Are all those “other” critters in your vermicomposting systems getting you down? Get your revenge by selling them as live food organisms for other hungry animals! OK, OK – I’m just joking about the “revenge” part – lol – but there are definitely some very-easy-to-raise composting organisms (including the worms themselves, of course) that can be sold as nutritious morsels for a wide assortment of pets (eg fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds – even some mammals). Animals will always need to eat, right? Great opportunity for recurring sales with this one.
3) Micro-farming – Like me, I’m sure many people have assumed that you need a LOT of “land” in order to do any serious “farming”. This is just not the case at all, as many people have proven. There are various ways to grow high-value crops on small pieces of land – even regular ol’ urban/suburban backyards! You don’t even need your own land though – as at least one enterprising university student has demonstrated, you can rent your land for the growing season and still turn a nice profit! Oh, and I think we ALL know that those composting worms (and their bi-products) can certainly help us out!
4) Workshops (“Wormshops”?) – Does the idea of educating people about vermicomposting appeal to you? Why not organize your very own “wormshops” or backyard vermicomposting parties (like tupperware parties – but a lot more fun! lol)? You could charge your participants a single course fee and provide them with everything they need to get started – then actually help them get the ball rolling. Nothing beats hands-on, expert-facilitated learning!
5) Drop-shipping – Like the “idea” of vermicomposting, but still feel a little squeamish about worms? Well, technically you could have a “worm business” without EVER touching or laying eyes on a single live worm! “Playing with worms” is a whole lot of fun – but sometimes it really pays to let the seasoned veterans take care of the dirty work (growing/harvesting/shipping) for you!
6) Eco-Landscaping (on Steroids) – Various “green” landscaping services (and overall philosophies) have become more and more popular in recent years – along with some REALLY cool offshoot ideas. I dunno what it is about those darn college students, but they always seems to come up with the neatest summer businesses for themselves. One such student has done very well by simply installing organic “food gardens” for people in a bustling metropolitan area. The public is becoming a lot more interested in fresh, “local”, healthy food options – but many people don’t have the time, desire, or know-how to do it themselves. As is the case with “Micro-Farming”, our wonderful wiggly friends could easily be integrated into this type of business – you could even offer various services related to the set-up and maintenance of vermicomposting systems/gardens.
7) Bait – “WHAT?! Worms as bait!?!?! That’s BRILLIANT”
OK, OK – so perhaps this one isn’t going to blow anyone’s mind any time soon (lol). Selling worms as bait is about as traditional as grandma’s special-recipe apple pie! Nevertheless, it’s still an option you may want to consider – especially if you happen to be the fishing type, or know lots of people who are. There’s no doubt that the bait market is very competitive, but it’s also a huge market of HUNGRY buyers (and fish! lol). If you can carve out your own little piece of the “pie” and set yourself apart, there is some real potential for creating a nice little (or BIG) part-time revenue stream!
OK – this should give everyone a tiny taste of what you can expect to learn about in the “7 Fun Ways…” mini-series.
Once again, while the “Fun Ways” mini-course itself is no longer available to the public, please feel free to sign up for the main Modern Worm Farming e-mail list, and consider joining the Worm Farming Alliance!