Co-writers: Mr. Peter Klapwijk, Green Architect and Connector with a vast growing history and Marit Nieboer – Klapwijk – Business coach, discovers and supports you and your companies talents and abilities.


It All Starts With Creating Your “Why?”

Managing a greenhouse is an increasingly complicated operation that relies on a lot of factors. Since our industry is so competitive, we can’t afford for our margins to be cut. To have a reliable financial outcome and a reliable process, every detail has to be correct. To highlight the importance of this topic, we’ve created this helpful checklist for remembering each step of the process.

Depending on your situation, you must decide how you will utilize this checklist and which answers are right for you. Having your own business is a big deal. When it comes to using a checklist like this the right way, it is very important to identify the ‘why’ of your business. If you start investigating why you do what you do and what you want to achieve with your company, you will most likely find the perfect location for your business, too.

successfuly operate modern Greenhouses

You should also consider who your business partners and clients could be, what you would like to cultivate, and how you will organize the whole operation.

Obviously, you’ll want to conduct market research and prepare a viability study. Ultimately, the outcome must be in line with your “why” to drive passion, focus, and fun in the future. If you keep your business close to your heart, there is nothing that you cannot achieve.

Below, you will find a helpful checklist that you can use to successfully optimize operations within your greenhouses, and based on your personal ‘why’.

1. Hiring Management & Labor Force

  • Hire likeminded people from the inner circle that you enjoy working with daily and who share the ‘why’ of your company. Try to work with people who are complementary to your personality and capable in the field. This will help make working together more enjoyable.
  • The ‘why’ of your company is collective, not yours alone. Pay attention and spend time sharing your ‘why’ and continue to develop it further. Allow it to resonate within all the various professional layers of your company and try to consider the feedback you get.

2. Choosing the Right Greenhouse Location

  • Is the climate that is suitable for your cultivation plan? Or is there a technical solution to make it work?
  • Are there sufficient natural resources available or within reach? Consider heating fuels, water, electricity, Co2, and nutrients.
  • Are your customers within reach? Is there a logistical network available?
  • Is your company appealing and reachable for future potential employees?
  • Is your company reachable for technology, commodities, and accessories providers?

3. Cultivation Plan

  • Produce a cultivation plan that is both clear and easy to operate. This way employees, suppliers, and clients are well informed about what is going to happen and can contribute accordingly to help ensure positive results.
  • Where can you reduce any risks? A longer productional season, preferably year-round, limits the influence of fluctuations in price and production. Another way to reduce risks is to spread out and outline your annual cultivation plan.
  • Examine the market demands, expected prices, and possible risks.
  • How can you deal with possible calamities in market demands or the cultivation progress? Create backup plans for such cases.

4. Machinery, Inventory and Greenhouse Accessories

  • What is important for proper operational management regarding this subject? Whatever your ‘why’ is, reliability, continuity and sustainability, are always the Achilles’ heel for a successful enterprise. Therefore, choose suppliers, business partners, machinery and materials that are reliable. Focus mainly on the outcome. The purchase is merely a part of the eventual costs in the production process.
  • When searching for the right greenhouse accessories for your crops, here, too, let the ‘why’ of your company be the guiding compass for all the choices and considerations you make.

5. Proper Plan of Training, Methods of Growing

  • Does everyone within the organization know what is expected of them? Working well organized, based on a clear and proper plan, is very important. Make sure that everything is elaborated, plainly written in organized schedules, and take the necessary time for training and giving clear instructions.
  • How do you prevent surprises and accidents within the operation? Operate with well formed protocols on matters like climate, irrigation, product quality, etc.
  • Consider regularly if your colleagues are still functioning in the right positions. Does their current performance match their potential? What are their most prominent motives and ambitions? Pay special attention to this area of your organization, provide motivated and passionate colleagues who will carry your organization and form your most valuable resources for success.
  • Consider a professional external expert for your organization when you face elements you are unfamiliar with or new to you.

6. Preparing for the Next Season

  • Review and analyze the achieved technical, financial, and operational results frequently, together with your team.
  • Try to learn from the mistakes and imperfections in the previous period.
  • Schedule evaluation sessions periodically, for instance once every quarter, and make sure to take notes. This helps you to make well documented plans for the next season.

Don’t Forget…
Always try your best to keep a positive mindset. Be very critical and honest, while keeping in mind that it is still a hefty workload that is fulfilled by humans.Make sure you measure your results and make them clear and visible. As a result, you are always connected to the world, the market, your company, your crops, and the reality you face daily. Trying to do better every time is inspiring and motivating.This is our own checklist, based on our ‘why’. We have always learned a lot from our surroundings and colleagues, so we are very curious about the way you handle these affairs. What would you do differently? Or is there anything you would like to add?

If you have any questions regarding this checklist, feel free to leave your comments below.