Weird Business #10: “Selling Manure Online”

You’ve probably heard the saying before that you’ll never get rich working for someone else. It may be old advice, but I believe it’s still strue. Think about it – how many people on the Forbe’s Richest People Listare vice presidents or assistant managers?

Owning your own business can not only provide wealth for your family, but it can provide you with tremendous amounts of freedom. In fact, it’s why we started our Weird Business series. We not only want to entertain you, but hopefully inspire you to start your own business or continue to grow the one you have already started. It’s not going to always come up roses, but if you aren’t taking chances, you’re probably aren’t ever going to get ahead.

And that leads me to today’s weird business, which is not only weird, it’s a little bit gross. Like – selling poop on the internet – gross. :)

Hold your nose, because you’re going to love this one…

Haven’s Cow Manure Tea Launches 

California rancher Annie Haven is an entrepreneurial genius who’s built a very successful business selling her packages of dried cow manure on the web. The pouches are marketed as a tea bags and are used by gardeners who soak the bag in a 5 gallon tub of water and then feed the mixture directly to their potted plants, vegetables, roses and compost.

Annie learned how to make manure tea from her grandmother and since launching her business in 2005, sales have grow 30% a year, with orders coming from all over the world.

What makes her business even better is that her supply costs are virtually nonexistent since her primary business is raising cattle in southern Orange Country. Haven tells the Orange County Registerthat her manure teabags are just “a value-added byproduct of my livestock business.” (source)

What We Can Learn from Annie Haven

Annie Have Manure Tea

Photo from ManureTea.com

Lesson #1: Don’t be afraid to step out of the box

Haven’s online manure business was not only out of the mainstream when she launched it, but running an online business was completely out of her comfort zone.

Haven knew nothing about web development, internet marketing, or social media; but through hard work and perseverance, she built an online business and a list of faithful followers, including 3,000 on Twitter alone.

Lesson #2: Build your business around something you already do

Think about your current job and your hobbies. Is there anything you can do to make a profit off of something you already doing?

In Haven’s case, she already had the manure – she just needed a clever way to sell it. Haven says “American farmers and ranchers as far back as I can remember have never had just one business. You cut off dead limbs and sell it for firewood, recycle scrap to sell.”

The other benefit of building her business around something she already did was that it required very little start-up money. Don’t let money be the thing that stops you from starting your new business. I’ve even heard stories of people becoming millionaires by starting a business with a payday loan! Be creative….

If you’re interested in learning more about Haven’s manure tea, her website is www.aHavenBrand.com.

Good luck Penny Hoarders!

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