Today, I want to share with you why in my opinion, the 3-step-approach is the best way to start growing mushrooms and how it saves you time and money by making fewer mistakes and, therefore, speed up your learning curve.
The 3-step-approach is a concept I introduced in my first video about the 12 common mistakes beginners make. In the first step, you are buying ready-to-grow bags. In the second step, you are producing your own substrate and in the third step, you are producing your own spawn & culture media.
You might be wondering why I choose these steps if everybody is teaching you everything from start to finish. There is nothing wrong with teaching and learning all the steps as it helps you understand all the connecting points.
But learning and experimenting on the one side and building a business on the other side are two different things.
If you decide that you want to build a successful mushroom business, then the only thing that matters is to keep your promise to your customer.
What is this promise?
You promised your customer to deliver not only fresh mushrooms but to deliver them regularly. To keep your promise, you have to have your mushroom production dialed in. You can not miss a single day. If you do, then your customer will remember it. Even if your customer say they understand your situation, in their mind, you will lose credit each time you do not keep your promise.
Just think about the last time you ordered something, and it did not get delivered as promised.
Remember your feelings, because your customer will have the same if you cannot keep up with your promise.
Therefore, every business starts with the production of the product or the creation of your service. You then have to deliver it and finally help your customers to get what they want out of your product or service.
As producing mushrooms is not an easy task, you should not do all steps, if possible, right at the beginning. Reduce the workload and, therefore, the risk of not keeping up with your promise. And here, the 3-step-approach comes in handy.
In step 1, you buy, if available, ready-to-grow bags. To grow the mushrooms, you only need a fruiting room equipped with a humidifier, heating & cooling system, ventilation system, lighting, and the necessary sensors. You then only have to cut the bags and place them onto the shelves and monitor the growing parameters.
Start with a small batch and expand the production. During the expansion phase, you will notice, for example, that you have to adjust your scheduling to not run out of mushrooms. Using, therefore, ready-to-grow blocks helps you to stay focused.
You will focus on two things only—first, the growing conditions, and second selling your mushrooms. Focusing only on growing and selling reduces the failure rate tremendously. Do not get me wrong, you will still make plenty of mistakes along the way as you miss the routines and practices needed to grow and sell successful mushrooms.
But by following this approach, you do not have to worry about all the things which can and will get wrong if you are already experimenting right away with culture media or your own substrate. Avoiding these kinds of mistakes saves you time and money.
You can instead invest your money and time in the expansion or upgrading of your business. Besides, with the 3-step-approach, you reduce the amount of money you have to invest in starting your mushroom business.
And as I mentioned before, your business’s most important part is to keep your promise to your customers. You can only keep it if you focus on one thing at a time. Focus on growing and selling. If you do, you build a good foundation for your business.
Speaking of business.
There is nothing wrong with just growing your mushrooms from ready-to-grow bags and running your business this way. Therefore, you should carefully consider taking the next step. The next step will change how much time you will spend inside your business. Besides, the next step will also impact your cash-flow and savings as you have to invest more into your business.
Therefore, you should only take the next step if you run your businesses for a very long time (sidenote: the time is longer than you think) and wish it should be.
Second, every single step of your business should be documented.
You will reach this point if you can hand out your documents to a stranger, train the person and then after a short period, this person can grow and sell mushrooms as you do without you interfering. Only then should you move on.
If you decide to move on, take the next step, and then be ready to make more mistakes. But do not worry. In the first period, you are just experimenting and learning. Meaning your business should not rely on the mushrooms coming out of your experiments. If it does, you are prone to trouble sooner or later.
This also means that you should not take on more customers. Just keep your current ones and get step 2 under control. Meaning, learn how to sterilize your substrate properly, how to get the most out of your substrate, how to control contamination, and so on. Document every single step.
Again, you are ready for the next step if you can hand out your documents to a stranger, train the person, and then after a short period, this person can produce a high-quality substrate with as low as possible contamination on a regularly basis. If you are at that point, then switch slowly to your own substrate. Be careful and monitor every step.
Again, the only thing that matters is that you can keep your promise to your customer. If you mastered this second step, meaning you transitioned completely to your substrate and run your business based on it, you are ready for step 3.
Again, think if this step is necessary. If you conclude, you want to take this step, then move on, invest in the necessary equipment, and start experimenting again. As always, document every step. If you can produce culture media and spawn with as low as possible contamination regularly and your mycelia growth in a reasonable time, then start using them. Monitor every step. Be patient and transition slowly.
As you can see, following the 3-step-approach guides you through the whole process of building a successful mushroom business step by step while giving you at the same time the flexibility to decide if you want to take the next step or not.
More importantly, this approach shows you that you do not have to take the next step to be successful.
I wish you all the best for your journey and talk to you in the next video.
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