The Sweet Smell of Success
Sometimes the old saying, "Do what you love and the money will follow" gets tested severely. For Lloyd and Candy Traven, owners of Peace Tree Farm near Ottsville, the added stresses of increased costs and negative cash flow were an unwelcome interruption.
Nationally known horticulturalists, Lloyd and Candy have turned a lifelong love of growing specialty plants into a business supplying superb finished plants to garden centers, botanical gardens, florists and exhibitions throughout North America. Lloyd created an exceptional Lavender plant that has been patented and has gained international recognition. The Travens have enjoyed a long-term partnership with the Bucks County Economic Development Corporation and have utilized their services in growing their expanding plant business. Unfortunately, the requirements of a successful plant farm do not always align themselves well with the day-to-day needs of an on-going business. BCEDC called the SEWN program to provide assistance to Lloyd and Candy.
The cost of tricking the plants into thinking that they are living in the tropics is a daily challenge at Peace Tree Farm. Factor in the seasonal nature of the horticultural business and you have a recipe for expanding debt and fluctuating cash flow. The movement of plants from the farm to a national customer base requires a lot of service for a small amount of revenue. While SEWN has been able to help with debt restructuring and the day-to-day management of the financial end of the business, the Travens themselves discovered the power of social media in the plant business. Their use of inbound marketing strategies, particularly Facebook and webcasting, has dramatically increased their exposure to a very diverse and global market base.
When a business owner’s stress level rises, it is worth a phone call to BCEDC and the SEWN program. They can provide access to a very large number of partner organizations. These individuals have the ability to tap into resources that can quickly help remove the barriers and allow you to get back to doing what you love without the burden of wondering where the money will come from. For the Travens, business is blooming down on the farm.