When we traditionally talk about starting a business, we immediately begin to discuss having an office building, a home office, computers, and technology. We naturally assume that people who start companies want to start something online.
But there are still so many other options, including one for those interested in livestock or other produce.
While many people who have a farm had it passed down to them to the family, some people find joy in the idea of starting a small farm from scratch.
The great thing about a small farm is that you often have access to some small land area even if you live in the city. You’re still able to provide organic vegetables to people in the local area, and it’s going to be just about as fresh as they can get.
So what do you need to consider before you start your small farm?
Unless you have a working knowledge of a farm, you will have to learn. Many people live by trial and error to find which veggies and fruit will work in that location as they go. But unless you have limited funds, you’re not going to or want to do that.
You need to quickly know the correct way to raise any of the livestock you intend to keep, and you’re also going to have to understand how to get the most yield for the space you have. This is where vertical farming can come into play.
You might be thinking of a homestead, testing out how you can be self-sufficient and then grow or raise enough produce over what you need. You might be considering a hobby farm, in which you grow everything for fun but still intend to sell in the end. Or perhaps you do see yourself in a tractor plowing fields.
You’ll need to take some time to decide which kind of farm is the right one for you, and when all is said and done, the possibility to run a homestead and a farm pretty much go hand-in-hand.
No matter what the size of the business you’re planning on starting, you’re going to have to do some business planning. But when it comes to a farm, you need to consider so much more. You’ll need to think about food, livestock, wholesale horticulture supplies, market research, machinery safety and storage, licenses, permits, and insurance.
And that’s just the start. You’ll need to take the time to write a business plan that makes sense; therefore, the style of farm or produce company you intend to open.
Every industry is harsh, and no matter what type of business you start, you will compete with other companies straight away. You will be competing with others who have big lucrative long-running contracts, and you will be competing with smaller firms and companies too.
When it comes to farming, this is no different; there will be farms in the area that have long-standing contracts with all of the local grocery stores and perhaps some of the smaller greengrocers. You might have to be on the waiting list for any farmers’ markets in the area, or you might find that the prices are high because of the competition to get them.
You need to network to get work. Make sure that you are in touch with other local farmers to see any gaps in the market. For example, if one farmer specializes in livestock and another in potatoes, nothing stops you from specializing in broccoli.
You might be considering a farming business because you see that the area you live in needs support and doesn’t have access to the freshest vegetables. This is a noble cause and one that may potentially enjoy funding.
There will be a who behind what you are planning to do that will significantly impact how you move forward.
Keep in mind why you consider a small farm as a business.
Precisely what sort of layout do you picture in the green fields, for example? Do you have lambs on one side and asparagus on the other? Do you want a small herd of goats or pigs, or is your entire field covered in broccoli?
Do you prefer the concept of concentrating on a single product, such as an alternative crop that isn’t commonly found in stores, or will you be doing a little bit of everything to reach a bigger market?
Farming is an exciting industry that takes careful planning before execution.
If you’re curious how small farms were supported during or after economic changes, read more: UF/IFAS Connects Small Scale Growers With Post-Covid-19 Digital Marketing Options.
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