Do you want to start a small farm with a small budget? If yes you have landed at the right place. Here in this article, we provide you with a complete plan guide to start a small farm business with no or little money.
Quite an extensive and interesting business, a small farm involves a long-standing plan ready. Farming has been there since time immemorial, but things have changed over civilization. It’s no more a cakewalk, and a farming business has to be planned technically and tactfully.
The business needs a proper plan, and you will have to work on the basics right. The process is time-consuming and has to be carried out very carefully.
A micro-scale vegetable farm or diversified farm producing multiple items needs special planning. So if you are someone who doesn’t know anything about the farming business, this article is for you. We have covered all the points you need to start a successful farming business in any part of the world.
Here are the 10 Steps to Start a Small Farm
1. Start By Gaining Some Experience
If you are a newbie, it’s always advisable to initially start with the basics. Start working on a farm, monitor what’s happening around you, and gather experience. Before you begin your own farming business, first work with someone or try monitoring some other farm closely. The farming process is time-taking and you need patience to learn it. Try to balance what you are doing now and your farming business.
Below find some of the best books available online to learn different aspects of farming:
The following two books are primarily for beginners and it covers aspects like day-to-day farm life, preparing food, and the process of buying land.
Other Books for specified learning:
- Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens – Best for raising chicken business
- The Flower Farmer – Organic Grower’s Guide to Raising and Selling Cut Flowers
- The Profitable Hobby Farm – Book on starting and running a sustainable local foods business
2. Plan Your Farming Business
Before you even start, phase one should only include planning. Try going through different alternatives, evaluate them, and see which one is feasible for you. Starting your own farm business is going to be more about defining what it will be. With so many farming options available, you have to pick your choice. All the farming processes are different in nature and have different growth phases. Hence, develop a business plan which correctly manifests your small farm business.
3. Do Your Market Research
After you finalize your type of farming, now it’s time to start researching the market by considering the supply and demand of your items. Evaluate certain periods of the year to see the demand and products pertaining to your farming operations. Get a structure ready, this will help you to analyze your finances for chemicals, equipment, and utilities.
If you are from the United States, it is advised to have a look at the USDA website to know more about ideal locations for a wide range of crops for farming.
4. Arranging Finance
Calculate the expenses related to your farming type. The capital in a farming business is basically divided into parts as the separate phases involve different investments. If you are planning to get financed for your farming business, it’s better to choose a long-term plan. It will help you to start small and scale up accordingly. Financial planning will help you to manage your business properly and handle future expenses adequately.
Even if you are planning to invest a significant amount and start producing at a large scale, you first need to have faith in your product and work hard to bring enough to the market.
5. Planning Your Farming Process
The farming process is a huge phase that involves multiple cycles. You have to plan the whole process very minutely as every cycle is interconnected and you can’t go wrong with any of them. Designing and planning will help you to maintain your cycle throughout the growing process. Also, planning the farming process will help you to operate with ease and no hassle.
6. Legal Compliance
The farming business will have to be licensed so that you can sell your products commercially. State laws vary from one place to another and the legal paperwork may take up to 180 days to be approved. It’s better if you apply soon after you are ready with your finances so that you can start working on your farming plan during the period.
The legal process primarily involves registering your business, permits, business license, and product liability insurance.
7. The Production Process
As you start farming, you will be soon into the different phases of production. The crops have to be handled properly. You can take professional help or hire some experienced staff who will do it for you. The process includes different periods, so you have to be very careful with the production. One wrong step can destroy all your hard work.
8. Prepare For The Worst
Study your surrounding and keep a check on all the topographical features. This will involve close monitoring of the climatic conditions. If you see anything out of your plan, it’s time to protect your crops. Be ready with the necessary types of equipment. The climate is going to be a major factor here, as it dictates what you can raise. So at the same time, it’s unpredictable. Climate can affect your farm and operations, so it’s better to prepare for the worst.
9. Distribution & Channelization
Contacting distributors is going to be your next step. Take a few samples, contact retailers in the market, and channel your distribution. Keeping a few retailers handy will help you to distribute the product easily. Keep the prices low and see how the competitors have priced their products. Start with a break-even model and charge high as the demand rises.
10. Inspection & Assessment
Keep reviewing your products and keep an eye on the market. See whether your business plan is working well or not with the market, how the demand is, and what are your supply rates. The proper assessment will help you to evaluate your business and make changes accordingly. Experiment with your production and keep the new ideas coming.
The small farm business is a long and time-consuming process, but the results are fulfilling. If you are planning to start your own small farm business, make a plan, work on it, and go ahead.
About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their businesses.