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How to Start a Soil Testing Business in Simple Steps

Providing soil testing services is a knowledge-based business. You must have the knowledge and skill for this business. However, if you don’t have one, you can get the knowledge through practical training. Here in this post, we share a detailed soil testing service business plan for your ready reference.

Land is a perishable item. And day by day the amount of land is reducing because of a growing population and fast urbanization. Therefore, the need for maximizing productivity from a specific piece of land is increasing. In the present scenario, one can’t afford to a singular crop from a piece of land.

Additionally, farmers are looking to get maximum yield by utilizing minimum agricultural inputs. And here the requirement of soil testing comes in.

5 Steps to Start Soil Testing Service Business

1. Who Can Start a Soil Testing Business?

This business is perfect for people who have an educational background in agriculture, biotechnology or microbiology, or chemistry. If you are an agronomist, this business is just for you. However, a passionate individual can start this business with consistent dedication.

Read: Is Soil Testing Important in Agriculture?

2. Select the Soil Testing Service Business Model

You can start the business in two ways. One is an immovable soil testing laboratory. And another is the mobile soil testing van. In the first option, you will test the soil which will come to your lab. And after getting the result, you will be sent the report to your client’s email address.

In the second option, you will set up the laboratory in a van. And you offer the service on a mobile basis. In this case, you will collect the soil samples from the farm and you will give your clients an instant report. This option is more profitable than the first one. However, this model demands more capital investment than the first option.

3. What Services You Can Offer in the Soil Testing Business?

A soil testing service business can offer a wide range of services. You can start on a small-scale basis. And you can scale up steadily as you start getting confidence from the business.

When you establish a laboratory, then it comes with a wide range of opportunities for you. Apart from agriculture, you can cater to food and food processing industries as well.

Read: How To Take Soil Samples For Analysis?

Furthermore, you can provide the service to companies in agrochemicals, seed, biofuels, fertilizers, farm machinery, and supplies, financial and insurance industries, storage, processing facilities, logistical construction, preparation of fresh produce for the market, and prepared food products.

Below we have listed down some of the soil testing services you can offer to customers:

  • Determining the suitability of the soil and assessing whether it can accommodate the client’s farming project
  • Providing basic services like pH balance, Buffer pH, P205, K20, Ca, Mg, and Cation Exchange Capacity (C.E.C.), with or without Lime/Fertilizer Requirements.
  • Soil Texture Characterization
  • The conductivity of the soil
  • Availability of the organic matter in the soil
  • Secondary and micronutrient availability or shortage in the soil.
  • According to the crop, the requirement of soil preparation, etc.

4. Cost & Investment of Starting Soil Testing Business

The major investment in the space and the laboratory equipment. If you are an absolute beginner in this industry, then we will recommend you not buy the space. Just start the business from rental space. Apart from the laboratory, you must have a small office space. Because you have to receive the soil samples, raise the bill and accept the payment.

Apart from the fixed cost, you have to arrange the working capital. It includes procuring the laboratory chemicals, utility bills payment, staffing, and advertisement cost.

Check whether there is a Govt. subsidy or not for this business. Almost all Government provides financial assistance to entrepreneurs to set up soil testing service business.

5. Create a Soil Testing Service Business Plan

In starting the business, first, craft a business plan. It is a must. You have to determine several things. It includes what service you will offer, how much capital you will invest, how you will promote your services etc.

a) Plan the manpower requirement. Because a major portion of working capital goes to pay the employees.

b) Check the licensing and permission issues in your area. It hugely depends on your location. Additionally, have a clear conception of the tax liabilities of this business.

c) Have a marketing strategy. You must consider promoting your business. You must aware of your target demographics about the services you are offering.

Procure good quality testing equipment. Because upgraded and modern equipment always shows the accuracy of the testing result.

d) Promote your business as much as possible. A farmer’s training program is the most effective way of spreading awareness.

Go online. You must have an informative website. Put your company details, contact details, and service details clearly. Additionally, include a guide for collecting the soil samples for testing.

Soil testing service providing is a self-rewarding business. However, you must have the passion, persistence, and dedication to get long-sustaining success in this business.