We have come a long way since the homestead days of our great grandfathers. Back then, families fresh from leaving one European country or another wanted nothing more than the promise of vast American lands since this is after all, the land of the free.
Little did they know it was to be harder, but nevertheless they endured and many of them tended to the ranches of English noble lords or those who were fortunate to become landlords. You may also see restaurant business plans.
Yes, many of our fathers’ grandfathers were farmers. And they were the ones who toiled and tilled America to life, to what it had became today-still the land of opportunity, ripened with the fruits of Manifest Destiny, yet giving more opportunities to those who still choose to stay in the countryside to make a living out of the farm lands they own, while the rest try to ride with society’s more modern and technological tides. You may also see coffee shop business plans.
You may think your farm doesn’t need much planning because you only have a select small market for it—a few neighbors and loyal grocery store owners in town and that’s it. You could never be more wrong, because regardless of the size when starting out to make your farm profitable, whether you’re transporting a number of different enterprises which supports an entire family or selling poultry at the farmer’s market in the town center every week, getting your plan in writing is necessary for success, especially if you want to grow your farm, buy more lands and service a wider market. You may also see cafe business plan templates.
Without a doubt, starting out as a farmer would mean you have a passion for feeding the community or the world, if you may, and good food from a rich land that you’re proud of taking good care of. The land and the crops it produces are every farmer’s pride and you wouldn’t be any different, if that’s what drives you to be motivated. However, there is more to farming than just growing crops and tilling the land because these days, farming is a tough business. The world needs food and they can get it from many other farmers. It can be challenging for someone doing it for the first time to make ends meet but it won’t be impossible. You may also see successful business plans.
Getting down to writing your basic business plan can be painstaking especially if you’re not too keen on typing on a computer. Fortunately, business plans generally follow a common format and you can also find a number of templates you can use and customise as necessary. Depending on the size of your farm or its operations, business plan can be structured in a lot of different ways, each one with the goal of defining what your business is about in both words and figures.
Business-planning process that is well-thought out will have you through evaluation of the reality of your business and everything else surrounding it; assessing and exploring markets, crunching the numbers, looking at your assets and thinking of ways to which you can better use your skills, time and resources in making the farm thrive.
The best laid plans are those that are constantly revisited and evaluated, those that you seek to incorporate industry or market changes with, as they happen. In short, you don’t just write a personal business plan only to find it later stuck with your poultry feed receipts.
Your plan will serve as a road map for your startup farm. You should consider it both as a product and process during which the writing will also be able to create the business’ vision and mission. This is the part where you would think hard about your short and long-term goals and how you plan on achieving them, with the steps defined clearly and the development of your arm business set for up to five year’s worth if possible. You may also see restaurant business proposals.
If you happen to be an established farm in the area, supplying the community, you will have to update your plan according to this year’s market changes to see where the business is headed. A well written business plan should be these things and more: Simple, realistic, specific and most of all, complete. A half-meant business plan would just as well be a piece of crumpled paper, useless and belongs to the trash.
There are seven basic units of a business plan, but you can add the Mission Statement and each one serbes a role to have a clear direction of how you manage your farm over a period of time, ideally the next three to five years. In the event that you’re submitting a proposal request for funding from investors, your plan will be a very important part of an investor’s decision so you should keep it as accurate as possible. The figures you present as well as the details you discuss regarding your business, could make a big difference between getting some funding or not.
Your farm should have a sample mission statement as any business would and it should be something which answers why your exist to serve as a business and what your purpose is. Where is your farm headed? This is beyond writing to give the reason of “making money” because the mission statement should establish your core values and identity as a farm business. If not, you’ll just be another farm in the area with no distinction whatsoever.
This will be a one page overview of your business, and oftentimes written only after the entire sample plan has been completed. With this section, the objectives should also be included and properly defined. Consider it as your short pitch, not too wordy but clear and concise.
This section combines the main information related to farm ownership structure of the business, mission and objectives plus your startup capital and expenses. You may also see free business plan templates.
Should be a description of the type of products or crops you’re growing in the farm, the ones you’re mainly harvesting, including other products like poultry that you are raising, and any other area of farm services and operations such as U-pick operation. Make sure to cover the goods and services you sell and how they serve the customers, ergo, what kind of needs in the area does your farm meet? You may also see sample business plans.
This is the part where you need to detail what you offer versus that of the competition you have in the marketplace. How competitive are your products and services? What kind of market do you serve and who are your target audience? What kind of approach do you use in relation to the competition? You may also see bar business plans.
For instance, are you planning to sell directly to customers or are you looking at a bigger opportunity in selling to stores and restaurants that might need your products? Narrowing your market and niche down to its most profitable is referred to as segmentation. It is important to base your research on trends that will be vital to your decision-making process. You may also see daycare business plans.
By putting focus on your competitive leverage, say organic fruit, cheaper but high quality dairy product and pastured beef you have better chances of coming up with a marketing plan that can cater to both both advertising and public relations coverage. Included in this section would be the sales forecast you have for the next three-to five years and you’d do well to remember that these figures don’t just come out of thin air but carefully analyzed by doing the math and interpreting the results.
Before your business opens to serve the whole of town, you should check and make sure you comply with certain local and national regulations. A good place to start is your local township office. Get in touch with them and ask about the kind of rules that applies to the selling of products in your area or what applies to having a farm business.
You can also ask other farmers, neighbors or the locals which can be very helpful in providing the information you need regarding the rules of the town or municipality since they may already have dealt with local authorities and inspectors regarding their property. You may also see non-profit business plans.
Pull it all together. No plan is ever perfect but not planning can lead you to financial misfortune when you’re just getting started. Learn, practice, plan sample, and use your resources wisely so that you can make your farm thrive and with luck, you might just be able to grow acres and acres of land that would stretch to the horizon.