Today we’re going to talk about the considerations for starting a farm business. Whether you’re a beginner farmer or experienced farmer, you would want to think about the things you’re going to do before you do them.
I have an analogy for you. We’re going to use camping as an analogy. If you’re going to go camping or hiking:
- You must have a plan
- You must know where you’re going
- What you want to accomplish—Are you going fishing? Are you going to reach the mountaintop? Are you going to just reach a point in camp and camp overnight? Is it for relaxation or for some other purpose?
So, in camping, you’ve got to be equipped for the job. In farming, you’ve got to have your plan together, too.
1. Starting Point
And what I’d like to talk about is everyone starts from a starting point. You are where you’re at, and so you will start from that point and work to where you want to get to.
So you got to have a purpose. What do you want to accomplish with this business? Is it for part-time work? Is it for partial income for your family to generate an income? Or is it for full-time work? Do you want to make a living farming? Everybody that’s farming wants to make money at it, but you want to know what your real purpose for doing it, and in order to do that you need to have a plan.
A plan should be written down. You can make a lot of mistakes and the best way to make mistakes is on paper not with cash from your wallet or someone else’s investment. You should make those mistakes on paper, if you make any mistakes at all. Planning is important. As you’re thinking about starting a farm enterprise, think about what you want to accomplish and how you going to get there.
4. Self Inventory
A lot of people oftentimes miss self-inventory. You need to think about: what do I know how to do? What do I like to do? What are my interests? What skills do I have? Not only me but maybe other members of my family are going to be working with me on this enterprise because farming is more than just a one person’s job.
5. Resource Inventory
You also want to inventory the resources that you have. What land do I have? What water? What buildings? What animals? What am I starting with? What equipment? You want to resource those types of things too. And then from that point, you want to develop a good plan.
Probably the most important part of the whole thing is a market, because you really want to make sure you identify that market before you do any kind of investment of real money, because marketing is the key to success. You got to know your customer and identify those people or is it friends and family? Is it your neighbors? Is it in a nursing home? Is it in school or park? You got to identify all the people that are going to buy your product.
In summary, in developing a farm business, you got to know where you’re going and know, and how you going to get there. But note that market is the most important part of the whole thing.