The consumer market has become very cautious about the type of food they’re eating, where it’s coming from, and what types of production methods they’re using it. Ranchers and farmers are realizing the benefits of local products for communities. Today, we’ll discuss how to start agriculture business.
When comes launching a sustainable agriculture business; it comprises of employing creative and innovative strategies for the production and distribution of agricultural products. According to SARE (sustainable agriculture research and education), a sustainable agriculture business comprises of following elements;
- Economics: making profit and revenue in the long term
- Environmental: carefully utilizing the nation’s resources like water, air, and land
- Social: improving the quality of life for communities, ranchers, and farmers
The sustainable agriculture business is different from the traditional agricultural methods. The focus of the sustainable agriculture business is to make a profit, carefully use the natural resources effectively and efficiently, and take care of society.
How to Start Agriculture Business – Steps
Let’s discuss how to start agriculture business; some of the main steps are as follows;
Setting Goals & Objectives
In order to start the agricultural business; first of all, you should set goals and objectives and put them on the paper. You should recognize the values that are most important for you and what you plan to achieve from your venture. It’s because there would be good days and bad days, and your core values would motivate and keep you focused on the main goal.
When we talk about goals, they should be specific, precise, and measurable. If your objectives aren’t measurable, then you won’t know whether you’re moving in the right direction or not. However, it requires a lot of time to set goals and objectives, and sometimes you have to edit them over and over again before reaching the final draft.
Once your business starts growing, various ideas would likely evolve; the point is that your business should have a solid foundation on which to stand.
Writing a clear and comprehensive business plan would disclose information about the marketability, startup cost, and profitability of the company. You should be honest with the information you’re including in the business if you want your plan to be effective. You’re going to need the business plan for various purposes like securing the loan from the banks and raising funds from investors. Some of the main elements of the business plan are as follows;
- Initial Investment
- Product Demand
- Estimated annual gross and net
- Time to devote marketing
- Marketing avenues
- Risk Assessment
- Marketing Revenue
Some of the main elements of creating the practical production plans are as follows;
The farming business depends a lot on the weather of the area where you’re planning to start. Before deciding on any of the operations, you should check the temperature pattern and rainfall pattern in the area; it would lower the risk factor. It’s because there are different types of crops for different weathers in various parts of the world.
You should be realistic about the regular needs and limitations of the soil. After investing a lot of resources, the realistic factor would bring a few surprises. You should also check out the soil survey over the internet of your area. If you’re in the US, it’s available at nrcs.usda.gov/.
Many ranchers and farmers depend heavily on the rainfall and availability of water sources. You have to analyze whether you need the install water sources at various points on your property or not. The development of the water sources could be expensive, and you should acknowledge its need and plan for it in the early stage.
The production rate should be sufficient so that it reaches the profitability level and covers all the costs and expenses. You should avoid making costly mistakes of growing too big and too fast. However, you should produce such a product that is relevant to your lifestyle and you would like it for your friends and family. You should know realistically how much you can produce and manage; it would help you to forecast your annual net income for the business plan.
You should conduct thorough research about the types of methods that are good for the size of your business. The goal is to learn from others’ mistakes without taking risks.
You should estimate the minimum and maximum time required to make your business profitable. Usually, it depends on your annual production rate. You should keep in mind how you would make a profit during the off-season.
In the starting years, people have to work long hours for their business. You should know how much help you need for your business; whether it’s regular or occasionally. Conduct a survey in the market whether you have the access to the workforce that you’re working for.
The size of the land outlines the type of your operational plan and the success rate. For instance, you should consider both options like the suitability of the soil for the crop and whether the size of the land could support the plan or not. You should plan for the worst-case scenario like the drought year and how you can manage it, it would lower the risk factor.
When it comes to execution, your implementation plan should be more precise and specific than your business and production plan. You should outline a plan and create a to-do list with a specific timeline that how you’re going to implement your plan.
Every producer would follow a unique strategy while keeping in mind a number of factors relevant to their environment and circumstances. The production and business plan would allow you to prioritize various strategies and use your time efficiently. The implementation of your plan can be scary, but you should trust the research that you have conducted.
Evaluating your performance would help you to recognize the areas that need the most attention. Running the agriculture business is evolving; you keep on learning and practicing various strategies. The monitoring process would include the following;
- Bookkeeping: gross margins, balance sheet, cash flows, income, and expenses
- Biological Monitoring: soil survey, vegetation surveys, wildlife problems, pest, death rate, growth rate, feed consumptions, and animal numbers
- Marketing: social media outlets, webpage activity, market trends, and sales
Maintaining a detailed record would help you to make better and more effective decisions.
If your business has experienced fluctuation in the market, severe storms, extreme drought, and predation, then you should have a plan b or an alternative source of income to rely on.
- Patent for 3 to 5 years: it takes 3 to 5 years to meet the startup cost, and you should study the market and learn to trade
- Follow the Proven Results: follow the proven strategies that have worked for others, and don’t experiment when you have a limited budget
- Mistakes are Inevitable: learn from mistakes
- Visit other Farms: visit other farmers and be in contact with them
Conclusion: How to Start Agriculture Business
After an in-depth study of how to start agriculture business; we have realized that launching an agriculture venture requires a lot of investment and capital. If you’re planning to start it, then you should keep in mind the abovementioned steps.
Ahsan Ali Shaw is an accomplished Business Writer, Analyst, and Public Speaker. Other than that, he’s a fun loving person.