Owning a farm and living off the land is a dream that many people have had at one point or another. But few people make that dream a reality. The truth is that running a farm is about more than planting a few seeds or looking after some pigs. It’s a complex business model. Arguably, running a business in the agricultural industry is harder than running a business in many corporate industries. You are completely responsible for your own products and services. There’s no middle man - you’re self-sufficient. So, where do you get started? Here’s some farming advice for total beginners.
Get the land.
Obviously, this is the place to start. If you were opening any sort of business then you’d look for a premises first. But the land you choose is absolutely essential to the success of your farm. You need to think very carefully about your business plan. What are you going to be selling? Will you be growing vegetables? Will you be tending to cattle? These are the questions you need to answer. You might have big aspirations for your farm; maybe you’ll want to scale up in the future. But you don’t want to buy more land than you can control. If you hire help in the future then you can think bigger, but you need to be realistic in your early days. If it’s just you (and maybe your friends or family) working on the farm then you should take that into account when deciding how much land to buy.
Get the right resources.
Another crucial ingredient for success in the agricultural industry is resourcefulness. In any business, you need to make wise investments to guarantee growth. You have to spend money to make money, but you also have to spend money smartly. That’s certainly the case when running a farm. You need to think about the tools and equipment that’ll help you deliver a high-quality and efficient service. Don’t cut corners. If you cut corners then you’ll end up with a bad product. That’ll lead to a bad reputation, and it’ll damage your overall business.
For instance, you might want to look into professional barn sheds to store your important farming equipment. Protecting your expensive assets from weathering is essential when you’re running a farm. There’s not a lot you can do to shield your crops from a bad storm, for example, but you can certainly protect your manmade resources. As for the type of equipment that’s worth your investment, you might want to consider options such as utility tractors. These machines can handle all manner of tasks (anything from plowing to land-clearing). It’s a tractor that’d be well-suited to a beginner with a small plot of land.
Get the clientele.
We’ve talked a lot about the technical aspects of running a farm, but you also need an entrepreneurial mindset to succeed in such a competitive industry. From a business respective, your farm needs to seem unique; it isn’t enough to sell high-quality products. You need to create a strong marketing campaign for your brand and your products. It’s essential that you get the clientele. If you’re a bit isolated from everyday customers then you might want to go straight to farmers’ markets and grocery stores. But you might want to set up a produce stand or shop on your own property if there are potential customers in the nearby area. The important thing is that you find buyers for your produce as soon as possible. Food spoils, so it’s not really plausible to keep your “product” in stock until a buyer becomes available.