Some people are born into the farming industry and others, perhaps with a desire to live sustainably, decide to make a business out of farming as an alternative to their regular careers. By clicking onto this article, we assume you are either making a living out of farming already or that you might be thinking about doing so.
While we wholeheartedly recommend a move into farming if you haven’t already, you need to know this one sad fact. Farming bankruptcies are soaring, and you can see some of the reasons why here. This will be of no surprise to you if you are already within the industry, and if you’re not, it needs to be a something you need to be aware of.
Still, there are ways to sidestep failure and find success with your farming business, and you can get an understanding of how below.
Remember that it’s a business, not a hobby
If you want to make a success out of your business, you need to treat it like a business and not a simple hobby. Sure, you might start slowly with a chicken or two here and a small patch of crops there, but if you want to grow and succeed, you need to roll your sleeves up and get your business head on.
You need to write a small farm business plan with short and long-term goals for your farm. You need to create a budget, working out what you can and can’t afford to buy, and how you might generate income and grow your business. And you need to market your business in your local community, to both villagers and townsfolk, and to other businesses who might buy your wares, such as restaurants and retailers.
So, here’s the thing. If you want to make a hobby out of it, that’s fine. But if you are in need of a regular income, make sure you understand the business side of farming to ensure success. Consider the major factors of production you’ll need, such as land, equipment and raw materials, as well as other farming costs that need to be taken into account in advance.
You need the right equipment
As with every business, you are only as good as the tools you use, so think about the type of farming you are in, and research what you might need, from the smallest of tools to the largest of machines, be it a combine harvester or a bale accumulator. Make savings by all means, be it through buying second-hand or sourcing cheaper suppliers, but don’t be tempted to use something of poor quality, and don’t neglect any equipment essentials. You will only be making life harder for yourself if you do, as your profit margin will decrease along with the drop in your productivity.
You need to find your competitive advantage
As with any business, you need to stand apart from others within your industry if you want to make a success of your farm. This might mean doing something that nobody else is doing, such as making ice cream from your dairy products, giving farm tours to local school groups and holidaymakers, and renting out your land to the local community. You might also reduce the prices of the goods you sell or sell products that other farmers haven’t considered. If you don’t find your competitive advantage, potential customers won’t hear about you, and your nearest rivals might do something that steals their attention away from you, so think creatively to give your business a fighting chance at staying open.
It’s not easy being a farmer; there are plenty of people in the business who will tell you that if you don’t know it already. Failure is a real possibility for some. However, if you adhere to the points we made in this article, and if you continue to seek advice online and off, you might just sidestep failure statistics and make a success from your business.