Starting an organic farm isn’t for everyone, but this hobby could easily turn into quite a lucrative business. And in these uncertain times, it might just be the thing you need to get back on your feet. An activity that starts as a hobby isn’t generally something you expect to grow into a full time business opportunity, but it just might. With organic farms, you don’t need much apart from some knowledge and proper soil. Here are five important questions you need to ask yourself before starting your own organic farm business.
Do You Have the Resources?
The most important part of organic farm business is the soil where you grow your plants. Do you have it? Are you certain it’s the best you can find? Can you rely on it for the decades to come? If not, find another patch of land as soon as possible. Organic food depends on soil more than a layperson can understand, and it’s all about the mineral particles that work together in order to grant you success. Therefore, this should be the first step towards a fruitful farm.
How to Test Your Soil?
Once you find a piece of land you’re planning to turn into an organic farm, test it and see if it’s suitable for such a venture. This might look demanding, but getting through with all the geotechnics and laboratory testing is quite vital for your farm’s future. That’s why finding trustworthy professionals to test the ground, environment, water and other parts of your farm is something you mustn’t skip. Turning to experts from Douglas Partners will ensure you get the most of your soil: the flakiness index, particle density and water absorption are among the most important things geotechnical engineers test. Remember, these variables will ultimately make or break your organic farm.
What About the Basics?
Even before these steps, it’s important to realize whether you actually know a thing or two about farming or not. Being a novice is quite all right, but you do have to know something unless you’re willing to learn the hard way – by trial and error, which can be a painful, long, and expensive process. Of course, you can’t learn everything from books, but you should get some practical experience, which will separate you from your competitors. But, at first, you might want to find someone who can teach you the basics – a mentor, an older farmer, maybe an experienced friend or a relative – and give you something to build on.
Do You Understand the Business Side of Farming?
No matter how exciting and fruitful organic farming is, it’s still a business and you must approach it that way. In other words, think about designing a viable business plan in advance and figuring out all the parts of your future company before even planting the first organic seed. Coming up with a business plan might be challenging, but not impossible – some of the things you need to take into consideration are management structure, products, market analysis, financial plan and marketing strategy. Asking experts for help or relying on an already existing successful template are options you could explore and adapt to your business vision.
Are You Familiar with the Distribution?
Unless you’re planning to set up an organic farm just for your own needs, you’re probably going to want to sell your products at some point. That’s why you need to understand the marketing and selling aspects of your new business and come up with a few sustainable distribution strategies. Establishing such a system might take time, but it’s essential to your business: you can’t expect to grow and develop without a lucrative way to distribute your products. Start small and focus on the local market at first, and then expand as much as you can.
Some of the other concerns you may have before starting an organic farm business include licenses and permits, financial grants, designing and organizing your farm, and deciding if this is something you want to become a full-time job or remain a hobby. Once you answer all these questions, you and your organic products will be on the road to success!