Making a Living Off Your Farm Land: A Practical Guide to Start a Business
Are you looking for ways to make money from your piece of land or hobby farm? You could grow greens, keep bees, produce cheese, and so much more. There are countless options, and you could potentially make quite a bit of money. All you need to do is get organized and think like an entrepreneur – having a profitable homestead is more about treating it like a business than a hobby.
Here is some practical advice from the Reidsville Chamber of Commerce on how you could make a living off of your farmland:
Before thinking up some possible monetization options, assess your current position. You need to, essentially, play to your strengths (and shore up your weaknesses). Some things to evaluate are your current financial state, your seed money (or ability to attract investors), your experience, your skills, your interests, your land (the location, size, and similar), available manpower, and the local market conditions.
Next, it’s time to come up with money-making opportunities. You should start by researching the local market – you want to, ideally, find a demand for a product that’s in low supply and that you could potentially provide at minimum cost. You should also look at the competition and future trends. Ahrefs offers an easy market research guide. Below are some possible options:
Run-of-the-mill farming: You could sell fruits, vegetables, milk, meat, dairy, honey, and traditional farm produce.
Processed goods: You could process farm goods and sell them – think cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and more.
Bed and breakfast: If you’re near a highway or a popular destination, a bed & breakfast with a rustic (and healthful) theme could be profitable.
Tourism: Many people are willing to pay for farm visits, experience life at the farm, glamping, and other activities.
Teaching: If you have serious skills in farming, craft making, homesteading, woodworking, or similar, you could write about it, hold workshops, or sell lessons.
Rental: If you have more land than you know what to do with or buildings and equipment you’re not using, you could rent it out.
Come up with a business plan
Coming up with a business plan can help you to crystallize your vision and pinpoint the steps you need to take to achieve your goals. A business plan includes important details like your pricing, funding, market, product details, marketing strategy, organization, and goals.
Get organized and set up
It’s time to implement your ideas, following your business plan. You can make life easier for yourself by hiring more people, consulting with experts, or outsourcing part of your work. Software and apps can make it easier for you to manage your business. Some examples of must-have apps are bookkeeping, recordkeeping, farm assistance apps (crop keeping, animal keeping, weather, and more), and market-data apps.
Choose a business structure
When you’re serious about your homestead, see yourself hiring many employees, and want to attract investors, you should strongly consider forming an open corporation. This makes it easier to pass on shares to investors (as opposed to LLC membership interests). Furthermore, established investors prefer the predictable and familiar structure of a corporation.
However, if you’re operating on a smaller scale, an LLC makes the most sense. This entity protects your personal assets, gives you flexibility, and comes with tax advantages. You can avoid hefty lawyer fees by filing the formation paperwork yourself. You could also use an affordable formation service. Every state has its own formation rules – check yours before you move forward.
Market your products and make a brochure
Marketing your products can help you generate interest, sell more, and even attract more employees and investors. Some ways to market are advertisements, having a website, email newsletters, forming social media groups, and uploading pictures on social media. Creating a brochure is a tried-and-true tactic of capturing attention and showing what your business has to offer. You can use it both to sell to customers as well as investors. Plus, with free online tools you can digitize your brochures into PDFs that are easy to change and share via social media. Whether you want to change the order, remove a page or add pages to a PDF, free online tools make this task a piece of cake.
Sell at the farmer’s market
Getting a booth set up at the farmer’s market can be a worthwhile investment in time and money. It can help you sell products and find recurring customers. Even if you don’t make a big profit, at least initially, you get free publicity. Also, you can establish yourself in your community and make valuable connections.
Like with every business, it will take a while for you to perfect your various processes and make your business profitable. Getting organized by choosing a business structure and spending time marketing your business will help you to gain traction and get established faster.
This Hot Deal is promoted by Reidsville Chamber of Commerce.