Is office life not for you? If you dream of spending your days out in the sun, you may be considering a career change.
Starting your own farming business is a scary step. It costs a lot of money to start and it will entail tons of long days working in the heat.
But if you have your heart set on it – take the leap! There’s no better time than now.
Do you want to know more about starting a successful farming business? Keep reading for our 9 essential tips.
1. Choose a Crop or Livestock
Alright, so you want to farm for a living. But what exactly do you want to farm?
If this is your first time farming, research crops that are easy to grow. The last thing you want to do is to decide on a difficult crop and end up not growing anything.
You also want to take your environment into account. For example, you’ll have a hard time growing oranges if you live in Minnesota or Pennsylvania since the weather is too cold. Instead, look into crops like apples or corn.
Of course, you don’t have to grow anything. You may also opt to raise livestock – but keep the same advice in mind and try to find an easy-to-care-for animal that can thrive in your location.
Lastly, don’t forget to research your competition. You’ll likely want to shy away from over-saturated markets with tons of competitors.
2. Take Some Classes
Before you get out and start planting those seeds, you’ll want to learn a bit more about the farming industry.
You’ll need some business knowledge when it comes to selling your products as well as finding quality equipment and negotiating deals with buyers and sellers.
You may also want to learn more about the environmental impact or dangers of using pesticides or over farming, so you can make eco-friendly decisions.
If you’ve never farmed before, it’s a good idea to either get first-hand farm experience through work or take a class to learn farming techniques and how to operate farming equipment.
Whether you choose to do a whole degree or take just a few classes, getting an online education is a convenient way to learn about the industry.
3. Check Regulations
Alright, so you decided on what you’ll grow and learned how to do it. Now what?
Well, before you can go shopping for farmland, you’ll need to research your local and state regulations. Keep your eyes peeled for zoning laws, since these may limit what you can do or where you can farm.
4. Make a Business Plan
In order to run a successful farming business, you’ll need to treat it like any other business – and that means writing a business plan.
Don’t skip over this step! It will help you get funding and help you stay on track when your business is up and running.
5. Finance Your Farm
Starting a farm takes a lot of money. Unless you have a large trust fund or savings account, you’ll need to rely on some financing options to get started.
Look for government loans or grants for small businesses. Nonprofit environmental agencies sometimes also provide financing assistance to farms. Do as much research as you can so you know all your options.
6. Find Your Farm Land
Once you get an idea of how much you’ll secure through loans and grants, it’s time to start the fun part – looking for your farmland!
You’ll want to start by finding the ideal location. You may want one near your house or in an area far away from the city and all that air pollution that comes with it.
Take size into consideration, too. Sure, a large farm will mean more crops and more profits, but it’ll also be more expensive and harder to manage.
Once you’ve found a potential location, check to make sure there is adequate water supply and do a soil quality test. Your future farm will need plenty of water and soil that is habitable for the crops you plan on growing.
7. Fill Out the Paperwork
When you have your farmland secured, you may think it’s finally time to start farming. Not so fast – there’s still more paperwork to be done.
You’ll need to set up a Tax ID number for your farm, get all the required licenses and permits, and get insurance before you start working. You’ll also want to register with farm services to take advantage of benefits, such as government subsidies.
If you want to hire a staff, such as an accountant, office manager, or field hand, be sure to fill out the proper paperwork to make everything legal.
8. Get Your Equipment
Of course, no farm can operate without the proper equipment. Make a list of everything you’ll need to run a successful farming business. This may include tractors, steel tanks, balers, or ploughs.
Shop around to ensure you get the best deal. Remember, you don’t want to overpay for your equipment, but you also don’t want to go with the cheapest option and risk your equipment breaking down or being inefficient.
9. Start Farming
Finally – it’s time to start farming!
Grow your crops and market your small farm. When it comes time to harvest them, you can sell them in produce stands, farmer’s markets, organic food stores, or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).
Of course, don’t forget to keep detailed records of costs and sales, so you know if you’re turning a profit or not. You may need to increase your prices or lower your costs to turn your small farm into a profitable business.
How to Create a Successful Farming Business
Starting a farm is no easy task. It takes a lot of planning and preparation, followed by a lot of long days working in the sun. But don’t let that discourage you – just follow our tips to learn how to create a successful farming business!
Do you want more advice on starting a business? Check out our blog today!