If you’ve been thinking about turning your homesteading hobby into a business, it’s a wonderful time to get started. Whether you want to sell farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, animal products, or other goods, you will need to follow the same essential steps to get your business off the ground.
Creating Your Brand
It’s important for companies to develop a brand that is representative of the company and the company’s values. As The Logo Company explains, agricultural marketing comes back to the same concepts as any other business realm: a company’s name, motto and logo should all work together to reinforce the company brand. This helps the customer recognize your brand consistently, which builds respect and trust that comes in handy, particularly when you are building your business.
Determine what your brand will be by considering what is most important to you as the business owner and what customers want most from a business like yours. Think about what brought you to homesteading initially and let that inform your branding. Then work with Wittner Design to create graphics that enhance your brand.
Starting Your Business
Write out a business plan. This should include details about why you are starting your business, your products, your finances and other information important to the running of your business. The kind of business license you will need varies from state to state, so research the laws in your state before applying.
You should also consider how you will handle your accounting. Thankfully, there are tech tools for virtually everything these days. Take payroll for instance. There are full service payroll options that make life far simpler for the small business owner, thanks to features like automated payroll generation, automated tax payments, tax penalty protection, and direct deposit. Some plans even provide HR service, retirement planning, and health benefits. Mull over what your needs are and add the tech that makes running your daily affairs simpler.
Selling Your Products
Farmers markets are a great place to start building your business. Most markets require potential vendors to apply. Once accepted, you will pay a fee in order to sell at the market. Consider this an investment, though, as the farmers market will give you more advertising through their efforts than you could afford as an individual.
You can also consider forming a CSA, or customer-supported agriculture program, for your homestead. In a CSA, the customer pays ahead of time for a share of the farmer’s products as they are harvested or finished. This doesn't have to be limited to fruits and vegetables and can also include eggs, honey and even meat that you raise. Though CSAs typically run through spring and summer, some farmers continue throughout the year with jams, preserves and sauces.
You may also have luck selling to local restaurants, grocery stores and school systems. These kinds of establishments are often happy to be able to advertise locally grown produce and meat.
Marketing Your Business
Even if you will be selling through a farmers’ market and benefiting from their advertising, it is still important to have your own online presence. Create a website for your company that shows off your homestead and advertises your goods.
Set up social media pages on Facebook and Instagram for your business. It is easy to integrate the two to streamline your information and posting. Invite all your friends to like and/or follow your accounts and ask them to share your Facebook business page and invite their friends to like it, too.
Take good-quality photos of your homegrown goods and share them often to your accounts. Marketing Insider Group recommends live streaming from farmers’ markets or food stalls to entice your customers to come down and purchase, or live stream from your homestead to show customers where the food and goods they love are grown with care.
Turning your homesteading hobby into a business is straightforward and manageable, even if it may seem daunting at the outset. Simply follow the steps above and keep doing what you are already doing at home. After all, if you have the will and the strength of character needed to homestead, there’s nothing you can’t do.
Written by Katie Conroy | advicemine.com | May 2021