Kick-staring any venture in this day and age means embracing the inherent risks and opportunities that come with the territory. In the wake of the pandemic, many have determined that agriculture, while still shaken by the health crisis, is a great industry for setting up a business. Why? The need for nutritious food and sustenance is higher than ever, and with overwhelming industrialization and urban expansion, most regions in the world need experienced farmers to provide healthy nourishment in various shapes and forms.
Now, even though the pandemic has affected agriculture everywhere in the world, now is a great moment to build a business in this industry. You’ll be helping your local community evolve and grow, and if you join the export chain, you’ll feed other parts of the world, too. Here are a few key tips to help you get started, successfully so.
Choose a lucrative niche
The world of agriculture is a vast one. You can easily find a wide array of agriculture sectors that are both rewarding and lucrative to start your own business. Depending on where you plan to sell your product or service, consider some of the listed ideas that are growing in popularity:
- Beekeeping to produce organic honey available for direct purchase as well as store-wide sales, if you choose to expand.
- Precision farming, which is heavily shaped by technology such as AI to refine the production quality and make better decisions.
- Microgreens are on the rise, with more people turning to vegan and vegetarian diets, and with a greater need for plants that are durable, easy and quick to grow, and nutrient-dense.
Invest in the necessary technology
So many mechanization solutions are helping people in agriculture focus on less labor-intensive and more creative, business-shaping work. What that means is producing more in less time, with less effort, and of course, smaller investments. Bigger returns, more financial stability, and not to mention increased productivity and safety are all reasons supporting the use of innovative tech and tools.
To obtain a competitive edge, look into custom engineering solutions specifically applied in agriculture to improve your chances of success. Running a modern agriculture business requires IT systems for monitoring and analyzing production, all the way to marketing, but also to ensure legal compliance, regular health inspections, and proper maintenance of your facilities.
No industry is immune to the wave of sustainability issues raised in the midst of the pandemic – and to be fair, much before. Especially in agriculture, the need for more sustainable solutions is on the rise. Customers are choosing local farms that grow their produce in more sustainable, eco-friendly ways. Organic farming, pesticide-free produce, and other requirements are slowly becoming the new norm.
To be truly competitive, you also need to consider how your agriculture business will contribute to environmental preservation and energy conservation. Using solar-powered tools and systems, smarter pest management, and growing seasonally are all some of the most common practices implemented by agriculture experts.
Educate yourself and hire the right people
Everyone who wants to start a business in this industry comes with certain skills and specialties. Whether you’ve run a chicken farm, you’ve been a florist, or you’ve dabbled in beekeeping, you still have gaps in your expertise. That means that you’re still not qualified to do absolutely everything in your business, and you’ll need both in-house employees for some processes, and additional education.
Look for local coaching opportunities before you start your business. You’ll enter the industry armed with more up-to-date information and skills, ready for some of its biggest challenges. Make sure you also hire people who will supplement your own expertise and take over certain aspects of your business.
Brand and market your business
This is where the pandemic has made it difficult for sellers to meet and greet customers directly for the time being. Now that the entire world has moved online, you also need to think about creative ways to market your agriculture business with an omnichannel approach in mind.
- Define your unique value proposition and the key elements of your brand identity – your mission, vision, purpose, your visuals, and your tone of voice.
- Choose the channels where you’ll be most likely to reach the most people. Facebook and Instagram are great for a B2C business, so you can talk about products, build loyalty, and encourage brand ambassadors.
- Build a website that will serve as a selling tool as well as the main presentation for your brand.
Over time, you should refine your presence through the collected analytics and customer data. In case you run a B2B business, this will be a longer, more intricate process, so you will likely need a professional marketer to step in.
Remember to also market your brand in person during local events, approach local chefs and restaurants, and the like. If the situation enables you to meet people, this will diversify your strategy significantly.
Whether you choose to run a small, family farm that will supply certain products to customers in the area, or you have grander aspirations and wish to sell to larger store chains, these are the essential ideas to consider. No matter the size and scope of your venture, you will need to rely on advanced technology, good employees, and a distinctive brand identity to grow and succeed.
This is a highly competitive market, and it requires perseverance as well as dedication on all levels. Make sure that you have covered the listed basics before you proceed, and you’ll give your agriculture business a better chance to prevail.