If you are thinking about leaving the fuss and noise of the big city and retreating to the countryside to start a new, better life, you must already have thought about things you could do to sustain yourself in the new environment. Starting a small farm business may seem like a good idea because it is, but it would be a mistake to get into such a complex venture without having a clear picture what it will involve.
In this article, we will try to go through a couple of questions worth asking yourself before you consider starting your own small farm.
What crops should I grow and how much will it cost?
As with everything, creating a farm takes money and you need to determine as quickly as possible what the initial expense will be. To do the best estimation, you will have to decide what types of crops you will cultivate. After you decide on the crops, it’s important to make a business plan which will attempt to create a feasible scenario in which you will be able to sustain your business for at least two years. A certain amount of risk always needs to be taken, so think about selling things you own but do not really need, like a second car, for example. Maybe you can rent your old city apartment? This will give you funds which will ensure your financial stability in the initial period.
What are my available resources and what can I do to expand them?
Analyzing your available assets is the next important step in assuring you know where you stand before the real work starts (if it can be treated as a separate step from the previous one). Make an inventory of all the things you own – the area of the land you own, the properties of this land (proximity of water supply, etc.) and available storage facilities like grain sheds and barns. After you have a clear picture of what you own, the next step is to see how to improve the situation, if necessary.
Are there loans or grants available for which I can apply?
Searching for available loans and grants is a must for anybody who seriously considers farming as their new trade. The government usually decides to support farmers with subsidies and other forms of financial help and you should not shy away from taking money which will help you put your business on your it’s feet. However, be careful and read the small print of every loan offer you find – sometimes the conditions can be too difficult for new farm owners.
What is my market and what should be an adequate market strategy for it?
After you know where you stand and you are sure you can create a feasible enterprise, you need to turn away from yourself and your farm and pay attention to the other side – your future customers. Figuring out your marketing strategy is perhaps equally important as all the previous steps, because finding a way to make yourself visible in the world of large farm owners which control most of the market can be difficult. Growing and promoting your products as organic can be a really good idea, because the environmental and health aspects of organic food are easy to advertise and naturally attract many people.