Can You Turn Your Smallholding Into A Money Making Startup?

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Many of us love the idea of getting back to nature, being a little more self-sufficient and learning the skills to help us grow our own vegetables. A select few will take their organic dreams to the next level and will seek to make money from their newfound nature adventure. Turning your passion for growing vegetables into a business is easier said than done. A smallholding is just that; it’s small and is designed to provide vegetables for you and your family. Scaling up is a tougher endeavor. Read on to discover how you could take your foray into self-sufficiency and turn it into a new and thriving startup.

What Makes Money?

Potatoes and carrots may be easy to grow, but they won’t be a very profitable unit to sell. Instead, consider the most cost effective things to grow or produce which you can then sell on for a hefty profit. Consider purchasing a flock of egg laying hens and selling their highly coveted deposits a half dozen at a time. If you are interested in poultry, look into the more unique breeds that produce more interesting flavors of eggs. The Golden Comet hen is a great all rounder that produces fine yields for sale. Forget the tomatoes and cucumbers, and utilize your greenhouse for more exotic courgette flowers, eggplants and chili peppers. The more unique produce will command a higher price at a farmers market.

Think Big

Scaling up your operation can seem like a challenge. However, by pacing yourself and walking before you run, you can manage a sensible and profitable increase in your produce, demand and custom. If you have the space, think about zoning out some of your acreage. By creating distinct zones, you could grow crops, produce eggs, have some milking cows, rear pigs and look into the growing market of edible flowers or herbs. You don’t have to do all of these things, but having the option means you always have space to diversify and expand. Look into the sorts of domestic and industrial farm sheds that you could build on your smallholding to house your equipment, tools and seeds. Scaling up means that you will have to create a secure and protected space to shield your stock from the elements.

Advertise

There is no point developing a farm or smallholding that generates such wonderful produce if there is no one willing to buy from you. You must get your business out there to begin generating the custom you need to make a success of your venture. Check out local farmers markets and get yourself a pitch. Get your new venture onto Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and show off your produce and wares. By displaying your eggs, marjoram and celeriac, you can join a network of local growers. There is strength in numbers when it comes to small businesses and you will find a supportive web of contacts to help you on your journey.

If you adore your smallholding and want to take it to the next level, start small and scale up gradually. Before long, you could have a solid customer base eagerly awaiting your next batch of organic eggs!

Smart Ways to Advertise to the Public

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It’s in the best interest of your company to reach as many people as possible. While you’ll be doing a lot to advertise your business on the web, it’s important that you don’t overlook marketing your products and services in “the real world,” too, even if you’re an exclusively online organization (the people walking the streets also use the internet, let’s remember). And the good news is that there are plenty of smart ways you can advertise to people in your area, using innovative and creative campaigns. We take a look at a few methods below.

Guerilla Marketing

If you’re a young and innovative startup that’s intent on disrupting the game, then why not look at developing some street cred by engaging in a guerilla marketing tactics? There are plenty of ways you can do it — you can leave stickers in bars, hang posters on walls, or even hire a spray painter to create a custom piece. Of course, you’ll have to make sure that whatever you’re doing is legal, but if you’re more of an alternative company, then this could be the right way to go. More traditional companies should look elsewhere.

Driving Around

You’re going to spend a lot of time in your vehicle for both business and personal reasons. And just think: how many people do you think you drive past every day? While most people don’t look up at all the cars that pass them by, they do pay attention to the vehicles that seem to have something a bit different about them. Consider wrapping your car with your branding, and you’ll have an eye-catching vehicle that promotes your brand. If you’re located in a smallish area, then people will eventually recognize the car — and pay attention to the name on the side, too.

At Your Space

Your offices or worksite may fundamentally be a place for you to work, and not generally open to the public, but it doesn’t always have to be this way. One effective way to gain interest in your business is to host events at your premises. This could be a social event (wine and music), a market stall, or business event — the type will depend on what your company does/what the space is suitable for. For maximum impact, you’ll want to subtly convey the message of your company by incorporating wall graphics and displays, and showcasing your products and services. You’ll have a fun event that will push your business forward, and also gain the interest of potential new customers.

Pop-Up Street Stalls

Finally, look at taking your company directly to the streets, if it’s appropriate. If you’ve done your market research correctly, then you’ll have a pretty solid idea of who it is you’re targeting. Set up a stall in an area that’s heavily populated by people who fall within that demographic, and showcase your company. To get the most interest, it’s best that you have something to offer to passersby, such as a free sample or trial of your product.