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Passionate About Agriculture? Learn How To Start Your Own Farm Business

In today’s modern world, there are plenty of ways to make money from technology. Computer companies can make money by offering remote technical support to users. Creative ones can make money from designing websites for other businesses.

Many tech startups even have remote workers, so they don’t have to commute to a physical office every day. But did you know that some of the oldest professions in the world are still good money-makers for entrepreneurs?

Do you feel like going “back to basics”? Are you keen to make some money to support yourself in a financial sense? One interesting way to make some money is to set up a farm business!

Farming has been a way of life for many people in the United Kingdom for centuries. It’s one of the most low-tech ways to make a living. But agriculture is not an industry that’s about to become obsolete anytime soon. As long as people need food and clothing, you will always be able to make money.

Is setting up a farm business profitable?

Yes! If it wasn’t, no-one would ever set up a farm business. I know that you often hear stories in the media about how farmers amass a lot of debt because of poor wholesale prices.

But the truth is running a farm is the same as running any business. You have to adapt to meet the demands of today’s customers. If you limit yourself to the same products and services you first started out selling, you will be bankrupt pretty soon!

A lot of “traditional” farmers aren’t willing to diversify. And it is those guys that suffer when certain segments of the market work against them.

Are you willing to diversify if the need arises? And are you willing to minimise your expenses as much as possible? If so, it’s easy to make a good profit by being a farmer.

Do you need previous farm experience to set up a farm business?

It helps, but it is not essential. Some people have enough capital to set up a farm business and have someone else manage it for them. Whereas others are happy to “pull their sleeves up” and work on the farm themselves, saving labour costs.

From a cost-saving point of view, the latter is a good idea. And if you have had plenty of farm experience in the past, you will know how to get things done without wasting money. For example, you will know of certain techniques and skills that “rookie” farmers won’t know.

If you are a young entrepreneur, you might want to consider doing some part-time or volunteer work at your local farm.

I recommend reading some books and industry publications on farming. That way, you are better informed when it comes to buying machinery and hiring people, for instance.

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What size farm is best for a startup?

The answer to that question depends on what you plan to do with your farm. Some people set up dairy farms. Whereas others might breed livestock to sell at local farmer’s markets and auctions.

If you want to set up a “micro” farm to grow vegetables and keep hens that produce eggs, an acre of land will suffice. But if you want a full-scale production centre of sorts, you’re looking at more than 50 acres of land.

What you choose to do on your farm will get limited by the amount of land you can afford to buy. Some entrepreneurs with a limited budget start small.

 When they have plenty of cash reserves available, they expand their business by buying adjacent land. Some might even buy land in other locations.

 What machinery and equipment do I need?

 Again that depends on what you plan to do. At this stage, I suggest you make a decision about your farm’s goals. Once you do that, you will find it easier to learn how much you need to spend on necessary machinery for your farm.

 You can get an idea of machinery prices by checking out the http://farm.autotrader.co.uk website.

 Expect to spend tens of thousands of pounds on machinery for your farm. If you’ve got a limited budget, you could always buy used machinery. Just be careful what you buy, as it could sometimes be a false economy to buy used items!

 Business plans

 It doesn’t matter what business you plan to start. You should always do so with a good business plan. The purpose of your business plan is to outline your vision for your farm.

 Your business plan should detail what you plan to do and why you want to do it. It also needs to include information on costs and sales forecasts. You also need to detail how you plan to make money – i.e. who you are going to sell to.

 Do you have a generous cash reserve? If not, it’s likely that you will need investment in your business from a bank or other financier. Whoever lends you money or invests in your business will need to see solid proof on how you plan to make money.

 Grants

 At the end of the day, no-one is going to lend you money if you can’t explain how you plan to pay them back! In some cases, you might be able to apply for small business grants. They are sums of money offered by the government to encourage growth in the private sector.

 The funding might even come from the EU regional development fund. It’s worth speaking to a local chamber of commerce to find out what’s available for you in your area. Some grants are only available in certain parts of the UK.

 Legal aspects

 As with any business, you must adhere to the letter of the law. Before you set your farm business up, make sure that you research what permits and licences you will need. The last thing you want to do is deal with a legal battle because you didn’t follow certain procedures.

 Good luck with your new farming business venture!

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