How to Get Started with Transforming Your Hobby Farm into a Business
It's no secret that homesteading is having a moment. More and more people are interested in where their food comes from, and they're looking for ways to connect with nature and live a simpler life. However, what many people don't realize is that you can actually make a pretty penny from your homestead — if you know how to monetize it. If you’ve been looking for ways to generate some extra income, converting your hobby farm into a business can be the hot ticket. To help you get started, the Southwest Veterans Chamber of Commerce offers the following advice.
Develop Your Brand
Your brand is what sets your business apart from all the others out there. What makes you unique? Whether it's your organic practices, sustainable growing methods, or heirloom seeds, find what makes you special and market it to your customers. They'll be more likely to remember you—and come back for more.
Creative Marketing Matters
There are endless ways to get the word out about your farm products. To keep it affordable, turn your attention to online marketing tools like social media and email newsletters. You can also design flyers and brochures to hand out or post in local shops.
Homesteaders who produce products such as jams, jellies, honey, soaps, and other items can especially benefit from creating brochures to sell their wares. An effective brochure will include key information such as the types of products available, prices, contact information, and any applicable special offers. Additionally, good design and clear branding will make a brochure more eye-catching and memorable. Once your brochure is complete, it can be printed out as a flyer to be distributed around the local community or shared digitally as a PDF, and you can easily add a page to PDF documents if you need to make adjustments.
Remember: This is a Business
Just because you're good at gardening or raising chickens doesn't mean you'll be good at running a business. There's a lot that goes into running a successful farm, from bookkeeping and taxes to employee management and customer service. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Enlist the services of an accountant or bookkeeper, take some business classes or hire an intern from the local college who's interested in learning about sustainable farming practices. The more prepared you are, the better off you'll be.
Consider the LLC
If you're serious about making money from your hobby farm, you may want to form a Limited Liability Company (LLC). An LLC will help shield you from personal liability in the event that something goes wrong. In addition, an LLC can provide tax benefits and help you to organize your finances. Overall, forming an LLC is a wise choice for any homesteader who wants to protect themselves and their hobby farm. You can file an LLC yourself through an online formation service or hire an attorney to do it for you—just make sure it's done right so you can avoid any legal headaches down the road.
Get Your Products Out There
Once you have your products ready to go, it's time to start selling! In addition to farmers' markets and roadside stands, think outside the box when it comes to finding places to sell your goods. Hospitals, schools, restaurants, and corporate cafeterias are all potential customers for fresh produce or farm-fresh eggs, you just have to reach out and introduce yourself (and your amazing products).
Operating a hobby farm can be a gratifying and challenging experience. With a bit of hard work, homesteaders can not only provide for their own needs but also generate income from the sale of eggs, produce, honey, and other products.
Are you a veteran with a business? Join the Southwest Veterans Chamber of Commerce today!