Third in the series “How to start a farm” : Creating a Business Plan

“How to start a farm” : Creating a Business Plan

I will post 6 videos that will guide you through the process of creating a business plan. The plan is more than what you can write down and must first of all allow you to understand your own farm and enterprise better. Once you understand your farm or enterprise, you can begin to write it down if you need it for investors or others. The business plan is there so you can structure and optimise everything you do in your farm or enterprise and is designed to help you, the entrepreneur, to do better!


1. In the first video we will gather together the notes we made after the last video. Have ready your Production, waste, energy, water, retail systems and your documentation and information on your financing strategy and compliance. I will discuss the approach we will take and also refer you to some on-line resources.


2. In the second video, we will discuss the marketing and retail part of your business. I want to do this first as urban farmers, particularly those in townships, need to develop new relationships with customers. This part will emphasise the kinds of customers you want to serve, the sites where you will trade and the distribution system, the products and services you will deliver and the kinds of customer experience you can offer.


3. In the third video, we will discuss your operations. You need to be clear how you produce and the value chain on the farm. How you sequence the chain of inputs and outputs needs to be reported on in the business plan. Here it needs to be shown where and how net “value” is created. Here we will focus on things like waste, energy and water systems and emphasise how these fit together.


4. In the fourth video, we will focus on production. Production is only one part of operations and you need to be clear how they relate to each other. Production will be on how you plant the seeds, prepare the beds, water, weed and harvest and process. To gain clarity on this is important as this in effect determines what kind of product you are selling, and how you will sell it.


5. In the fifth video, we will focus on your financial systems. You will be surprised to know that you should mention money last. First point out how you can bootstrap, save and DIY before you need money. Here your whole financial philosophy will be revealed and this will show others how you go about making savings and using financial opportunities.


6. In the last video will focus on how you should understand you enterprise. Here we will look at how to use the on-line guides that we mentioned in video one. We will also contemplate what an enterprise is: is it your own property? Is it an important service in a community? Who really owns the enterprise? What should you be doing in an enterprise to serve your customers? How does an enterprise fit in with the bigger picture, of democracy, service, food, economic growth and cooperation? Answers to these questions will allow an entrepreneur to appreciate their place in the world better and allow them to innovate further.