If you have your own homestead or are pretty self-sufficient, you may have an abundance of fresh goods. Why not consider opening up a farm shop and letting others enjoy the incredible things you grow and produce, and make some money from it at the same time?
Farm shops serve and represent their local communities and have also gained popularity with visitors to the area who want to buy locally produced food products. Here, we look at a few things that you need to think about if opening up a farm shop is something on your future horizon.
How To Start Up A Farm Shop
Is there a target market?
Establish as best you can if there is enough local demand for your prospective farm shop. Start off by finding out whether there are any established farm shops in the area and check out the competition. Count these and any other stores nearby selling similar items that have a similar’ feel’-for example, farmers ‘ markets and delicatessens.
Take into account establishments that are not direct competitors, such as supermarkets, local greengrocers, market stalls and convenience stores that also sell fresh products. Depending on the type of goods you offer, these types of sources could have almost no impact on the success of your farm shop or they could turn out to be major competitors.
Think about how many shoppers the shop needs to attract to make the profit you need. Are there enough households in your area, or are you going to have to attract customers from further afield? If you’re in a tourist area, will you be able to delve into the tourist market during the holiday season?
As well as selling the products directly to individual customers, you may be able to supply other local businesses. Try contacting local eateries – they may be interested in a frequent supply of fresh food, organic produce or local delicacies. For many, using locally sourced fresh produce is their unique selling point.
Do you produce enough?
Look at what you can realistically produce in a given time frame. Is this enough to keep your farm shop well stocked? You may want to look at using other suppliers as well. It may feel like cheating, but if you specialize in fresh homegrown fruit and vegetables, you can always supplement it with meat from trusted and reputable outside suppliers such as Superior Farms.
You can also look at teaming up with any other local businesses – perhaps a bakery, or a fishmonger, and see if they want to work in partnership with you.
Advertising your shop
There is no point in opening a superb farm shop if no one knows it exists. Make sure you have an advertising and marketing strategy in place. Word of mouth recommendations is an effective method and one that costs nothing, but it can be a bit of a slow burner.
Press releases to local papers, adverts on local radio, in newspapers and magazines and leaflet drops can all build up awareness of your shop.
Taking a stall at a local farmers’ market can be a good way of starting to build up a customer base – make sure you provide promotional leaflets on the stall with details of the shop.
Final Thoughts on Starting a Farm Shop…
Starting a farm shop is a great way to supply yourself and your homestead with an excellent source of income. Many homesteaders already make an income from produce they grow on their homesteads already. Now you can do the same with your very own establishment.