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Almost every homesteader wants to make money while homesteading. And for the most part, making money is easy. However, making money and making a profit are sometimes two different things. You can have a profitable first year homesteading if you make the right plans and prepare your homestead to provide an income.
No homestead will make money much less a profit, without taking some things into consideration first.
Below are a few of the important things to consider before you make a plan to have a profitable first year homesteading. Read through each one and be realistic with yourself when making the decision if the project you have chosen is the right one for you. Factors like time, space and opportunity are important aspects to look at.
Planning a Profitable First Year Homesteading
Consideration 1: How much time and help you have.
Coming up with an idea to make money is fairly easy. See Make Money Homesteading: 85 Ways to Make Money for ways to make an income on your homestead. After choosing what you intend on doing to provide an income the first thing you must do is to figure out if you have enough time. If not, will you have the help if you need it?
For example, if you plan on selling produce at your homestead, you will have to grow plenty of vegetables. This means time for weeding, harvesting, and packing. Can you handle a rather large garden and the maintenance that goes with it? The larger the plots of vegetables, the more time and space is required.
It is easy to plan something only to be overwhelmed later because you can’t keep up with all the tasks for the project you are doing, and there isn’t enough help to accomplish it.
Take how much time and help you have into consideration first. A project that you can’t keep up with will only cost you money in the long run and lead to disappointment.
Consideration 2: How saturated the market is already.
Many homesteaders sell eggs from their backyard chickens, and even though they don’t get rich from it, they can and often times do, make a profit.
Selling eggs is a way to make money, however, how many people offer farm fresh eggs in your town? If a lot of people are already selling them, chances are you aren’t going to sell a lot. You probably won’t make a lot either.
On the other hand, if brown eggs are hard to come by in your town, chances are you can not only sell them quickly, but you can probably charge more too. That is a win-win situation!
Consider these things before choosing what to sell. Research pays off here. If you can’t sell eggs, maybe you can hatch chicks and sell them instead. See Hatching Chicken Eggs for information on how to get started.
Consideration 3: How much land is available.
Some homesteaders make a great profit having a you-pick farm. Even though this is a profitable idea, having these types of businesses require plenty of property to grow your product of choice on.
Do you have enough property to grow what you want to sell? What if you need more space? Do you have the room? Even if you have enough room now, will it be enough for the future if your idea takes off?
Examples of needing more land include having orchards, large gardens, and even some animals. If you raise goats you can get away with a fairly small piece of property, however, if you are going to raise horses or cows you will need many acres of land.
Take the amount of land needed into consideration. Do your research and see what the norm is for the project before you jump in.
Consideration 4: Your climate and/or weather.
Another aspect you need to consider when choosing a project for profit is what your weather and/or climate is.
Do you want to grow orange trees? Not if you live in Maine you’re not. Or how about making your own maple syrup? If you live in Florida, maple syrup isn’t going to happen because it just doesn’t get cold enough for the maple trees.
Think about the weather and climate where you live and choose products to grow, animal to raise, and projects to do that work for your climate. Breeding goats can be profitable but the goats you can breed and raise in a southern climate are different than the northern climate goats. Check the weather and climate needs and tolerances first.
Consideration 5: Your costs compared to your profit.
One of the last things to consider when planning a profitable first year homesteading is the difference between your costs and your profits.
Your costs are the amount you have to spend to acquire the materials, animals, feed, etc… For example, buying chicks, their feed, supplies, and supplements are all part of your costs. Costs usually continue to be incurred throughout whatever project you are doing. Costs are also called expenses.
Your profit is the money you make after all your expenses are paid out.
With all this in mind, if what you want to do will cost you more than you can make, it probably isn’t an idea worth pursuing. No homesteader can afford to make that kind of mistake. Especially if you are new to homesteading and having to budget your money, to begin with.
So there you have it. Taking these 5 important considerations in mind is a great way to ensure a profitable first year homesteading. Think about how much time you have and whether you will have enough help. Check the market for what you intend to sell. Is it already a saturated market or is their room for you to enter into it?
Consider the amount of land or space you need. Can you expand or will you quickly run out of space? Remember, you can only expand as large as your space allows. Lastly, compare your costs, or expenses, to what your profits will be. Can you make enough to cover your expenses and still have money leftover? If not, abandon the idea.
With good planning, great research, and comparing expenses to profits you will be well on your way to having a profitable first year of homesteading.
Do you need to get your homestead started? See Getting Started Homesteading for information. Do you need help with making plans for your homestead? See How To Write Your 2018 Homestead Plans for a step by step walkthrough of how I plan my yearly goals.
If you are wanting some great resource sheets to help you with cost analysis and budgeting check out A Life of Heritage for some free printable spreadsheets.
And while you are here, take a look at my free 5 Day email course Design and Plan Your Ideal Homestead. You can click the box in the sidebar to get started.