A smallholding is usually an agricultural asset that is under 50 acres, it is also something that could also be a fantastic way of starting up your own small business. However, before you put on those wellies and get stuck in, there are a few things you need to know about this way of life. Read on to find out what they are.
It’s (mostly) nothing like working in an office.
The first thing that anyone hoping to get into the smallholding game needs to know is that it’s really not like working in an office at all for the most part. Of course, just as there is in any business, there will be paperwork to do on occasion, but for a great deal of the time, the task you need to do daily to run a small holding will be really different.
In fact, depending on what you focus on for your main product is, you can expect to be planting, tending, or harvesting crops, or raising livestock instead. These being types of work that are much more physically changing that traditional office work but can also be more meaningful and interesting as well.
You’ll need to diversify at some point.
Of course, when running a smallholding, you’ll have one main product that you focus on whether that is growing fruit or vegetables, or even husbanding animals such as sheep to be shorn for their wool.
In fact, many small holding businesses not only sell the direct product of their labours but also use it to make other items that can be sold as well. For example, those that grow and sell fruit might make jams and preserves, something you can find out more about doing on a commercial level at howtostartanllc.com. While those that raise sheep for wool may also knit on site and sell jumpers and other goods too.
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However, no matter what your central product is, it’s always smart to diversify when you have a small holding as a business. The main reason for this is because, most products no matter how profitable, will always be seasonal, something that leaves business owners without a source of income during the rest of the year.
Diversifying your crops is always a smart move.
What that means is that even if your main product is growing vegetables that are harvested in autumn, it can be wise to add spring and summer crops such as the ones mentioned at sunset.com in as well. It may even be best to diversify further into livestock and do something like raise chickens for the eggs if you have room too. Then you will be able to maximize your income across the entire year and not only rely on a single product to keep your business afloat.
Saving money will become a way of life.
Next, when it comes to making money from your smallholding, it’s not just the outgoing produce that you will be concerned with, but keeping the cost of the resources you use down is essential as well. After all, anything you spend on overheads will end up coming off your profits, so it makes sense to reduce the cost as much as possible, especially if you are working on a small margin.
To that end, it’s crucial to find some methods to save money while producing the items you wish to sell. Happily, this is something entirely possible, although also dependent on what type of product you are trying to produce.
For example, if you are growing crops, you may use the manure created by your livestock as a fertiliser, something that means you don’t have to pay out for such a product, but still get the best possible yield. Although, for those, merchandising crops it’s always worth checking up on the regulations when it comes to using animal waste to avoid any health and safety issues, both for your workers and customers.
Alternatively, when it comes to raising livestock, there are many ways in which you can save that including using food and crop scraps as feed, a method that is discussed in more detail at sciencedirect.com as well as repurposing resources that you have already to build pens like steel pipes. Of course, if you don’t seem to have enough of these already lying around you can get used pipes for a reasonable price from sites like VarnerPipe.com online. They’ll even deliver within 24 hours so you won’t have to hold up your projects to ensure you get the lowest cost possible either.
Finding a sales platform and market for your product is essential.
While it’s easy to focus all of your time and attention to what is going on down on the frame, when running a smallholding as a business you also need to ensure that you attend to the sales side of things as well. Of course, this includes knowing who your market is, as well as the best place to sell your good to get the highest price.
The main issue here being that smallholders often deal in perishables, meaning that the freshness of their product is vital to its ability to be able to sell. What this means is that the platform on which you sell your items needs to either be geographically close, or you need to find a cost-effective way of shipping your product such as the ones discussed at tasteprofit.com that will ensure it’s still viable when it reaches its destination.
Additionally, when it comes to the demographic you will be marketing your product too, remember that it can often pay off to look at small commercial buyers instead of one to one sales. In fact, a great example of this is where a small holding sells the majority of their crops to a high-end restaurants chain as they do in this post profitableplantsdigest.com, something that allows them to charge top dollar, and also ensures they move as much product as possible.
It can be amazingly rewarding.
Lastly, something you need to know before you start up a small holding business that it can be incredibly rewarding. After all, you get to spend your time in the great outdoors and work with your hands rather than being stuck in an office all day, a way of life that businessinsider.com suggest can be good for our mental health too. That’s not to say the work isn’t hard, but for many people, it is well worth the sacrifices to make their money in this way.