The Must-Know Things For Wannabe Farm Owners
If you are thinking about going into farming, maybe a small farm hold business, you may be trying to work out where to begin. There is a lot to think about! You will need land, of course, but what next? In this article, we look at some of the things that you need to know if you are planning to start a small scale farming business.
Make sure you understand the farming process
It sounds simple, but if you don’t have an in-depth understanding of how farming works, you are going to be in for a very big shock very quickly.
Farming is an incredibly intense job. In fact, it is more of a lifestyle than a job. You can’t just go to work for a few hours, come home and forget about it. Most farmers live and breathe their profession. It involves long hours in all sorts of weather and conditions. You may have to be out in the middle night seeing to animals if you have livestock. However, it can be a job that can bring about a lot of rewards if done properly, both financially and personally.
The best way of learning the nitty-gritty about the job is while doing it, though. You will make mistakes; even the most experienced of farmers do. If you can, before jumping in headfirst to your own farm, see if you can get some experience working as a farmhand first, or even volunteering. If you are determined to launch your own, enlist the help of an experienced farm manager or mentor to guide you.
Draw up a business plan
When you are in the middle of a field, knee-deep in cow muck, it might not feel like a business, but it is, and as such, needs a clear business plan.
This is vital if you are to secure any funding from banks or investors, but is equally important for you to be able to set out short and long term goals and work out how you will pay for particular things. What will happen, for example, if you suddenly need tractor replacement parts? Where will you pull the cash from? Having all of these scenarios and what-if’s in your business plan will allow you to plan and be ready for every financial event.
Farming is an industry where there are many grants and subsidies and other financial incentives, so research these.
Remember, most farms will lose money, to begin with, so ensure you have a reserve fund to live off until you are consistently making a profit.
Have a support system in place
While rewarding, farming is an incredibly lonely and isolating job. Farmers are the profession most at risk of suicide. In England and Wales, they account for 1% of suicides. It is important to have a network of fellow farmers, and trusted friends and family to reach out to if things are tough. Don’t be ashamed to reach out to a professional either!
Farming is a challenging but rewarding job. Do your research, plan thoroughly and create a support bubble, and you will be starting off your new career on the right foot.