Branching Out - A Checklist For Farm Diversification
Having endured a sustained period of economic instability, many modern businesses - farms included - have been forced to reassess their position
going forward. While times have been tough, it's nothing that farmers haven't been through before. Major incidents from BSE to foot and mouth mean
that farm owners have been dealt crushing blows before. A lot of those who came out the other side did so because they managed to identify ways to
supplement their traditional income by branching out into new areas.
Diversification has helped many a farm battle through troubled times and it's become an increasingly valid option for those owners who wish to bring in
extra revenue. But it's not an easy step to take; those who do have such plans need to ensure they have planned meticulously and covered all the
bases. Simply deciding to diversify is not enough - finding the right gap in the market and then executing a well-prepared strategy is essential. With
that in mind, here are a few points to consider:
Play to your strengths
If your farm has buildings that are currently going unused, think about how you could use them efficiently to branch out. Successful diversification often
hinges on putting existing assets to good use - it makes good economic sense to go down that route. Take an inventory of your unused resources as
one of the first stages of brainstorming initial ideas.
Fill that gap
Get out there, do your research and find out what the local area is crying out for - if you can find a way to meet that demand then you're halfway there.
By canvassing locals for products and services they feel are lacking in your area you'll be generating the best possible ideas for diversification.
By keeping new business ideas in your sphere of personal interest, you'll ensure that you won't get bored with the venture six months down the line.
Try and find a viable business opportunity covering a subject you have a genuine passion about. It doesn't matter what it is; if you