Looking to boost the success of your small farming venture? Here are 3 tips:
- Crop Diversification: There are many opportunities for growers to enter underserved markets by catering to their community at-large. For example, in many communities, ethnic vegetables are trending to satisfy Asian markets, including greens, mustards, and cabbages. What’s more, new opportunities have recently surfaced for growers in the African vegetable market. Opportunities are everywhere if you’re looking in the right place. It’s smart to capture your customer base. To do so, see what crops in and around your local area are in high demand, but have low competition. In many communities, people are in the market for crops specific to their culture. Do your research. Survey people, restaurants, and grocers in your community to determine what crops are of interest, but are not-so-readily available. Diversify your operation with those crops.
- Carve Out Your Niche: Establishing a loyal customer base is what makes or breaks your operation. To create a strong rapport with customers, you have to give them what they want. Not all farming operations work just anywhere. They must be smartly located in or around areas comprised of people that seek what you’re selling in order to be sustainable. There has to be a balance, however. You don’t want the market to be overly saturated because you won’t make any money. You want to discover those high demand, low competition crops. If you can target these niche markets, you are well on your way to success.
- Connect: When it comes to marketing your crops, strategies are vast. But first things first: you must deeply understand your customers – their wants, needs, preferences, and potential turn-offs. Do they prefer drops offs? Do they purchase their crops at small distributors, grocery operations, or farmer’s markets? How do they use the crop? Knowledge is power, but there is also power in deepening your connections with your customers. Your position in the community you’re selling to matters. Be accessible. Be approachable. Be available to help whether it’s in person, through email, or across social media outlets.
If you want to enter a new market, but need ag financing to back you up, connect with one of our ag lending experts to evaluate your agriculture loan options. AgAmerica farm loans support a variety of agriculture projects, including crop diversification, operation resets, marketing efforts, etc. To learn more, fill out our ag loan application so we can begin the process of determining the farm loan type that will best support your business.