Agriculture is the backbone of civilization, and it has remained a profitable industry for those who can meet the needs of the mass market and offer unique products to those who want something different than what everyone else is eating or whose needs differ from that of the average consumer. This has led to a surge in exotic products, locally sourced produce and historic produce and left many agribusinesses struggling to stand out and sell their products. Here are four great ideas for agribusiness entrepreneurs.
Become a Supplier to Everyone
Agriculture entrepreneur Dr Moshe Kantor moved into the fertilizer business as the Soviet Union’s state industries were collapsing. He bought up these companies and increased production of fertilizer while improving quality and cost. This made him one of the biggest fertilizer producers in Russia, and his products are used by everyone from retirees gardening as a hobby to commercial farms.
A similar approach is to run a hydroponics supply business, whether someone wants to build an indoor grow house where marijuana production has become legal, or build a new greenhouse for flower growing.
Connect with a Cause that Sells Your Product
While liberals have moved away from ethical constraints on sex, they have started to apply a variety of ethical concepts to their food. Locavores try to buy food raised locally, both to reduce their environmental footprint and strengthen their community. Agribusiness owners should identify these groups and advertise to them in order to sell to people willing to pay more for items grown or produced locally.
If your product is vegetarian or vegan, label it as such and advertise to these groups. This is why you see soy based foods that were already vegetarian now promoting themselves this way. If your farm or ranch avoids GMO feed, advertising this fact will sell your product to consumers who see this as a plus. The urban farm that hires people in desperate need of work instead of migrant laborers, or teaches children how food is actually raised, should advertise this fact to promote their brand with the socially conscious who value these things.
Help the Hobbyist
One way to stand out in agribusiness is to help the do it yourself crowd. If you want to raise chickens but cannot afford to build up a major commercial business, instead become the go to advisor for those who want to raise chickens in their backyard. Whether you’re paid to diagnose problems in their chickens, paid to build a coop, or sell kits so someone can build their own chicken coop, you can build a business by servicing hobbyists.
Another option is offering commercial kitchen space or canning equipment to gardeners so they are able to can their produce. Whether they turn a bumper crop of fruit into jam and jelly for sale or for gifts, your business can make money selling canning supplies, renting kitchen space for canning in bulk, selling dehydrators or renting them and otherwise meeting their short term needs. You don’t have to do the hard work of gardening yourself, and you’ll always have someone who cannot process their entire crop themselves. You’ll also enjoy a variety of clients, whether it is someone drying flowers for potpourri or berries for trail mix.
Provide Expert Services
If you have the equipment and expertise, you could make a business offering testing services. Whether testing the soil to determine what amendments farmers need to add, the water for contaminants, or animals for disease, testing services are something many agricultural businesses and small farmers need but cannot do themselves. If you have the expertise, creating plans to conserve soil or water is a service valuable enough that others will pay for it.
You can build a business by supplying the physical needs of other agribusinesses or giving them expert advice that they’ll pay for. Providing advice and services to the hobby gardener is one way to earn a living if you find your niche. You’ll stand out from the crowd and sell your product at a premium price if you can connect it with a cause your customers value.