- 1 If you want to make a living selling produce from home - plan it like a professional for the best results
- 2 Establish a plan
- 3 Project income and cash
- 4 Get connected with business
- 5 Keep things simple
- 6 Don't complicate your business.
- 7 Dedication
- 8 Targeted
- 9 Sacrifice
- 10 Focused
- 11 Analytical
- 12 Critical
- 13 Patience
- 14 The round up...
If you want to make a living selling produce from home - plan it like a professional for the best results
Whether you consider yourself to be a grower, smallholder or farmer - the following steps will help you get selling from home profitably.
Whilst it doesn't take much to turnover some sales revenue from selling a home, it takes much more to make profit.
A business indeed requires an entirely different discipline to managing a hobby.
From the outset it pays to have focus on quantifiable and qualifiable goals.
In other words, you need to assign numbers and methods to everything.
This way you establish detailed stepping stones for how you propose to make your enterprise work for you.
With business, the risk of loss is real.
Business is a vehicle for personal upkeep and growth.
If a business suffers, so do those involved...personally.
The difference vs. a hobby
A hobby on the other hand is for enjoyment only.
Yet with starting a business selling produce therefore, with all that could be at stake, you'll want to prepare with sound planning.
And during the operation of the business, effective management techniques keeps the whole ship on an even keel toward it's expected destination of profitability.
Month on month...year on year...season upon season.
The following are a few pointers gathered from our professional experience that will put you in good stead for running a sustainable home business selling produce
Establish a plan
Know what you want to do and how you expect to achieve it.
An agricultural business plan touching on all the important metrics for growth and performance is key.
The more articulated your approach to dashboarding your route to success, the greater opportunity you make yourself for getting there.
Project income and cash
Looking ahead toward the fruits of your labour gives you some measure of expectation for the future.
The key financial planning tools for the future projections on performance of any small agricultural business are the following:
- income statement (otherwise known as a profit loss statement)
- cash flow statement
The former gives you sight of you sales revenue in light of costs of sale (directly related expenses to each sale) and overheads. Overall positions of profitability are produced here - granting insight to feasibility.
The latter provides a gauge of how much available cash will work its way through your business, during any given period - whether month or quarter.
Because of a business's continual demand for cash - e.g. to suffice suppliers, pay staff wages, invest in repairs and maintenance etc. - monitoring of available cash flow is critical to staying afloat.
Get connected with business
B2B introductions are to business growth, what bees are to pollination.
Whilst consumers are the finishing line of your vertical market's race, other business like restaurants or retailers, for example, are great facilitators of reach.
Business should be precise and needn't be heavy.
The internet provides very effective methods of business outreach. Due to the common courtesies of social media mingling, you don't need much collateral if any to get started:
"...I'm always looking for ways of getting my content organically picked up by influential bloggers, SEOs, social media marketers, etc - it's what gets my content out there without me having to tirelessly self-promote all the time (which isn't a sustainable option for the long-term)...To do this, I create profiles around my outreach targets. By this I mean that I get a deeper understanding of the content that they like, what they share on social media, which websites they regularly visit and who they are influenced by." - Courtesy of Matthew Barby (Hubspot)
With a little relevant, timely contribution and selfless sharing - you can quickly find yourself garnering great potential business interest.
Use your social media profiles to engage other users in your space whose conversation is aligned with your focus.
Make your contributions to the conversations around you opportunities to build-up & encourage your fellow participants.
Being supportive goes a long way and can have deep impact.
Some conversations even leading to like minded ventures and partnerships.
Keep things simple
Who are you trying to reach?
Where will you find them?
Roughly how many of them are there within your chosen territory?
How long will it take you, at a given daily rate, to make contact with them all?
Get going...one at a time.
Short cuts promise efficiency but in practice will waste time and diminish quality, but the incremental approach will get the job done in the long run.
Don't complicate your business.
When you do your homework via case studies and the like, you'll find the most successful businesses are the most easy to understand.
Whilst it seems worthwhile to invest in systems, methods and frameworks to leverage advantage - they can all become redundant if you lose your audience.
The more precise your focus, the more profit making potential available with every stroke.
Stick with it.
So many businesses fail because their owners give up when it gets tough.
Simply give yourself no option, but to continue plugging away.
"It takes time. It takes patience. It takes an investment...play long enough and before you know it, you’ll be out of the sandbox. If you don’t give up." Bill Belew - Content Marketing Consultant
Read, research, apply, monitor, measure and analyse.
The rinse and repeat method for all those ways which work.
Be targeted and don't compromise.
Reverse engineer from your long term destination of success, the individual steps required to achieve your goal.
Break it down to a 'granular' level as business intelligence professionals would say.
Leaving no complexities, but separating out all the detail so you can clearly see at the finest grain where you are and what you must do to make your journey on schedule.
Your produce selling business will fill a gap somewhere in your personal income.
Otherwise, what would be the purpose of making it a business?
Those things which you like, but are not complimentary (nor a priority) to you making your goal, should get the cut.
Fancies, interests...dare we say, hobbies...relegate them to the rear whilst your business is given the chance to grow.
Establish your step-by-step parameters for success.
Write down your daily roadmap to success.
Let's take a look at an example...
Edward Jones, world leading financial advisory firm (renowed for it's no-frills neighbourhood door knocking strategy), sets a single universal goal for sale activity for new recruits and veterans alike.
Make 25 new contacts per day.
What this does for the guy on the road, is simplify the focus and purpose to a single point.
So, what's financial advice go to do with selling produce?
Everything actually if you look at the principal.
If you want to make 300 sales transactions by year end (consisting of 48 working weeks) @ a sales conversion rate of 5%...
...then you need to make 6,000 sales interactions/introductions in total within that year.
Divided by 48 weeks...
...this equals 125 sales interactions/introduction per week...
...or 25 new contacts made per day.
Any less than target & you'll fall short in the long run.
Set your sights on staying on track each and every day.
Achieve any less today and you'll be stealing from your own pockets tomorrow.
Whatever the primary activity you are measuring for business development:
- contacts made,
- blog posts written etc.
Once you've set your long term goals, make sure your daily output hits the mark.
Your core business statistics will give you insight into how you are performing.
Know your metrics and what underlying business conditions these indicators are related to.
Devise controlled experiments, changing one variable at a time to elicit as best as possible a cause and effect relationship.
There should be no obsession with a right and wrong approach, but rather seeing what seems to work.
Whilst analytics should never dictate decision making outright, they're certainly worth considering before making any sure inroads.
Don't be partial to any particular business development tactic, technique or hack.
So long as your core business principals and executive anchors are left intact, leave everything else open to scrutiny.
Don't be afraid to axe any tool, campaign, attitude or programme of marketing work. If if doesn't work - why keep it?
No 'means' is so great that it ought to override achieving the 'end'.
A most demoralising pastime for many a small business owners is to continually look out for harvest before it it's due.
It will come at the time appointed.
"...for the first few months there was slow growth and then all of a sudden, one big link [contact] hit that caused a chain reaction of ranking increases – this spirals from there. If you plan for a big growth burst in your first 5 months of a campaign then you’re being too ambitious. Be prudent and plan for the worst." - Courtesy of Matthew Barby, Hubspot
In the meanwhile, stay on track with sowing the appropriate daily activity, knowing that one day, as planned you'll eventually arrive at your commercial destination.
The round up...
Selling produce from home as a business, rather than a hobby - does require an entirely different mindset.
Accountability it the key difference.
If a hobby works out or not - no real loss.
However, if a business under performs some aspect of personal financial expectation will result in disappointment.
Therefore the approach to business start up vs. hobby requires much more work and consideration.
Having said that, it should never be a complicated matter. The simpler and more focused the better the prospects.
Yet, having an eye for detail goes a long way to keeping your campaigns under control.
Are you looking to start selling produce? Need some advice?
Get in touch.
Have you tried selling produce from home before?
Share your experiences below.