Here are a few valuable advice on how to open an agricultural service business.
Determining the Scope of Your Agricultural Services Startup
Agricultural service businesses deliver a range of valuable services to farmers, vendors, food suppliers, commodities brokers and other agricultural interests. Since it's unlikely that any one company will be capable of meeting the needs of the entire marketplace, the success of your startup will depend on your ability to accurately match the scope of your operation to underserved market segments.
While some agricultural companies specialize in farm-based services like accounting or soil analysis, others act as economic consultants to industry players or procurement advisors to restaurant chains. The sky is the limit when it comes to the types of activities agricultural service providers can perform.
Capacity planning can be a useful exercise in determining the scope of your ag service startup. By carefully analyzing core competencies, budgeted expenses, market pricing and anticipated demand in your target market, you can identify how much work your business must perform to breakeven each month. If anticipated demand falls below the amount of agricultural service work you need to break even, you may need to expand the scope of your operation.
Prerequisites for Success in Agricultural Services
The most successful agricultural service enterprises share several key features, including the following:
- Expertise. Inexperienced and unqualified service providers have little or no chance of success in the agricultural industry. Agricultural service providers are almost always skilled specialists with the education and expertise to provide insightful advice and business services to their clients. If you lack expertise as a business owner, your first priority must be to hire proven experts in the field.
- Customer Service. As a service-based business, your agricultural service startup needs to prioritize customer service. Remember: Service is your product. Unresponsive and sloppy customer service skills don't cut it in today's agricultural industry. On the flip side, your startup can utilize exceptional customer service skills to compete with larger (and presumably more complacent) providers in your specialty.
- Growth. Growth is essential for long-term small business success. In the agricultural services field stagnation is equivalent to decline. If your startup isn't constantly striving to capture greater market share by expanding its scope of services or client base, you're already losing ground to the competition.
Writing Tips for an Agricultural Service Company Business Plan
We know - writing a business plan can be a daunting task for a new entrepreneur.
But here's the good news: With a few tips, any entrepreneur can create a successful plan for their business. If you can get past the mystique, you'll see that a business plan just describes where your agricultural service business is headed and how you intend to get there.
Although there are many uses for a business plan, it's most important function is to guide your decision making and strategic planning.
If you still aren't sure where to begin, consider taking a look at several sample business plans to get the creative juices flowing.
Assess the Competition
Well in advance of opening an agricultural service business within your community, it's essential to see how strong the competition is. Use the link below to generate a list of competitors in your area. Simply enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of agricultural service businesses in your town.
Before you open up shop, make sure you know what you will offer to your customers that provides a significant advantage over your competition's offering.
Learning More About the Industry
Once you've finished assessing the competion, it's a wise move to talk to somebody who is already in the business. Local competitors are not going to give you the time of day, mind you. It'd be crazy for them to teach you the business.
But, a person who owns an agricultural service business on the other side of the country will be much more likely to talk with you, once they realize that you are not going to directly compete with them in their community. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
Where would you find an entrepreneur who is running an agricultural service business on the other side of the country to talk to?
We can help. Follow the link below, try a few city/state combos or zipcodes, and then start calling!
How to Buy an Agricultural Service Business
Many experts advise against starting an agricultural service business if you can buy an established operation. But as an agricultural service business buyer, you'll quickly discover that a business purchase isn't completely hassle-free.
As you would expect, there are a number of steps in buying a business. A business broker is the gateway to the buying process.
A good business broker serves a number of useful purposes. From locating available companies to helping seal the deal, your broker will have the experience and skills to help you successfully navigate the purchase process.
Your odds of making a success of your new business greatly improve if you decide to franchise rather than going it alone.
If you planning on starting an agricultural service business, you ought to investigate whether franchise opportunities in your space might make sense for you.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing agricultural service business, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to agricultural service businesses, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.