Wondering how to start a dairy equipment and supplies business? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Dairy Supply: A High Touch Industry
Dairy is a notoriously tricky segment of the U.S. agricultural industry. Nonetheless, the U.S. dairy industry earns more than $30 billion in annual revenues, making it a substantial player in the national economy.
Dairy equipment and supply providers play an important role in the dairy industry. Although the dairy industry is experiencing a long-term trend toward large, corporate operations, small family farms still dominate the market -- and most dairy farmers expect a high touch approach from their equipment and supply providers.
What does that mean for your startup? Essentially, that you need to be prepared to go the extra mile in terms of customer service and engagement. Many farmers view equipment and supply providers as industry hubs, i.e. places where they can connect with staff who are knowledgeable about recent dairy developments and are willing to participate in conversations about products, news, etc. The upside is that providers who excel at customer engagement are rewarded with customer loyalty.
Why Convenience Matters in Dairy Equipment & Supply
It's not uncommon for dairy farmers to make multiple weekly (or daily) visits to the equipment and supply store. These days, dairy farms are sophisticated operations with lots of moving parts and seemingly endless shopping lists for parts and supplies.
When you consider that many dairy farms are family operations, it's not difficult to see why equipment and supply customers value convenience. As a startup, you can leverage convenience as a way of competing with larger and more established competitors. On-site delivery, phone-based customer service and other features can be leveraged to provide local farmers with more convenient access to the products they need to do operate.
Creating a Successful Dairy Equipment & Supply Business Model
Should you launch a brick-and-mortar dairy equipment and supply store or an online store? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to that question. Although ecommerce channels are preferred by farmers who prioritize convenience, online retailing is a low-touch concept that may not connect with the dairy industry's traditional customer base.
So rather than choosing one or the other, a better approach may be to launch a combined brick-and-mortar/ecommerce operation. By integrating both concepts into your business plan, you can accommodate a larger segment of the marketplace and dramatically expand your startup's geographic reach from day one.
Tips for Generating a Top Quality Dairy Equipment & Supplies Company Business Plan
A good business plan is the foundation of your entrepreneurial journey. Lenders, investors and other interested parties are accustomed to seeing several key business plan elements and if your dairy equipment and supplies business's plan leaves something out, it could have real consequences for your company.
If you're unfamiliar with business plan essentials, you may want to think about purchasing business plan software. The best business plan solutions can be tailored by industry, incorporating highly relevant metrics into your dairy equipment and supplies company's business plan.
Our list of business plan software packages offers a comprehensive guide to the best solutions on the market.
Prior to opening a dairy equipment and supplies business within your community, it's a smart move to see how strong the competition is. We've provided the link below to help you get a list of local competitors in your city. Complete the form by entering your city, state and zip code to get a list of dairy equipment and supplies businesses that are close by.
Is the local market large enough to support another dairy equipment and supplies business? If not, you had better be sure that you are doing things much better than the competition.
Talk to People Who Are Already in the Business
Once you've finished assessing the competion, it's essential that you learn from folks who are already in business. If you think owners of nearby dairy equipment and supplies businesses will give you advice, think again. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
Fortunately, somebody who runs a dairy equipment and supplies business in a location that is not competitive to you can be a great learning resource for you, given that you don't compete with them in their area. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
Where can an aspiring entrepreneur like you find an owner of a dairy equipment and supplies business in another community?
No problem! Just use the link below and try a random city/state or zipcode. Then start dialing for advice until you are successful.
Reasons to Pursue a Dairy Equipment & Supplies Business Acquisition
More than a few experts advise prospective dairy equipment and supplies business startup entrepreneurs to pursue an acquisition strategy. But what's so great about a dairy equipment and supplies business acquisition?
The availability of acquisition capital should be a major factor in your decision. Commercial lenders are usually more inclined to fund acquisitions than startups.
Although there are a lot of factors to consider, the decision to buy a business to get acquisition capital almost always pays off.
Consider Buying a Franchise
You should know that your odds of surviving in business increase if you opt for franchising instead of doing it all on your own.
Before opening a dairy equipment and supplies business, you would be wise to determine whether buying a franchise could increase your chances of success.
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 getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you currently own a dairy equipment and supplies business, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to dairy equipment and supplies businesses, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.