If you have a love for food and a knack for gardening, you could start a profitable business selling your fresh produce to the general public. With awareness rising about eco-conscious shopping and more people wanting to give their money to local businesses than huge supermarket chains, now is a great time to start your own food business. Best of all – you’re selling a product that’s healthy, low-cost, and never goes out of style.
- Get the equipment you need. If you have your own garden patch, that’s a great start, but you’ll need more equipment if you want to start a legitimate business producing enough fruits and vegetables to sell at a market or in your own retail shop. You may need a delivery truck to store and transport your produce, as well as polypropylene plastic sheet guards to protect your crop and give you better chances of good growth and yields. You’ll also need specialist packaging supplies made from similar materials to pack your produce if you’re planning on doing larger transport loads.
- Know your market. Doing some market research will help you better understand what your new customers want and need from your new business. For example, are the potential produce buyers in your local area interested in paying slightly more money for certified organic fruits and vegetables? If so, then going fully organic in your growing process and skipping the pesticides will be a clever marketing move. You’ll also need to assess the competition in your region, examine what their strategies are, and take a look at what seems to be working well for them, as well as where they’re making mistakes.
- Consider specialist delivery. All around the world, many produce companies have had great success offering individual delivery services to their customers. This usually involves selling a specifically sized box of locally grown seasonal produce using a subscription service as payment. This can be a great way to build a loyal base of customers, have a certain level of guaranteed income each month, and help encourage healthier eating habits in your own community.
- Build connections with your customers. When it comes to running a small business, it’s all about creating close connections with enthusiastic customers. Once you have a group of loyal customers showing up at your stall or ordering from your business on a regular basis, remember to engage with them regularly and get to know them on a friendly level. This creates a level of trust that will encourage them to refer their friends to your business, and helps you establish a brand that’s trustworthy and likeable.
- Create a presence at farmer’s markets. Your local farmer’s market is likely to be the best place to start out with your produce business. It’s where your target market will most easily be found, and it gives you an opportunity to introduce your business to local shoppers. Make sure you set up your stand in a way that sets it apart from the crowd – after all, many of the other traders in the market will be selling the same product as you. Offer free samples of juices or treats made with your produce, and take the time to chat to people and hand out flyers introducing your new business.