Help meet their needs while simultaneously increasing your farm revenue - with Agritourism
This online resource will teach you how.
Is it Right for Me?
In keeping with the points that were touched on earlier in the book, there are considerations to make before determining if opening an agritourist business is a wise decision in your particular case. If any one of a number of factors are off, you could be doomed from the start. This is the time to think with your head rather than with your heart. Profit. You will need to put the facts and figures to paper. Will what you are going to offer bring in a profit? Consider all the costs it will take such as materials, extra paid labor and so forth. If the thought you have in mind comes up short, you might consider adding to it such as having a gift shop in addition to a corn maze or a food stand on top of an alpaca petting zoo.
Areas of expertise
You will want to be sure that you are prepared for all that’s entailed with whatever type of agriculture endeavor or endeavors you are planning. If you are going to have a bed and breakfast, there will be rules and regulations, taxes, etc. A restaurant will involve those things as well. A capital outlay is in order to be sure you are within regulations of the law and also to make certain you meet responsibilities to the environment.
Areas of non-expertise
You may find that you come up short in some areas that you will need to excel in. Don’t worry. That is what other family members or hired help is for. So you are not a people person, bring on someone who is. If your skills lay in the ground work, literally (like growing produce), let someone else meet and greet or do the cooking. You don’t have to do it all, you just have to make sure it all gets done. Oh, and by all means, if you can’t count for beans, hire an accountant.
What you do and don’t have
The best inventory of things you will need for your agritourism business is things you already own. If you already have a plow and are thinking of a corn maze, great. If you are trying to decide between a small animal petting zoo and a corn maze and already have the animals but not a plow and other things needed for the maze, common sense would lean toward the petting zoo. You can expand your business once you see a profit.
If you have access to something that can make you a profit without investing money or much money in it, BINGO! Do you have a pond where you can offer fishing with only the expense of keeping up the grounds and restocking the lake with fish now and then? If so, jump on it.
When figuring what it will cost to start and run your business, don’t guestimate. Find out the exact price from the places you are likely to really be purchasing from. Establish a price you will need to charge for entry into the activity based upon how much it will cost you. That is what business is all about and doing so separates those who succeed from those who don’t.
Here is where the rubber hits the road. How and when your products will be harvested, distributed, grown or acquired is upmost concern. You will definitely need to go over your plans with experts like the Food and Drug Administration and the Cooperative Extension. Make sure you can and will comply to any and all laws, regulations and guidelines.
If you have your business all sewn up but forgot to add in the cost of any insurance that might be required for you to keep up, you will need to do the math again. Your budget will need to reflect all expected gross and net revenues and will also need to entail all account receivables and payables.
Right to Farm
You may encounter “right to farm” issues that will directly affect your agritourism endeavor. You do have the right to do such things as market, package and process your agricultural products. But, if you are dealing with the products of others, you may not have that right. Get the facts and proceed accordingly.
A lick and a promise is not enough. Make your plan and stick to it. Unless it is wise to change it for a good reason, don’t. Stick to what works.