Starting an Agribusiness: A step-by-step procedure

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Agribusiness covers all commercial operations in farming and related activities involved in producing, processing and distributing agricultural commodities (Kotak, n.d.). These activities also include agrichemicals, breeding, feeds, farm implements and machines, seeds, raw and processed inputs, storage, packaging, transporting, the entire marketing network, soil testing, and retail (Kotak, n.d.).

This type of business goes beyond tilling and using land or producing animals (Brown, 2019). Those who engage in this business decide on the type of their choice. Some buy or sell their produce directly to farmers. Others offer services to farmers who are themselves engaged in businesses of their own. Whatever the type of agribusiness you feel you want to invest in because you are good at it or feel your chances of success are great, you first need to know as much as you can about your target before starting it (Brown, 2019). You have to be certain about the product or service you want to or can provide your target market (Kotak, n.d.). Your goals must clear and well-stated. You should design a workable business plan that also lists the resources your business needs to achieve your goal of making money and profit. You need not be an expert in the field of your chosen product or service. But you must know more than enough about this given sector or industry. Your knowledge of the business you are entering into must be expressed in a clear, strong, realistic and feasible business plan. And you must form a reliable team to back you in running your business (Kotak, n.d.)/

If these are already on hand, start your agribusiness in an orderly way through these steps:

  • Decide on the product or service you want to invest in and its market potentials (Brown, 2019; Kotak, n.d.). You may have inherited a plantation or your parents’ business or purchased it from your savings. It may be an idea that you have always relished to hit it big and current situations seem to be conducive to it. Or your sustained business research states that this particular product or service has a huge demand.

  • Conduct updated market research on this product or service (Kotak, n.d.). Your current resources and the demands of the business must match. If they do, gather more information and advice on how to proceed to optimize your chances of succeeding. If some resources are insufficient, find out how to supply them. Among the most important information you must secure are the current and future potential of your market, problems confronted by its consumers, competitors’ problems, obacles in it, your probable place in the industry, legal requirements and possible issues and the size of your prospective business. When you have the thorough answers to these questions, envision opportunities by staying in touch with updated and reliable information (Kotak, n.d.).

  • With all the answers to the questions on hand and encouraging, design a business plan (Brown, 2019). A business plan will make you see how your investment will proceed and the profits and problems you may encounter while operating through the years. It should include all costs – supplies, labor, raw materials, office rentals, licenses and other fees and foreseeable costs. It shows how much you need to borrow to start your agribusiness if you do not have enough capital (Brown, 2019).

  • If you need to borrow, your business plan should include the ideal bank or lending institution (Brown, 2019). You disregard this step if you have the finances you need to start and operate until your business makes profit (Brown, 2019). The advantage of agribusinesses is that they will not run out of customers because food is a basic need. The need for food will also always increase. Agribusinesses also often start as single proprietorships. As such, they tend only to increase finances in order to grow. But because investors or members of the board tend to show interest at the initial stages of an agribusiness, a single proprietor should know enough about his trade or possess some experience with it in order to attract investors.

  • Register and apply for your business’ license and a tax number (Brown, 2019). Check all pertinent laws and regulations convering and affecting your business.or industry (Kotak, n.d.). Oftentimes, these concern pricing, distribution of goods, labor, management, arrangements, and marketing. They are not to be overlooked. You may also need to apply for special licenses or permits for the use of sprays as herbicides or other chemicals and farm waste disposal (Kotak, n.d.).

  • Set up your office building or space (Kotak, n.d.). Buy or rent your office space. Design your building or space according to your business goal or theme. There should be shelves or refrigerators for the goods you will sell. Your building or space should have appropriate insurance for these commodities or assets (Kotak, n.d.). Your office should also be accessible to your target customers. Remember that corporate image is very essential to the success of your business.

  • Design a suitable marketing plan (Kotak, n.d.). This will project your image to your market and the general public. It will be your brand and your logo should represent it for easy identification. Establish your marketing strategies according to current trends and demands. Devise both short-term and long-term strategies. Promote or advertise your product or service in a way that will bring you the most profit. Come up with various forms of marketing formats, like print, broadcast and digital. Be sensitive to where your potential customers gather – market places, fairs and festivals, seminars, cooperatives, exhibits and related events. Keep a list of customers and send them digital offers Many art professionals can create you an attractive website where you can display your product or service (Kontak, n.d.).

  • Collect and form your workforce (Brown, 2019). Only top management may need to be experts in the industry itself. The rest may be hard farm hands who must carry your products to customers, drive your vehicles and work in your factory (Brown, 2019). You will also need employees to perform mostly clerical duties, such as administrative, financial, technical and messengerial tasks. A creative team may be formed and hired on ad hoc You should have a regular and trusted accountant and an acquisition officer. Your organization should be neatly structured to include only the necessary managers and employees.

      It is easy to start any business, but assuring its success to a comfortable extent is what matters. Because this is your goal, you should make the final arrangements or finishing touches only after completing the above steps satisfactorily. These last steps include buying or renting land, building or office space, machines, equipment, tools and implements (Kotak, n.d.). It is also during this last stage that you should seek out and seal tie-ups with businesses and organizations that supplement or complement6 your business.

Making the decision, devising a plan and establishing marketing strategies in the agriculture sector are big and bold steps. But you know that what will always count is their effective implementation in order to succeed in your agribusiness. #

Sources:

Brown, D. (2019). How to start an agribusiness. Chron. Hearst Newspapers, LLC. Retrieved

from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/start-agribusiness-17598.html

Kotak (n.d.) How to start your own agribusiness. Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited. Retrieved from

https://www.kotak.com/en/stories-in-focus/how-to-start-your-own-agribusiness.html