Complete business plan Planning the direct farm business

Download Complete business plan Planning the direct farm business

Preview text

Ed Skvarch, Commercial Horticulture UF IFAS St. Lucie County Extension [email protected]


According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 167,000 U.S. farms locally produced and sold food through direct marketing practices, resulting in $8.7 billion in revenue in 2015. The survey also concluded that more than 80 percent of all direct market food sales occurred within 100 miles of the farm, and that most farms selling to consumers were less than 20 miles from their largest grossing marketplace. the value of Direct-to-Consumer Food marketing in the Southeastern United States was estimated at $38.8 million, an increase of $1.22 million from 2007. This no doubt is encouraging news for those who sell their produce directly to consumers and motivational to those who are looking to start up a direct sales farm operation.

To become a successful business owner there are a number of initial planning steps one should take! Why? According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: about 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, and about 54% of small businesses fail within the first 4 years. One of the main reasons was attributed to inadequate business planning.

Business planning doesn’t begin on the day you hang out your shingle, it begins way before. Below is a checklist of tasks that as a beginning farmer (business person) are important to do before you plant that first seed!

Complete business plan

Marketing Plan

Production Plan

Financial Projections Analysis

Planning the direct farm business

Mail order/Internet site Farmer's market Roadside stand U-pick Agri-Tourism

Delivery service to homes, restaurants, schools, or other institution
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Secure operating capital

Farm Credit System

Commercial banks

Private Capital

Check on zoning regulations or by-laws that may impact your farm





Learn about land acquisition options that might be right for you





Select and establish your farm business entity


S Corp

Limited Liability Corp.

C Corp

Register your business with your municipality and/or with your state. Obtain business certificate


Obtain tax identification numbers for the farm business:

Tax I.D

Employer’s Tax

Sales Tax
Acquire necessary permits, licenses and certifications.




Purchase necessary insurance
Liability Property

Workers’ Compensation Other

Establish credit
Farm equipment supplier Farm Production supplier
Open business accounts
Savings Checking
Establish operating / policy manual
Job descriptions for family members and employees
Safety policy
Establish bookkeeping system
Accounting software Accounting & record journals Payroll service

Office materials supplier
Credit /Debit card
Operating procedures Business policies Develop your marketing plan

HELPFUL WEB SITES Starting a Business in Florida Business Planning: Business Operating Manual: Marketing Your Farm: Selecting Your Farm Entity: Financing Your Farm: Structuring Your Small Farm Business: Financing Your Farm: Finding Land: UF/IFAS Small Farms Web Site:
Please contact us with any additional questions 772-462-1660

Ed Skvarch [email protected] An Equal Opportunity Institution

Preparing to load PDF file. please wait...

0 of 0
Complete business plan Planning the direct farm business