Agribusiness is much more than just farming the land or producing animals. Many agribusinesses buy or sell their products directly to farmers, but other types of agribusinesses provide services that keep farmers in business. As you start any type of agribusiness, research your market so you can have a profitable agribusiness start-up.
Determine what products or services you are going to sell. Create a business plan that allows you to project the profits you intend to make over a number of years. Include in this plan any expenses from supplies, licenses, insurance and other operating costs. Figure in the costs of purchasing or leasing land for your agribusiness start-up as well as any buildings you need. Also include the costs of any equipment necessary in the operation of your farm business. From these expenses, determine how much money you might need to borrow to get your business started.
Seek financing from a bank or other lending institution that offers agribusiness loans. Use the information from your business plan to help you get the loan. If you have the capital to start the business without a bank loan, omit this step.
Acquire any business licenses you need to operate in your state from the Secretary of State’s office. Register the name of your business and apply for a tax number from the same office. If you plan to operate the business as a limited liability company or corporation, fill out the paperwork at the Secretary of State’s office as well. Fill out applications to operate your business inside city limits with the city clerk’s office.
Apply for any special licenses you may need at the state and federal level. For example, you may need a chemical applicator’s license if your business sprays weeds with herbicides. You might need special permits for disposing of farm wastes from the state’s department of natural resources.
Set up your business on the land you purchased or leased. Build or adapt existing buildings to suit the purposes of your business. Purchase the materials you plan to sell to your customers and stock shelves. Buy enough property and liability insurance to cover your assets.
Develop a marketing plan for your agribusiness start-up that clearly identifies you and your business with a brand or logo. Identify your market and ways you can reach your customers. Think long term as well as short term as you plan marketing strategies. Look for ways to advertise your brand that bring you the biggest return on your marketing dollar. Place ads in newspapers, radio and television, but also hang flyers on bulletin boards in places where potential customers do business. Hire someone to create a website for your agribusiness.
Hire employees. While no special training is necessary for most agribusiness employees, exceptions may exist. Hire people capable of carrying heavy loads if you are selling products sold in 50-lb. bags. Choose employees capable of passing tests necessary to obtain any special operator licensing, such as to operate a field sprayer.