Looking to turn your green thumb into a profitable business? There are many different ways you can enter the agricultural industry beyond becoming a farmer. An agricultural supply business is an alternative option that encompasses your skills and knowledge of the industry without the physical demands of the trade.
This business is responsible for providing the inputs needed for agricultural production. Since the industry has numerous subcategories including livestock and poultry, fruits and vegetables, cotton, wheat, grain, and dairy, each requires its own set of supplies and materials. This opens the door to many streams of possible income if you can cater to each farming type.
So, with your business mindset and hands-on experience, are you ready to start your search for an agricultural supply business? First, let’s review what you should be looking for when considering each business for sale.
What to know about the industry
When searching for the perfect business, it’s important to keep in mind the current and predicted market condition. The agricultural sector is currently flourishing; it grew by 4.6 percent, reaching a revenue of $17 billion this year alone.
With over two million farms operating in the U.S., the need for a one-stop shopping destination for supplies, tools, materials, and equipment is evident. Besides being considered one of the most abundant, varied, and productive agricultural systems globally, there are ample possibilities to run a thriving farming supply company in the United States.
What to look for in a business
The key to success will be fostering a positive client-supplier relationship. Farmers, AKA your customers, can purchase their supplies from practically anywhere including specialty stores and big-box retail chains. The reason they will choose you will likely be due to your reputation and personalized service common in small businesses.
Before selecting your business, read through some of their online reviews and speak to locals in the area, this will give you direct insights into the business’s current reputation. It will be much easier to run a business that already has a favorable consumer perception than having to tear down and rebuild one from scratch.
Who are your future customers? You want to know the quantity and quality of their current customers to better assess the health of the business.
- How many recurring customers do they have?
- At what frequency do they make a purchase?
- Which products do they usually add in the carts?
This information will help you better calculate potential earnings and realize income flow.
A transactional website
In today’s age, the majority of businesses are operating online, so already having a transactional website up and running is a clear advantage. This will save you from having to lay the groundwork, and instead, focus on growing your online presence.
With U.S. B2B ecommerce sales projected to hit $1.8 trillion by 2023, the option to shop online is becoming a must. Plus, being able to purchase your products online will allow you to reach and service a broader scope of potential customers.
Environmentally-friendly trends are only gaining momentum. With government regulations and consumer behaviors all in favor of green alternatives, it is important that the business you buy is already on board. Offering eco-friendly and sustainable products will be a must-have to cater to green customers.
What to look for in the area
Is this the only business in town, or will you be in a constant battle for your share of the pie? If the market is oversaturated, you may have to decrease prices or increase your marketing budget, which are less favorable options. It is crucial that you do research to determine how crowded the market is and how to make your business stand out.
Your customers work primarily outdoors. Being exposed to nature makes them dependent, as well as vulnerable, to external factors such as weather conditions. This will cause a significant difference in your product offerings; think about the different tools a farmer in Texas will need versus one in Florida. Become familiar with the lay of the land and the climate to better accommodate to your customers and predict their needs.
Each state will have its list of laws in regard to agricultural practices. Even though these regulations don’t directly speak to your business, they will impact your customers. You need to be aware of how the government supports farming through subsidies, as well as challenge it with stricter guidelines.
Buying an agricultural supply business doesn’t have to be a tedious task as long as you go into the buying process prepared. From analyzing the internal factors of a business to understanding how the external conditions will come into play, it is essential to fully understanding each businesses’ true potential. If you are ready to start your journey, browse through all the agricultural supply businesses currently on the market.