A Simple Guide to Running a Profitable Homesteading Business
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Starting a homesteading business can be a great idea for those looking to earn an income sustainably. From selling eggs, homemade goods, and fruits to butchering, the possibilities are endless. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with the responsibilities even before you start, but don't let this hinder you from living your dream. Instead, consider the below ideas to move you from where you are to where you want to be.
Choose a Niche and Business Structure
The first step in starting a homesteading business is choosing a niche to focus on. You might decide to run a market garden or raise meat rabbits. Whatever you choose to do, it's important to research and ease into it. Jumping in without a plan and trying to do it all is the quickest path to burnout, so consider what assets you already have and the skills you need to learn, as well as do a thorough analysis of the local market.
You can then look at business structures and their benefits. For example, between a sole proprietorship and an LLC, the latter might be a better option if your operations are small because it limits your personal liability and offers tax benefits. Ensure you establish your business structure as early as possible, as this can have legal impacts later on.
Market Your Products
Knowing the market is crucial — you will compete with local grocery stores and other shops that may be selling the same products for less. Your family and friends may buy from you a few times, but unless they fit your customer profile, you should only rely on them for moral support. For consistent financial success, you need to profile your ideal customer to help you create an accurate profile of your audience and deliver the right marketing message.
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When starting a business, a good portion of whether you make it or not depends on marketing. You need to spread the word so people know you want to buy from you. Figure out how you will promote your venture, both online and off. Besides having social media profiles, it’s also a good idea to have a website and even an ecommerce storefront. Other ways to market your products and services are local newspaper ads, banners, and handing out business cards along with the produce.
Keep Things Organized
You'll need to figure out the logistics of operating a business, which takes planning and coordination. If you hire staff, make sure to iron out payroll, accounting, etc. Money matters in business, so set realistic financial goals for the company for the year, as well as in the next five years.
For many small businesses just getting started, payroll can be a huge source of stress and frustration. You need to be well-versed in payroll-related terms and processes. This includes collecting employee data and correctly classifying them, withholding and reporting taxes, calculating income and benefits, and, most importantly, disbursing pay in a timely manner. It definitely pays to invest in a platform that can handle all these — not only to comply with IRS regulations but also to keep your employees happy and loyal. Hiring an accountant or bookkeeper to do the work is also an alternative, albeit a costly one.
Making money from a homesteading business takes time and plenty of effort. However, if you know the practices that go into running a profitable homestead business, from setup to marketing to payroll and accounting, your homestead will be successful in no time.