You have to answer this question: What need are you satisfying?
You gave a summary of how your agricultural business is going to function in your executive summary. The business description section is where you get into further detail on how your business will function. We are starting to get into the nitty-gritty.
It is good to go into as much detail as possible, at least for yourself. This will help you start to map out your financials, which we will cover in a future section. If you have a firm grasp of all the aspects of your business you will be able to see and/or predict where your costs are and where you should invest (or stop investing) your time and money.
Detailing all the aspects of your business will help you answer the question of why your business is necessary.
Information To Include In Your Farm Business Description
Who is part of your farm operation?
Are you operating alone? Is your whole family in this adventure? Do you have workers? Volunteers?
How will these people be involved in the business?
What experience do they bring to the table?
What is your agricultural business?
This section is pretty involved. You may want to include:
What product will you be providing? Are you growing your product, adding value to a product, or both? Do you have agritourism on your farm?
Will you delivering your farm products to your customers or will they be picking it up on the farm?
What is the business history? Are you just starting, or have you been in operation for a number of years?
Where is your farm?
Do you have land to use? Do you own it?
This section got complicated for me. I am raising chickens on one piece of land, raising herbs on another piece of land, and selling them on another farm. I had to balance a few places and it was good for me to get it all down on paper.
It may be easier for you if you are doing everything on farm. You should also include where you selling your products, not just where you are producing them.
Why is you farm a good idea?
There is nothing worse than investing all of your savings and all of your time in a business that will not succeed. Just because you think there is a market need, doesn’t always mean there is one. This is where thorough research is absolutely vital.
Detailing your business in the business description section will help you to decide whether this is a good idea or not. Remember, money saved is money earned. Whether you are starting a farm or growing it, keep your cash in hand until you are absolutely certain that this is a good idea.
The pisser is that there are times where you can only be SO certain, and you are going to have to take your best guess. That’s why not everyone goes into business. You have to be comfortable with guessing and gambling.
What is the time line for your farm?
Finally we get to your farm timeline. If you have been in operation for a few years give a summary of where your farm has been. Once you catch up to the present, detail what you plan to do this year, and then project out 5, 10, and even 20 years.
It helped me to start at 20 years and work back from there. I didn’t write how many tractors I had, or how many chickens I would be raising that year. That would be too detailed, and how are you really going to know?
I started with my goals like, owning a financially viable business, supporting my family, being a steward of the land, raising healthy food, managing a workers to do the tough jobs while I over-see the whole operation, etc… Writing down this picture gives me an idea of the picture that I want to paint.
I then ask myself, “What type of business do I have to create to get there?” Then I create a timeline that will (hopefully) lead to a financially viable business that is good for the people and the earth, without requiring my old and tired body to do all of the grunt work.