Are you about starting a sunflower farm? If YES, here is a complete sample sunflower farming business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE.
Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a sunflower farming business. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample sunflower farming business marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for sunflower farming businesses. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.
Why Start a Sunflower Farming Business?
Sunflower is not only one of the most important oil seed crops, it is also a major source of consumable vegetable oil in the world; it is considered premium oil when compared to other vegetable oils. Due to its health appeal, consumers are now turning to sunflower oil. Starting a sunflower farming business would require a cool climate for it to germinate and allow the seedlings to grow.
When the seedlings have reached a particular stage of development, they are then grown in warm weather to reach the flowering stage, and when it has matured, sunny and hot weather is required. Because the sunflower is a photo-sensitive crop, it can therefore be grown in any season, with the exception of freezing climates.
Another advantage to sunflower farming is that it can be grown in almost any kind of soil. This then means that it is fairly easy to grow sunflower as they pollinate without need for much insects, are drought resistant and not too prone to diseases.
Before starting a sunflower farm, there are however certain questions you will need to ask yourself such as, if you have the market for your harvested sunflower and if you have a large enough space with which to grow your sunflower.
Also, you would need to know the variety of sunflower you intend to grow, as each variety defines the end use; food ingredient or garnish, oil extraction or as a snack. Sunflower seeds are what is used to produce oil and are therefore valued much; asides that, the sunflower seeds are milled and then sold to the birdseed market.
While farming is a business that is labour intensive mixed when with mechanization, you will still have need for a business plan if you intend to make a success out of your business. While it might be intimidating for you to write a business plan, you have the option of hiring a business plan writer or going online to download a template and use as an aid in writing yours.
Below therefore is a sample sunflower farming business plan for you;
A Sample Sunflower Farming Business Plan Template
- Business Overview
The demand for sunflower oil by the Europeans caused a boom in United States acreage to over 5 million in the late 1970s. This high demand from Europe was caused by the inability of Russia to continue to supply the European market.
However, even though Europe still largely consumes sunflower oils, it now depends on its own production as sunflower seeds and oil exported from the United States have become quite small. The market for seeds globally is expected to exceed $130 billion by 2022 due to the increased acceptance of genetically modified seeds and also an increase in demand from a growing population.
The largest and fastest growing market globally and with a CAGR of over 11.8 percent is the Asia-Pacific. As at 2012, the production of the sunflower crop had risen to nearly 2.8 billion pounds with a value of $728 million from that of 2011.
The states where sunflowers are grown in the United States of America are North Dakota and South Dakota, Texas, Minnesota and Kansas. While North Dakota produces nearly half, South Dakota produces more than a quarter of the sunflower crop annually.
Both oil and non-oil sunflower seeds are produced in the United States of America. As at 2012, oil type sunflower seeds were valued at $603 million, while non-oil type was valued at $125 million. Globally in 2012, Ukraine produced the highest number of sunflower seeds, followed by Russia and then the European Union.
Sunflower Farming Business Plan – Executive Summary
Goldilocks Farm Inc is a renowned and leading sunflower farm business that is based in and will operate from Topeka – Kansas City here in the United States of America with the intention of selling sunflower seeds to various domestic and industrial customers. Our farm location is one that is very strategic and conspicuous and will allow customers to easily get to and access us.
Our intention is to generate as much revenue as we can and to do this, we intend to offer other services in addition to the sale of our different varieties of sunflower seeds (autumn beauty, the towering mammoth variety, the sunbeam and the teddy bear). The other ways by which we intend to generate revenue are offering training and consultancy services.
Our vision is to ensure that we are the preferred leading sunflower farm for all our various customers. Our intention is to become amongst the top 3 sunflower farms nationally in three years time and to enable us achieve this we have put several structures and strategies in place.
Ensuring that our sunflowers are farmed under the best conditions and are organic as possible is one top priority of ours especially as most Americans consume the oil produced from sunflower. This will also make us become the best sought after sunflower farm in the state.
One strong suit of ours is how we treat our customers which have led us to retain a high percentage of customers. Our customer service is top notch and is part of what has projected our brand positively in the industry.
We do not only have the best equipment available to help us ensure that we achieve all our farming goals, we also have the best professionals in place with a vast experience in the farming and specifically sunflower sector that will help ensure that we are able to achieve all our goals and objectives.
Ensuring that our employees are well paid and have the best welfare packages in the industry is very paramount to us because we intend for our employees to remain dedicated and committed to our cause.
Finally, Goldilocks Farm Inc is run and managed by Mr. Locks Michaels and his wife Gold Michaels. Mr. Locks has been a farmer all his life and was born in a ranch, his wife on the hand has been in several managerial positions in the food and agricultural industry. These two have more than 30 years experience combined in the sunflower farming sector and will bring forth that experience to help us achieve the set goals and objectives of our business.
- Our Products and Services
Our intention at Goldilocks Farm Inc is to ensure that we grow quality sunflower seeds of different varieties and sell them to our various customers for both consumption and industrial purposes as well as any other purpose.
However, because we intend to improve our revenue generation and also increase and solidify our bottom line, we will have multiple sources of income, as this will allow us also remain in business for a long time. We intend to make sure that we make as much profit as it is legally permissible under the laws of the United States of America and within our ambitions as a business.
Therefore the products and services from where we intend to generate revenue from at Goldilocks Farm Inc are;
- Supply of different varieties of sunflower seeds (autumn beauty, the towering mammoth variety, the sunbeam and the teddy bear) to birdseed markets, food industries and oil production companies
- Consultancy and advisory services
Our Vision Statement
Our vision is to ensure that we are the preferred leading sunflower farm for all our various customers. Our intention is to become amongst the top 3 sunflower farms nationally in three years time.
- Our Mission Statement
In order for us to achieve our goals and objectives, we intend to ensure that we get quality equipment and that we hire capable and experienced employees that understand the business thoroughly.
Our Business Structure
Our vision is to build a business that is not only profitable but is the preferred brand for most people in our target market and in order to achieve this, it is essential that we get our business structure right. We do not mind going the extra mile to ensure that we source for and hire only the best to come and help build our business and achieve our desired set goals and objectives.
Even as it is important that capital be generated for a business, it is more important that the right hands are employed so that the generated capital does not go to waste and become a loss to the company. We are first gathering the right people into our management team. These are people that have the right experience and drive that we need, and they also understand deeply the kind of industry we are in and know how to ensure that we become a force to be reckoned with nationally.
Because we do not intend to run a conventional sunflower farm, as we will be offering other services such as consultancy services and others, we will be hiring more than the normal staff in order to be able to run our sunflower farm business as professionally as we can.
Below therefore is the business structure that we intend to build for Goldilocks Farm Inc;
- Chief Executive Officer
- Farm Manager
- Human Resources Manager
- Purchasing Manager
- Administrative Manager
- Marketing Executives
- Customer Service Executives
- Truck Driver
- Security Guard
Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Officer
- Creates the necessary strategies and policies that will positively affect the growth of the farm
- Hires management team and delegates necessary tasks that fits their defined positions to them
- Sources for start-up capital and develops the overall budget for the farm
- In charge of ensuring that all is well at the farm
- Supervises the workers that work on the farm
- Ensures that the farm has the necessary tools and equipment needed
Human Resources Manager
- Sources for, interviews and hires capable and proficient employees on behalf of the farm
- In charge of employee welfare and training packages
- Conducts periodic performance appraisals on employees and rewards or punishes where appropriate
- Prepares the financial account, statements and information on behalf of the farm
- Monitors all cash inflow and outflow and ensures that all financial transactions are duly recorded
- Ensures that the farm implements are budgeted accordingly
- Sources for reliable suppliers of quality sunflower seeds on behalf of the farm
- Have several back-up suppliers of varied sunflower seeds
- Prepares the purchasing contract and ensures that it is to the benefit of the company
- Coordinates all members of the management team and ensures that they align with the vision of the company
- Ensures that all the administrative functions of the firm flows smoothly
- Makes decisions on behalf the chief executive officer when needed
- Conducts market research in order to determine new target markets for the farm
- Drafts effective marketing strategies that will generate more revenue for the farm
- Conduct physical marketing in order to gain customers for the farm
Customer Service Executives
- Answers inquiries, provides accurate information and also take orders from customers on behalf of the farm
- Remains aware of industry trends as well as company policies in order to ensure that customers get accurate information
- Keeps an updated but accurate customer database on behalf of the farm
- Ensures that supplies that are ordered for by customers gets to the right destination
- Supervises loading and offloading of products from the truck
- Remains responsible for the maintenance and overall condition of the truck
- Ensures the safety of the farm during and after working hours
- Prepares security activity logs and submits to the admin manager
- Passes necessary security tips and information to staff
- Ensures that the premises is kept clean before work begins
- Ensures that cleaning supplies are always in stock and replenishes depleted stock
- Carries out other duties as assigned by the human resources manager
Sunflower Farming Business Plan – SWOT Analysis
Even though we know that this is a great business to start, we have however hired the services of a reputable business consultant here in Topeka – Kansas City to look through our business concept and help us know if we are likely to thrive and survive in the business we intend going into and if we would be able to compete favorably against our competitors.
The business consultant will look through our business and use our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to determine our suitability to the sunflower farm business we intend going into. Therefore, the results from the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Goldilocks Farms Inc are;
There are several strengths that are to our advantage and this lies in the fact that we are offering several other services in addition to our core service that will help boost our revenue base while sustaining our business. The offering of various services will also enable us to attract as many customers to our business thereby allowing us to have a large share of the target market.
We also have the best business structure that has allowed us to employ experienced and capable hands that understand the business thoroughly to help us achieve our set goals and objectives. Our employees go through regular training and are also well paid, enabling them to be highly motivated and dedicated to our cause.
Our weakness lies in the fact that we are in a sunflower state and are therefore not the only sunflower farmers here in Topeka, and this will therefore make it more difficult for us to break into the market and get a huge share of the target market. Also, the fact that we are new means we are limited financially and also as regards our human resources especially when competing with large and already established sunflower farms.
The opportunities that are available to us in this industry are limitless especially with the various uses for sunflower seeds and its accompanying by-products. In order to shore up our revenue base, we therefore intend to seize every opportunity presented to us.
Every business faces threats and therefore the threats that we are likely to face are from pests attacking our crops, difficult climatic conditions, slowing demand from customers for sunflower products due to close substitutes and the arrival of new competitors into the industry and close to our particular location.
Sunflower Farming Business Plan – MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
Sunflowers are very tolerant of weather conditions and due to this can be planted in differing seasons, so as to reduce the risk of having your crops planted in just one season failing. Also to control diseases and weed infestation which comes from mono-cropping, farmers usually rotate them with other crops.
The variety of sunflower used for oilseed production is very lucrative. Sunflowers generally take between 80 to 115 days to grow in whatever conditions. The commercial price the sunflowers bring when being sold makes it a very lucrative farming business to go into. Sunflower oil when compared to other vegetable oil is considered premium.
In starting a sunflower farming business, there are recommended varieties that would allow for less mistakes during sales, such as the autumn beauty, the towering mammoth variety, the sunbeam and the teddy bear.
- Our Target Market
There are several groups of customers that depend on sunflower seeds to either produce their product or add to what they produce. Due to this, we cannot however restrict our target market to a certain group of people or companies without first conducting a thorough survey to enable us truly determine our target market.
The market survey we intend to conduct will also help us understand our potential and existing target market, what they expect from us and what we also expect from them in order to draft the right strategies that would allow us penetrate them.
We therefore are in business to engage in the wholesale and to a certain extent the retail of our sunflower products and services to the following groups of people;
- Grocery stores
- Food chains
- Restaurants and hotels
- Oil production Industries
- Birdseed markets
Our Competitive Advantage
Our intention as a business is to become the leading sunflower farm here in Topeka and to be the preferred brand for our target market. However, in order for us to achieve our set goals and objectives and be able to compete favorably against our competitors, we have put several competitive strategies in place.
Our major advantage is the fact that we offer several services and other products in addition to just selling sunflower seeds. This has allowed us to gain more customers and not only penetrate the market but also have a competitive advantage over our competitors.
Knowing how effective publicity strategies are, we have engaged the services of a reputable publicity consultant here in Topeka – Kansas City to help us draft effective publicity strategies that would allow us stand out, increase awareness for our business and give us the edge we need over our competitors.
We have built the right business structure that will allow us go the extra mile in hiring competent and capable hands to handle the various roles and responsibilities from the available positions here in our company. Our employees are not only capable but they are also highly experienced as well and will therefore ensure that we are able to start from being an unknown start-up to becoming one of the leading brands in the industry not only here in Topeka but around the United States of America as well.
Finally, in order to keep our employees dedicated and committed to our cause, we intend to ensure that not only are our employees well trained and work in an environment that is easily accessible and conducive but that they are well paid as well with their welfare packages better than what their counterparts in similar start-ups such as ours across the industry are getting.
Sunflower Farming Business Plan – SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
Goldilocks Farm Inc is an established and leading sunflower business that has been established with the aim of generating revenue and maximizing profit here in the seeds cum agricultural industry and we are going to ensure that we do all it takes to engage in a lot of services and sale of products to a wide range of customers.
Goldilocks Farm Inc therefore intends to generate income through the sales of the following products and services;
- Different varieties of sunflower seeds (autumn beauty, the towering mammoth variety, the sunbeam and the teddy bear) to birdseed markets, food industries and oil production companies
- Consultancy and advisory services
Sunflower has come to become a crop that is on demand due to its strong properties that has allowed for health conscious individuals to prefer its oil for consumption and also its seeds for other purposes.
Kansas City is known as the sunflower state and so this has made us to be well positioned in Topeka. Due to this, we are quite optimistic that we will not only meet our set target and generate enough revenue during our first six months of business but that we will also make enough profit to grow and sustain our business.
We have however carried out a critical examination of the sunflower cum seeds industry in order to correctly analyze our chances and have come up with the following sales forecast. The sales forecast comes from the information and data that we garnered from start-ups that were peculiar to ours here in Topeka – Kansas City.
Below therefore are the sales projection for Goldilocks Farm Inc that is based on several assumptions and data from our permanent location;
- First Fiscal Year-: $350,000
- Second Fiscal Year-: $700,000
- Third Fiscal Year-: $1,300,000
N.B: The above sales projection were done based on what is obtainable in the industry and based on certain assumptions such as that people will not turn to alternatives and that another sunflower farm will not start up close to ours within the above stated period. It should be noted should there be a change in the above assumptions either for good or bad, it will lead to an increase or decrease in our sales projections especially during the above stated period.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
The major way for any business to generate revenue for itself is through marketing. Marketing is a very important aspect of any growing or established business which is why every entrepreneur who is serious in growing a business should take it seriously by creating a separate budget to cater for its marketing needs. Knowing the importance of marketing is not enough, rather it is vital that the right marketing strategies are created in order for us to stand out and also compete favorably against our competitors not only here in Topeka but all over Kansas City as well.
In this regard, we will be conducting a market survey that is intended to allow us understand our market, the characteristics of those we intend to sell to as well as other relevant information that will allow us penetrate the available market and help us position our business to the level that will be suitable for us. We will be using detailed data and information from new and existing businesses in order to ensure that we stand out in the industry.
Due to how important marketing is, we have therefore resolved to engage the services of a reputable marketing and sales consultant who understands the industry thoroughly and knows the local environment quite well to help us draft marketing strategies that are timeless and effective and will serve our purposes of becoming one of the top leading brands in the industry.
We will also ensure that we empower our marketing team to help ensure that our marketing strategies are in line with our corporate sales goals and objectives. Asides from engaging in direct marketing and trying to get more clients for our business, our marketing team will also be empowered to review, modify or remove marketing strategies that are deemed ineffective for our business.
In summary, in order for our business to generate the revenue that we will need to grow, we will be adopting the following approaches at Goldilocks Farms Inc in order to sell our sunflowers;
- Ensure that we introduce our sunflower farming business to processing and extracting companies, food industries as well as other stakeholders in the industry
- Throw a huge party when launching our business in order to generate interest and create awareness about our business
- Empower our marketing team to engage in direct marketing and sales
- Ensure that our sunflower farm is listed in yellow pages and online directories
- Ensure that we place adverts on local newspapers and in food and agricultural related magazines as well as on radio and television stations
- Encourage our loyal customers to help refer our sunflower farm
Sunflower Farming Business Plan – Publicity and Advertising Strategy
Publicity is very important for every business either new or already existing and this is because of the advantage attached to publicity. While the sole aim of publicity is to generate awareness for a business, the advantage this generation of interest brings is that it also generates revenue for the business. Knowing the importance of publicity to our newly established sunflower farm business, we therefore intend to take it seriously.
In this regard, we have engaged the services of a business consultant that is vastly experienced in the agricultural sector here in Topeka – Kansas City to help us draft publicity strategies that will allow for our business to become well known and for the image of Goldilocks Farms Inc to be projected positively to our target market. The publicity and advertising strategies will also allow us to stand out and compete favorably against our competitors.
The platforms that we will then use to intensify the publicity and advertising strategies for Goldilocks Farm Inc here in Topeka – Kansas City are;
- Participate in and sponsor various local programs in the community where our farm is located
- Ensure that our bill boards are strategically located in locations all around Topeka – Kansas City
- Ensure that we place adverts in local newspapers and food and lifestyle magazines as well as on radio and television stations
- Distribute our handbills and paste fliers in strategic locations
- Use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to vigorously promote our sunflower farm
- Ensure that we create a well recognizable and distinct logo and have it emblazoned on our trucks and specific tee shirts for our workers
Our Pricing Strategy
Deciding the price for a product is very important as this is how your business will be sustained and if the right price is set, it will allow the business to boom in no time. Setting the right price on our sunflower end products will depend on several factors such as the variety of the sunflower, the purpose for which our client is getting the sunflower for, the amount paid for seedlings as well as for transporting the seeds to our farms, our running costs and overhead costs as well as what price rate our competitors are offering theirs.
Due however to the fact that we are relatively new and aim to attract the right amount of customers to our sunflower farm business, we will be offering a price discount on our sunflowers for at least the first three months of our operation. We have carried out a thorough evaluation of this strategy and have determined that even though we might experience a drop in revenue, there will be loss for us during this period.
- Payment Options
We intend to offer various services to our target market and because of this, we are aware of the diverse customers that we will be getting and therefore there is a need to create a diverse payment option which will be convenient for all our paying customers. In this regard, we have come up with several payment options.
The various payment options that will be made available to our clients are;
- Payment via cash
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment via Point of Sale (POS) Machine
- Payment via check
- Payment via online payment portal
- Payment via credit card
- Payment via bank transfer
The above payment options were deliberately chosen by our commercial bank on our behalf in order to aid smooth transactions for our customers and for our sunflower farm business as well.
- Start-Up Expenditure (Budget)
Our desire to run a standard and successful sunflower farm business has led us to break down our start-up capital carefully so as to capture important areas that would enable our business run without hitches. Therefore we expect to spend part of our start-up capital in purchasing a truck, buying a land, getting the crops we need, buying farming tools and also paying employees salaries and utility for a defined period of time.
The key areas where we therefore intend to spend our start-up capital on are;
- Registering our sunflower farm business here in the United States of America – $750
- Licenses and permits expenses from relevant regulatory authorities, inventory, accounting and customer software as well as other legal expenses – $1,250
- Cost for start-up inventory (sunflower seedlings) – $5,000
- Cost of Dehydrating machines – $10,000
- Cost for official distribution truck – $30,000
- Running costs for the first six months (employees’ salaries and other operational expenses) – $120,000
- Insurance coverage (general liability, workers’ compensation and equipment insurance) – $5,000
- Marketing and promotion expenses which includes grand opening and publicity for Goldilocks Farms – $6,000
- Cost of hiring a business consultant – $2,000
- Cost of getting farming equipment, tools and implements – $20,000
- Cost of buying a large expanse of land for planting and building a facility – $50,000
- Other start-up expenses (computer, printer, phones, furniture and stationery) – $8,000
- The cost of launching an official website – $500
- Cost for grand opening party – $5,000
- Miscellaneous – $10,000
From the above analysis, we would need the sum of $273,500 to be able to set up and successfully run a sunflower farm business here in Topeka – Kansas City. It should be noted that the above amount includes, paying the salaries of employees for at least 6 months, buying a land to plant sunflowers, buying the sunflower seeds, buying a truck, and getting the necessary farming tools and implements.
Generating Funding/Startup Capital for Goldilocks Farms Business
Goldilocks Farms Inc is sunflower farming business that is owned and run by Mr. Locks Michaels and his wife Gold Michaels. Mr. Locks has been a farmer all his life and was born in a ranch, his wife on the hand has been in several managerial positions in the food and agricultural industry.
The couple does not in any way intend to bring in external investors whilst sourcing for capital and will therefore limit sourcing for their capital to certain areas. Below therefore are the areas where we intend to source for capital to start our sunflower farm business;
- Getting part of start-up capital from personal savings
- Sourcing for soft loans from family members and friends
- Applying for agricultural grant
- Applying for loan from commercial bank
N.B: We were able to get the sum of $73,500 from our personal savings. We got $40,000 from close friends and family members. We applied for a $60,000 grant from our state agriculture board and won it last month and the money has been paid into our business account.
We applied for the sum of $100,000 from our commercial bank here in Topeka – Kansas City to be repaid in 10 years at 4% per annum. All the approving documents for the loan has been signed and we have been told that the money would be credited into our account by the end of the week.
Sunflower Farming Business Plan – Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
Our vision for Goldilocks Farm Inc is to run a business that is not only a successful and standard one but one that would last for a very long time and allow us to expand when we deem fit. In order for this to happen, we intend to ensure that we lay down plans to re-invest back into our growing business, ensure that we retain a certain number of our customers and also build a solid business structure for our business.
Because we intend to run a business that is not only solid but does not have to continually go out to seek for funds from external sources, we have laid down plans to ensure that our sunflower farm business retains a percentage of its earnings and then put it back into the business to build our bottom line and also ensure that the company is adequately sustained. Our accountant who is very experienced in such matters will see to it that we pay back our loan as at when due, while also maintaining our re-investment policy.
Knowing how valuable customers are to a business, we intend to ensure that we treat our customers with great care. We know that it is cheaper to retain your loyal customers who in the long run will help bring in more customers for our business than to keep attracting first time customers all the time. We have an excellent customer care policy that has been imbibed into all our employees and will ensure that all our loyal customers get incentives at certain times especially those that refer us to others.
Finally building the right business structure is very important to us. We know how important it is to get the right employees that will make sure that the business is able to attain all its goals and objectives and we are prepared to go the extra mile in ensuring we get the right employees.
Our employees are well trained and have the professional experience in line with their positions in the company. Our farm is also easily accessible and environmentally conducive for our employees. Also, our employees are the best paid employees in similar start-ups such as ours not only here in Kansas City but in neighboring states as well.
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Registration: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
- Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
- Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating capital from family members: Completed
- Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Graphic Designs and Printing of Marketing/Promotional Materials: In Progress
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
- Opening party/launching party planning: In Progress
- Establishing business relationship with vendors – wholesale suppliers/merchants: In Progress
- Purchase of trucks: Completed