Are you about starting a farmers market and need to write a plan? If YES, here is a detailed sample farmers market business plan template & FREE feasibility report.
It can be truly challenging starting any business, but one business that you can start with little challenges and a wide market coverage is a farmers market. A farmers market is a business that deals with agricultural produce.
Farmers markets are a part of the agricultural industry value chain and they often share common values relating to conservation, sustainability, healthy food access, and supporting local farmers in getting good returns for their produce.
It is important to state that starting a farmers market business comes with its own fair share of challenges, but that does not rule out the fact that it is indeed a profitable business venture. An aspiring entrepreneur can either choose to start the business on a small scale dealing with a few farm produce from just a farming community or on a large scale depending on their financial status.
A Sample Farmers Market Business Plan Template
Table of Content
- 1. Industry Overview
- 2. Executive Summary
- 3. Our Products and Services
- 4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- 5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
- 6. SWOT Analysis
- 7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- 8. Our Target Market
- 9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- 10. Sales Forecast
- 11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
- 12. Our Pricing Strategy
- 13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
- 14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
1. Industry Overview
The Agribusiness industry includes businesses that directly engage in or directly benefit from the agricultural value chain. Businesses in this industry may produce agricultural commodities, buy agricultural produce or supply goods and services to farms and the agriculture industry. It is important to state the core aim of this industry is to focus on the food-supply chain from farmers to wholesalers and to retailers.
The Agribusiness industry is the combination of a wide variety of agricultural-based industries. These industries are either directly involved in the business of growing agricultural commodities, or directly benefit from these growers by buying from them or selling to them and that is where the farmers market business comes in.
A farmers’ market (or “farmers market” according to the AP stylebook) is a physical retail marketplace intended to sell foods directly by farmers to consumers. Farmers’ markets may be indoors or outdoors and typically consisting of booths, tables or stands where farmers sell their homegrown produce, live animals and plants, and sometimes prepared foods and beverages.
Farmers’ markets exist in many countries worldwide and reflect the local culture and economy. The size of the market may be just a few stalls or it may be as large as several city blocks. Due to their nature, they tend to be less rigidly regulated than retail produce shops.
The Agribusiness industry of which the farmers market line of business is subset of is indeed a very large industry and pretty much thriving in all parts of the world. Statistics has it that in the united states of America alone, there are about 2,752,324 licensed and registered standard Agribusiness companies (farmer markets inclusive) responsible for employing about 7,195,078 employees and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $2 trillion annually with an annual growth rate projected at 0.5 percent.
On the global stage, no player in this industry can boast of having a giant market share in this industry but Archer Daniels Midland Company and Cargill Inc. are the leaders in the United States of America. In recent time, large multinational companies are increasingly getting in on the agribusiness act. These corporations are encouraging vertical integration in the industry and are actively boosting the industry’s profitability as a whole.
The Agribusiness industry has experienced increasing interest in biofuel, strong growth in the number of free-trade agreements signed by the federal government and a rise in the prevalence of genetically modified seeds. These trends are forecast to continue over the next half a decade.
In a nutshell, the farmers market business is indeed a profitable business venture and it is open for any aspiring entrepreneur to come in and establish his or her business; you can choose to start on a small scale without a storage/warehouse or you can choose to start on a large scale with standard storage facilities / warehouse, large business network, dozens of distribution trucks/vans and strong online presence.
2. Executive Summary
West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC is a registered farmers market business that will be involved in creating a selling platform for farm produce. Our warehouse cum selling facility will be located close to one of the largest farming communities in Southlake – Texas. Southlake is a suburb in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metropolitan area.
We decided to start our farmers market in Texas because Texas has the most farms (240,000 farms) and the highest acreage in the United States. The state is ranked No. 1 for revenue generated from total livestock and livestock products.
It is ranked No. 2 for total agricultural revenue, behind California. At $7.4 billion or 56.7 percent of Texas’s annual agricultural cash receipts, beef cattle production represents the largest single segment of Texas agriculture. This is followed by cotton at $1.9 billion (14.6 percent), greenhouse/nursery at $1.5 billion (11.4 percent), broilers at $1.3 billion (10 percent), and dairy products at $947 million (7.3 percent).
We have been able to lease a warehouse / selling facility that is big enough for the kind of farmers market business we intend launching and the facility is centrally located in the heart of town with easy delivery network. West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC will deal in a wide range of farm produce from various farmers all across Southlake – Texas and neighboring cities.
We operate an outdoor facility typically consisting of booths, tables or stands where farmers sell their homegrown produce, live animals and plants, and sometimes prepared foods and beverages. We will work with farmers that cultivate farm produce such as soybean and corn, frozen foods, wheat, live plants, livestock, dairy products, fruit and vegetable amongst others.
We are aware that there are several markets all around Southlake – Texas that are also into farm produce retailing and wholesale, which is why we spent time and resources to conduct our feasibility studies and market survey so as to offer much more than our competitors will be offering.
We have robust farmers collection and distribution network; strong online presence and modern storage facilities and we are armed with the various payments options available in the United States.
West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC is a family business that is owned by Fred Nathan and his immediate family members. Fred Nathan a native of Southlake has a B.Sc. in Business Administration, with over 28 years of hands on experience in the agribusiness industry, working for some of the leading brands in the United States.
3. Our Products and Services
West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC is in the agribusiness industry and we will be involved in the sale of a wide range of farm produce from top farms in and around Southlake – Texas. We are in the agribusiness industry to make profits and we will ensure that we do all that is permitted by the law in the United States to achieve our business aim and objectives. Our products and services offerings are listed below;
- Operate an outdoor facility typically consisting of booths, tables or stands where farmers sell their homegrown produce, live animals and plants, and sometimes prepared foods and beverages.
- Aggregation: Compile products from different suppliers / farms to distribute through a single channel
- Distribution: Store products and transport them to the customer
- Marketing and sales: Find buyers, sell and advertise farm produce, and promote farms’ brand identities.
4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- Our vision is to become one of the leading brands in the farmers market line of business in the whole of Southlake – Texas.
- Our mission is to establish a farmers market business that will assist farmers in maximizing profits from their farm produce and to contribute to innovative distribution means that strengthen civic engagement by reducing the social distances between urban and rural communities.
- We want to help maintain important social ties, linking rural and urban populations and even close neighbors in mutually rewarding exchange.
Our Business Structure
Our intention of starting a farmers market business is to build a standard market in Southlake – Texas. We will ensure that we put the right structures in place that will support the kind of growth that we have in mind while setting up the business.
We will make sure that we hire people that are qualified, honest, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all our stakeholders. As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of ten years or more.
In view of that, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions that will be made available at West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC;
- Chief Executive Officer (Owner)
- Framers Market Manager/Promoter
- Information Technologist
- Customer Services Executive
5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Officer – CEO:
- Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results
- Creating, communicating, and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
- Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
- Responsible for providing direction for the business
- Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Evaluates the success of the organization
- Reports to the board
Framers Market Manager/Promoter:
- Manage farmers’ markets, ensuring that operations comply with laws and regulations.
- In charge of diverse roles, ranging from enlisting farmers to participate in the market and promoting the market to consumers, to hiring and managing staff, scheduling events, and handling correspondence and record- and bookkeeping.
- Ensures that the vending stalls are filled with farmers, so managers work closely with farmers. Set up contracts, vending sites, and schedules.
- Responsible for making sure the market operates in compliance with state law, health regulations, and association rules and regulations; overseeing the set-up, operation, cleanliness, and shutdown of the market; collecting payment from farmers at the end of each market day; updating business logs and reports, and making bank deposits; setting up and running a market information booth to address customers’ questions; and assisting in scheduling and hosting farmers’ market events.
- Hire staff and volunteers, and manage and oversee their work.
- Addressing questions and concerns while on-site at the market, but responding to consumers’ e-mails and phone calls when working in the office.
- Responsible for using space and mechanical handling equipment efficiently and making sure quality, budgetary targets and environmental objectives are met
- Responsible for advertising and marketing the market to attract consumers. He or she may create the ads and flyers, or hire an artist or graphic designer to create promotions for newspapers and magazines, as well as a Web designer to work on the market’s Web site. The manager/promoter also spreads word about the market by networking and build relationships with businesses located within the community where the farmers’ market is located.
- Responsible for producing regular reports and statistics on a daily, weekly and monthly basis
- In charge of overseeing the planned maintenance of vehicles, machinery and equipment.
- Manage the organization website
- In charge of coordinating the use of automated and computerized systems where necessary
- Handles ecommerce aspect of the business
- Responsible for installing and maintenance of computer software and hardware for the organization
- Manage the organization’s CCTV
- Handles any other technological and IT related duties.
- Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
- Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
- Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
- Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting
- Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
- Responsible for administering payrolls
- Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
- Handles all financial transactions for the organization
- Serves as internal auditor for the organization
Client Service Executive
- Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
- Through interaction with customers on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s services
- Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the organizations’ products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to customers when they make enquiries
6. SWOT Analysis
Our intention of starting out in Southlake is to test run the business for a period of 5 to 7 years to know if we will invest more money, expand the business and then open our farmers market in major farming communities/cities throughout the United States of America via franchising.
We are quite aware that there are several farmers market and even well – organized food hubs all over Southlake and even in the same location where we intend locating ours, which is why we are following the due process of establishing a business.
We know that if a proper SWOT analysis is conducted for our business, we will be able to position our business to maximize our strength, leverage on the opportunities that will be available to us, mitigate our risks and be equipped to confront our threats.
West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC employed the services of an expert HR and Business Analyst with bias in agribusiness industry to help us conduct a thorough SWOT analysis and to help us create a Business model that will help us achieve our business goals and objectives.
This is the summary of the SWOT analysis that was conducted for West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC;
Our location, the business model we will be operating on, wide range of farm produce from top farm brands and our excellent customer service culture will definitely count as a strong strength for West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC. So, also our management team are people who have what it takes to grow a business from startup to profitability with a record time.
A major weakness that may count against us is the fact that we are a new farmers market and we don’t have the financial capacity to compete with leaders in the industry for now.
The fact that we are going to be operating our business in Southlake – Texas which happens to be known as a Mecca of the nation’s overall agricultural production, provides us with unlimited opportunities to sell our farm produce to a large number of wholesale distributors and retailers cum businesses.
Evidence seems to show that overall prices at a typical farmers’ market are lower than prices at a Supermarket because the process of production is more concise; there is less distance to travel and fewer middlemen hence providing opportunities for us.
Some of the threats and challenges that we are likely going to face are global economic downturn that can impact negatively on household spending, bad weather cum natural disasters, unfavorable government policies and the arrival of a competitor (a new farmers market or even well – organized food hub) within same location where we have our farmers market.
7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
Current trend shows that in recent time, a wide range of organizations initiate, organize, and manage farmers’ markets, including farmers’ groups, community groups, local governments, etc.
So also, some markets are strictly managed, with rules for pricing, quality and vendor selection. Others are much more relaxed in their operations and vendor criteria. While the usual emphasis is on locally-grown food products, some farmers’ markets allow co-ops and purveyors, or allow farmers to purchase some products to resell.
There have been recent reports of fraud and products mislabeled as organic or locally grown when they are not. In some cases, fraudulent farmers’ markets sell regular Grocery Store vegetables, passing them off as organic or locally grown, to which are usually sold to unsuspecting tourists.
Lastly, some farmers’ markets have wholesale operations, sometimes limited to specific days or hours. One such wholesale farmers’ market is the South Carolina State Farmers Market, which is a major supplier of watermelons, cantaloupes, and peaches for produce buyers in the north-eastern US.
Farmers’ markets also may supply buyers from produce stands, restaurants, and garden stores with fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, seedlings and nursery stock, honey, and other agricultural products. Although this is on the decline in part due to the growth of chain stores that desire national distribution networks and cheap wholesales prices.
8. Our Target Market
The agribusiness industry has a wide range of customers; everybody on planet earth consume food. In view of that, we have positioned our farmers market business to service businesses in Southlake – Texas who deal in food cum farm produce. We have conducted our market research and we have ideas of what our target market would be expecting from us.
We are in business to operate an outdoor facility typically consisting of booths, tables or stands where farmers sell their homegrown produce, live animals and plants, and sometimes prepared foods and beverages to the following businesses;
- Hotels and restaurants
- Retailers of farm produce
- Grocery Stores
- Super Markets
- Wholesale Distributors of Farm Produce
A close study of the agribusiness industry cum farmers market line of business reveals that the market has become much more intensely competitive over the last decade. As a matter of fact, you have to be highly creative, customer centric and proactive if you must survive in this industry. We are aware of the stiff competition and we are prepared to compete favorably with other leading farmers market in and around Southlake – Texas.
One thing is certain, we will ensure that we have a wide range of farm produce and consumers at all times. One of our business goals is to make West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC a one stop farmers market business. Our excellent customer service culture, timely and reliable delivery services, online presence, and various payment options will serve as a competitive advantage for us.
Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our aims and objectives.
9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC will operate an outdoor facility typically consisting of booths, tables or stands where farmers will sell their homegrown produce, live animals and plants, and sometimes prepared foods and beverages in Southlake – Texas.
We are in the agribusiness industry to maximize profits and we are going to ensure that we achieve or business goals and objectives. We will generate income for the business by;
- Operating an outdoor facility typically consisting of booths, tables or stands where farmers sell their homegrown produce, live animals and plants, and sometimes prepared foods and beverages.
- Aggregation: Compile products from different suppliers / farms to distribute through a single channel
- Distribution: Store products and transport them to the customer
- Marketing and sales: Find buyers, sell and advertise farm produce, and promote farms’ brand identities.
10. Sales Forecast
One thing is certain when it comes to farmers market business, if your business is centrally positioned coupled with effective and reliable selling facility, robust farmers and consumers network, you will always attract customers cum sales.
We have been able to examine the agribusiness industry, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. Below are the sales projections for West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC, it is based on the location of our business and other factors as it relates to agribusiness industry in the United States;
- First Fiscal Year (FY1): $340,000
- Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $650,000
- Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $1 million
N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same business services and customer care services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
Before choosing a location for West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC, we conducted a thorough market survey and feasibility studies in order for us to penetrate the available market and become the preferred choice for farmers, consumers, wholesale distributors, retailers, grocery stores and supermarkets in and around Southlake – Texas.
We hired experts who have good understanding of the retailing and distribution industry to help us develop marketing strategies that will help us achieve our goal of winning a larger percentage of the available market in and around Southlake – Texas.
In summary, West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC will adopt the following sales and marketing approach to win customers over;
- Introduce our business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to farmers, households, farm produce cum food wholesale distributors, retailers, grocery stores, supermarkets and other key stake holders in and around Southlake – Texas
- Ensure that we have a wide range of farm produce from different farm brands within and outside Southlake – Texas at all times.
- Make use of attractive hand bills to create awareness business
- Position our signage/flexi banners at strategic places around Southlake – Texas
11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
Despite the fact that our farmers market business is well structured and located, we will still go ahead to intensify publicity for the business. We are going to explore all available means to promote the business.
West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC has a long-term plan of going into franchising all around the state of Texas and key cities throughout the United States which is why we will deliberately build our brand to be well accepted in Southlake before venturing out.
Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote and advertise West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC;
- Place adverts on community based newspapers, radio and TV stations.
- Encourage the use of word of mouth publicity from our loyal customers
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other platforms to promote our business.
- Ensure that our we position our banners and billboards in strategic positions all around Southlake – Texas
- Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas in and around our neighborhood
- Advertise our farmers market business in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site
- Brand all our official cars and distribution vans/trucks and ensure that all our staff members and management staff wear our branded shirt or cap at regular intervals.
12. Our Pricing Strategy
We will work towards ensuring that all the farm produce in our farmers market are retailed at highly competitive prices compared to what is obtainable in the United States of America. We will also ensure that farmers access fees and other charges for making use of our farmers market platform is a little bit below the average price in the industry.
- Payment Options
The payment policy adopted by West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.
Here are the payment options that West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC will make available to her clients;
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment with cash
- Payment via credit cards
- Payment via POS machines
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for farm produces purchase without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials.
13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
These are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital on;
- The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $3,300.
- Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
- The cost for hiring business consultant – $2,500.
- The cost for insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
- The cost for payment of rent for 12 month at $1.76 per square feet outdoor facility in the total amount of $105,600.
- The total cost for facility remodeling (construction of booths, tables or stands, racks and shelves) – $20,000.
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $60,000
- The cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs – $5,000
- The cost of launching a website – $600
- Miscellaneous – $10,000
We would need an estimate of $200,000 to successfully set up our farmers market business in Southlake – Texas.
Generating Funds/Startup Capital for West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC
West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC is a private business that is solely owned and financed by Fred Nathan and his immediate family members. They do not intend to welcome any external business partner which is why he has decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital to 3 major sources.
- Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings
- Source for soft loans from family members and friends
- Apply for loan from the bank
N.B: We have been able to generate about $100,000 (Personal savings $80,000 and soft loan from family members $20,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $100,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.
14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business, then it won’t be too long before the business closes shop.
One of our major goals of starting West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running.
We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to make our access fees below the industry average and to ensure that farmers retail their farm produce a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in other farmers markets and we are prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.
West Central Community® Farmers Market, LLC will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner.
As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.
- 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
- Leasing of outdoor facility and remodeling the facility, constructions of tables, booths and shelves et al: In Progress
- 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
- Printing of Promotional Materials: In Progress
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of CCTV: In progress
- Purchase of distribution vans: Completed
- 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
- Compilation of our list of farm produce that will be displayed in our farmers market: Completed
- Establishing business relationship with farmers and key stakeholders within and outside of Southlake – Texas: In Progress