Do you want to start a cattle farming business? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a cattle farming business with NO money and no experience plus a sample cattle farming business plan template. If you are interested in going into the animal farming business, then you should consider a cattle farm.
Cattle farming is perhaps one of the most lucrative animal farming businesses an entrepreneur can start, but that does not rule out the fact that it can sometimes be challenging especially if you don’t live around a farm community where you can easily build your cattle ranch. Beyond the general knowledge of rearing domestic animals, you would need to study the process of cattle farming if you want to become successful in the business.
In order to maximize profit with your cattle farming business, you would have to learn the process of helping your cattle though the birth process and then groom their young ones to maturity. Starting a cattle farm 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 a cattle farming business on a small scale or on a large scale depending on their financial status. Before launching this type of business, it will pay you to carry out your market research, economic and cost analysis, and of course feasibility studies. If you get things right before launching your cattle farming business, then it will not take you long before you break even and start smiling to the bank.
So, if you are serious about starting your own cattle farming business, all you need to do is to read this article and you will be well equipped.
18 Steps to Starting a Cattle Farming Business
Table of Content
- 2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- 3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- 4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- 5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- 9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- 10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- 11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- 12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- 13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- 14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- 15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- 16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- 17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
- 18. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
1. Understand the Industry
The agricultural industry of which livestock farming or better still cattle rearing is a subset of is no doubt among the leading industry in most countries of the world. It is the industry that produces food for the populace and raw materials for industries.
Because of the significant role the agricultural sector plays, the government of most countries ensure that they go all the way to subsidize seedlings, fertilizers, farm implements and machinery for farmers and also encourage entrepreneurs to go into various kinds of farming including cattle rearing business.
There are several business opportunities available in the agricultural industry and one good thing about the industry is that there is market for all the produce from the industry. Cattle rearing is of course a thriving and profitable business because of the usefulness of beef and other by-products from cattle. People eat beef, drink their milk and use their fur and skin. With cattle milk, cheese can be made along with other dairy products.
The Beef Cattle Farming industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in countries such as United States of America, Israel, Argentine, Holland, Egypt, China, Germany, Turkey and Nigeria et al. There is no single livestock farming company that has dominate market share in the industry; hence smaller cattle rearing businesses can successfully make profit.
Statistics has it that in the united states of America alone, there are about 38,184 registered and licensed livestock farming businesses responsible for employing about 62,463 and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $13 billion annually. The industry is projected to enjoy 3.1 percent annual growth.
If you are looking towards leveraging on the agriculture industry to generate huge income, then one of your best bet is to start cattle rearing business. The cattle rearing business is all about mass-breeding of cattle (cows, oxen, bulls, bullocks, steers, heifers and calf) for the sole aim of making profit.
Despite the fact that cattle farming business has been in existence since time immemorial, that does not in any way make the industry to be over saturated. The fact that there is always a ready market for meat makes the business ever green.
Over and above there are few barriers to entry into the livestock production industry. In the nearest future, players in this industry may face the highest costs associated with accessing technology, especially in relation to genetic modification engineering in livestock breeding.
So also, intellectual property rights protecting new inventions and technology may mean that new entrepreneurs coming into the industry will need to pay license fees and this of course will cause a tremendous increase in the startup fees for a livestock breeding/cattle rearing business.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who consume beef and milk are not restricted to a group of people. People of different races and cultures consume beef and milk hence the market for cattle farm produce is all encompassing.
So, if you are looking towards defining the demographics for your cattle farming business, then you should make it all encompassing. It should include households, hotels, restaurants, beef processing and packaging companies and businesses that rely on the supply of beef.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
Most cattle farmers tend to operate a general cattle farming business that involves every business activity that a standard cattle farming company is expected to offer. That is why it seem that there are no niche areas in the industry. But on the other hand, some cattle farming companies may decide to major in some key or niche areas such as;
- Boarding services
- Breeding services
- Dairy support services
- Livestock health services
- Farrier services
- Sale and export of cotton wool and other dairy products
- Sale of Cattle and milk
- Sale of processed meat
- Shearing services
- Livestock farming related consultancy and advisory services
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The level of competition in the cattle farms industry depends largely on the location of the business and of course the capacity of your cattle farm. If you can successfully add beef processing, packaging and milk production to your cattle farming business, you are likely going to experience little or no competition.
For instance, if you are the only cattle farm in your location that is into the sale of processed meat or that is into the sale and export of cotton wool and other dairy products, you can successfully monopolize the market for a long time before you start having competition.
It is important to also state that the competition in the cattle farms industry depends on the scale of your cattle farm. There are cattle farms in the United States that are competing with leading cattle farms around the world and there are cattle farms in the United States that can only compete at local levels.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
In every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time and have established their presence.
These are some of the leading cattle farm in the United States of America and in the globe;
- Brehm Limousin Cattle Farms
- Gramen Farm
- Capitol Land & Livestock
- Southwest Ranch & Farm Sales
- Daisy Farms
- Lucky Layla Farms Law Ranch Cattle Company
- Lucky T Farm
- Brunette Downs
- Huston-Ferguson Honey Farm
- Marion Downs
- Oxwood Farm
- Smiling Hill Farm
- Joseph Gallo Farms
- Farmer Cattle Company
- George Beggs III Cattle Co
- T & M Cattle Co
- Collier Farms
- Swenson Ranches
- Lavon Farms
When starting a cattle farming business, you just have to get your costing cum economic analysis right if your intention of building the business is to generate profit, grow the business and perhaps expand the business and start exporting processed and packaged beef within your country and other countries of the world.
When conducting costing and economic analysis for your cattle farming business, you just have to critically examine these key factors; access to the market, access to cheap labor and of course good climatic condition. As a matter of fact, you would have to continue to review these key factors at regular intervals while running your cattle farming business. As a cattle farm owner, you just have to have a proper grasp of your competitive landscape if indeed you want to maximize profit and be in the front-line of the industry.
It is important to note that medication/treatment and feed cost is one of the most important factors contributing to the overall cost of a cattle farm business and should be considered as a major factor when carrying out your costing and economic analysis.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
When it comes to starting a business of this nature, it will pay you to start from the scratch as against buying a franchise. Besides, from available research conducted, there are no known fully operational cattle farms in the United States of America that is into franchising; most players in this line of business are adopting strategies that will help them sell their cattle, beef, milk and wool beyond the city, state or country where their cattle farm is domicile to other parts of the world as against selling franchise.
Besides, it is easier to start and run a cattle farming business from scratch to profitability without leveraging on a known brand name. People will patronize your cattle, beef, milk and wool based on accessibility and pricing as against relying on a brand name.
Please note that most of the big and successful cattle farms around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own cattle farming business today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well-established cattle farms in your target market location. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market; concentrate on households, individuals and also small restaurants and hotels that need supply for beef and milk from cattle farms on a regular basis.
Some other threats and challenges that you are likely going to face are; global economic downturn that can impact negatively on household spending, bad weather cum natural disasters (draughts, epidemics), unfavorable government policies and the arrival of a competitor (cattle farm) within same location. There is hardly anything you can do as regards this threats and challenges other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for your good.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
When considering starting a standard cattle farming business, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow; some cattle farmers design their business and services for the regional market, while others for national and international market.
Generally, you have the option of either choosing a general partnership, limited liability company which is commonly called an LLC, or a sole proprietorship for your cattle farming business. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small scale cattle farming business especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital.
But people prefer limited liability Company for obvious reasons. As a matter of fact, if your intention is to grow the business and sell your cattle, beef, milk, wool and processed and packaged beef all across the United States of America, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
Generally, when it comes to Choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. If you are considering starting your own cattle farming business, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC
- Paul Livermore Cattle Farms Ltd
- Percy Jones & Sons Cattle Farms, LLC
- Gauze Hinds Cattle Farms, Inc.
- Joe McQueen Cattle Farms Ltd.
- Ray Thomas Cattle Farms, LLC
- Lewis Niles Cattle Farms Ltd.
- George Lopez Cattle Farms, Inc.
- Texas Brothers Cattle Farms, Inc.
- Golden Fence Cattle Ranch, Inc.
- Temple Cattle Farms, LLC.
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your cattle farming business.
Here is some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own cattle farming business in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Animal Mortality Insurance
- Farm Equipment and Auto Insurance
- Commercial Agribusiness Insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own cattle farming business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even production concepts especially in relation to genetic modification engineering in livestock breeding, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
You should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization. You are strongly encouraged to pursue professional certifications; it will go a long way to show your commitment towards the business.
These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own cattle farm business;
- P. Livestock Certification
- Rainforest Alliance Certified Cattle
- Livestock Production certificate
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be long before the long arm of the law catches up with you.
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own cattle farm in the United States of America;
- Business and liability insurance
- Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration for distribution trucks
- Appropriate driver’s licenses for drivers
- Assistant’s licenses for assistants
- Health inspection Certificate
- Proof of ownership, proper identification and vehicle license
- Tax Payer’s ID
- Fire certificate
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Employee’s Handbook
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Farm Partnership Agreement
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a standard cattle farming business can be capital intensive especially if you choose to launch a large cattle farm with the capacity to supply cattle, beef, milk and wool beyond your immediate community. Securing a large farm land, building a well-secured and conducive cattle ranch with the right fencing, purchase of the first set of cattle, purchasing livestock feed and cattle farming tools/equipment are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital, but if you choose to start the business on a small scale, you may not have the need to go source for funds to finance the business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your cattle farming business;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell of shares to interested investors
- Applying for Loan from your Bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from government, donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Starting a cattle farming business comes with its own challenges; it is a business that cannot be started in any location of your choice. As a matter of fact, you will not be allowed to start a cattle farming business in a residential estate in the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. The only location you can be allowed to start a cattle farm is a farm land designated for cattle farms and it is usually in the outskirt of town – countryside.
It is important to note that a business facility in a good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing/renting in your budget. If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for your cattle farm business, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor who has a full grasp of the city and perhaps country you intend starting your business.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your cattle farming business;
- The demography of the location
- The demand for beef, milk and wool in the location
- The purchasing power of the residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of cattle farms in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community/state
- Traffic, parking and security
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
When it comes to starting a standard cattle farm, you will need the following equipment/machines; milking machine and milk collector, milk storage tanks and containers, water trough/channel, fencing, shovel and rake, wheel barrow/cart. This equipment can be purchased as fairly used if your budget is minimal.
When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing a farm land for your cattle farm, the size of the cattle farm you want to own and your entire budget for the business should influence your choice. If you have enough capital to run a pretty large and well-equipped cattle farm, then you should consider the option of long lease or out rightly purchasing a farm land.
As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you would need to consider your finance before making such decision. When it comes to starting a standard cattle farm business on a large scale, you would need the services of the following professionals; Chief Operating Officer (you can occupy this position), General Farm Manager, Veterinary Doctor (optional because it can be contracted), Human Resources and Admin Manager, Accountant/Cashier, Sales and Marketing Executive, Field Employees, Cleaners and Security Guards.
Over and above, you would need a minimum of 15 to 20 key staff members to effectively run a medium scale but standard cattle farm. Please note that there will be times when you are expected to go out of your way to hire experts to help you handle some job function. If you are just starting out you may not have the financial capacity or required business structure to retain all the professionals that are expected to work with you which is why you should make plans to partner with vet clinics around you.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
When it comes to milk production in a cattle farm, the process is simple and straight forward; as a matter of fact, a cattle farm can successfully run on auto-pilot with little or no supervision from the owner.
Basically, when the cattle (female) are matured enough to produce milk, then a specific period of the day is chosen (usually in the morning) when the cattle will be milked. Once the milk is collected, they are stored in a neat container or directly supplied to a customer as requested.
When cattle farms with the capacity to run a standard business, have collected the required amount of milk for the day, they engage in processing and production of milk products like; cheese, dry, condensed and evaporated milk, creamery butter and yogurt et al and then they are supplied to the market or retailed from designated stores within the community.
So also, once the cattle are matured, they are butchered and then the beef are sold to buyers or they are transported to farm markets or to hotels and restaurants as requested. Wool are also collected and sold to textile companies. It is important to state that a cattle farm may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated cattle farming business process is not cast on stone.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
As a cattle farmer, you would have to prove that you have the capacity not only to manage a cattle farm, but also to supply beef, milk and wool in commercial quantities and on a consistent basis. So, if you have plans to start your own cattle farming business, it will pay you to first build your capacity before sourcing to supply beef and milk to larger hotels or food processing and packaging companies who require regular supply of beef and milk from cattle farms.
The fact that the entry barrier for starting a small scale cattle farming business is low means that there is bound to be more players in the industry no matter the location you choose to start yours. In essence, you must come up with creativity and innovation if you must carve out a market for yourself within the available market in your community, city, state or country.
Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your cattle farming business and its produce;
- Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to households, hotels, restaurants, food processing and manufacturing companies that make use of beef and milk, textile companies that make use of wool, groceries stores and related businesses in the United States (if you are just starting out, you may want to concentrate on star-ups and smaller businesses)
- Promptness in bidding for beef, milk and wool supply contracts
- Open your cattle farm with a party so as to capture the attention of residents who are your first targets
- Engage in roadshows in targeted communities from time to time to sell your beef, milk and wool
- Advertise your cattle farming business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your cattle farming business on yellow page ads (local directories)
- Leverage on the internet to promote your cattle farm
- Engage in direct marketing and sales
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)
- Leverage on the internet to promote your business
- Join local chambers of commerce and industry around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your products; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
- Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing for you.
17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
One key factor that will help you sell your beef, milk and wool at rock bottom prices is to purchase your cattle, cattle feeds, medications and other cattle farming tools and equipment directly from the manufacturers in pretty large quantities. The truth is that the higher the quantity of items that you purchase directly from the manufacturers, the cheaper you tend to get them.
Another strategy that will help you retail your beef, milk and wool at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum, channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products.
18. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If your intention of starting a cattle farming business is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand, by opening chains of cattle farms and franchising, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Your corporate identity has a lot to do when it comes to building a profitable and long lasting business.
Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your cattle farming business;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and health magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events/programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your products
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to create awareness of your cattle farm.
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- Contact households, hotels, restaurants, food processing and manufacturing companies that make use of beef and milk, textile companies that make use of wool, groceries stores and related businesses in the United States informing them about your business and the products you sell
- List your cattle farming business in local directories/yellow pages
- Advertise your cattle farming business in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
- Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your cattle farm is located.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and trucks/vans are well branded with your company logo.