Setting up a successful livestock farming business requires you to plan and develop a well thought out business plan. Whether you are rearing cattle for meat or dairy, ducks, goats or pigs, livestock farming can be a lucrative business idea. There are many factors that you need to consider when drafting your livestock business plan. These include the market, your finances and risks among other issues. In fact, a livestock business plan has the same components of any other business plan. The only difference is that your business plan is specifically tailored towards rearing animals.
Importance Of Planning
Developing a business plan for your livestock business is critical because it will help you work out how you can achieve your goals, anticipate risks and ways to reduce them as well as determine if there is any extra support that may be required. A business plan can also help you think about how you can make any adjustments or changes to your business model if the need arises.
Types of Livestock Business Plans
There are several kinds of livestock business plans that include:
- Cattle Fattening Business Plan
- Pig Farming Business Plan
- Rabbit Farming Business Plan
- Goat Farming Business Plan
- Dairy Farming Business Plan
- Sheep Farming Business Plan
- Beef Cattle Farming Business Plan
- Mixed Livestock Farming Business Plan
Vision Goals and Objectives
Just like any other business plan, a livestock farming business should have a clear vision, long term goals and short term goals in addition to your objectives. It is important therefore to think about where you want your livestock business to be in the next 5 years or so. Your long term and short term goals will assist you in mapping out what you need to do in order to get where you want to be. In addition, it is important that your goals are time bound, specific, measurable and realistic for you to have an effective business plan.
The next thing after writing out your vision and objectives is writing a summary of your current operations if you have been in the livestock business already. If this will be a start-up you can include information about the farm, where it is located and the amount of space which is available for the project. The information about the specific animals you want to rear should also be included in this section. Such information is necessary especially if you want to present the livestock business plan to investors for funding. You can also add a bit of information about your skills and experience as well the profiles of other business partners if there are any.
Overall Strategic Plan
This section has more detail and requires you to do a lot of research. The strategic plan talks about how you intend on achieving the goals and objectives of your livestock business plan. This section includes your operational plan, sales and marketing plan as well as your financial plan. An industry analysis is critical for you to develop an effective business strategy. You must also study the agricultural market in order to understand the market conditions in which you will operate. You must know who your major competitors are to know what you are up against. Market research is also essential to determine whether or not there are potential buyers for your product. Whether you specialise in rearing one specific animal or diversify your offerings you must know if there is a market for your produce. By studying the industry and agriculture market you can find out if your livestock business will be profitable or not. Also, you can determine earlier on whether you need to change course based on market conditions.
An Internal And External Analysis
After drafting your business strategy the next step would be to conduct an analysis where you can describe what your competitive advantage is and where your weakness lies. Consider doing a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats assessment (SWOT Analysis). That way you can assess what your strengths are and how you can leverage them. You can also determine how you can optimise on any opportunities that may be present in the market. Assessing your weaknesses and threats can also help you see areas which may need improvement. Conducting an internal business analysis will help you determine what you should focus on improving whilst an external business analysis will direct you towards opportunities that you can profit from as well as prepare you for any threats.
In Agriculture risks can make or break your business. There are many risks that farmers, including livestock farmers should always prepare for. These risks include production risks, price or market risks, financial risks, as well as personal risks to name a few. A risk analysis will help you prepare for events such as diseases that may negatively affect your livestock production. You should always budget for extra funds in the event that your costs increase due to emergencies, a sudden increase in operational costs or any other activity that can drain your budget. A lot of farmers do not take price risks into consideration when they draft their business plan. To avoid making losses you should plan for all kinds of scenarios when it comes to the selling price of your produce. Always have a contingency plan in the event that your produce sells below your expected average selling price in order to reduce or to avoid making losses. Other risks involved in livestock production that you must also consider include accidents with workers or health related issues that may reduce productivity at your farm.
Tips for Developing A Livestock Business Plan
When developing your livestock business plan or any other business plan in general do not be afraid of aiming high. Make use of the planning phase and consider various options and farming models. Also take time to break down each business plan section and think it through. Ensure that you allocate all the time you need since a lot of research needs to be done. Understand that developing a business plan is not a one time thing but an ongoing process. Make sure that you consider all your available resources and plan for extra support in case you need it. Take time to gather information from other successful livestock farmers for guidance too.