A thriving orchard can be a profitable business, but before you can enjoy that success, you need to make it through the challenges of running a new orchard. As with any agriculture business, there are plenty of pitfalls that can trip you up during the early days of orchard ownership. Being aware of the biggest challenges will help you prepare and implement effective strategies to navigate problems with confidence. Prepare your business for success during its first couple of years by learning about the common costly mistakes new orchard owners make.
Choosing a Poor Location
The location of your orchard heavily influences its success. While there are certain limitations you can’t avoid, such as land cost or availability, there are also plenty of factors that you should consider when comparing potential locations. Pay close attention to soil type, climate, and water access. Your proximity to local markets, customers, and transportation networks also plays a huge role in sales and revenue outcomes.
Make sure you look at the big picture before you commit to a location. This will help you find the best land possible while also making informed choices about resource availability, supply chain access, and so on.
Being Overly Ambitious With Sales Goals
Ambition is a good trait to have as an orchard owner, as is a positive attitude. But when it comes to sales and revenue, you also need to be realistic. Overestimating sales numbers is one of the most costly mistakes new orchard owners can make, as it can throw off all of your financial planning and lead to deficits that hinder your business.
Use data and analysis to make researched, grounded estimates for sales figures. Look at market trends, sales performance for local competitors, and other data to create your sales projections. It’s also important to revisit your sales goals often to update them based on current data, seasonal or weather fluctuations, changes in the market, and other ongoing factors.
Starting Without Capital
There are myriad things new orchard owners have to budget for, including land, tools and equipment, building or remodeling farm structures, hiring and paying employees, purchasing fruit trees, and more. In addition to these startup costs, you also have to think about ongoing expenses like utilities, equipment maintenance, pest control, product packaging, marketing, shipping, and transportation.
These needs can quickly drain your budget if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s important to analyze your business expenses and make sure you start your orchard with sufficient funding. In many cases, this means obtaining an agriculture loan.
Thankfully, Farm Plus Financial is here to help you obtain the capital you need to start off strong with your orchard. Our expert farm loan lenders know the ins and outs of getting the right loan for your business, as well as the unique circumstances and challenges you may face as an orchard owner. Work with our team today to secure the funding you need to navigate the early years of your business and find success with your orchard.