So we’ve been toying with Gillis Gardens for a few years now, and now it’s time to get serious.
Our first step in making our farm a viable business was to utilize the internet- this was in several ways-
1- I started this blog, two years ago, to see if I had the fortitude do something like this online, while expanding on with our homesteading adventures, even with full time jobs and a kid. Not only have we just gotten more committed to the farm, we’re using this blog as a serious business tool, and we’ve garnered enough interest in it to justify the cost of turning it into our very own website.
2- We also try to use social media to promote our business and our general mission statement. We are active on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. Some more so then others, but that’s the nature of social media.
3. Research – I am constantly scouring the web for any and all information I can gather – whether it be free ebooks, free ecourses, other blogs, .edu sites, etc. All of it is relevant. Knowledge is power.
The second thing we’ve been working on is contacting the USDA about programs they have available in our area that might work with what we’re trying to accomplish.
They have programs designed to help people break into organic farming, livestock rearing, perimeter and pasture fencing, irrigation systems, wood lot management, high tunnel systems, funding for starting orchards.. the list really goes on and on. So we’ve been reading all their neat pamphlets and have decided to give them a call and set up and appointment with our local USDA officer to see how they can help us.
This step requires a bit of work:
- Contacting an accountant and a lawyer
- registering as a business (both with our town and the state)
- filing for an employment identification number, (this is with the Feds)
- Opening a business checking account
- writing a business plan complete with mission and vision statements
- making certain we have all the proper licensing
- loan proposals – they have various funding available for different management practices.
We are at various stages of done, working on it and waiting for the right time on all these steps.
The third thing we’ve been looking at is how to sell, sell, sell.
We’ve already had an open door policy in our town for selling our extra jams, produce, pickles, eggs, whatever else is laying around for years. But it’s time to think BIG. We want to become the local go to for everything farm related eventually… but this takes a little bit of secrecy until we have actual product out.
But we’re getting there.
Until next time, have a wicked good day!