How to develop your Agricultural Business Plan (part 1)

Dear Agripreneur,

We’re starting a “How to” series. The series, curated in conjunction with experts in the Agribusiness field, will see us develop content on various aspect of the Agricultural value chain. We hope this becomes an invaluable resource to Agripreneurs.

How to develop an Agricultural Business Plan.

Image source: Young farmer with laptop in field with cows. www.stockfresh.com

As with every endeavor, the starting point lies in developing a plan. Most Agribusiness ventures fail because the owners did not consider having a business plan when setting out. In creating or expanding your agricultural venture, you will need a plan. Agriculture business plans are a bit different from other business plans although they have so many similarities. The business plan, in a nutshell is what the organization hopes to accomplish and how it will accomplish it. Should you plan to seek for financing immediately or in the near future, or bid for a contract you will be required to present a business plan. Primarily the assignment of business consultants, we hope to simplify the process here so that you can develop one on your own and should you seek their services, you will also have a say in the overall development bearing in mind that it is your own plan. Most business plans take time to develop, except you are using a software. We are not going to hurry over this crucial aspect of your business development.

Before we proceed, we want to believe you have identified a market need/challenge and ready to come up with products that satisfy the need, at a price consumers are able and willing to pay and which returns a profit to you.

We also hope you are willing to be different from the competition, after all, you won’t be the only player in the sector.

Apart from the cover page, your Agricultural Business Plan will contain the following sections:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Mission Statement
  3. Business Description
  4. Operations Description
  5. Marketing plan
  6. Management plan
  7. Financial plan

Each of the sections contain critical business units which will be explained in detail. With financials, most business plan take up to 20 pages or more. Our advice is to keep it short and simple without losing the main points. Charts, Graphs add colour to your plan. Do make use of them where possible.

The Cover Page

This will contain the name of your business, contact information (contact person’s name, farm/office address, phone number, email address, company website (if available), date the plan was prepared, business logo (if available).

Executive Summary:

As the title implies, it is the summary of your business plan. Captured in not more than two pages, it is the last work to be done on your plan. Some investors will ask for the executive summary, thus it is developed to capture all the essential parts of the business plan. It should be appealing to want the reader go through the other pages if the whole business plan is presented. It should contain your mission statement, value proposition, a brief description of the business organisation or ownership, marketing strategy, business model, financials.

…to be continued