There are over 14,000 organic certified farms in America. These range from large corporate businesses to small homestead farms that have a steady stream of revenue from local customers. They are all helping the environment by producing food and goods that are grown without releasing harmful chemicals into the atmosphere, and the soil. There is a big difference however in growing some delicious veg and running a successful business. Here are some great new technologies that can help you get off the ground professionally.
Taking payment from customers
Getting paid for your produce is extremely important – without these funds you are unable to continue to turn your smallholding or homestead farm into a viable business. At the start, you may find that the majority of your transactions are in cash, but if you are looking to expand your scales to the wider market, e-commerce is the way forward. Over half of Americans prefer to shop online, and that means being able to take ecommerce payments. Using basic BACs transfer and PayPal is adequate for small amounts, but in order to make payment as convenient as possible for customers, you should be able to take credit and debit card payments, as well as using digital payment systems. Payment tools such as Authorize and WePay is a good idea for this, and you can link payments straight to your accounting system for convenience.
Organise your accounts
Small business accounting software makes it far easier to keep track of your profit margins and expenses. When it comes to finances, you will also need this information to hand in order to complete your annual taxes. Many accounting software packages charge a monthly fee, normally between $10-15 per month, however this is a small price to pay in order to have all of your financial information accurately records and easy to understand. You can use your accounting software to raise invoices, analyze your expenses and make business projections for the coming year. Freshbooks, Xero, Quickbooks and Zoho Books are all good packages for up and coming small businesses.
Connect online with people that care
You don’t have to be selling your beautiful produce for less than it’s worth on your doorstep. Joining an online farmer’s market, such as Farmigo will bring your goods to a far wider customer base, and you can begin to develop your business reputation. You can connect with people that understand the importance of consuming organic fruits and vegetables, and the impact that it has, both on their health, and the environment. This kind of network is a real alternative to mainstream supermarket shopping. Social media is also a good way to help customers learn about your business, your ethics and passion when it comes to growing organic food.
Growing your own business selling healthy organic produce is easier when you take advantage of the software and technology that is available online. You can be organized and understand how best to manage your income and expenses. And most importantly, you can sell your fruits and vegetables to customers that want to shop in a way that is good for the environment.
Jennifer Holt is a freelance writer and mother of two, who loves nothing more than to play, “where has the cat hidden itself now.”