Successful agribusiness can be born out of your dream, hobby, vision, passion or drive. Every human being has a dream, some of them from child hood. Until you do something about the dream, it will remain a mere dream and will never materialize. Agribusiness plan development is crucial for success. This is a document that supports an enterprise to plan growth, seek funding, and monitor performance over a period of time. An agribusiness plan is the road-map to success in farming business.
1. THE DREAM: Your dream is the most important thing for success. The dream shows where you are going and how you want your agribusiness to be in future. Write down the dream in details in order to remain clear and focused as you work on your agribusiness idea.
2. BE UNIQUE/ ORIGINAL: Your agribusiness must be a solution to an existing human problem or need, and not a mere imitation for it to succeed. Identify existing gaps to address, moreover every human problem is a business opportunity. This means business opportunities are as many as human problems.
3. EXPECT TOUGH TIMES: There are times when things get tough in every business and agribusiness is no exception. Focusing on the dream will keep you going when things are tough as you wait for better times. The dream will drive your passion and motivate you to persist and act to achieve it. Remain clear about your agribusiness idea and stay focused on achieving your dreams.
4. BREAK DOWN THE DREAM into manageable portions. Being overambitious will lead to frustration and discouragement. Write the steps for achieving your dream or short term goals. List down 5-10 things you need to do to realize the steps or objectives, which must be simple, measurable (Quantify to enable monitoring of progress) achievable within your resources and abilities, realistic and not out of this world, with timeframe or deadline for each objective.
5. TARGET CUSTOMERS: Find out who’ll be your target customers (e.g. households, hotels, processors, schools, hospitals etc. what product/ service they need and of what quality.
6. COMPETITORS: Find out who’ll be your competitors, their strengths and weaknesses. Take advantage of their weaknesses by providing what they are not offering the customer.
7. MARKETING PLAN: Write down the marketing plan for your dream agribusiness. Marketing is a fight to have your product or service as the preferred choice of your customers. How you carry out your marketing determines how far you will go in sales. The marketing plan is your master plan and it will be consulted more than any other document. The key items that you must include in your marketing plan are as follows:-
Simple market survey or research
a) Market research need not be complicated as it simply involves:-
b) Asking the right questions.
c) Getting information.
d) Making decisions based on the information.
Questions to address during market survey
e) What market am I targeting? Who will be my major customers? E.g. households, supermarkets, school children, people in estates etc.
f) What are the customer’s preferences or what are they looking for. What are their needs? Remember people will only buy what satisfies their existing need.
g) Is there any competition in the area for the product / service which I want to offer?
h) What are the strengths and weaknesses of competitors? Take advantage of the competitor’s weaknesses.
i) How much must I sell per month and at what price to break even and make profit?
j) Pricing-The price of your product or service should recover the cost of production and earn a profit. A profit of between 20%-50% can be earned depending on the purchasing power of your customers, the price of competitors, and the inflation rate.
k) Sale tactic-What will be your sale approach or tactic?
l) What will you do with spoiled products?
m) How will you advertise your product /service? e.g. through radio, internet, newspaper, word of mouth etc
n) How will you deliver the product / service to the customers? Bicycles, vehicles, internet or short message service can be used.
o) Market dynamics- the Market survey questions may change or require modification any time during implementation of the project.
8. PREPARE EXPECTED INCOME AND EXPENDITURE BUDGET for your agribusiness, and determine how long it will take to recover the capital invested.
9. FINANCE: Lastly decide how much you will need and where the money will come from.