Learn by Doing (aka Bootstrapping) – Jason

The worlds easiest startup business might be summer lawn care. Many teenagers get their first taste of entrepreneurship during their summer break. A simple lawn care business can be started for around $6,000, which is enough for a used truck, a lawn mower, a weed whacker, a few rakes, and some buckets.

When it comes to farming, it can be harder to find a good starting number for a farm investment. We recommend that you start with demand.

Your success depends in large part on your ability to match production to demand.

If you have the hustle, you can find a few customers who are willing to buy your crops.

Then its just a matter of growing the crops…

For example, a small hoophouse operation can be built for around $3,500:

  • ZipGrow 50 Pack – $2,873
  • 10 by 20 Hoophouse – $100 in PVC and Lumber
  • Irrigation equipment – $600

We provide a production estimates calculator to help you calculate what the production potential is for your operation. In this case, an investment of around $3,500 can build a very productive system.

Summary of Production Estimate ResultsSquare Feet of Growing Space180sq. ft.Number of ZipGrow Towers51towersProduction in Greens26towersProduction in Herbs25towersTotal Greens Production Per Week20lbs.Total Herbs Production Per Week20.8lbs.Total Greens Revenue Per Week ($3.50/lb wholesale pricing)$70Total Herbs Revenue Per Week ($1.50/oz wholesale pricing)$499.20Total Monthly Revenue$2,276.80

Just to be clear, this is a scenario that requires a 10 by 20 piece of land. Even accounting for 10% crop loss, we can generate over $2,000 in monthly sales.

The reason this is possible is because we are using modern vertical farming techniques to reach strong production numbers. We can grow a lot of food in very little space. We find that it is easy to grow more food than we can sell. The market for fresh herbs is especially profitable, so in this case we are looking for a market that is willing to buy 20 pounds of fresh herbs every week, at a wholesale price of $1.50 an ounce.

This is why marketing and sales are so critical. If you are planning on expanding or scaling up your farm, it will be worth your time to establish your farm right away, and begin engaging with potential customers.

Even if you start with a small hoophouse, and a handful of customers, the knowledge you gain will be invaluable.

Not only will you have better samples to give out to prospective customers, but you will get to know your crops, your pricing, and your customer service strategy.

When you approach an investor or bank lender, the most important thing you can do is demonstrate a successful farming record. This information can be the difference between a successful fundraising round and a dead end. It shows that you are organized, you are serious, and you know how to run a farm.