You’ve decided to take the plunge and turn your homesteading hobby into a business. Congratulations! With some planning and elbow grease, you can make your dream a reality. The Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce is here to help you make smart decisions for your business; here are some steps you’ll need to consider as you get started:
Define your brand.
What do you want your business to be known for? What kind of products or services do you want to sell? Are you raising chickens or cattle, or will you specialize in selling butter or beeswax? Start by creating a mission statement for your business. This will be the foundation of everything else you do as you build your brand. Develop a clear idea of what you want your business to be, and you can begin working on your name, creating exciting visual aspects, and building a website that reflects your brand.
Know your audience.
Who are you selling to? What do they need or want? How can you reach them? These are important questions to answer as you start marketing your products or services. Once you know who your target market is, you can start developing marketing materials and strategies that speak directly to them.
Determine how to market your business.
After creating your branding package, you'll need to decide which marketing channels to use to promote your brand. Online marketing is crucial for any company these days, so be sure to create an attractive, easy-to-navigate website that showcases your products or services. Also, start building your presence on social media platforms. That said, don't overlook the benefits of traditional marketing like brochures, especially if much of your sales will rely on the local market. One way to create an attractive and professional-looking brochure is to use an online tool that allows you to edit and insert pages to a PDF. This will allow you to include all the information you want, including photos of your products.
Choose a legal structure.
Forming an S Corp for your homesteading business can provide many benefits, including limited liability protection and tax advantages. Plus, a corporation is ideal if you plan to attract outside investors or hire employees to scale your business. You can quickly and easily form an Oregon S Corp by using an online formation service. These services allow you to complete the process online in a matter of minutes, and they often offer helpful resources like templates and checklists. They can also save you time and stress, which is essential when you're starting a new business.
The old adage “time is money” has never been more true than when you’re running a company. You’ll need to wear many different hats as a business owner, so it’s crucial to stay organized and efficient with your time.Create systems and routines that will help keep things running smoothly. Delegate tasks whenever possible so that you can focus on the most important aspects of running your business.
There will always be distractions when you’re working from home — the laundry needs to be done, the dishes are piling up in the sink, etc. It can be hard to stay focused on work when there are so many other things vying for your attention. One way to combat this is to set regular office hours for yourself and stick to them as much as possible. Let family and friends know when these hours are so they can respect your time and space while you’re working.
Turning your homesteading hobby into a successful business takes time, effort, and dedication — but it can be an excellent way to boost your income. By taking the time to develop a strong brand, utilize online tools, define your target market, form the right business entity, and implement the other tips above, you’ll be well on your way to turning your homesteading dreams into reality. Here's to living (and profiting) off the land!
Let the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce assist you with the best possible small business resources as you begin building your homesteading venture.