Adapting Your Farm Business Plans in Uncertain Times
You’re Going to Need a Different Marketing Plan Let’s take a break, turn off the radio, TV, smart phone, computer and email for 30 minutes everyday and think about what you need to do to sell your products and services. You should rethink your marketing plan and what skills you, your staff, business partners and family members need to achieve your goals reaching out to customers. Use your time wisely.
Internet Presence. Electronic emails, e-newsletter, websites, social media platforms are the many virtual ways farmers, agricultural producers, market managers can stay connected with customers. Be positive in your message. If you have products and services to offer, tell people your business is still open indicating your additional services such as curbside delivery, drive trough or curbside pick-up. At the very least make sure that your website is updated on regular basis. Online courses and publications for selling online, building your online presence include:
- Social Media Toolkit, Maryland Farmers Market Association
- NH Small Business Development Center, e-courses
- Ramp Up Your Online Ordering for Expanded Delivery or Curb-Side Pickup webinar recording, Penn State Extension
Online Sales Platforms. As you try to navigate the new normal, and your current marketing channels are changing, take advantage of online platforms to deliver your products to customers. Keep in mind, consumers remain excited about local food, and now more than ever are looking for fresh, healthy products to cook while they are forced to stay at home. Inclusion or exclusion of online platforms in this article does not equate endorsement, instead includes platforms most talked about during this time of increase demand for online marketing channels. We advise doing due diligence and evaluating each platform, or others not listed here, to find the one that complements your current business model and financial status. Here’s a non-exhaustive list:
- Local Food Marketplace
- Local Line
- Farm Fresh Food Box
- bMobile Route Software
Check with Your Insurance Company. What has changed with your agriculture business in the last few weeks? Curbside delivery or other services. Different activities that you are thinking undertaking in your agriculture business? . Contact your insurance provider and have that genuine conversation update.