View Full Version : Business Plans

22nd March 2003, 16:58
With my move to Cornwall happening in the next few weeks, one of the conditions on planning permission is the submission of a business plan on what I will be doing on the farm to turn it into a business.

My Wife plans to manufacture food products, preserves, chutneys, cakes, etc. whilst I plan to make duck runs, hen-houses and the like, as well as maintaining the farm.

Additionally, my wife is learning the ABC of pottery making, my Aunt already has a kiln on the farm.

Also, we are planning to grow soft fruit and vegetables (the local garden centre has agreed the market the vegetables and fruit).

Finally, all of the animals on the farm can be handled and thought of allowing children (years 5 onwards) to visit the farm to learn about the farm and the local area.

What I am after is tips and hints on producing a business plan to incorporate the above, and if anyone has any examples it would be appreciated.

Just to give you an indication, there is a big market for Duck Houses, Hen Run, etc.

A Duck House with run will cost about £210. Materials and build time comes to approximately £40 giving a profit margin of some 400%.

Build and sell 10 a month and I will earn the same as my last permie role.

22nd March 2003, 17:37
Quick answer - with my accountant's hat on, for a change - is the same for any business. You have to demonstrate you know the detailed cost of each component, the market for each end product in terms of customer base and acceptable price and the fixed and variable operating costs - fixed ones like rent and loan repayments, variables like the roof falling off the cowshed or making sure you've got cover when one of the cuddly animals treads on a visitor's foot, (which includes making sure at least one of the available bodies on site has first-aid training - another cost item!).

As long as the resultant sums show a likliehood of a positive return over no more than three years, you should have no problems.

You should also demonstrate you're aware of any legislative requirements and have catered for required licences and insurances - especially if you're letting the public in.

Apart from that, bloody good luck - I hope it all works out.

22nd March 2003, 23:30

I can send you a skeleton BP, but you would have to fill in the text and numbers.

You will need to demonstrate that:

the idea is sound
the market exists
the competition is not too strong
you are implicated and committed
you understand the financial aspect
the risks are manageable

Good luck

23rd March 2003, 21:44
I sell monkeys. But your having a laugh! Right?

25th March 2003, 11:00
Look on www.clearlybusiness.co.uk. There is a BP section on there. Also, a recent copy of Personal Computer World had a free copy of Business Plan Pro on the CD/DVD.

25th March 2003, 12:08
Thanks for the input. I have managed to get Business Plan Pro 4 and am currently playing with that.

If it goes pear shaped, then MF may have a few more monkeys to sell.

Barn Owl
27th March 2003, 16:47

Have you considered building bird nesting boxes and bird tables to expand and diversify your product range? You could try selling them to garden centres.
(NB: > 1 million RSPB members and many more with an interest in ornithology)

You can also make animal products such as 'toad homes' out of clay.

Also, plug into the craft fairs in Cornwall / Devon it will give you another angle to market/sell your products.

Good Luck!

27th March 2003, 22:30
Hey Barn Owl,

Thanks for the suggestion, I hadn't thought of that but having repaired a few, I know how simple the construction is.

I've just had a flying visit to cornwall today as part of my move and the local garden centre is willing to sell the produce we make including the hen/duck/rabbit runs.

2nd April 2003, 01:57
Business plan software and information packs are available from most of the high-street banks.

www.directcareer.com (http://www.directcareer.com) - Effective Skills Marketing


6th April 2003, 14:21

Interesting idea, no problems with charging employees to find work?

1st May 2003, 15:08
Interesting idea, no problems with charging employees to find work?
>What do you mean?

1st May 2003, 16:32
There is a law (can't remember that details) that makes it illegal to charge people to help them find work (its why agencies charge companies for finding contractors by adding a markup).

2nd May 2003, 00:25

5th May 2003, 08:09
Someone else mentioned bird tables.

Dog kennels too?