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Urban Homestead Business Plan

Posts: 182
Location: Long Beach, CA
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Has anyone made a formal urban homestead business plan they could share with me. I'm interested in attracting funds to raise funds for a home rental and operational costs for an urban homestead. While I'm not a stranger to business plans, I'm a bit clueless on putting one together for a venture like this. How would you even get figures for a market and competitor analysis? I figured if someone else has put on together, it could serve as a guide for me.
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You might want to try to contact the Dervais
( think that is how it is spelled.) they have a very successful
urban farm in Pasadena, Ca. Try a youtube search on urban farm to find them.
They are making a living for their family off their urban farm.
By the way if you are able to get that business plan I would be interested
in sharing it.
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Beware of overly optimistic figures in business plans.

Sales such as that at the Pasadena, CA farm are known as "high end" sales and are in an area where Community Supported Agriculture is well known.

High end sales are such things as a chef from a locally famous restaurant dropping by for some fresh "X". Yes. It happens. After you've built a relationship and reputation. Sales will still be in commercial quantities with commercial sizing and bunching. The local chefs all want one thing: something FRESH, well packaged and labeled and immediately usable by them. Fresh high quality garlic? Fresh spices? Sure, but whether its chef or chef/owner he will approach it as a business transaction. Fast, simple, sufficient quantity for large numbers rather than a small dinner party. Most chefs value their already existing relationships so it will take time to develop new contacts. All chefs value a place that delivers when promised. Don't ever tell a chef 4:00pm and get there at 5:00pm. Chefs can not run restaurants like that.

A better "guide" for figures is the CSA data. Community Supported Agriculture can be families or small institutions that buy a share of a farm's forthcoming output. And its the packing and distribution time and costs that are important. Many farms distribute through off-site distribution centers such as a community center. This price data is more easily available and produces less rosy forecasts than just the "high end" sales data.

Your output is uncertain. Satisfaction with its quantity, timing and variety is uncertain. At least in certain areas of the country it helps to supply occasional recipe ideas for certain crops. Particularly for beets... you will find your customers often really don't know what to do with them. Long ago, food coops distributing to the urban poor always had various limitations signs when they opened, but when it came to closing time there was always a large sign proclaiming No Limits on Beets.

Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Living in Atlanta, you might be able to pull off something like what the Dervaes are doing in Pasadena

You might also want to check out Stacey Murphy's work http://farmyardbootcamp.com/become/ - I believe she has a business plan as part of her model.

Her model is fairly similar to SPIN farming .

Don has some very valid points about dealing with chefs - best to interview a bunch of chefs and see what their expectations are if that's going to be your main market. No use planting a bunch of things you can't sell. Plus you'll need those relationships to make your business plan viable.
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