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all the permies.com business plan threads and some templates  RSS feed

master steward
Posts: 4942
Location: Missoula, MT
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur purity
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I have some research to do.

There are LOADS of threads here on permies.com about business plans - what a bounty! I'm going to list them here, and hope to read through them more thoroughly soon.

Business Plans - started in April 2014 with actual business plans as attachments
Farming homestead business plan... - started May 2011 with 3 pages of conversations
Help me out, please...(homestead buisness plan) - started July 2012
Permaculture business plan templates - started January 2013
Permaculture business plan - started February 2011
Business Plan - started June 2011 in the great white north forum
Farm Income business plan help - started in March 2010
Homestead Income Streams and Self-Sufficiency Plan for goal: RETIREMENT - started December 2014

Has anyone else read through all the great info, ideas, and examples here, and if so, what was your favorite tip or idea?

I also found this compilation by Larry Kim:  Top 10 Business Plan Templates You Can Download Free!!!

Posts: 140
Location: 54 North BC Canada
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I have read thru most of them....some have some really good ideas....but unless you are "Gert", you will never make
an income just from starting up in permaculture.

Nowadays, people usually need to get a mortgage to buy their "dream" property.  This of course results in an outside
off-homestead job.

Because of this, forming a business plan seems like putting the cart before the horse  while paddling up a creek without
a paddle.

Developing residual streams of income, and maybe more importantly, finding out if they can live the homesteading life
style, seems to be a more important goal to begin with.

After all, it can take several years for a food forest and to guilds mature....and they are under constant attack until then.
Just look at the threads on how dealing with deer pressure., for example.....

There is a lot of ideas on residual streams of income that can be accomplished while being a wage slave and waiting for a
permaculture project to mature.  Just by raising your own vegetables, protein, and berries....then learning how to
preserve and can could save a family of four close to a $1000.00 dollars per month.  Protein as in quail eggs, rabbits,
and maybe a couple pigs to start....you don't really need the larger livestock or heavy investment for goats,cattle,or sheep
to start since they can be added later.

Developing one or more residual streams of income....and learning how to market the product [s].  First off, it will
show possible future investors/grant givers that you have some business and marketing abilities, along with a business plan.
The other thing is that you need to eliminate a mortgage.  If you are owing 100 grand, and between living frugally and
getting residual income you can save....say...1000 dollars a month....you can easily pay off that mortgage in 9 years instead
of 25-30.  Just arrange the terms of renewal so that you avoid penalties.....

Yeah...well...9 to 10 years to be mortgage-free....maybe another five years for the food forest to mature and produce
fruit and nuts that can be  sold.  Maybe that seems a long time in this world of instant everything and being able to get
information from Google in less than a 10th of a second,but in that 8 to 15 year period you have a fertile garden area--
depending on the climate--able to relay and succession-crop 2 or maybe 3 times a season.  One person has a hard time
taking care of more than one acre.  Relays, succession growing, silage tarps for weed control....makes a half-acre garden
produce as much as an acre-and-a-half to two acres.  There are people {SPIN farmers} making 20 thousand to
40 thousand a year just learning how to efficiently grow vegetables..and flowers...and finding marketing outlets.

Taking advantage of the income tax law regarding farmers.  Being from  Canada, I can't say too much about that.  A lot
of Americans use LLC's or something called....I think...section C......anyway....whatever it takes to keep the income tax down.

Bad enough you have to spend a dollar first before you get to expense 40 cents of it....not taking advantage of what you
legally can deduct just because you don't like "paperwork"....well...accountants aren't that expensive...and you will probably
need one to be in the background when you present your business plan.  Helps with credibility....

Will you ever get to throw away the lunch pail--or be able to finally ignore the years spent getting educated---and live off
the homestead as your sole source of income.  It is possible, but it takes time. You can plan for profit, or make a business
plan for either people.  Take your time to try to become independent.....or just get the grant or outside investors for a faster
result....just to have your every move scrutinized....process of trading one lunch pail for another.......choices......

Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 4942
Location: Missoula, MT
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur purity
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R, that sounds like a reasonable business plan to me, to get mortgage-free, develop residual income, and live off your own homestead food first - which could take years, understandably so - and then look at a homestead business model.

R Jay wrote:Because of this, forming a business plan seems like putting the cart before the horse  while paddling up a creek without
a paddle.

Hm, I think this might be the case some times, and for some business plans. And I think a lot of permies have already done the mortgage-free and get out of debt stuff.

Frankly, I'm still learning about business plans myself, despite helping small businesses with their accounting for over 30 years.

I think there is a way a business plan, similar to a budget or goal setting, could help steer one's decisions and actions in a more conscious direction. Plus, it gives an ordered format for review by a friend, mentor or advisor.

I'll never forget being about 22 years old, and a financial counselor helping me find things I had not included in my family budget - such as annual auto licensing, annual memberships, etc.  Plus, it also helped that she gave feedback on whether my budget seemed reasonable or not and had references to national averages for spending categories. I think having someone else look over one's business plan to provide reasonableness feedback on market, pricing, obstacles, etc. could be pivotal and important help. When we're too close to something, we don't always see pitfalls even if they are a gaping chasm in front of us (like that mortgage...).

Business plans are required for most business loans, though I don't think that's quite as applicable to a lot of permies. And yes, for loans, grants, etc. there is FAR more scrutiny and paperwork involved.

I popped back in to this thread because something came in to my inbox:  a webinar on a one-page business plan (register and more info link here). It's through SCORE, so it's free, and if I weren't preoccupied with other things I'd be interested in attending myself.

I've heard about SCORE over the years but have never taken advantage of their services.

These are not the droids you are looking for. Perhaps I can interest you in a tiny ad?
It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show
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