Friday, February 3, 2017

10 Tips To Market Your Small Farm

You've bought the seed, tilled the soil, watered and waited and the crop is ready to be picked. If you haven't lined up buyers already, here are some ideas to bring people to you.

1.) Sell direct from your farm:
Putting a small farm stand at the edge of your property is one way of getting your product easily to the public as they drive past. Make a cute sign that tells people what you're selling. Start smart and small.

2.) CSA: Community Supported Agriculture
If you're not currently offering shares for a CSA you should consider it. You specify how many shares you will grow in a year and then sell them to your customers. Then throughout the year as your harvesting things your customers get to pick up fresh produce or meat products weekly or monthly. This is a great way for people to help you out as you get started and also line up customers. Treat them well and they will come back year after year.

3.) Sell to restaurants:
This is a big step. You have a quality product, be proud of that. You have to be brave and go talk to them. How do you do that? Well, let's look at what they're looking for: quality and consistency. Here is an article that gives specific information on the specifics of supplying to restaurants.

4.) Farmers Markets:
Sell at your local farmers market. The people come to you. Find your local farmers market here 

5.) Be creative:
Tell your story. What makes you different from other farms and ranches? Tell people you meet about how you're different. Ask around and see who you can build relationships with. Ask for referrals, have a field party or a pig roast to get people to your farm stand and paying attention to what you're doing there. Once they're at your party get them to sign up for your CSA.

6.) Internet:
Broaden the range of people you can sell to by using the internet. You can easily create an online presence by having a website. There are many sites out there to do this. Create one with a shopping cart or use the shopping cart feature on farmbrite to sell your products online. Make it easy for people to find you and buy your items.

7.) Create a blog or vlog:
Customers love knowing about you and what you're passionate about. Do you love cows? Write about cows. Is your new found passion growing popcorn? Talk about that. Make these posts fun. Share your excitement about what you're doing and they will be excited too! or or even are great sites to look at.

If the written word isn't you thing, another option that's popular is starting a vlog (video blog). You can create a channel on YouTube and post videos there. Really you can post about anything but again it's your passion that's inspiring to the viewer and that's why they watch. You can be doing morning or evening farm chores, fixing fences or turning a bowl on a lathe. Then you get paid when people watch these videos because there are ads.

8.) Get your tweet on:
Social media is a another great way to get your name out to the public. You want it to be easy for people to learn about where you're located, what you grow and sell, and then how to contact you. Take a little time each day to post a tip, a photo, recipe or just a simple Hello. Some sites to think about, twitter, instagram, and of course facebook. There are other sites, there are more everyday, but keep it simple and just post to a few.

9.) Weekly emails and give-away's:
A weekly email sent out to your past customers is another way to interact with your customer base. Tell them what you're growing, what you're planning and get them involved.

Do you have some extra squash around? Why not have a contest. Who can refer the most people to your farmstand, website or facebook page? Here's an armload of squash for the winner.

10.) Word of mouth:
Talk with everybody you know and tell them what you do and why you're passionate about it! Proclaim it from the highest mountain. When you aren't selling yourself, who is? Then after all your friends understand how passionate you are about your business offer them a friend discount and ask them to refer their friends. This is one of the best ways to get new business.

Maybe you've already done most of these items, great job! If you are still looking for ways to market your farm keep doing what you're doing. The most important part is to keep going and not get discouraged. Keep talking to people and getting your name out there. Show the world how passionate you are about your work and it will reward you.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Reporting on your livestock - Livestock Reproduction Report

I wanted to take a moment to showcase one of our new reports that we recently released. The report I chose this week is the Livestock Reproduction Report

You can find this report on the Livestock tab. After you have entered your animals and their genealogy records you can use this report to look at which animals in your herd are producing and which ones aren't. Select a type of animal and a year range from the drop down list. The report will display each mother and how many offspring they produced during that year.

This will give you much more visibility into the fertility of your flock and which years were more productive, which part of your livestock was producing, and which ones weren't. 

Here is a screenshot of an example flock.

We hope that changes like this will make keeping these records easier for you and your business more efficient.

As always, we love hearing from you! Let us know what you think or how we can make this better.

Friday, January 20, 2017

January Software Updates

Happy New Year! 

We wanted to let you know about some exciting new changes happening at farmbrite. We've done a major update to the crop section of the software and added some reporting functionality to livestock. These changes have rolled out and are ready for you to give them a try. We hope you like them!

Updates to crop tracking:

  • Master Plant List - We've created a central place to list all your plants. Once you enter or set up your crops you can reuse them over seasons and across all your fields. This eliminates the need to reenter this information every year or for every field.
  • Adding Additional Plant Information: We have given you the ability to add additional information about your plants. This will help calculate specifics for ordering, planting, etc. Some of the new things you can now add are plant spacing, seeds per hole, planting dates, time to harvest and harvest dates. Once you enter these they automatically get saved on your master calendar. All of these numbers will help your farm or ranch operation be more efficient.

  • Ordering Seeds Just Got Easier: We've created a seed order estimator for you. Once you've created fields and your field layout plan in farmbrite it will automatically calculate the number of seeds you will need from the seed companies you've selected. We determine this by asking specifics like the number of seeds per hole, plants per linear foot, etc. We're hopeful this will save you some time as you plan your year.

  • Your Crop Layout Got a Face lift: We've made the crop layout area easier to use and changed a few things on the layout of the page.  You will also find the printable planting guide here.

  • Printable Planting Guide: We've added a printable planting guide for your convenience at planting time. Use this as you plant your seeds or seedlings in the field. You can quickly see the what, where and how of that days' planting. Also, there is a note section for any changes that need to be documented. 
  • Copy a Field: Now when you create a new field by pressing the copy button the two fields are linked. You can easily find the original field and any information or notes you stored there. 

Updates to livestock tracking: (Still in testing-to be released in the next few days)
  • Offspring report: You will be able to pull a report of all your livestock and track the amount of offspring they had. This will give you an overview of how your livestock are breeding. 
We hope these changes will help improve your efficiency and make 2017 your best year yet. As always, we love your feedback. If you have any ideas or feedback you'd like to give us please send us an email  HERE.

Friday, December 9, 2016

We have been busy making upgrades to our software. Many of these updates are features that our users have requested. Here are some of the new features that you might enjoy.

- Importing Information 

You now have the ability to import data from excel directly into farmbrite. Import past crops, equipment records, livestock and accounting information quickly and easily. We have put step-by-step instructions for the specific format needed to import data by the import buttons on each page (crops, livestock, equipment, and accounting). This change will help keep all your records in one place and help you do that more quickly than entering all that data piece by piece. 

- U.S. Tax Reporting - Schedule F 

Tax reporting will be easier for our U.S. users this year. We have put in more specific options as you enter the accounting data. This information will be categorized more specifically and as you print out a profit and loss statement the information will already be populated into the categories needed for the Schedule F at tax time in the U.S.

- Shopping Cart Shipping Slips

You will find the shipping slips will have more information available. We've given you more access to the information printed on your shipping slips from your shopping cart. Your logo now displays on the shipping slip and you are also able to alter the customer address and other information right from the order page. Just print out the slip once the order is filled and you can send it off to your customer or keep for your records. Just one less thing you have to worry about.

We love making the software easier to use and exactly what you need for your business. Look for more updates in 2017.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winterizing the bees

Winter is here! Like, today is officially the first day of winter. I guess that means I’m on vacation from farming. Let me just put my feet up…oh wait. We’re still taking care of the animals but I can put my feet up from gardening, I’m not growing anything this winter.

The one thing I really needed to get done was winterizing the bees. They are comfy and snug in their little box home under a large pine tree. I wrapped them up a few weeks ago but I’m just getting to posting this for your entertainment. December is a bit crazy in our house. Really, it’s probably crazy for everyone but we have a birthday thrown in for good measure. So, it gives us even more to celebrate.
Powered by Blogger.