The way to humans’ hearts is through their stomachs! Food has been a basic and undeniable need in our lives since time immemorial which explains why the food industry has been one of the ancient industries. Food has been an indispensable part of our lives and that is what fuels the growth of the agricultural industry. This world without the primary sector would be a dismal place. Today, internet has added new dimensions to all the sectors and agribusiness is no longer untouched by this divine tech. Agribusiness has a good revenue potential on a standalone basis and marrying the online world with agribusiness can create synergies and bolster revenue. Taking your agribusiness online will not only ensure maximized and diversified sales but will also protect you from hassles like spoilage, inefficient demand etc. The advent of e-tailing has also developed a taste for online purchasing among customers which is why selling agriculture products online not only ensures the survival of your business but growth too.
Agribusiness and three main sectors
Agriculture business is famously known to be divided in the following three main categories:
- Production resources: It includes resources utilized in agribusiness like seed, energy, machinery, fertilizers, equipment etc.
- Facilitative services: It includes the additional activities that support agribusiness like marketing, packing, transportation, warehousing, insurance, credit, storage, processing etc.
- Agricultural commodities: It might vary from raw to processed commodities of food and fibre
Current trends in Agribusiness
- The bolstering population has sustained the growth in the demand for Agri products. As per a research, global food production needs to be increased 70% by 2050 to meet needs
- With the advent of start-ups and inventive technologies, creative ideas of initiating organic production in balconies and terraces have been translated into achievable realities
- Surge in the demand for high value fetching organic produce has been witnessed, coupled with people’s preference changing to sophisticated online stores
- E-commerce has gained prominence and entered into agribusiness too, in turn promoting home delivery grocery stores
Why selling agricultural products online is lucrative?
- It’s easy and economical to start
- It’s an effective way to communicate with masses and to increase the pool of your customers
- The Internet provides you with more leeway to add your personality to your content
- There’s no need for investing in massive HR costs
- There’s always an opportunity to upsell other services along with the main one
Steps to start an Online Agriculture Product selling business
Online agriculture product selling business seems remunerative. Also the nature of business is such that it seems sustainable on the face of it.
As much gainful as it looks, it cannot be denied the competition is massive. There’s an imperative need for you to be well versed with the rules and regulations that would affect your business. Thus, it is essential for you to have your baby steps in the right direction so that you can zero in on your agribusiness online, tap the potential and make money out of it. Following listed are the steps that can help you in starting your online agriculture product selling business:
Get the research done right
The foundation stone would be to decide how will your business work. Would you produce yourself or source from producers and then sell it further. For the first case, proper research is essential to equip you with knowledge regarding where to source the produce from economically and for the second case you should know well how to undertake the production in the most effective and efficient manner. In this case, you might also need to secure the land ownership and take care of allied issues like leasing agreements, farm boundaries, watering points etc. Comprehensive research with respect to other stakeholders is also essential for deciding the various dynamics of your business. For instance, research about distributors can help you in building relations with them, researching about competitors can help you weave ideas about where to differentiate your products and research about customers can guide you a long way for crafting your offers.
Choose your business model
If basis your research and experience, you already have an idea in your mind then consider going ahead with it. But if in case you’re a newbie and confused about which one to choose among the plethora of business models in agribusiness then you might want to consider doing some rock-solid homework on this. You might choose any one or more of the following business idea that suits you the most: Organic gardening, poultry farming, distribution of fertilizers, herb/ fruit/ vegetable farming, urban agriculture, nursery farming, florist business field crop farming, dairy farming, vermicompost organic fertilizer production and the list goes on. The choice will majorly depend on which agricultural products you are willing to sell. Considering the needs of your target segment will feed the input for this decision.
Workout the number crunching
A sound budget needs to be fixed before taking off the business. It is essential to ascertain short term and long term economic potential and feasibility beforehand. It is imperative to have a budgeted forecast of your financials ready. Proper accounting will help you gauge your financial performance on the go. Not only all this helps you in measuring your performance but also keeps you updated about the need for initial and recurring investments. Accordingly you can plan for loans and advances that are to be taken. Arranging the financials from reliable source is a crucial step.
Building the right army
The right army of people working in the right direction translates the desire for success into reality. How big would be your army would depend on the kind of business you’re getting into. So it is essential that you take into account the existing KSAs available, the KSAs required and hire people for required professional assistance.
Choose the right business name
After you’re done with the basics, you will have to get your business registered with the operational name of your choice. Make sure you choose an appropriate name that speaks volumes for the values you offer.
Getting appropriate licenses
Agribusiness is highly regulated so it is imperative to get the required formalities done in order to fetch the important licenses. You may seek professional assistance for ensuring proper execution of the paperwork and other formalities
Online agribusiness is the one that requires dealing with a lot of stakeholders and hence a lot of records will have to be created and maintained. Depending on the scale of business and technical expertise, you will have to take a call regarding whether to go for economical and easy to handle software or expensive and comprehensive accounting software.
Figure out how you will take the payments
With the advent of the internet, a lot of payment options have come into the picture. You will have to decide the mode of payment you’d go for. It could be either credit cards, PayPal, other e-wallets or only cash deliveries. Sometimes the mode of payment is a crucial point for turning your customers into repeat customers, hence make a smart choice. Also if in case you’re planning to have a website or app of your own, make sure you embed an efficient shopping cart software in your website or app.
Discounts can be a strong tool to attract customers but the quantum and frequency of discount is something that you will have to decide depending on the nature of your business and your target segment. Things become easy if before-hand you have clear plans regarding the deals along with associated frequencies, that you’re planning to provide
Choosing online space
Choose where you’d be like to see it. Whether it would be your own authentic website or a famous existing online marketplace or if you would like to tie up with famous online grocery stores. You can even choose to extend your presence to various social media apps for building customer relationships. Whatever you go for, make sure you furnish essential email ids or contact numbers where customers can seek personalized assistance if and when something goes wrong.
Lay down a sound business plan
A comprehensive plan is where your prep work ends and the real affair starts. This B-Plan would be your holy book. This B-plan would be for your assistance. You might as well want to come up with a marketing plan that would help you in communicating your business to your stakeholders.
Some handy tips
- Agribusiness is very well regulated so have proper knowledge about all the regulations, dos and don’ts before you get into this business
- Organic products are selling like hotcakes. You can either specialize in this category or have a separate section in your existing portfolio specially dedicated to this
- The timing for launch is very essential and hence it needs to be a well-thought-of strategic decision
- It is more convenient to start off with few products initially and later on adding others gradually
- A picture is worth a thousand words. So make sure you include lucrative pictures that effectively communicate the quality of your product and services as well
- Adding nutrition-wise and other relevant details for your products is not only a good tool to attract health-conscious customers but will also help in building a sense of trust among your customers
- Setting up agribusiness online not an easy and quick affair. So ensure that you’re prepared to be patient for your baby would gradually turn into a giant profitable face
If you are planning to commence an online agriculture product selling, then Yelo can be your ultimate confidant! Yelo can help you build an online market place, exclusively crafted for you and your customers that too without the encumbrances of coding and setup expenses. With the aid of its extensive range of features, Yelo will get you covered for various segments in your business plan.
Start your own online agriculture product selling business and unravel a plethora of opportunities!