12+ Things A Beginner Needs To Know When Starting a Homestead Business

There are tons of posts out there that give you a huge list of income ideas to help you know how to make money homesteading. And that’s all fine and dandy…

Buuut that’s not enough. To have a successful homestead that makes money you have to take it to the next level. You have to treat it like a business and make choices accordingly.

Trust me I would loooove to have all the money in the world and keep every single animal that tickles my fancy but that is just not possible. It is very likely that you have so many ideas you feel like you have a fire under your butt bigger than Texas. You don’t need me to throw more fuel on the fire.

I want to walk you through the key things you have to do in order to turn your ideas into reality.

So if you are ready to learn how to make money on your homestead. Let’s get to it shall we?

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Who Is Your Target Customer And What Would They Want To Buy

Your target customer is a specific person who is most likely to be interested in and purchase your homestead products or services. 

Understanding your target customer is key for the success of your homestead business.

This is a two-fold point but you need to make sure you are using the right words to sell what you offer.

And second, you need to make sure that the people who will come to buy what you have actually want what it is. I know I know this sounds confusing. Hang with me.

Use The Right Words To Tell Them What You Offer

You might be surprised how different two people will say or search for the exact same thing. It’s kind of like the whole pop or soda argument. Its the same thing but different types of people search for different things.

The key is knowing how people are looking for that thing you want to raise and promote it in that same way.

Make Sure They REALLY Want What You Are Planning To Sell

You also need to make sure that people ACTUALLY want what you have to offer. If you live in an area like I do where you will find chickens on every other property between here and town. Raising chickens to sell eggs isn’t the best business move. But if you live close to a city that gets a lot of traffic from people going to hand from work. You will be better off.

To get more detailed info about this topic make sure to read – How To Find Your Ideal Customer And Go Deep On What Matters

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Basic Demographics Matter (a little) To Get You Started

To choose a target customer, consider their characteristics such as gender, age, location, occupation, shopping preferences, and hobbies.

For example, if your homestead business offers organic skincare products, your target customer may be women aged 35-40, living in urban areas, with a higher education level, who prioritize natural and sustainable products.

But then we have psychographic which is even more important…..

Psychographics of your customer is how they think. — Things like attitudes, beliefs, interests, and lifestyle choices.

This is more important than demographics because this is how people buy. They use their emotions to make desitions on what they purchase. 

This takes time to figure out and you will fine-tune them over time. 

Start with what you know or what you think is true and pay attention to the people you start to attract. Do you like the results you are getting? If not what needs to change to start reaching the person you want to reach?

small homestead office on a rustic table

How To Find Out Who Your Customer Is

Research the online and in-person places where your ideal customer hangs out. This could include social media platforms, forums and groups related to homesteading, sustainable living expos, or farmers markets.

By understanding their preferred channels, you can effectively reach and engage with your target customer.

Don’t Choose A Customer That Is Broke

I see this all the time and it can be hard to understand sometimes. But if your target customer is a tightwad they aren’t going to buy your beautifully presented raw milk in a mason jar. Or you will constantly be dealing with people trying to talk you down in price.

Lastly, ensure that your target customer has the financial means to purchase your products or services. Analyze their income level, spending habits, and priorities to determine if they can afford what you offer.

By thoroughly understanding your target customer, you can create effective marketing strategies and develop products or services that meet their specific needs and desires. This will increase the likelihood of attracting and retaining customers for your homestead business.

Is Your Target Customer Willing To Spend The Money To Buy What You Want To Sell?

To determine if your target customer is willing to spend the money to buy what you want to sell, it is essential to consider their demographics and buying habits.

Start by identifying the age, location, occupation, and education level of your target customer. These demographic characteristics will provide insights into their financial capacity and purchasing power.

This can be difficult and often requires you to read between the lines of what you see online or how you see different stores marketing products.

How To Research What People Are Willing To Buy

Look at the difference between Kroger “healthy foods” and Whole Foods. Walk the aisle and see the different products on the shelves. What products are front and center? What words are on the labels in big bold letters?

Pay attention to social media accounts and what people are talking about. What are they willing to spend their money on. It takes a little time and some digging but will pay off in dividends later.

Consider the price range of similar products or services in the market and how your offerings line up within the industry.

Assess whether your target customer is accustomed to spending within this range and if they are willing to pay for the specific value proposition you provide. For me, something like soy or hand-poured on a candle doesn’t sell me. I LOVE CANDLES!!! But I just don’t care about those things. 

I want to know if the scent lasts a long time and if can I smell the candle across the room.

Make Sure That Your Homestead Business Is Registered

After doing the initial research into potential audiences and products, you’ll probably want to run full steam ahead. Woah! Hold off for just a little sec.

Before doing anything else, you will should register your business and make sure that it is permitted to operate depending on the type of business you choose to run. Things like producing food for human consumption as well as hiring employees(if you choose to do so) are just a few things that do require certain permits depending on where you live.

Protect Yourself

In addition to officially launching the homestead business, it’s a good idea to protect it. Prevention is the best form of protection, which is why you should start right away.

Before entering agreements regarding livestock, you should partner with the right experts. Equine Legal Solutions can support you with purchase and sale agreements, tax planning, litigation, and more. Overlooking this would be very naive and potentially very costly especially if you were planning on boarding other people’s animals or helping train them etc…

Other forms of protection include business insurance and security features to protect your personal properties. Putting these foundations in place before moving on will create a smoother path to homesteading success.

Create Multiple Income Streams For Your Homestead Business STRATEGICALLY

One of the key factors in building a profitable homestead business is to create multiple income streams. By diversifying your offerings and utilizing various projects and products under one umbrella, you can maximize your revenue potential and ensure a sustainable financial future.

One way to create multiple income streams is by focusing on different stages or variations of your main product.

For example, if you have a homestead farm that primarily produces raw milk, you can also explore opportunities to sell other dairy products like cheese or yogurt. This allows you to target different customer preferences and expand your customer base.

Don’t Add Too Many Income Streams Until You Are Operating Well With The First Income Stream

Now I don’t mean something that is so different from what you are already doing it feels like a whole other business. No, no, keep them similar or even in the same niche.

Once you feel comfortable with the one stream of income and you don’t feel like you have to push too hard to keep up with it. You can add another stream of income. (This took me at least 8 years before I added more income streams with my rabbits)

Here is a few examples:

  • Angora rabbits: You can raise the babies and sell those. You can shear your angoras and turn their wool into yarn. What about crocheting that yarn and turning it into another product.
  • Goats: You could raise the kids and sell those, use the milk to make cheese or beauty products. You could even sell the milk to people who need milk for animals that have lost their moms or need hand feeding.

Are you picking up what I’m putting down? When you choose other income streams within the same niche it makes marketing and selling a whole lot easier.

Choosing Your First Income Stream

When deciding on your first income stream, it is important to consider profit margins. 

Profit margins is the gap between your total expenses and the total amount you get in hand after selling the product. 

If you sell a goat for $200 and your cost is $75 to raise it until you can sell it. Your profit margin is $125. Make sense? 

But keep in mind homesteading is more expensive than just that one product’s expenses. You need to remember how much keeping the doe and buck are alongside the cost of the goat kid. Make sense?

Look for opportunities within your homestead that have the highest profit potential and high profit margins. That should be the income stream you start with in order to have a profitable business.

For example, if you have a homestead farm, selling farm-fresh eggs or artisanal cheese can be lucrative options with high demand in farmers’ markets or local communities.

Why Should Someone Buy Your Product Over Someone Else’s

When considering why someone should choose to buy your product over someone else’s, it is important to understand the difference between features and benefits.

Features refer to the characteristics and attributes of your product, such as high quality, organic ingredients, sustainable practices, or personalized customer service.

While these features are important, it is the benefits that truly differentiate your product and get people to want to buy what you are selling.

Think of it as “you get xyz SO THAT___” you want to share why that feature of organic ingredients matters.

  • The use of organic ingredients gives you a luxurious cream to make your skin supper soft without poisoning your body with chemicals.

By clearly highlighting the value proposition of your product, which encompasses the benefits it brings to customers, you can show how it addresses their needs and solves problems better than other options in the market.

How Are You Going To Market Your Homestead Business And Products

To effectively market your homestead business and products, it is crucial to utilize a combination of online and traditional marketing strategies whenever possible.

Online marketing provides a vast reach and allows you to connect with potential customers from all around the world.

You can do this by building an online presence through a website or blog, along with active engagement on social media platforms.

Creating engaging content on your website or blog will attract visitors and potential customers through getting found in search and also build authority.

Social media platforms like Facebook, and Instagram, build connection and awareness right where people already spend their time.

Utilizing platforms that are popular among homesteaders and sustainable living enthusiasts can help you reach your target market more effectively.

It’s also important not to neglect traditional marketing methods. Attending farmer’s markets allows you to directly engage with potential customers, showcase your products, and build relationships.

Word of mouth is another powerful tool, as satisfied customers can spread the word about your high-quality homestead products to their friends and family… BUT you have to build up your reputation BEFORE you will ever end up with word-of-mouth marketing. 

desktop computer on the right and a clock to the left of that computer with notebooks on the desk.

Do You Have To Be Online To Make Money Homesteading?

It’s starting to become more normal to be online whether it’s for homesteaders sharing what they are doing or grandmas and grandpas scrolling to keep in touch with their grandkids.

A few years back, homesteaders and farmers used to drag their feet when it came to the internet or flat-out refuse. Like it or not you can’t do that in the world we live in if you want to make money.

You need people to know you exist in order to make money homesteading.

Think about it this way. When you think “I would like to buy X” where do you go to find it? Nine times out of ten you reach for that small device in your pocket and hit up the search bar.

It’s very rare that you go somewhere that doesn’t require the internet to find out if you should make a purchase.

Creating Your Promotion Plan To Market Your Business

You need to have a plan to get the word out about your products or resources. A plan to promote your homestead.

There are tons of ways to do this. Some cost money and some cost time. You have to decide which you are willing to give.

You need a plan instead of going at it willy-nilly or you will get burnt out and or stretched too thin and you will want to quit. I don’t want that for you.

Start With One Short Term Platform Your First Year

Don’t spend a ton of time and money on paid marketing your first year until you know you are going to stick with it.

Sometimes people realize it’s not for them and they choose to quit. Which is fine. But its better to find that out first before investing a lot of time into two platforms because they are each a lot of work.

Your 2 Platforms Promotion Plan

You should have a long-term platform like your own website (youtube is ok but you don’t own it) that you own and where the content will work for you for YEARS to come. AND  you should also get started with a short-term platform like social media.

Here are 2 examples of what I mean.

Promotion Plan 1

  • Core Platform: Website
  • Why? – To have a home base and to not build my business on someone else’s land and to build authority in the eyes of my customers.
  • Secondary platform: Instagram
  • Why? To build a connection with my brand and bring eyes to my website in a non-sales way.

Promotion Plan 2

  • Core Platform: Website
  • Why? – To have a home base and produce content to get found in search engines.
  • Secondary platform: Instagram
  • Why? To build a connection with my brand and bring eyes to my website in a non-sales way.
  • Add On Platform: Pinterest
  • Why? To promote my blog/website content to get eyes on my site while I am waiting for Google to pick up my site in search.

I want you to realize that there are no right platforms you have to use. Each person is different and you have to use the tools that feel the most comfortable and assessable to you.

HOWEVER, I do think everyone should have a website. It doesn’t have to be fancy but you need somewhere to send people that is NOT social media. If you do that you are building your business on someone else’s land.

Social platforms come and go and the platform you have built your business on goes way. So does your business.

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Write Your Simple Homestead Business Plan

Your homestead business plan needs to be simple and actionable. In short a business plan is what you are selling, how you are selling it, and the foundations of running your business.

Your simple homestead business plan should consist of these key components:

  • Goals and target market – highlighting your goals, target market, and unique selling propositions.
  • The business description delves deeper into the nature of your homestead business, explaining its mission, vision, and core values.
  • Market analysis. – analyzes your target market, including customer demographics, preferences, and competitors. This section helps you identify your customer base and devise effective marketing and sales strategies.
  • Marketing and sales strategies. – this section outlines your plans for promoting your products or services, including online marketing, social media, and participation in in-person events like farmers markets.
  • Financial projections outline your expected income, expenses, and profitability of your homestead business.
  • The product/service description provides detailed information about your offerings, showcasing their quality, uniqueness, and value. It is important to clearly define your products or services and highlight their benefits to attract customers.

By creating your simple homestead business plan, you will have a clear roadmap to success, setting you on the path to building a successful homestead business.

Start With One Or Two Homestead Goals For Business At A Time

Start slow when you are building your homestead and trying to make money. It’s easy to feel so overwhelmed by everything that has to be done that you don’t feel like you are making progress fast enough. 

I have been there. But the truth is you have to start slow to build momentum. I know that sounds like an oxymoron but it’s true. Good things take time.

Write down EVERYTHING you want to start doing on your homestead and put them in order of importance. Choose the most important thing that will also alow you to market your income sources and work on building that out before adding more to your plate.

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